Feeling better today (thank goodness!) Gosh another few wobbly pre mammogram moments AGAIN!
Glad your first day back at work went okay, take things slowly (if you can) and build up your strength.
I am very guilty of being hard on myself because I really was not expecting half of these emotional outpourings which i am experiencing, not at this stage anyway! The good thing is, I can at least spot the triggers, tiredness, work, appointments - so that is good learning.
Swimming later today with kids.. got to be good 🙂
Urrghhh, did not sleep well the last two nights. Fear of looming mammogram!
Got to decide what to do re: reconstruction. I am not liking feel of implant (have another thread on that!) and want it out. Just can't get used to recon VS real breat, it feels 'odd'! I am scared of going flat, hate recon, what shall i do?? If i request implant out, what if i hate it?? God why is it all so hard???
Should i just be grateful for being alive and ignore body totally?
You are right Huey, the more time i spend at home, the worse i am. That said, one of my triggers is my scarring, it is quite bad and if i spend too long looking in the mirror, it does upset me. That and the numbness (which i am not sure i will ever get over if i am honest).
Keeping busy is definitely the way to do go, so onwards and upwards at they say!
Glad you like your tattoo, they can be very good. My BCN did mine back in July and it has held it's colour very well. My PS reconstucted my nipple which was also lost, but it is very flat now and just a bump now.
Swimiming later, not sure if i feel like it, as it has started to rain and pretty cold today.
Great that you are keeping yourself busy Naz, I think part of our problems manifest the more time we spend on our own! I am also at home, and that's when I worry and become more anxious. When I get out and meet people I get quite a buzz and it takes my my off things. I had WLE, I lost my nipple and have a small circular scar where it was and a scar down the front of the breast and a little underneath which has faded somewhat. I know my surgeon has given a great deal of thought and care to try his best to make things look as good as possible, he was delighted when I brought up the tattoo, as I know he has been waiting for me to mention it. I know he sees this as a sign that I am making progress physically!
Well done on getting the nipple tattoo Huey! What kind of reconstruction did you have? I have had 2 nipple tattoos and have to say, they do make things look better cosmetically.
Today I have been volunteering at my local food bank, i love it, it's only a couple of hours a week, but i always feel great afterwards. Tomorrow, i am in Waitrose, handing out shopping lists to customers, to hopefully donate a few items for the food bank and then swimminmg with the kids. I think as long as i am busy and have focus for the day, i am okay.. but am going to try harder in the New Year for sure and get involved with more projects locally (especially if my job is on the line!) I would love a job where i am meeting people ( currently work at home on my own).
Bye for now.. speak soon
Hi Naz, great that you go swimming! And like Zuleika I always feel great after a good walk. Taking the first hurdle and starting something new in the New Year sounds like a good idea! I plucked up the courage and had a nipple tattoo yesterday, and i must say it looked amazing, I'm still sore but I know I won't be as disappointed when I see myself in the mirror!
Ah well done you! I forgot to mention that i have started swimming. I am aiming for 3 times a week and must admit, it does make me feel good afterwards.
Also going to try some brisk walking, to see if can boost my fitness levels and try to see my body in a more positive light.
So glad you posted about your positive day, it has given me some inspiration and hope 🙂
Maybe have a think about jobs in the New year. You have to be realistic don't you and ensure that you are covered financially and as much as many of us would love to swap our jobs for something less stressful, it if often easier said than done.
For now, lets focus on getting our bodies and minds fit and healthy!
Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice..
Like you, if I am on my own for too long, or don't have a structure for the day, then everything seems to go to pot! I have to say, I was pretty shocked at how i felt last week, as i had worked out that i had been fine for weeks, then bang, explosion!
I think you are right, I do need to do more for myself at times, maybe i will start afresh in the new year. I do know that i get frustrated with the reconstruction though. I am always aware that it is 'there' and it still feels kind of 'stuck on' with glue! I don't like it and it does distress me at times..never mind it was my choice and I must live with it now. what is done is done.
Zuleika, how are you today?
I knew you worked had a role within the NHS.but wasn't sure what. I can kind of empathise when you say the organisation is not good at looking after its own because i work for an online advice and support service, It is a fantastic service for members of the public, free and very well resourced. However, the work we do is emotionally draining at times because it is about people and their issues. There is little in the way of a support structure for staff and the shifts include unsocial hours. In fact I am certain that is the only service in operation over the Christmas period (other than the NHS!).
Maybe it is time to think about what you might want to do job wise? 30 years in a long time in service.. you deserve a break.. You can start afresh in 2015 like me
I am with you on the robin comment too.. I was the same when i saw a sunset and other things in nature make me go all gooey.. very odd!
