Hello yes I have been here with the gastro stuff. I am a year on and around the time of my first annual check up had a bit of a melt down! My symptoms were acid reflux which kept me awake, constant nausea and weight loss. I was prescribed omeprazole and eventually the reflux stopped, but the nausea continues though I can now eat and sleep. I had blood tests, abdo ultraound, faecal occult test - all normal. Finally I had an endoscopy for which I had to stop taking the omeprazole (hurrah I hate it!). The endoscopy also appears normal - just awaiting biopsy results but dont expect anything but normal there. Feel silly but you have to follow up the symptoms. The endoscopy wasn't too awful an experience. I feel grateful to have so many 'normal' things going on and somehow amazed that I am actually beginning to feel more 'normal' now! It has been a tough year but I am coming out the other end now. My mammogram results took six weeks to arrive! But yay its normal!
Thanks Rubycat - I don't think I was prepared that I would feel this anxious. Thought I would just go along for the Mammogram on my day off work and then see the oncologist 3 weeks later. Just something I would fit into my diary. These feelings took me by surprise - it's like going back to the "waiting for diagnosis" feelings again. Xx
Hello Aggie, certainly relate to your anxiety feelings, and do think that we don't really know how or why our bodies react the way they do, and I think anxiety can present itself in all sorts of physical ways. Coming up to my second mammo now, but last year was a complete wreck before the mammo, and then waiting for the results (ok, phew), but it certainly took a toll. I am going to try and listen to myself this time, and calm down, humph, well, at least I can try. I think it's great that your doc is trying to put your mind at ease, it certainly helps that you can talk to someone. Everybody here is also good to talk to, we understand how you feel, so keep posting. Sending hugs. xxx
Hi - I posted last week about my first mammogram following WLE last Feb. My oncology appt is 28Feb so that is when I will hear results. I do not feel that I am consciously worrying about it BUT - I feel generally unwell a lot of the time recently though , oddly , one day I can feel ok and next awful again. Am still going to work but some of the time I feel lightheaded, can't concentrate and have indigestion type pain and back ache. Even today - and it's the weekend I feel very on edge . Went to GP on Mon - he gave me something for stomach acid and examined me .Did not seem worried but has ordered ultrasound scan of abdo ( mainly to try and put me at ease-- I hope)
Anyone here think this could be suppressed anxiety about appt causing physical symptoms? Has it happened to anyone else? When I feel ok things go to back of my mind but when it's bad( particularly at work) I think I have got a another cancer and it's really bad. I don't want to be like this.!!
Jill, Pam and Lovewine - thank you so much for your responses, which were much appreciated, and made me feel less of an ungrateful neurotic freak. x
I've also been much helped in the last couple of days by reading a book suggested somewhere on this thread (sorry, I've lost track of who recommended it), 'Emotional Support Through Breast Cancer' by Cordelia Galgut, available second-hand on amazon for a mere 1p
It's a very short book, written by a psychologist who has herself had breast cancer, and is very helpful and reassuring about the long term emotional effects of going through breast cancer treatment.
It stresses the enormous psychological shock of diagnosis, and the massive physical assault on the body of going through all the different treatments, with concomitant mental effects, and suggests that we should not beat ourselves up for not being 'over it', but rather acknowledge that we are still living with its effects, and be kinder to ourselves when we go through these intermittent spells of depression, acute fear of recurrence, etc.
As Jill says, we have to find a way of stopping it spoiling our lives. I'm now accepting that occasionally, when I'm feeling particularly vulnerable, I will fall into what Pam accurately calls 'the breast cancer abyss',
and that this is not a massive personal failure in moving on with my life, it's just normal after what we've been through. And that it will pass..
I never really liked the cancer 'battle' metaphors, but I love my life, and am grateful for it, and I'm going to try really hard not to let breast cancer spoil any more of it than it already has!
