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when will i feel like me again?

laurasue
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

This is a very interesting thread and I hope you don't mind me joining in.

I was diagnosed in August aged 58 (now 59) and had a lumpectomy and then rads which finished on 24 November. I did a phased return to work two weeks later on 8 December. With hindsight (wonderful thing) this was too soon. I should have waited until after Christmas/New Year. I very much felt like I couldn't cope, even though I only work part time. I was in tears on a few occasions. I'm sure the extra stress of Christmas didn't help. Its only now after 5 weeks that I feel more like my old self, although I definitely have to pace myself. Colleagues were kind but cannot understand just how exhausting it can feel. Although several were concerned because apparently I DID look poorly. I reach state pension age in March 2011 and wonder if I will be able to work beyond then or just have to retire. 😞

So ladies we have been through a shocking experience both physically and mentally and we deserve where possible to put ourselves first.

Chris

lizcat
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi again,

Rachel - thanks for your sweet message.

Monica - I liked what you said about work being frightening second time round as that is just what it felt like for me. Most of my colleagues were lovely but with the best will in the world it would soon be forgotten that I'd been off for such a long time and had major issues of my own to cope with - after all life goes on while you're being treated doesn't it? One of the side effects I found and still 'suffer' with is that I can't cope with lots of noise, activity and people near me - it seems to overload my brain and I feel I have to escape. I was in a customer facing role with a lot of pressure and couldn't manage that !!

Jayney - what I did before I tried to go back to work was to write down a list of the treatment I'd had along with its side effects and the impact it was having on me in terms of what I could and couldn't do. That was kept on my personnel file but I sent it in again when I applied for retirement. I think it helped on a number of levels - firstly so I had faced what I'd been through (and ongoing as I have bone mets), secondly so others could see what had happened and thirdly so there was something on paper to support me! My old boss at the time I was diagnosed read it as did a very close friend and they were both shocked seeing it all on paper even though they'd seen me on good and bad days. When I showed it to a couple of managers at work, I could see their faces changing as they went down it all and they both said they had no idea I'd been through it all as I'd been ok when I'd popped into the office and looked really well and never said anything !

Generally I also think that when I did get retirement I felt like I'd lost my identity and sense of purpose by not being at work. With not having kids, work was to a large extent my 'social' life and where I met and helped people so once that was gone, what do I do to replace it?? A friend showed me a newspaper article a while ago that was talking about people losing their identities etc when they're made redundant and thought some of the people's emotions were the same as mine albeit through different circumstances and she was 100% right. Anyway, now I've come through all that, have helped my OH with some DIY jobs that have been strangely satisfying and am very content with my new life.

No-one can go through the bc experience and be the same as before - to be told you have cancer (of any form) is one of the things people fear most in life I reckon.

Liz

scottishlass
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi Jayney, Did you tell your boss that you still had to have radiotherapy? He may not know much about cancer treatments so you will need to explain this to HR. But please do not feel you need to rush back to work. Although rads are not as awful as chemo ( that is only my opinion) it still takes it out of you and even when treatment finishes it takes time to regain your full strength. Perhaps your boss was just trying to convey that they still need you.....but be kind to yourself by making sure YOU are ready to return to work.
I often get told that I "look well... and you would never know that you were ill" but they do not see me on the days I do not venture out at all and when I am feeling crap. Also when I do make plans to go out it takes me ages to get ready and I need to make sure I have rested first. Also the day after going out and enjoying myself I find that I need time to recover. Perhaps we should go out dishevelled and looking really crap then people may understand what it is really like coping with cancer treatments.....I think not. Love Val

carmcg1
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Jayney, I have been lucky, I have been off since last May and had no pressure from my boss, I was hoping to return on a phased basis this month but I was at the hospital today and I now have to get an ultrasound on a lump on my neck, so I called him today and he was really ok about it all, as he says no point in going back just to go off again!!!!

