I know exactly what you are feeling. I was dx Sept 2005 had mastectomy, chemo (ugh) and radiotherapy. Somehow managed to get through it all very positively at the same time caring for my disabled husband. I was thrilled to be finished treatment by end of May 2006, bought a new car and thought things were just beginning to get better when suddenly my beloved husband of nearly 40 years passed away very suddenly. Again somehow I managed to pick myself up and get on with life even though it is drastically different to being a 24/7 carer to having nothing and nobody to care for. I gained weight during treatment and so then in September 2006 I began back at the gym, an easy program to start with, then gradually increased as my strength returned. Now 17 months along the way, I have managed to get back to a size 12 and feel much fitter. However the purpose of writing this is to say that yes I have flashbacks sometimes worse than others and yes I imagine every little ache and pain to be the dreaded C but I try hard to stay positive. I am on tamoxifen which I am sure does give side effects but I try to fight those too including the sleepless nights. In June last year horror struck when my smear came back abnormal and I had to go for a colposcopy and cone biopsy and thought the worst but thankfully the biopsy was negative. I had my repeat smear in december and I am still awaiting the result but as each day comes, I seem to worry more; it is hard not to. I go to my oncology appointment in three weeks and one part of me wants to say I feel fine but the other part of me says that sometimes I think I am just going through the stages of emotions of it all again and get anxiety symptoms some days too. Does anyone else feel like this too? Sorry to be a pain when I am supposed to be giving you support.
I ought to mention also that through Breast Cancer Care I have Peer Support where a lovely lovely lady who had breast cancer six years ago and a similar experience to myself telephones to give me support. She called when I was feeling very very low and her support was wonderful she also told me about and arranged for me to go on a Healthy Living Day provided by Breast Cancer Care (what a wonderful organisation it is) where I had a marvellous day with a delicious lunch provided and got to meet other ladies who had been diagnosed in the last year (we nearly all had similar hairstyles - very short and grey!) We had yoga, Reiki, and reflexology and a talk on healthy eating and living all free too. All in all I came away feeling so relaxed and positive. They do days for younger ladies and ladies that have been diagnosed over a year. Breast Cancer Care is doing such a brilliant job of changing the lives of people with Breast Cancer. They also reply to press/media reports which sometimes can be so scary on the site. Long may they carry on.
Hello everyone, I was diagnosed in February of last year and went thru a Lumpectomy/Chemo/Radiot and was very positive throughout it all. BUT when I had finished radiotheraphy the "emotional fallout" hit me hard. I really felt awful. I could not watch TV, read the newspapers, read books, listen to the radio go shopping even!!! If someone mentioned something even not connected with BC it would trigger a panic attack. In fact my life had closed down. I tried EFT but that did not work. I am on Herceptin and Arimidex and though I was very grateful for all the treatment being thrown at "the enemy" I dreaded the thought that I would have to feel like this for the five years I have to be on Arimidex. Depression and anxiety is a known side effect of these drugs. I asked for counselling and was told it would be about 8 to ten weeks before I could be seen - I am still waiting. I did not want to take anti-depressants as I thought I had had enough drugs to cope with. On talking to my Oncologist she told me that it about 90% of Cancer cases depression/anxiety happens and said it was a Chemical reaction to the drugs. She put me on some SR tablets and very soon I was feeling great again. I am now back to my new-normal self again and enjoying life and welcoming the opportunities ahead. Incidentally I had my ovaries removed about 15 years ago and I feel good and young and my skin/hair has not suffered as a result. Best wishes for the New Year to everyone.
I know what you mean about bobbing in and out of the site. When you mentioned that it made sense. I do the same and perhaps its when I feel the need for support. You have all touched on things that are so right and it really gives comfort when you know that you are not going mad and that others have felt just the same way.
I lost my job through the illness and managed to get another one 2 weeks after finishing chemo, I was too worried about my finances to let the job go, so I gritted my teeth and took it on, but somehow I'm now doing a full time position-part time.
I really didn't want to do so many hours (about 30) and I feel that I'm sinking there. People now just assume that 'the worse is over' and to them its all passed. (Bless him, but my other half, who doesn't talk at all, mentioned the other week that he thought that the Doctors had got it wrong and that I really didnt have cancer at all) Oh that he were right!
When I read some of the posting on the site I really feel guilty about complaining about just feelings.
Since having my ovaries out I feel that I have aged considerably, and I think that I am mourning the loss of me, whoever that was.
I have phoned a gentleman who advertises a breast cancer CD, he is quite local so I might phone for an appointment so that I can talk things through, as I really don't have anyone else.
Good luck Lorri at WW, I too am going to try them this time. Let me know how you do.
Once again a BIG thank you for all your responses, they really are a comfort.
Hi Debbie I will be 3 yrs diagnosed this March and just like Cherry has said I am another one who is on and off these boards depending how i am feeling although in saying that I find myself of late on the forums every day !!!!!!! I was diagnosed age 31, grade 3, lymph positive and it is never far from my mind. Wish I could get a break to be honest !!
Can totally understand what you say about the memories being softened which for a while there i thought mine were but on New Years Day in my bed at night for some reason I was back in the hospital the day i was diagnosed and replayed the whole scene of events which basically as we know is a nightmare and i was so upset reliving it again.
I can honestly say since diagnosis in March , 2005 it has only been in the last year that I have felt more or less back to my old self ! (whatever that maybe ) but it will always be with me and sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks, I just hope that as time progresses it gets easier.