So, onwards and upwards- and thank you again for your support xx
Well, if it's a new policy, it's obviously has not been communicated to the teams & it's the last thing you need is to be put into the middle of it when it's not your problem. It maybe worth feeding this back to the hospital Trust.
Like you, I've just had the first yearly mammo, I got an appointment then had to change it as we were out of the country, so it was just under the year. No mention of a change of policy.
Sorry to hear you did not have a good experience, but as you say, it has been done. The radiographer who did mine was lovely & said the first annual mammo tends to be the worst in terms of anxiety, but that this usually gets better for women in subsequent years.
Hi -- I posted a few days ago about my upcoming first mammogram after surgery last Feb. Well ,it was today. I was quite taken aback at how emotional and tearful I felt all morning. Think it was all that surpressed worry.
I got to hospital was checked in and I changed into a gown then radiographer came and told me that I couldn't have mammogram cos policy was that first mammogram is 18 months after surgery and then subsequent ones are annual. I did not want to hear that! - the consultant radiologist came to explain that it was policy. She was quite direct and not at all empathetic. They said oncologist should not have made referral for 12 months mammogram.
I explained that I had come in response to an appointment letter ,taken time off work and that it was an emotional issue too , psyching myself up to it. Consultant went to speak to surgeon who had done my op and he said it was fine to have it. She seemed miffed to be overridden and I eventually had the mammogram. It shouldn't have to be so difficult!! Also, I know a lot of areas in the UK do have first mammogram at 12 months. I live in Birmingham and this was Breast unit at Birmingham womens hospital.
Well at least it's over.
To Add insult to injury --,was on my way to my evening yoga class and clipped a parked car mirror with mine on a busy road. Caused a tiny scuff mark but this led to exchange of details and a claim will go in!!
Missed yoga too! Great !
I am from the March 2013 thread so just behind you, I followed your blog during chemotherapy and found it very helpful especially the humour.
I identify totally with your feelings I am much the same, I sink into the breast cancer abyss on a regular basis, people have told me that you feel better over time but I am finding the reverse, as you say there is a sniper out there that will eventually get me. I tend to cope by living in short time frames never plan too far ahead and that seems to work for me. However, I sometimes get down in the dumps, and it is certainly made no better by these appts, sitting in the waiting room for the mammogramme feeling like jelly and looking at all the other ladies there who you know are feeling the same. Nice to hear everybody's thoughts and a comfort to know that others feel the same. Oh well onward and upward as they say. Love to you all Pamxx
I'm four and half years since diagnosis, just had a clear mammogram, have been getting on with my life with no real problems except that Letrozole seems to have catapaulted me into old age.
Yet I'm suddenly feeling overwhelmed by it all again - all the things that someone (Leigh?)said below
"Also the puzzlement - I can't seem to find a place in my brain for what happened - was it a dream? Why is life normal and I'm not? And frighteningly, what's the point."
I've just had flu and although I KNOW that theweakness, the lingering cough and pains in my side are highly unlikely to be evidence of lung mets, yet again I keep thinking that the cancer will come back sooner or later, so why not now? In fact, my prognosis is good and i may well live long enough to die of something else, but every time I have the slightest twinge or ailment I become convinced for several days that this is it, the cancer is back, and this time it's The End.. I know this is pathetic, that i have been one of the lucky ones so far, and I'm all about making the most of every day and enjoying life, but I can't control where my mind goes, all too frequently, and it's driving me bonkers.
One thing that really doesn't help is the amount of obituaries I have read in the last year of women whose
breast cancer has come back well after the five year point, which seems to be meaningless. If you survive 5 years it doesn't mean it's not going to come back, it just means that you've been fortunate enough to have survived 5 years.
And I read somewhere recently that never mind the chemo, the radiotherapy and the drugs, cancer cells can just go dormant in your body and wake up again any time they feel like it. The writer Margaret Forster, who died recently, had breast cancer 40 years ago, and eventually it came back to claim her.
I'm not even that bothered about dying, weirdly. We all have to die sonmetime, and we all have to live with uncertainty , of many different kinds, all the time.