dont feel under pressure, work will always be there

take care

Carol xx

Jayney
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Elinda

Yes, looking well and sounding well! I spoke to my boss last week and he said "you sound really good, when are you coming back, got loads here for you to do". Haven't even started my rads yet and now feel under pressure to get back! I was aiming to get back Easter time (reduced days/hours) but his comments have made things so much worse. Perhaps I should sound sad and not bother with my appearance and look ill. If he know I felt like this, he would be mortified, because he is a very caring and very supportive. I will be meeting him and HR towards end of Jan to discuss return to work and I really feel like giving them some home truths about BC!

elinda45
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

That's the thing isn't it how do you moderate the amount of work. I'm self employed researcher/project manager so anyone I take on a contract for is not going to be interested if I'm suffering from fatigue or want to do reduced hours - they want the piece of work done to the deadline.
After I had my gynae/bowel op in 2007 the charity I'd recently finished a contract with wanted me to do some work I could do entirely at home. They were very understanding about my surgery etc but as soon as I started the work it all changed. They didn't get their act together, kept changing their minds about what they wanted etc. What I had planned as 3 days work a week changed to 6 days a week. I was completely exhausted.

Don't you think that part of the problem is looking well? My mum said that to me today. I've lost a lot of weight and I certainly look better than I did before diagnosis even though I feel crap most of the time.

Elinda x

daisyleaf
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hello again
we are all so different aren't we, but also, we feel different at different points in our lives.
First time I had bc I went back to work and struggled, like Lizcat, I would say a good couple of years, but I was 38 and in the middle of a nice life, bringing kids up, doing my thing at work...
this time I'm 51, I've brought up my kids, cared for my parents as they ailed and died, carved out a successful career, but now, I see it and it just scares me - I know that I couldn't do it.
I know it sounds melodramatic, but my job feels so complex and stressful with 2 hours commute daily, and I know myself, I end up picking all sorts up because I think it needs doing (I am a social care/nhs manager) and I would get sucked in to the overwork culture straight away (I did last time) and I feel as though I can't afford to do that any more.
Saying that, I have enjoyed working over the past years and I'm glad I went back when I did.
I sound very confused - I must be ! lol
love to everyone
monica x

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

thank you and god bless you liz that is a wonderful insight, rachel xxxx

lizcat
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

It's only been in the last 3 months that I've felt settled and content after everything and got used to my new version of normal and I was diagnosed in July 07. Tried to return to work in Aug 08 but too much for me, signed off sick, applied for retirement and was medically retired in Feb 09 (it was a saga). I felt a failure and guilty about not working and being retired at a young age but have realised that this was part of the illusion that I could return to my old normal life and once I accepted that was unrealistic and things would never and could never be the same again, for me at least, I've been much better.

I've been very fortunate in that all the consultants and nurses treating me have been very understanding and always told me that the emotional impact at later dates is vastly underestimated. It's like post traumatic stress. Don't be too hard on yourselves or expect instant miracles. You can't just finish chemo, rads etc and expect a switch to be flicked and suddenly all will be back to 'normal'.

Have a look at the thread about cancer patients being neglected a sit links with this one.

Personally, I think you just have to accept that you will have a new 'normal' after any stage of bc diagnosis and treatment but the actual acceptance may be a long time in coming - mine's been 2.5 yrs !!

Good luck and peace to you all, Liz

Susanne_A
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

It's a tricky balancing act, going back to work. We all know that BC and treatment effects us all differently, so one person's experience will be very different from another's. I do think it's good for you to get back to as normal a life as possible, if you can - the longer you hold off, the higher the mountain seems to grow. But if your managers and colleagues aren't going to be understanding, it can be awful.