Take care all and speak soon.
Hi Naz, I was just flicking through the site and came across your post. Like all the lovely ladies on this site I would really like to help you in some way. I too have the same thoughts and feelings, I'm pretty sure we all do from time to time. I think it helps to know your triggers, (you have identified yours) and try to work on them. I find if I am sad and bored or alone for too long, I resort to deep self distructing thoughts and feelings. If I distract myself with,like going outside for some fresh air or doing something that pleases me more often, then the bad thoughts go away for a while. MacMillan do walks in various places, not only are you benefitting from exercise, but you also meet up with lovely ladies who are in the same position as yourself, you can off load some of your worries and feelings and share them with others, or not as the case may be, you will not be judged! When I had a couple of sessions of cbt I was told to try to please myself more often, the more you do it the more positive you become! I am only nearly 2 years down the line, and I am becomming more optomistic as the time goes by. I hope this post doesn't sound patronising in any way, I don't mean to be, but this is how I am helping myself and perhaps could help you too! best of luck Naz,will be thinking of you! xx
Ah Zuleika, good to hear from you..
I am totally in your camp re: Blessed with family and a life that really isn't all that bad. But as you say, some days can be incredibly hard and those emotions which we experience at times, well they blow me away if i am honest.
What do you do for a living Zukeika ( I am thinking Mental Health nurse for some reason!) but could be wrong? It is ironic that your collegue never asks how you are because the mum of one of my managers had BC and she sure as hell would never ask how i was and never will. Colleagues (who i don't see very often anyway) may think they know how i feel, but they don't. As for family, forget it! So i suppose all this adds to the mix of frustration, i WANT them to know how it feels at times, how it is to live with a numb breast, the scars and the fear etc etc.. but until it happens to them, they won't.
Is going back part time an option? Reduced hours? Changing career path?
I hope you had a good time last night...
You are right Zulkeika, we are all part of a very unique group of women, we all get it and can support one another in our own special way.
Take care everyone.
Hello lovely ladies
Thank you so much for your kind words of support, Thursday was a bad day, but yesterday was better (in the end) and today even better!
I have worked out the triggers to this episode:
1. Being over tired.
2. Feeling over whelmed (colleagues)
3. My impending mammogram.
This is progress and good learning for the future. I have worked out that i can't cope with any stress, so i need a new 'stress free' job...Mmmm does one exist i wonder??
Jenny, you have hit the nail on the head, it is hard to stay positive all of the time and these days, NO ONE ever asks how i am or feel. So what happens, is i get angry and frustrated and bang, an explosion inside my head and then the bad day.. These are happening less and less now and only when I am faced with stressful events. Today i was washing up and i could feel the tightness of the implant and could feel myself getting angry..so took some deep breaths and went for a walk with the kids.
Feel free to share your bad day if you want Jenny, that is what we are all here for xxx Hope today has been better for you and thank you for your kind words of support, they mean lots.
Zukeika - How are you today?
Butterfly, i love reading your replies..' high maintenance' made me smile. hope you had a good session at the hairdressers yesterday, i booked mine for next Thursday, so something to look forward to.
You are indeed a survivor giving it the best you can and i am going to try harder (again)!
I guess that we all feel we are going to recover and i am reluctantly coming to the realisation that i am never going to have happy go lucky days when i am not upset / angry / resentful any more at some time in the day.
I am also very slowly coming to this reaslisation and need to learn that is it okay to feel the way i do, as long as it does not take over my well being and i can get back on track again.
Anyway, i am going to have a nice bath now and relax.
Chat to you all soon, so glad you are all here so we can support one another.. THERE IS LIFE AFTER BC!
Hello Naz, So sorry that you have been feeling "rubbish" again, hope you have had a better day today. You certainly are not a waste of space, or a failure, or have nothing to offer etc. But I agree that people such as work colleagues don't seem to understand, I truly feel for you and how you must of felt that day at work- I had a load of issue when I was working and ended up with severe stress and 4 months off. It is not nice at all. It is so very hard to be constantly positive. BUt look how far you have come, look what a lovely job you are doing with your 2 beautiful children, and look at all the lovely messages you have posted on here to many of us when we have been having a bad spell. Don't beat yourself up. take a deep breath and take it gently. I guess that it doesn't help with the fact that you work from home, so don't have daily contact with your colleagues. I know it is easy for me to say it, but you can do it. may not today, but maybe tomorrow. .AND we certainly care
Zuleika, hope you are doing ok after your latest op.
