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Older and alone...

12 REPLIES 12
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Re: Older and alone...

Ah, I have heard other people say they have a dent, and I think something can be done to improve it later, but I agree with your earlier comment about not wanting more surgery. Might be worth asking on the forum if anyone has experience, I think it is some form of lipofill and from what I read not very invasive. Now I am going to be blunt, you say you are on your own, but liked buying pretty bras before, well what has really changed? The bra will still look pretty, even if you know underneath is not the old you, but a new you. You can get a partial prosthesis if you need one to even the two sides out, and under clothes it would not show at all.

This disease certainly shows us who our true friends are, not always the people we expect.

I feel reading your post that some of your feelings are more about growing older, and whether you will be able to cope with it in the way you want to. This horrid disease is such a reminder of our own frailty.

I am not where you are in your life, but if am facing a future alone soon as my husband is terminally ill. I am grateful for the many years we have had together, but scared of being alone and how I will cope. I take some strength from people like you, and others on this forum already coping with this alone and getting through it.

You are still a strong independent woman. It sounds as if you have come through a lot in your life, and you will be that strong person again. Please give yourself time.

Feel free to pm me if you want to talk more privately, I would be happy to meet but live in the Lake. District so doubt if we are close.

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi and thanks for your helpful comments. I have been ordering online, treating myself to fresh food. I can manage to cook, and I enjoy eating good, but quick meals! I have no motivation to go anywhere and feel what few friends I have have shown themselves to be a bit of a let down!

The trouble with my lumpectomy is that the breast isn't swollen, it is deflated! I wonder how much they took away and of course it will never go back to its rounded self.  It looks like a very poor job and I regret having surgery at all as I am not too sure whether at my age (68) it would have made much difference. Probably there are loads of folk out there walking around with horrible stuff they don't know about and they live to a ripe old age!! I don't have big boobs but I used to buy pretty bras and now I just think what is the point.....No wonder the surgeon seemed in a hurry for me to leave! I wouldnt be considering going in for some kind of partial reconstruction because of what looks like a poorly done op, Couldn't face more surgery, on my own etc etc.  

From being a strong independent, well travelled and glamorous woman who thought nothing of working in faraway places, I am reduced to feeing old and totally defeated. I wonder whether to bother with radiotheraoy if its going to increase my misery....

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi,

It's very early days after your operation, I know I felt quite down for at least a couple of weeks, and someone told me it takes a while to get the anaesthetic out of your system.

My lumpectomy was 2 1/2 years ago, and I can say that the look of the scar now is nothing like it was shortly after the op. I was very swollen, and the scar was bright red and seemed so big. Now it is fading, and appears smaller,plus the swelling has almost gone.

I didn't get any help from the hospital either, like you just a discharge and an appointment for 3 months later so I don't think it is your age.

On a practical level I would get food delivered using the internet (but I am sure you have thought about that), and make do with ready meals for a while, or things like eggs, beans on toast, anything which doesn't need much cooking or thinking.

You will start to feel better, but I have to say radiotherapy made me feel very tired for a while afterwards. I don't say that to make you feel worse, but so that you know what you may face, and that it is normal whatever your age (I am 52).

If you can afford it is it worth using a taxi one day a week to take you somewhere as a treat. Even somewhere simple like a local garden centre with a nice coffee shop? Do you have a local cancer care centre where they offer complementary therapies like massage? When you feel ready they can be relaxing and a bit of a treat.

How about using this time to plan your next holiday using the internet?

Finally as others have said there is always virtual company on here. We may not be exactly like you, but we have some of the same feelings about treatment and afterwards.

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi globalnomad

If you call our helpliners on the number given they will be able to put you in touch with someone who has had similar experiences to you so they can offer you support and understanding

Take care
Lucy BCC

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi,

It's very early days after your operation, I know I flat quite down for at least a couple of weeks, and someone told me it takes a while to get the anaesthetic out of your system.

My lumpectomy was 2 1/2 years ago, and I can say that the look of the scar now is nothing like it was shortly after the op. I was very swollen, and the scar was bright red and seemed so big. Now it is fading, and appears smaller,plus the swelling has almost gone.

I didn't get any help from the hospital either, like you just a discharge and an appointment for 3 months later so I don't think it is your age.

On a practical level I would get food delivered using the internet (but I am sure you have thought about that), and make do with ready meals for a while, or things like eggs, beans on toast, anything which doesn't need much cooking or thinking.

You will start to feel better, but I have to say radiotherapy made me feel very tired for a while afterwards. I don't say that to make you feel worse, but so that you know what you may face, and that it is normal whatever your age (I am 52).

If you can afford it is it worth using a taxi one day a week to take you somewhere as a treat. Even somewhere simple like a local garden centre with a nice coffee shop? Do you have a local cancer care centre where they offer complementary therapies like massage? When you feel ready they can be relaxing and a bit of a treat.

How about using this time to plan your next holiday using the internet?

Finally as others have said there is always virtual company on here.

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Re: Older and alone...

Hello and thanks for your information. Unfortunately the SOMEONE LIKE ME doesn't have someone like me, as I don't fit any of the categories!!. I am 69, alone, divorced, no kids/grandkids, no reliable support. No partner. Wondering how I would be able to relate to anyone else in this situation? Are there any?

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi  Tink and thanks for your thoughtful reply! Sorry to hear of your mastectomy, and hope you're well on the mend? Unfortunately my independence wasn't a choice as I had to leave home at 15 due to extreme violence and no  support.