I was very fortunate as my boss was very hot on the issues - under the Disability Discrimination Act they have to make "reasonable adjustments" so check out with your human resources dept if you have one.

debs
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

I think going back to work for me has been yes i can do this!! and stops me thinking about what could happen as Im sort of back to normal!!
Evie i was like you during it a bit in denial and think i still am until i sit and think what last year was like, and then get scared for the future!
But going back has not been as bad as i thought, tired but ok!
love debs xxx

Jayney
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Evie - that is what I feel - pain - sooooo very painful. I am also soooooo frightened of what the future holds and sometimes it really grips me, the fear...............

x

evie2007
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Daisyleaf Mum was horrified i was going back!She threw a bit of a strop about it!It will only be 1 night a week for about 6wks to start with so not too bad! I dont want to go back but if i wait till i am ready i cant see that ever happening!!

I do really want to see another baby born and cant see there is anything else for me! Love being a midwife! I dont feel back to normal but cant see sitting and waiting for something bad to happen is particularily pro active! I think my denial has set in again as i just want to forget the last year ever happened...I find thinking about it just too painful.

Love to all on here as usual

S

daisyleaf
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hello everyone
Elinda, you really need to be kind to yourself and give yourself time - once you're back at work, you're there and its hard for people to give you the flexibility you need. Truffle's advice re ESA sounds really helpful.
Evie, I hope it goes OK next month, but remember, if its not doable when you come down to it, you have other options, I hope you also will be kind to yourself, you are amazing going back so soon with those little ones too
Mummytumbles - I did the Gok thing just before chemo started and my gorgeous undies are feeling the squeeze (didn't realise about the weight gain thing!)I am aiming to lose the weight and fit them more comfortably, hope thats not a forlorn hope! lol
Feels like things are moving on, but I haven't started rads or AIs yet - working on the basis that I'll be OK (- got it wrong for chemo, but you can't be wrong ALL the time and I was fine with mx, anc and tamox).
I guess its the new year and finishing chemo making me feel positive - not going to knock that!
love to all
monica x

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi yellow and welcome hello to all the girls on here.
I have decided after watching good old Gok wan on TV to take some of his advice and throw out all my scuddy undies and buy fresh pretty knickers and bras. i am not going to spend a fortune on these mastectomy products as my last experience was the biggest waste of dosh and a bra I feel very odd in because it isn't wired and i have always worn a wired bra - so that can go to the charity shop in the box i bought it in - any one want a non wired 34 DD amoena in champagne pink let me know pm me and i'll post it to you FOC.
i also want some pretty tops, fleecy tops and funky boots - that coupled with dyeing my eyelashes black will make me feel a little better if only for a while.
toodles ladies xxxxxxx

Janet_BCC
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

I am posting this on behalf of yellow

Reported by yellow on 05 Jan 2010 13:16

Hi Please do not feel bad about being depressed. You are only 27 (same age as my daughter). Women of your age should not have this disease, bloodly unfair and very unlucky for you. I was diagnosed at 55 (18 months ago) and I rant and moan nearly every day.

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Elinda - what an awful time you have had and I am sure that after all that has happened the assessment should go your way. I hope that the process is easy.
Sue-evie - confidence crisis! I think you should be mentored for the first few shifts and certainly not incharge - although knowing the NHS as I do they will be loath to pay out anymore to facilitate that for you. I will be thibking of you. I think I may go back in March but i want easter off to take the girls somewhere warm and my boss wont be keen to let me go on hols when I will be needed to cover for everyone else that has not holidayed because I was off- how greedy am I!
Mimsy - OMG the in law crisis! You sound just like me with the FIL/MIL- I can't say what i feel and neither can my fab man - th eon time he did the rift and pressure they applied was horrendous. It doesn't help that they like to follow you about the house and pick arguements that you are not allowed to rise to according to their culture!
Still tired and sleeping babdly but some times my brain feels good - I do have agreat deal of pain tho' - the myaglia from the taxotere is still hanging round and i also have joint pain. Anyone else having that? i am seeing my ONC on the 25th so will ask him.
Also I now have eyelashes but they are colourless - should I get them dyed like i did before all this BC cr*pola?
hugs girl s ((((((((((((_)))))))))))))))