Butterfly hope you are ok, and thanks for your thoughts and info about Mindfulness & Penny Brohn centre etc.
Naz if it is any consolation, I was in tears on Thursday.-long story for another day.
Take everyone, sending a bid bundle of warm huggles jenny x
I don't think we have a Maggies near us but i will check it out because i really do find it helpful. I do have an app that goes with my book which is an 8 week self help.
reading back through this post i sound ike a right goody two shoes........ i'm really not chick. I'm just another survivor giving it the best i can....
Just off now to hairdressers, getting the outside looking as best i can...... God i'm so high maintenance these days.
Really sorry that you're having a crap morning ( no other word for it chick).......
I guess that we all feel we are going to recover and i am reluctantly coming to the realisation that i am never going to have happy go lucky days when i am not upset / angry / resentful any more at some time in the day. I think that i am doing well as i am getting more good days than bad days and i know when i don't use everything i've got at my disposal........ exercise , sewing class (social interaction), good diet (god i'd give my right arm for a block of hotel chocolat), work as a distraction technique, my mood starts to dip.
I am really not saying that i understand how you feel today and that everything will be better later 'cos i can't know that but you are half way there Naz when you know what has caused the changes in your mood this week. March is 5 months away and you've got a lot of Mindfulness to do before then.
I hope you can find some time to relax today, do something you enjoy as a distraction and are able to enjoy the weekend with your family.
I know from a previous post you have purchased the Mindfulness book, not sure which one but i have the ones with links to Breathworks UK who do 8 week courses in venues in and around the North West. These are private group sessions at around £200 for the course. I haven't attended one yet but think that'll be the next thing as i can definately practice it more effectively within a group. Our staff wellbeing service has occasional group sessions. Penny Brohn is also worth a look Naz (both on internet).
Take Care Naz Gilly x
Thanks Zuleika, your kind words are very much appreciated today i can tell you!
I know you have had another op recently and i do hope you are recovering well both physically and emotionally? It can be such hard work all of this at times and when it all kicked off again this week, i thought, 'No this can't be happening.. i was was doing so well'.
A friend has mentioned minfulness several times to me already, so perhaps i need to be a bit more proactive and do something for once, instead of getting all worked up and moaning..
Is this how it is going to be from now on I wonder? Is this the new 'normal'?
Thanks once again Zuleika, you take care of yourself too.
Back to feeling rubbish again 😞
God what is wrong with me? It has been FIVE years since DX, FIVE years. I went to a work meeting this week, a two day event, My job is likely to go at the end of March due to lack of funding, but that does not seem to be the issue. I work from home, so rarely see colleagues, but i became so overwhelmed when i met them all again. They all seem to be doing so well and i am really still only just getting my life together again. I feel a faiure, that i haven't really survived at all, that i have 0 to offer anyone, that i am incapable... all negative stuff.
My mammogram is due soon, bloody scarring on my 'breast' gets me down and i feel no one understands anything of how i feel sometimes. I had been doing fine for almost 2 months, then bang, all gone again. Convincved people just think i am a waste of space these days.
Those scars, god i hate them, hate them!
You were asking about how to find a counsellor. There are a number of professional organisations that you can google for and some counsellors will be registered with them but it's often a case of going thr the yellow pages or googling.
Some things to look for: Whether they are a member of a professional body. When you find a counsellor, ask if you can have a chat with them or an introductory session before starting sessions, so that you can get some idea of what they are like.
I think any form of counselling can be beneficial. Mindfulness seems to be particularly useful if done regularly. You might like to try the 10min one from http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/podcasts/
Hello Naz, So pleased to hear that you are feeling so much better- long may it last. I had my mammogram & MRI scan on Fri 24th Oct, just waiting to get results, but telling myself that if there was anything nasty they would of been phoning me by now. I have an appt next Monday to try and sort out my excess fatigue. My lovely BCn referred me, said she thinks this will help. It is at Bath Mineral hospital, and only place that runs this programme- so i am so lucky to be local.
Take Care Everyone, and as always sending bundles of warm Huggles
Thanks for all your comments everyone.
Well since i posted, i feel so much better, i can't believe it! And although i have the scars to prove me wrong, it almost feels as though the whole experience happened to someone else..
I feel more confident im myself and my body (dont get me wrong, i would rather have a natural breast), but i dont run myself down half as much, or criticise myself or my work in the way i did. I refect more instead and the irrational thoughts have stopped.
The whole BC experience has been bonkers in all honesty..i have never in my life experienced so many diffferent emotions, such a roller coaster.
