I'm really glad your copy of Emotional Support through Breast Cancer has arrived and that it helped you a lot. Like I said, I keep mine with me to dip into when I need to. So good to hear about your reconstruction and that you might be getting your counselling soon.
Lots of love,
Sounds like you made some great progress since I last got on the internet.
I'm a year down the line and when I first went back to work I was still crying all the time. I wasn't sure I would ever be able to work without breaking down in tears. Its gradually faded and now its not even an issue. I still cry. Usually at silly stuff on the telly and heartwarming stories on facebook.
My work was great about my staged return and I found loads of support from my manager but not so much my colleagues, they and my friends are a bit scared of cancer to talk about it.
Hope you get on well with the counsellor.
I'm so glad that your doctor has said you should see someone. Counsellig really helped me, I'm glad you're going to get some. I'm no expert, but it takes a long time to come to terms with what's happened and it's not that long for you. All you've been through is bound to make you feel weepy. Maybe it would help you if you could try and take some of the pressure off yourself to feel alright when you've got so much to deal with. Maybe you're expecting too much of yourself at the moment. I know how hard it is because of all the expectations there are from other people that we should 'get back to normal'. I find that if I don't worry so much about being upset and remind myself I'm allowed to be upset and there's nothing wrong with me for being uspet, that really helps. The book that you're waiting for has helped me to realise this.
I wish I had me back too - I am still crying - my op was October. I guess we wont ever be "normal me" again, we will be "new normal mes" and that is what we are discovering. When I read those words New normal - it sounds exciting, but somehow it does not feel it - makes me sad and resentful, dont know about you. So my Dr has suggested I do lots of things i enjoy to fill up the "me jug"
I am now having loads of help via Macmillan - and it is helping me feel better. Your Dr might suggest a psychologist too - do go they are good and get you to look at things from a tangent - to get it into perspective. someone else suggested anti-depressants, but i said no as i want to come to terms with this and move on and i think pills might just smother all that - however if it continues that then that is a positive iidea too -
Just read your reply to Marion. I guess it's a relief to have an explanation for some of what you've been suffering, just knowing what it is can help, can't it. Please don't feel silly about crying! It's totally natural to cry, you have plenty to cry about and you're not made of stone!! Though I know we're all made to feel silly by other people, it's them that are silly not to understand how you feel. Good news that you're not under pressure to go back to work. Keep telling yourself that you're allowed to cry and allowed not to feel ready to get back to work!
I am going back in April this year (been off since October) Had a formal return to work interview today and it went well because
1. I had found out my options - I am allowed a phased return that lasts 3 weeks
2. I went in with a plan -mornings week one etc
3. I wanted to be able to negotiate
4. someone from HR was there to keep it all legal
5. I had checked facts past my union and the County phased return policy
6. Look at the info sheets on the Breast Cancer care site and on Macmillan about work returns and the options avaialbe
So basically i am saying, get all the facts you need and go in informally first for a chat and then go in for a formal meeting. please take someone with you too - I needed the HR lady. At my informal chat i got upset and so knew that astill wasnt quite there - but coped well today and actually felt excitied!!!!
I found it difficult to approach health care staff and tell them I was struggling, I was determined to be a good patient! Thats why this forum is so important.
You don't go into details and I totally respect that, if all you need from us is a sounding board or a shoulder thats what we are good at. My family and friends get that glazed look and I totally understand that you feel you've exhusted their ears.
Like Jo the moderator said speak to them on the phone, I've had great experience of using the BCC services and they're more professional than us, no offense ladies!
Oh and virtual hugs, we are good at that, so big hugs. I hope you get some resolution.
Can you please let us know how you are getting on?
I don't often say I'm lucky that I'm 65, but this is one of those times! I haven't had to face the trauma and complexity of going back to work. But I do send you the best vibes that I can to help you. How soon do you go back? Let me know how you get on.
I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad. I'm sure the support from other women will have made you realise that you are not the only one, not that that makes it easy to cope with breast cancer.I'm glad you're going to get some support, someone to talk to. In the meantime, you might like to look at the book i recommended a bit ago on this strand. I always turn to books when I need something and this is one that I carry with me to look at to reassure me that I'm not mad, my feelings are normal and I'm not the only one. I know I've already written about it, but it has really made a difference for me. It's called Emotional Support through breast cancer, the alternative handbook. It's by a psychologist who's had breast cancer herself, so she knows her stuff, called Cordelia Galgut. If you're someone who likes to read, have a look on Amazon and see what you think.
See if your GP can refer you to a clinical psychologist - who deals with cancer patients; or macmillan. if the GP can't perhaps your Breast Cancer nurse can - ,mine did and it has been great. The Macmillan community nurse has contacted me fortnightly - including visiting me twice. so it has been a reall opportunity to touch base with the emotional stuff that my family/friends/work are fed up of - or dont understand
I'm sorry to hear you're feeling low at the moment and am sure your fellow forum users will be along soon to offer their support. Could I suggest that when our helpline opens tomorrow morning at 9am you give them a call, the staff are here to support you both emotionally and practically through this. Calls are free 0808 800 6000.