But it's the feeling that the sword of Damocles is hanging over my head all the time, that seems to be driving me crazy.
I have so much to be grateful for in my life, but I feel all the time like a sniper has me in their sights, and is going to pull the trigger any minute now.
Sorry, now I'm mixing my metaphors. And sorry for being so doomy, but I'm baffled as to why after more than four years, the mental effects of this are STILL proving so difficult to deal with.
Ah well, I need to get a grip. This is just the new normal, in fact the not so new normal.
I really need to accept that this is always how it is going to be, and stop wasting what time I've got left
by brooding about how little time i might have left.
Right, now I'm going to go for a walk in the sunshine and look at the crocuses.
Hello - it's a long time since I posted anything but I often dip into the forum for advice and tips from other people's experiences. I had DCIS which was large and high grade - had surgery 4 Feb last year followed by radiotherapy. I am 58 .All the feelings people are describing on this thread resonate with me - especially going through patches of feeling low. I think that , like many, I just got on with my treatment at the time but didn't really acknowledge it. Sooner or later you have to face it and I think that's been happening to me now as I came up to a year since diagnosis. Also
my place of work doesn't make it easy to put it to back of my mind - I am a palliative care nurse working in a hospice . Obviously , I don't talk to patients about my diagnosis but It often crosses my mind that we have some things in common. I have my first mammogram since treatment , coming up on Weds with oncology appt end of Feb. Of course,I am worried about it and seem to have developed pains in my arm this week !
Do any of you ladies who have had lumpectomies still have pains and discomfort all this time on ?. Oncologist and BC nurses say it is normal for some women. I am still wary about enthusiastic hugs from my toddler granddaughter and quite protective of that area. Wonder will it always be like that
I was told I would have annual mammograms for 5, years then back on normal 3 yearly. I would prefer annual,for 10 years .
Anyway, am rambling now. Goodnight X
Hello - just wanted to say that is possible the most useful and calming article I have read since my diagnosis in June 2016, so thank you for that 🙂
I think we are all ging to struggle to some extent post diagnosis/surgery/treatment - and possibly will always face some days that are darker than others, but this article really addressed some of the things that have been racing around in my head recently.
best wishes to you
Thank you Anne.
calmer now after a miserable day. What was that weather all about?! I agree with the other lady that said when it hits you and you're down, you are really down.
Sure it'll all be fine- now I've climbed back onto firmer mental ground!
my first yearly is in March and already getting nervous!
im still getting days when I can't cope, the anxiety is awful. Also the puzzlement - I can't seem to find a place in my brain for what happened - was it a dream? Why is life normal and I'm not? And frighteningly, what's the point.
ive done a mindful course and am trying to cycle daily but sometimes - every couple of days just get so overwhelmed. It's exhausting and of course no one else wants to know, or wants it swept away, after all it was a year ago.
I'm really worried because I've been hitting the wine heavily to try and numb the panic. Help!
We are hard on ourselves .Trouble is,when cleared of cancer we are no longer looked after.While under the umberella of care,appointments,etc,you are looked after...then it all goes.
In a strange way so happy to read all your notes, makes me feel very very normal, after having 4 operations and 5 hospital stays over the 16 month with lots of ups and downs.
l am trying very hard to put the lid on the box and move on, however not easy it ready helps to read about all the lovely ladies out there.
GOOD LUCK to each and every one Happy Christmas and a big thank you to all the wonderful people on this site we couldn't have done it without you.
hugs Tili xx
I was diagnosed with DCIS a year ago. I had a mx with implant reconstruction, nipple reconstruction and Aerola tattoo. I also had a reduction on the other side to make me symmetrical. I considered myself lucky as it was found early and I didn't need any further treatment. I was really positive throughout my treatment. Now one year on, I had my first mammogram and ultrasound on my remaining breast today. Results were clear with no problems yet I feel so sad and empty. Actually sadder than when I was diagnosed. Think I'm still in denial that it ever happened. Just don't know how to move on, feel so very very low.