debs
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi evie, ive just gone back to teaching full time, did phased return last term whilst having rads!! but only did 3 hrs a week at first!!
i was terrified first day with children all alone this week!! But it was fine and in some ways doesnt feel like Ive been away!! Although i have touched base a few times during it all!!
Anyway feel very tired now but feel i can cope all in the process of feeling like me again!! Just lots of early nights,wish i slept better though
love Debs xxx

scottishlass
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi evie, I hope you will be okay to start work on St Valentine's day but if not please don't force yourself. You are sensible enough I am sure but be kind to yourself and if you don't think the time is right when Feb comes around have some more time off to recover and build your strength up. You have been through a lot and it does take time to recover properly. Love Val

evie2007
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

I had my sickness interview today and we have agreed for me to return on 14th feb! Am bloody terrified! It will be a phased return, one night a week but i cant even remember to turn the dinner off let alone deliver a baby!! Physically tho i am ok and i guess i felt a bit bad saying that my head wasnt quite right yet! My manager is great with physcial probs but not mentasl ones.

Hoping another month will help and if not i can always get gp to extend!I guess i finished chemo 3.5mths ago now and rads 6wks ago...time flies!

truffle_shuff
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

hope you dont mind me jumping in here, i was so against filling in the esa forms thought i would be back at work by now, nayway phoned up and they told me if nothing showing over 16 thousand in savings account, then just need to fill in one form. did so and 4 days later money in my bank account

hope you can sorted,best advise i got from bc nurse was from now on you are number one in your household, its not selfsih just a survival and healing mechanism.

take care xx

mimsy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Dear Elinda,
Given what you`ve been through, I`m not surprised you dont feel up to returning to work. I can only say that if you do have an assessment, I hope you get somebody who is sympathetic. You obviously have an exemplary work record, and time to get better is not unreasonable! I will wish good wishes for you, look after yourself,
Love,
Mimsy

mimsy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Venting on here because it`s the only place I can! I am now halfway through the mother in law`s Christmas/New Year visit. Three weeks to go, and if there was any way to send her back earlier I would, but my ingenuity has run out, and I just have to suck it up and make the best of it as to upset her now will mean another poisoned three weeks that I cant take!
I am longing to get on with the New Year but it seems as if we are stuck in a perpetual Christmas (Sounds like Narnia!). For me to say anything to her would prove how "selfish and immature" I am. Can you be immature at the age of fifty something?
A guest, any guest requires entertaining and disrupts your home life. Surely if you give consideration at any time, its when someone is recovering from cancer treatment. I have also had another bout of lymphoedema and the stress doesnt help it!
I am at my wits end, but must stay polite until the end of January.Thanks for listening,
Mimsy

carmcg1
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

hi Elinda, sorry to hear you have had such an awful time, its not easy.

I was supposed to return to work this month on a phased basis but doctor signed me off for another 4 weeks as I have a lump in my neck needing checked out, I have been off since last May, I had to complete a form for ESA yesterday, bloody nightmare

I know what you mean by going for assessment, the thought of it really scares me too, hopefully I will be signed off fit to return to work by then!!!

take care

love

Carol xxx

elinda45
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi to all

I hope you won't mind me joining your thread...

I finished my treatment on 18 December. I'm still feeling so incredibly tired. Yesterday all I did was clean the bathroom and kitchen and I had to sleep for an hour afterwards.

I started my treatment on 4 March last year: 4 chemo, double mastectomy and one side lymph node clearance, further surgery as wound reopened, further 4 chemo and then rads. I had a very rough time on chemo with neutropenic sepsis etc.

Is how I'm feeling normal?

I became self employed in 2006 after being in paid employment for almost 25 years and only a handful of days over all those years off sick. My timing was terrible as I then had to a major gynae/bowel op and was off work for 6 months and now all this.

I'm getting ESA (employment support allowance) but that will run out in February without an assessment. I don't feel anywhere near ready for work yet - I truly wish I was. Being self employed I can't do a staged return so I either take on a contract and fulfil it or I don't.

I'm not sure what to do to be honest. I need the ESA money but the thought of being assessed by someone unsympathetic makes me feel like crying.

