Hope you are all OK today? I'm so relieved to tell you that my GP isn't changing my antidepressant. Between us we could find no contraindications between Anastrozole and Fluoxetine. One less thing to worry about! x Jak
Treeze , I've felt like you many times and I sometimes feel just like that McMillan advert when the man is sitting in the hospital and all the sound goes and He's totally isolated in the middle of nowhere. The wonderful people I've become friends with on this site have made me feel normal if you know what I mean.
I have got some really lovely friends who have been there from the start and saw me at my worst they are fabulous.
It's the people who say " oh it could've been worse" " your fine now " and the pity looks I sometimes get !
Thank goodness for this site xxxx
Treeze, I've had that odd feeling a few times where I've been in a group of people and I feel oddly like I'm invisible, they are in a sort of bubble of cracking jokes and telling their news but I can't join in. It's made me quite wary of socialising except with close friends.
I honestly don't know what I would have done without this site and the friends I have made here. I was in such a state for various reasons, but being able to share and not to feel alone with this thing has been wonderful, I am so grateful for all the support I've found here.
Big big hug coming your way.
Yep it certainly is a roller coaster we are on and when we think well thats active treatment finished we think we should just be able to get on with things and as you say the other ladies so get us because they know what we are going through. I wanted to push myself a bit further yesterday and boy am I suffering for it today, so it is a be kind to myself day xxx
I know when I first started my tamoxifen, which was just before I started rads, for the first couple of weeks I felt tearful and very sensitive, even down to Colin saying something to me one day and I thought he was having a go at me. I could not work out if it was the tablets or the rads.
A couple of days after I finished rads I sit in teards drinking my tea, I did not have a clue why but I just put it down to the relief of finishing.
Hello jak60, I understand how you feel. It's completely normal to have down days - I still have them and I have come to realise that if I just go with it, it passes and the next day is better. We are processing everything that's happened to us and this has to be released somehow. Have a good old cry and don't feel bad about it. Then try to do something nice to take your mind away to a different place. Hope you will feel better very soon. Best wishes xx Lily
This is such a roller coaster - I'm in floods of tears again today and can't decide which of many things is the cause. I suppose it dpesn't matter really I'm just glad I can write it on here and know you ladies will understand. I've been taking Anastrozole for 3 days now so I can't believe it's the cause. XJak
Back to feeling lost today. Having felt so positive in the week I feel as though I've gone backwards, So tired and emotional, I know it's the end of rads and that is probably the cause but knowing doesn't help. What does help is being able to express how I'm feeling on here. My family are brilliant but you all understand the frustration of the 'roller coaster'.
Jenny and Clair,
I totally feel exactly as you girls do. I am trying to get back to me but I really feel as though my confidence has been totally shaken. Back at work now with a phased return which is great but I really undermined myself last week thinking I could not do it.
I know the ms is still a biggy and I truly am doing my best to have a wee bit of faith in myself. I think us girls are a wonderful, caring brave brave bunch of ladies and I thank each and everyone for helping and listening to me through these months. Love to you all. Mary xxx
thanks so much for your comments and advice. I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon yesterday and I had a chat with the BCN. She said what you all have said really about how it's natural to feel like this and to take things easy and not put too much pressure on myself. I started the hormone therapy - Lezatrole today so I don't know what side effects they will bring! I also had Herceptin for the first time without the other chemo drugs.
I hope you are all feeling okay and thanks again.
I will have finished rads next Tuesday and will then start Anastrozole. I didn't need chemo. At the moment I am considering a phased return 6 weeks after rads. Going by other peoples reaction after rads have finished I think there may be more tiredness to come plus any side effects from Anastrozole. Hope that helps? Everyone's advice on here is always don't rush things and give yourself a break. I feel so guilty about work but they would rather have me back feeling fit so I have put that guilt in a box and tried to relax a bit.
I haven't posted on her for a while but I always check out other ladies' posts. I had lumpectomy in June followed by chemotherapy and am now having radiotherapy to be followed by hormone treatment as I'm HER2 positive. Also Herceptin injections until September.
I thought I would be jumping for joy when the chemo finished but I'm not. I'm not quite sure how I feel but I'm quite anxious about 'getting back to normal'. Friends are already asking me about when I plan to go back to work and I haven't finished all the rads yet! I feel my confidence has gone and the thought of work (I teach) fills me with dread.