I am almost 54 and was diagnosed at 50. On a good day i feel i am one of the lucky ones and do everything i can to remain well. I do think some of my friends think i am ok. I do not expect them to understand the reality and i hope they never do know how we feel. I have done everything Cognative Analytical Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy you name it i've done it....in an attempt to understand, think differently and move on.
For me it is only with the longer i go with annual mammograms and NED results that i gain confidence that i will be ok..... The reality is that i am 3.1/2 years on from diagnosis and i am ok, I had a further mammogram last week and have to wait two weeks for the OK.
On a day to day basis i try to appreciate the small things and i do Mindfulness (available in Primary Care as an 8 week group session) alternatively you can purchase Danny Penman & Vidyemala Burch books with CD. Also Mindfulness colouring, Waterstones have some really good books. This is also something you can do with you children, as adults we forget what a good distraction colouring in is...
I know i am further on than you, had more years clear but recovery and regaining confidence in bodies, that i guess we feel let us down to some extent, is a long process. BCC have a moving forward programme which was really helpful and i hope as you remain well and can distract yourself and as time goes you will gain confidence again.
Take Care Butterfly x
Thanks for that Flora. That's what is so good about this forum. However we are feeling there will always be someone who understands and no-one will ever dismiss how we feel xxxx
Hi Eileen and Pandorra
Rest assured, I do understand you both when you say you feel down. I have always been very much a glass-half-full sort of a person but I also get days like this and then I feel terribly guilty. I have found that it takes a lot of time to adjust but unfortunately other people seem expect us to just snap back to how we were before and continue as normal but of course our 'normal' has changed. I find that it helps to remind myself that I am one of the lucky ones. If people get impatient and lack understanding I just silently think to myself "one day you may get cancer because it seems so rampant at the moment - let's see how you will deal with it". Having cancer is no picnic.
Hi Pandorra - and everyone else. I do know what you mean. After mammogram results hugely relieved and happy for a couple of days. Then arm started hurting again and I was imagining all sorts though I am sure similar issues before BC I would have just ignored. I keep telling myself it WILL get better. Not yet managed a whole day without thinking about it in some way BUT I am managing parts of the day now so i am hopeful that it will improve and I will stop fretting about every little thing. And spring is on the way. Birds chirping and buds coming out - though this winter has been so strange the buds have been out for a while.Love to everyone and Happy Easter! xx
Why, oh why do we feel like this. Clear mammogram after 1 year, great news, and then..... all those thoughts run through your mind. Like many, I have good and bad days and I don't think these horrid thoughts will ever leave us. So, we have to try and train our minds the best we can and at least we can meet here on this fantastic site and pour out our hearts. As they say, it's good to talk. Sending masses of xxxxxxxxxxxx and hugs,
I'm exactly the same! Had mastectomy,chemo and radiotherapy last year. Had my first check up an mammogram last week and all was ok. But..... Feel so down. Should be feeling on top of the world so that makes me feel worse. Can't imagine ever feeling good again. I guess we just have to learn to live like this xxx
Got result back after 13 days - all fine but I got soooo anxious beforehand, Think they need to find a quicker way and think about those of us who have felt ambushed by our bodies as you say. What annoyed me was report was written on Friday not posted until Monday - second class - so didn't get it until Wednesday. So lots of un-necessary extra days of worrying. My treatment has al been fine but communication rubbish. Saw oncologist for sign off she went through everything - or so I thought - and then when I got home ON THE SAME day - there was a letter waiting signed by the same consultant saying my DEXA scan showed osteoporosis!!!
Thanks for this - it is excellent. Dr Cordelia Galgut's book is also excellent on worrying about recurrence. It is available on Amazon
Hi......this article may be of some help? I still dip into it when I get wobbly......like now when 4th year post diagnosis follow up mammo and surgeon appt due! Xx