On the whole i feel good.. but lets see how i cope with mammogram in December .(.eeekkk.)..!
It can be so hard carry on trying to be the same person we were before DX, especially with all the body changes which we have to experience.
For me, the lead up to every 3rd September (dx day) is very stressful, as is the lead up to April 1st (end of chemo).
I used to have those rages too and the bouts of low mood. It can all take time to adjust to and those anniversaries which we have to face, can make things hard and traumatic.
I hope you manage to find some peace within yourself and support for your depression.
Thank you for your replies ladies.
Jenny, it sounds as though the counselling and CBT was really helpful to you. I never used to get this stressed in my 'old life' ( I used to be a secondary school teacher years ago!) but these days, it has dawned on me that i don't react well to any kind of stressful situation at all. The panic before the review was quite irrational and i felt such an irrational idiot later on that day. It is something about my body and my performance. My body is not right, so my work must be wrong too. I don't like the feel of my reconstruction, so somehow, everything else must be wrong - how daft does that sound!
Gilly, do you mind telling me how you went about seeking a private therapist (you can PM me if you prefer). I may take this route also because i need help with managing unwanted negative thoughts from time to time. I also still feel quite angry at times. Not nearly as much as i did, but angry that people just expected me to carry on as usual, to like my reconstruction and not to express any kind of sadness or anger - they are thoughts arising after the event if you like. I am still angry that i had to lose my breast and that i am scarred and that i have no sensation in that area. I get angry that no one ever asks me how i feel about the recon, how it is to have a mound which sits on your chest and does nothing, not even move.
Anyway, i have now purchased a CBT book to have a read through and also a Mindfulness book and CD, which i hope will help.
Thanks to you both.
Yes CBT definitely works but as Jenny said recently during counselling some of the techniques came back to her so i think any type of therapy needs to be practiced continuously to be effective. Our behaviour is ultimately driven by our thoughts. About three years ago i wanted to access Cognitive Analytical Therapy (i had thought a great deal about this) but it is only available in the area i live to Service Users of Secondary Care Mental Health Services. (This would be a diagnosis of Schizophrenia / Bi Polar / Severe Depression / anxiety) so i went to a private therapist. CAT looks more in depth at our behaviours, the reasons we behave the way we do (many years of learnt behaviour and expectation of others) helped me to identify changes i wanted to make and plan how i was going to do this........... At the end of the planned sessions you write letters to each other and the therapist gave me a 'Diagram' which clearly indicates my unhelpful behaviours and change points.......When i am struggling i still refer back to both these tools.
In terms of managing my irrational thoughts (maybe they aren't really irrational given the diagnosis and treatment we've all been through) and what i can only describe as a lack of confidence or feelings of fragility, i use Mindfulness. Again sadly this was only available in Secondary Care Services. I purchased a really good Mindfulness book which initially works over 8 weeks with one chapter and one download each week. CD included or download to iphone. I currently practice using the download 4/5 times per week and particularly when faced with appointments. Not sure Naz if this is anything you had considered. I do find it helpful.
I feel a very different person than i did before my diagnosis but am working on the new me.
Take Care Gilly x
Hello Naz, I have just finished about 10 weeks face to face with a counseller through macmillan. Could possibly of gone through my GP. but BCN suggestd this route, I found the first few visits very strange, but gradually got there. I would definately recommend it. i have also had CBT - some years ago, because of work related stress etc.(off work for 4 months and then 3 months phased return) so I can reaaly sympathise with you., and understand how you felt the few days before your annual review. I did my CBT as an on-line course over 6 weeks, I found when I was seeing the counsellor recently that I was remembering some of the tips/methods from the CBT and using them, ie do one thing a day/.week etc, at it finally worked.
So pleased the review was very positive- well done.
Hope this helps a little,
Take Care- Huggles- Jenny.
I just wondered if anyone has ever used or tried CBT to manage any negative thinking ,since their BC diagnosis?
I am 5 years post DX now and am mostly back on track with life. However, over the past couple of years, i have found that i do not react well to forthcoming potentially stressful situations. To give an example, i had my work review yesterday. Well, you would have thought they were going to hang me the way i was reacting Two days before, i was thinking VERY irrational thoughts, that they were going to sack me and that i was totally rubbish at my job. As it turned out, it went fine and the meeting was very posititve. Then before that, was my cancerversary (date of DX) and i found myself getting stressed before that! The same with any kind of appointment at the hospital and anything work related.
So, i need to find positive ways of conquering this anxiety and wondered whether CBT might be the way forward, either face to face with a therapsist or online?
Your thouughts and experiences are very much welcomed.