The response you have got from others is just what I have had from work - and it has made me so angry! Like you I was lucky enough not to need further treatments. But the operation is massive and the grief, anger etc that is spoken about is all to do with that isn't it? Then the pain swelling and weakness that results from the op has been incredible - my Breast Cancer nurse said it is almost better to need further treatments so your body has more time to revoer from a physical op! I know what she means physically, but i am sure mentally and emotionally you styil have to acknowldge it all in the end,.
I'm glad you got the book and i hope you find it as helpful as I have. I'd be interested to know what you think.
I've bought the book you suggested and its arrived yesterday!
I'm going to the younger womans forum in March run by BCC and I'm really looking forward to it. Can't wait to meet like minded ladies and share experiences.
Have to say I didn't have a good experience of Maggies its about 30 miles away from where I live. Went in twice and left my details for someone to call me back about the groups I was interested in, not to hear anything back... There's nothing local for me and I've found these forums much more useful.
I'm considering the counselling and I'd be interested as to where you were able to access this, although its because of the cancer, it seems to be confidence and intamacy that are now my biggest issues.
I feel so sorry for all the women who have written on this thread and know just what you mean. People so often just assume you will 'get back to normal',as if 'normal' hadn't changed for ever! It's easy to feel lonely when people don't understand. I've found reading good as a way to feel less mad. .One book i found that was really useful is a shortish one that makes all those problems we have seem normal. I've mentioned it on other threads and women have said they found it useful. It's called Emotional support through breast cancer. It's by a psychologist whos had breast cancer herself, Cordelia Galgut. It's an easy read and tells you lots of things that make you feel less of a loner. It's not very big and i keep it with me to dip into when i feel bad. It's also got good stuff for families, friends, etc. Anyway, worth a look on Amazon!
I had mastectomy September 2013 and fortunately no other treatment. I felt I was doing well although no-one seems to mention it any more but I am also seeing a counsellor which is helping a lot. But this week I had planned a trip to where I used to live when I was diagnosed, to do something I really wanted to do, and my anxiety has climbed up through the roof with palpitations and panicky feelings. I was going on my own all full of old determination but today I realized I just could not do it and cancelled...I spoke to someone onthe BCC helpline and they were so helpful.
I have given myself permission not to feel a wimp and just to be kinder to myself about trying to prove I am OK but my confidence is going to take a little longer to grow again.
I think I will look into The Haven and Maggie's.
Look after yourself
I feel exactly the same. Dx in May 2012, spent 11 months off work and socialising occasionally, I've found it devistating to my social life. Loads of friends have moved on with their lives and I just feel stuck in a giant rut.
I want to talk about the diagnosis and my treatment but I've encountered what I suppose is fear from friends, they just don't want to know.
People have been very stand offish and it makes me avoid situations.
I've gone back to work full time, done a very difficult course and gained a promotion. In work I've pushed myself to be seen as moved on but I just can't do that in my personal life. I think it will need to be a gradual re-introduction to socialising and only accepting invites that I know I'll be able to go along with. In the past I've said yes to everything and often pulled out last minute, because of anxiety or tiredness. I think a big step forward for me has been admitting that I can't do everything, that I've got limitations now. I think I'm more tearful about this than I ever was about my dx!
Look forward to hearing how its going for you!
I understand exactly how you feel I too avoid lots of things I used to do before. I was diagnosed in July 2012 finished my treatment in March 2013. Im still not back to work, and some days I too wonder if I need anti depessants although like you dont want to go there! I try to force myself to do something everyday but it is lonely like you say.
I find myself wishing I was as I was before all this. I did quite enjoy life but realize looking back took a lot for granted. But I am trying not to look back, even though my future is looking a bit uncertain. I worry about loads of things I didnt before. I have thought of going to a support group, but just wish I could have some of my old confidence back.
I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I only have one suggestion, and it might not be possible for you. This link is to the Maggies online http://www.maggiescentres.org/
Maggies is a cancer charity, and you can find out if there is one near you. They have all kinds of activities and is specially for cancer patients. If you can get to one, you will know that everyone you meet there has been through a cancer journey and will understand your feelings. You will find support and advice too.
Wishing you well
Was not quite sure which category to start this thread in ; hope some of you out there may be able to help.
Diagnosed with BC in 2011, 3 normal mammograms down the line but I find it really hard to socialise ever since this has happened to me . I have lost confidence in life and in myself and when I am with people , I think to myself : well , you can't understand what it's like and I think that whether the people know about my history or not . I also feel some anger I suppose because they haven't been through it and I think why me ? And then I feel guilty for thinking things like that . The net result is I feel lonely and I do avoid social occasions as much as I can . I was wondering whether anybody else is feeling like this and if anybody has got any tips , words of advice or whatever ? Do I need to take antidepressants ( something I don't really want to do ) Hope someone can help.