How long have others had off work after finishing? Did anyone suddenly pick up or was it very gradual? Be really interested to know more of others' experiences.

best wishes
Elinda x

evie2007
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Rach i have my sickness interview tomorrow and i know they mentioned last time we would discuss returning in january. I am not ready yet and signed off till feb 14th so no prob there but it is coming round fast. Think i may go and do a few shifts with my mate who trained me to see if i can handle it without being the midwife in charge...just not sure how i feel. Def not as raw and emotional as last month so thats a good thing!

Any hoo. Damn snow is hideous and hindering my social life so now watching Jungle book with the girls. Love it.

Take care all

S
X

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi All
I don't know if any of you caught the news on radio 2 the other day -specialists in cancer are finally realising that there are huge repercussions from the treatement and not just from the cancer! That many people go on to be cancer free for a long period of time(and for ever) but end up with debilitating probs beacuse of the chemo rads and other therapies! AT LAST!!!!!!
I'm having a relatively up day today don't know why - may be because of the snow and the fact that i have a warm house full of activity and its freezing out side.
I have had days when leaving my bed was not an option apart from that I had to because of the school run. There is nothing like routine to make you get up and go when its the last thing you want to do.
Kitty you do not sond like a whining attention seeking girl - you have real concerns and real feelings which you can only articulate in one way! So please don't feel guilty.
Sue- evie - I can really sympathise with you about patience with patients! i am worried that the next time Mrs P come in and moans about her type 2 diabetes and how she has had to change her life around ( I have always been sympathetic and supportive in the past)I might just say its diabetes not cancer get a life!!!!!!!!!!
No, I think the time is not right for me to go back yet is it? lol!
Off to dosome sewing before going out for a drink to celebrate my dads 82nd birthday. xxxxxxkeep strong girls xxxxxxxx

scottishlass
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi Kitty, I find as time goes by things seem to get more "normal" again. There was a time when I felt so awful and distressed that I never though I would EVER feel like this again. I am jogging along fine and am enjoying life again. I can remember how bad it was for me at the time....but I almost feel "content" now. I have had bone mets for 10 years and just feel so glad to be alive and to be able to live my "new normal" again. I hope you will get to this point yourself some day....it just takes time....and I think it is "par for the course" to go through all the emotions you expressed so well. Take care. Wishing yu well, love Val

kittyw
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi all second time i will have written this as last post vanished into cyber space. Just wanted to say a very big thankyou your comments have made a big difference to me.Maybe we deserve some time to be miserable if thats how we feel. I am a little tired of keeping my chin up and being cheerfull.However I am I think starting to shake off that black cloud. I havn't blubbered for ages.I know that the saddness and panic will return again and again. It certainly dose not give me comfort to know that some of you also have this, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But it helps to know that I am not alone.
thanks again take care kittyx

daisyleaf
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

and ((((((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))))) from me too
one day we will feel good again - in my 'gap' years (between diagnoses) I have trekked in the Himalayas and Cuba, made loads of new friends and had lots of little hols with my girlfriends, as well as great times with my own family, bringing up the kids and career taking off.
It does come back, and it can be better, but it takes time and being kind to yourself, and I think being able to share it is a huge help.
Love all round
monica xxx

mimsy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

In the words of Tears for Fears
"Shout, shout, let it all out"!

dotchas
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Can I join you wobbly ladies?
I was originally diag July 2008 ,had Mx and immed recon then just Tamoxifen.Suffered depression and back to work Jan 2009.Another lump was found July 2009 so WLE and Rads.
I finished rads at the end of October.Due to a virus my return to work was delayed till 11 Jan.
I was doing OK over Christmas and even Hogmanay but now I just feel a huge weight on my shoulders.
I had 2 orthopaedic operations 2006 and 2007 which required a few months off work each time.So each year since 2006 I have been hit with health problems and I am just so scared what 2010 will bring.I can't imagine a whole year illness free!
I am also scared of going back to work,as I have had so much time off.(20 months off out of 36)
I have also realised that I am comfort eating and comfort shopping (on internet as I can't be bothered to go out)
Whenever I think about going back to work I feel like crying.
Mimsy I can relate to throwing away clothes worn to "bad news" appts.
I am luck in that my OH is very understanding but I so want to be better for him as all this has been sh*t for him too.
The treatment is one thing but the post treatment "fallout" can be much harder.
Shall we have a big group hug?
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((()))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Dot
xxx
Just phoned for GP appt,re return to work and maybe up my ADs