On my discharge from hospitaI didn't get much of a care plan, just a look at the wound, a booklet on radiotherapy and an oncologist appointment.......

 Perhaps  my case isn't considered serious enough or interesting enough....when you're older  you tend to get tend to get overlooked anyway and you don't count. I doubt whether the hospital would supply anything extra in the way of someone coming in. I wish I had not had the op...there are probably many folk out there with all sorts  of vile - but undiagnosed -conditions who live to a ripe old age, so ignorance can indeed be bliss. 

I've had surgery before-hip screw after a broken femur and wrist has metal implant after double fracture, not to mention thyroidectomy and few minor things. Neither op's scars are as ugly as this one is at moment. I am certainly NOT contemplating some kind of rectifying procedure after this! More time alone, wasted holidays etc etc. I feel Too old for this nonsense...

 

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Re: Older and alone...

No, it certainly isn't.

 

Well, we seem to be heading in the same direction now, as I start 15 sessions of radiotherapy next Wednesday, and then start Tamoxifen after that.

 

But I had chemo first from December to April, and then a full mastectomy and axillary node clearance in May, so I currently have one breast and one horrible scar across my chest! I know what you mean about not liking to look at your body though, I really do!

 

Maybe we could stay in touch through radiotherapy? I suppose I'll probably finish mine before you start, as you haven't even had the planning appointment yet, where they tattoo you, by the sound of it.

 

The sun is indeed shining. I've just been for a long walk. I need to exercise every day, and I'm on a strict diet, because I need to lose 2 and a half stone before next summer, so I can have reconstruction surgery.

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi Globalnomad,

 

Independence is so much easier when we feel well.  I too am quite envious of your lifestyle (if it was your choice), but can definitely understand how easy it is to become isolated in times of need. Bette Davis was right!

 

As Sue says, come on here for a chat or a yell or if you'd like a bit of support.  We all know the feeling of isolation even amongst our family and friends.

 

Sue made some excellent suggestions but I also wonder if the hospital could arrange some support with the day-to-day things; could they arrange for someone to come in perhaps?  I appreciate that that might be unappealing to you, but sometimes we need to let others look after us a little bit and it won't be forever.

 

I had a mastectomy and we all know whether lumpectomy or mastectomy how upsetting it is to have this done to our bodies.  It has a huge impact on how we feel and acceptance comes gradually.

 

So throughout your time in treatment - and hopefully beyond - we are your new buddies.

 

Take care

 

Tink x

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Re: Older and alone...

Hello Sue

Thanks for your reply. Very kind of you! No, my treatment is Tamoxifen and radiotherapy. I see the oncologist in two weeks, to arrange the radiotherapy, when I hope I will feel better than I do now!  My breast looks awful- worse than expected, so I don't look at it any more and don't enjoy showering when I have to wash it!  Horrible!! My free life might seem ideal, but independence was kind of thrust on me- since I was 15years old- with so much baggage over the years that I would need a van to carry it al!!!

I've had broken bones and various minor ops to cope with on my own, but younger then, so I could cope. As Bette Davis said" Old age is not for cissies" !!

Hope the sun is shining where you are!

 

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Re: Older and alone...

Hi Globalnomad and welcome to the BCC forums

Along with the support here our helpliners are on the end of the phone with practical and emotional support for you so please do feel free to call, lines open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 10-2 on 0808 800 6000

Here's a link to further support ideas from BCC including 'Live chat', and our 'Someone like me' service which you may find helpful:

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-services

Take care
Lucy BCC

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Re: Older and alone...

It sounds like until this awful disease snuck up on you, your life was pretty ideal. I am quite envious!

 

But yes, it's times like these that we need friends. I imagine you feel extremely alone, and it is not a good feeling.

 

However, my friend, you have come to the right place. We are a bunch of people all in the same boat, and we will let anyone rant or moan to their heart's content. Let it out. And maybe you'll make a few friends here too. There is a section on the forum where you can check if anyone lives near you, to maybe meet up and get to know each other in person. Or if that does not appeal, just start chatting with people here, or in other sections, or through personal messages.

 

Out of interest, are you going to have any other treatment - chemotherapy or radiotherapy? Or have they finished with you?

 

My name is Sue, by the way. I'm 48 and I live in Kent. Nice to meet you.

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Older and alone...

Hello! Just had lumpectomy, recovering from the op 10 days ago and not feeling too positive. Why? Well, firstly, seems to me that all the HELP leaflets/books etc mention the support of friends and family....what if that's not really an option? I am an older woman, divorced- no kids or grandkids - and my "help" options are now professional cleaning and gardening services. At the moment I can afford these. I have not had normal family or partner support to see me through some horrifiyingly  tough times, but being reasonably healthy, have always managed.  Now I find I am defeated at times  with daily cooking and chores, and every little task seems like a mountain! Secondly, I have worked, part time, in a job I enjoy, semi retired, and my passion is for travel. With no friend able to come with me-family ties, no money, not suitable time, etc etc - I travel alone. So my life has been pretty independent, and - because I have no kids etc ,-I have always been expected to visit, be chauffeur etc, which I do, though I am rarely visited. This isn't a "poor me" moan. It's just that feeling isolated AND coping with feeling like a prisoner, is making me feel down. I am not motivated to exercise - always disliked it from an early age - and of course I can't drive. And I feel I will NEVER shake off the feeling of apprehension that this vile illness can return.  Yes, I know there are many thousands in MUCH more difficult situations, but that doesn't make me feel cheerful.