I am starting weight watchers on Monday and also starting the gym again, looking forward to 2008 being the year that I start to feel in control of things again !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure you will too xx
I am on and off these boards like a yoyo depending on how well I feel I'm "coping". I am in a very similar position to yourself. I think what BC has meant for me is my loss of peace of mind and the certaintiy that I will die an old lady in my bed. As time goes on I can deal with day to day life and the spectre of cancer punctures my thoughts occassionally. There are other times when I get the complete wobbles and "know" I am marching towards disaster rather than walking away from it. ( I don't know whether this is more pronounced for me as I was node positive).I have come to accept that this now is my life. Understandably certain dates ,check-ups, news of deaths/recurrences, some posts on these sites etc,can trigger near panic, but I no longer think I am unique in feeling this way, or weak, or negative because I do -just normal I guess.My memory is appalling -I don't know whether to attribute this to chemotherapy or induced menopause -a combination of both I suspect. I write notes and lists all the time! I hope brighter days are with you soon.
Mine hit just short of 2 years after treatment.
I was so tough when it all happened, took it on the chin. Did everything I was told and was out to be a first class surviver. Went back to work and put it to the back of my mind. ( My Lancashire upbringing too)
Ahha! it all caught up with me after mammogram 2 years later and I had to have six months off work with all the things you are descibing. You are not alone. I, and lots of others I guess, have the same, but I came through it and learnt that I don't have to try to keep it all together all the time.
We are here for you!
I'm 3.5 years down the line and yes, I still have periods of feeling really low and events surrounding my dx come flashing back. This can last for days, weeks or (less often) months at a time. It's as though a light is switched off inside me but then as I recover, the light is switched back on (funny way of explaining it, but that's exactly how it feels!). I felt very low during November and December and developed a few strange physical symptoms which put my mind into overdrive and I managed to convince myself that "it" was back. However, since Christmas and New Year celebrations have come to an end, I have begun to feel better and more like my old self.
Considering what we've been through, I suppose we can't expect to feel wonderful all the time. It helps to come on here and read of other peoples' experiences so you know you're not alone. Do hope you begin to feel better soon.
I am sorry you are feeling this way and wondered if you have considered Breast Cancer Care's peer support service, the telephone service aims to quickly put you in touch with one of our trained peer supporters, who has had a personal experience of breast cancer.
Our peer supporters are from diverse backgrounds and ages and have experienced different types of breast cancer and treatments. They are ready to listen, offer skilled emotional support and share their experiences and understanding.
For more information about this and other support available to you telephone our helpline on 0808 800 6000 or email .
Hi Debbie. I think it is very normal what you are experiencing. As Linda has said, when you are first dx, you just get on the rollercoaster of tests, treatment, hospital appointments etc. and everything becomes a bit of a blur. You are so busy just coping with every day things that you will not have time to dwell on 'what might have been or may be'. I think this is very common of a lot of lifes' stressful situations. You cope when you have to, but when everything is calmer, it just hits you. You will find a lot of girls on this site will have had very similar experiences even years down the line. I went through the same thing, coping as best I could - recurrence, lost reconstruction, mastectomy, chemo and Arimidex - but once it was done and dusted I though this was it - finished - get back to normal. It hit me about 2 years after I finished treatment, not helped by the fact that one of the girls in myBCC support group is in the end stage of this dreadful disease. But take heart, it will get easier, I had the experience of my first bout with cancer to go by and know that you will come out the other side! There will probably always be a small bit of worry in the back of your mind, which is natural, but overall you will find that you can get back to a more or less normal way of life without the ugly C word raising its ugly head every few days!
Goodness Debbie, I think you are entitled to feel weepy after what you went through in such a short period of time.
In away, when you're first dx and everything happens so quickly, there's no time to sit a reflect on everything that is happening. People are telling you, this, this and this but you can't take it all in.
I'm not surprised that three years down the line you are now feeling the effects of everything that has happened to you.
I'm not even one year away from my surgery and even though I have talked quite freely about everything that has happened to me, in the hopes that I am not bottling it up and let in all come out - a quote from my BC nurse - I just know that even years down the line this is going to be with me and I don't know if I'll ever really come to terms with what has happened.
Because I'm on Tamoxifen until 2012, obviously the reminder is always going to be there.
In away, for me, it's similar to when I lost my mum, my daughter was just one week away from her first birthday when mum died and even though in a small way, I was free - because I'd looked after my mum for years - I couldn't come to terms with her death, I became ill and that illness lasted three years.
It was only through relaxation classes and talking about it, that I finally leg go.
So, that is why I'm trying to talk about my BC now in the hopes that it will help me cope, even though I to didn't want to join the club, I've had to really.
Hi Girls...happy new year!
Its 3 years since I was diagnosed. I had lump/radio/mast/chemo & ovaries removed, (I really didn't want to miss out on any of the experiences offered!!!) This was all in a 6 month period. I think that it took me about 8 months to even say the word cancer, and I still didn't think that I belonged to the club for about 12 months.
My problem is that although the memories have softened and have been put into a box, things seem to be now leaking out..big style!
Before Xmas I was having trouble sleeping and I think that it then becomes a vicious circle, I was really weepy and could have walked out of my home and job quite easily, Xmas was a disaster. I just want no pressure and some piece and quiet. My mind isn't as sharp as it used to be and I feel really stressed by things that I could at one time just absorb.
I was talking to a friend who is 5 years down the line and she says that the memory loss does come back. Is anyone else having these flash backs & panic attacks 3 years down the line? PS I am still having problem with my weight and hope to join yet again another slimming club next week.
Much love Debbie xx