Susanne_A
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

There's a link I found on this subject of "positive thinking." This woman says exactly what a lot of us are thinking: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/02/cancer-positive-thinking-barbara-ehrenreich. She has some pretty sharp stuff to say!

mimsy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Dear Kitty,
I know what you mean about people thinking it`s all over.I dont know the details of your treatment but am sure it will be a long while till you feel like yourself again. I am not putting any dates or time lengths on my recovery, just hoping that over time things will start to look rosier!
I want to develop a sense of amnesia about the whole thing and for good memories to eventually replace the events of the past year. To this end, I have either binned or put away clothes I wore to "distressing" appointments, those damned wigs etc, because they all carry memories which can take you by surprise.(My clothes are generally cheap, so no big loss!)
I look forward to the day my hair no longer says "chemo" to me, that will be a big step forward!
I was the friend of someone with breast cancer for years and now realise that I was just "ill informed" because it was just too frightening to think about,and wanted to sweep it under the carpet and hoped it would never happen to me.
My observation, speaking for myself, is that the psychological scars will take a while to heal, especially when there is so much pop psychology nonsense about positive thinking talked about cancer, and people spout it because its all they`ve heard.

Daffy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Kitty, as you can see there are a good few of us that have had a wobble over the festive times. Don't feel bad about talking about it.
I was alright at christmas, big kid I am still. Like the christmas tree and pretty lights, presents, getting my boys pressies but it really hit me this New Year Eve. Still wobbling badly, take outs last two nights, can't see the point of going to the shops!

I have dvt appointment on Wednesday, can't be bothered. Washing machine finished half an hour ago, can't be bothered to empty it!

You are not alone, I'm sure we will pick up again. I know I will not let the wobble take me by surprise again, next year. 🙂

Best wishes to you all. x

kittyw
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi all and thanks for comments and advice. I think I am just having a bit of a wobble and will get over it.It may even be a bit of the green eyed monster jelous of those who are lucky enough not to have this s##t disease. Time to give my head a shake but thanks for being there it really helps to sound off now and again take care kittyx

daisyleaf
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hello
Kitty, please don't be thinking there's anything pathetic about how you feel, I can't see how you can just pop back to 'normal' when the rugs been pulled from under you - bc is not like having your wisdom teeth out or a broken leg. I think that psychological recovery needs to be factored in to recovery time - I know everyone feels differently and reacts differently, but I do believe most people struggle at some level to take the implications as well as the physical treatment on board. It took me ages to feel OK last time but there was no support network or psychology service or anything. This time I am taking advantage of(and appreciating) everything there is, and also I am giving myself the time I need. Everything has changed for me and I can't even begin to think about returning to work, I think I will be going for early retirement and looking for something local, part time and with less responsibility. I want 'me' back, but in a more favourable situation!!
good luck to those going back to work
love to all
monica xx

evie2007
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Kitty have you thought about speaking to Cancer Counselling? Its a phone counselling service so you can cry in private in some respects! I called them and they were totally lovely and can offer free ( or they do like donations) sessions to try to help you get back some normal life. Its 020 7843 2292 .

Worth a go.

I am not back at work yet but its looming and i cant say i really feel much like supporting ladies giving birth seeing as cancer has stopped me having another baby!! Career change?! who knows..

S

kittyw
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi all hope you don't mind if i join in. Although i have never been super positive of my future. I have mostly put on the obligitory 'brave face'.I am however terrified and have found it so much worse over this festive period [ will i make next christmas].Although it may sound petty and selfish I feel as if everyone assumes its over. I have gone back to work and the attitude seems to be ' yeah we know you have been ill but you are better now get on with it. Don't get me wrong I am not expecting any favours or sympathy.But i feel so isolated I have had over the past two weeks major panics resulting in days of tears.Hubby tries but I don't know if he too feels I should be ' back to normal'.Just reading this back and I sound like a totally pathetic attention seeker.I am maybe not expressing myself clearly.I am scared at what my future holds but all around me think I am cured Its a very dark and lonely place to be.Sorry for being a miserable git but i had to tell someone kittyx

Nonny
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi there
I don't know if this will help but I go to our Macmillan outreach centre and I am having counselling through them. I am twelve months after finishing a year of treatment in 2008. TAC chemo, bi lateral mastectomy with right axillary clearance (5 out of 19 nodes with surrounding tissue affected) and radiotherapy. I am also triple negative so no follow up treatment. I was fine for a few months then it all hit home and my GP said I needed either counselling or there were drugs he could give me, ugh! So having already been offered counselling at my local Macmillan centre I opted to go there. They have also offered counselling for my husband, who has taken it all rather badly, but he doesn't want to know saying he will deal with it in his own way! Hubbies are peculiar animals, but there is help out there for them if they will only accept it. Try your Macmillan centre, we have the Mustard Tree in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with Triangle outreach centres in outlaying small towns.

Love to all
Nonny

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi Gail et al
hope your return work goes Ok and 18 months off is not excessive but i recognise that attitude from the NHS so well!¬!!!!!!
I used to work in ITU and had a great set of friends but found that when people went off on long term sick leave a certain amount of impatience sets in and a lack of tolerence to the recovery process. You would think we would know better but i find health care workers the hardest to get support from. My mum is an old matron type nurse and as a kid i was sent to school with german measles, chicken pox, D&V, and asthma attacks - i was never as ill as her patients and therefore did not deserve time off - I laff about it now but at the time walking to school when unable to breathe was a bit much!
love to all xxxxx

Little_H
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Thanks for all your comments ladies,Sorry you're having such a rough time Rach,I keep making lists in my head too of all the things I want to do this year.I want to make up for the year I've lost.
I officially phoned in fit for work today (got a stinking cold though!),couldn't believe it when he said I still had to fill in a sickness declaration form & I could ask to have my sickness discounted!
Hope your first day back went ok Gail.
I've managed to get some useful advice from BCC regarding help for my husband but I have to tread carefully cos I know if I badger him too much he'll just dig his heels in & not want to do anything.
Marsden weren't too helpful,receptionist said she'd fill in a form and they'd discuss it & get back to me,but she gave me the impression it wasn't really their concern how my OH felt.She actually said to me,why does he want to talk to someone?

Keep warm girls,remember calories provide fuel 😉

Love Helen xx

mimsy
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

If your care was anything like mine there isnt much information given about what to expect after treatment ends, apart from that it can take a year or more (much more)to recover from it. I find it distressing to read of those of you returning to work (especially in hospitals) when you arent far out of being a patient yourselves, and in terms of regular check ups will continue to be patients for some time.We have been through so much, I feel we deserve more consideration, and plenty of time to recover.
I was lucky enough and gave up my job before we moved to the USA, where we are now, so dont have that pressure and consider myself really fortunate as any pressure makes me buckle at the moment.
Regarding the pressure on husbands, I was moved when I went for my first post treatment mammogram. I was blase because I thought "They wont find anything" but my husband was in tears when I got the "all clear".I hadn`t realised how tense he was about it, and how relieved it was clear!
My son was also badly affected by the whole process and,although a young adult, we had to bring him here to live with us, otherwise his imagination was running riot and he couldnt concentrate on his studies.So,there`s lots of ripples in the pool when we get ill.

bud932
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi
Reading all the posts made me smile as i see me in nearly every one of them!!! I was diagnosed in july 08 with a triple neg breast cancer with lymph node involvement. My treatment finished at the end of may 09 and thought I would feel relief. Like so many of you i have been lost, emotional, angry etc since I finished my treatment and have found it hard to move on. Its only in the last month or so that i have started to feel more like me though having breast cancer has taken the old me away for ever as i feel it has changed me.I dont think you can be the same after such a devastating diagnosis My friends have all been great but sometimes i feel they dont understand how i feel. I cant be positive all the time though I feel they expect it so I smile and say oh yes im positive about my future. Tomorrow (monday 4th jan) im going back to work after 18mths off and im not looking forward to that. Im dreading the tiredness and emotional stress my work will bring. I work in a busy intensive care unit as a staff nurse in the hospital where i was treated so it will be hard to leave it all behind me. The only good thing I take from it is that its the last piece of the jigsaw that gets my life back into its "normal" routine. Weshall see how it all unfolds. Like one of the other ladies mentioned im scared i cant cope and have to go off sick again. U would think working for the health service they would be understanding but all they are interested in is "the organisation" as the lady at hr dept kept reminding me. She thought i was off for an excesive amount of time.....thats the support i got!!!! Ok i WILL be POSITIVE. Sorry this has turned into a rant but i know you will understand

love to all you

GAIL XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

evie2007
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

My hubbie practises my "head in the sand" mantra! He periodically falls off this perch when drunk, crys, hugs and then forgets about it till next reminder.

Not great!

Ive stuck my head back under as cant process BC at the mo...ahhhhhh, ignorance.

love to all

S

Mummytumbles
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

hi helen
actually I think you posted to the right forum and the a great bunch of girls. My fabman also feels let down by the system and unsupported and we have lots of tears from both of us as he tries to make sense of it all.
I'm supposed to be returning to work soon but also feel really unprepared and not at all ready for this step. It doesn't help that my Gp is also my boss and i feel sort of trapped in the I'm a coping patient but not a coping nurse! it also doesn't help that my lymphoedema is dragging me down... ah well
i made up part of the sugar loaf - but today the breathlessness has got to me think i have a rotten chest infection brewing again.
i'm working on my wish list and tryin to plsn a 5 day break in new york with my girls and fab man at feb half term.
easter is harder as everthing seems booked already - damn
love to you all xxxxxx

Little_H
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Thanks Jo,will do.

Helen x

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi Helen,

If you would like to give the helpline a ring tomorrow I'm sure they'll be able to give you some guidance in finding the right kind of support for your husband.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Little_H
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

Hi Clare,Rhian,Debs,Happy New Year to you all.Hope you had a good Christmas.

Christmas was fine,but New year was a mess,OH who has been so amazing through all this finally flipped.He was vile all day,really cold & uncaring.I spent most of the day in tears.
Anyway the next day I managed to get abit of sense out of him & I think it's a case of it was his birthday,the end of a horrible year & it was finally hitting home just what "he'd" been through.Just writing this makes me cry. He's agreed that it would help to talk to someone but I'm not sure who's available.I'm going to try Psychological Care at the Marsden tomorrow as that's who I had a couple of sessions with.

There doesn't seem to be much obvious help for those around us,but maybe it's just a question of seeking it out.He's a very quiet man who keeps it all in so I hope I can sort something out.

On another note,I start back at work on a phased return this Thursday & I'm very nervous.Logically I know it'll be ok,but I'm so tearful at the mo I don't want to burst into tears at work.It's also the realisation that I've come full circle.....back to where I started more or less.

Lots of love to you all & lets hope this year is much kinder.

Love Helen xx
posted this on the wrong forum so trying again here......chemobrain?

truffle_shuff
Member

Re: when will i feel like me again?

hi, yes that great feeling of being returned to me again, must say im a little scared now that the hols over, was able hide the cancer me and we all had great time,now i feel like the comfort blanket has been thrown and i now have to deal with gettin back on " noraml " track.

only glimerr is that every now and then I do get a slight feeling of the old me, so she must be around somewehere, probably just hiding behind my chemo baby belly

xx