I'm planning to do a Moving Forward course - has anybody done one or is thinking of doing one? Also how much time after treatment are you ladies thinking of taking before going back to work?
Jane - I'm jumping about threads too! Part of my job is to work with children with emotional difficulties so I agree with you that we are not in the relevant state of mind to do our jobs properly. I haven't got a problem with people at school thinking I should be there; I'm just paranoid!!
Re the whole moving on thing - I've struggled these last few days (after finishing rads) with all sorts of random thoughts and emotions. Then I remembered i'd found an artlcle about it and read it last night in the early hours. We must remember to give ourselves permission to feel the way we do.
Not sure where I originally got it - may have been on this site?
After the Treatment Finishes - Then What?
This is the link for the one I had but I think there may be another fuller verion if you google it. Not sure how to attach a link so here goes!
Hope it helps x
I'm jumping about on threads today and not even started radiotherapy, but the feelings you have all expressed ring so true with me.
it seems that quite a few of us work in schools - I trained as a Nursery Nurse and have been in the same setting for 20 years now, for the last 4 years I have had a more office based role, liaising with families and pupils with a wide variety of issues, including safeguarding. I feel very much that as I'm struggling with my own emotional issues I'm not in the right frame to return to work to deal with the emotional needs of others.
My boss informed occupational health as soon as I had my diagnosis, although I worked until just before surgery. I had a telephone interview with them as couldn't attend in person as it was two days after my operation. It was a bit of a waste of time as obviously didn't have a treatment plan in place, but it was agreed that I would go back on a phased return over 4-6 weeks.
It makes me feel a bit better reading on here that I'm not alone in feeling as I do.
Ali - ah yes those emotions have a lot to answer for!! I've had some emails from friends from the staffroom - not the same as being there is it! I agree with the anonymity of the blog. Do you think 70 will be the new 40 one day?
Occupational health didn't get involved in my sick leave but I was only off for 8.5 weeks then phased return over 4 weeks. You may be fine with hormone tablets, I haven't really had any side effects from the tamoxifen apart from some thickening of the endometrium which had to be investigated but was clear. Best wishes, Nic xx
Ali I hope you go on to feel stronger - have you got hormone tablets? If so are they helping or hindering your return to work? I'm worried before I've even started taking them because, as you all say, people think we're fixed once rads are finished.I've already had a message from colleague saying they're looking forward to me being back after rads.
At what stage do Education Occupational Health get involved these days? My last intervention from them was 20 years ago when I had a hysterectomy followed by the onset of what seems to be life-long depression and anxiety - under control with meds. I imagine I will have a phased return to work - I did last year when my dad died (which brought on a serious dip).
Is anyone else caught in the age trap where if we had been born a couple of years earlier we would now be retired? Not that I was ready to retire at 60 but at least I would have had the choice at this point.
Right out in the sunshine I go...
completely understand your feelings- as do many others - see another thread https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Coping-with-fear-and-anxiety/Moving-forward-and-getting-in-...
I think only folk who have been through it understand the magnitude and depth of what we have all been through- and how, just because active treatment is finished, it is not over, and possibly never will be.
My my boss has been brilliant and I had a four week phased return and am now using up holiday and having a day per week off. It is good to be back but I certainly don't have the same passion for work yet. Luckily I think I can function well enough on three cylinders rather than my pre-BC four but will see how it goes. I guess with your job that is not possible but maybe phased return would help? We are all classed as disabled under the Equalities Act so your employer should make reasonable adjustment. Hope all goes well.
Hi Ali, I think the way you are feeling is completely normal. When treatment finishes we feel in limbo and it is scary to be 'on your own' without the routines and protection of the hospital team around us. Be kind to yourself when you do go back to work as well. I would recommend a phased return as it will hit you hard and I found it had all really knocked my confidence too. (I'm also a teacher) It does get better though, to start with it is on your mind all the time and I know the fear of recurrence never goes away but day to day life does more or less return to normal with time. Having said that, I am now much more appreciative of many aspects of my life and keen to snatch every opportunity that comes my way. My op was almost 2 years ago. Good luck and I hope your recovery continues to go well. Xx
Hi Poppy3 yes it is hard to win and we don't want to be seen as the miserable one who had cancer and we should be so grateful to be alive,which of course we are. How dare that person say to you it is only a "boob" that is a terrible insensitive thing to say!! How would they like it if they had been through what you have. I remember at the beginning the doctor saying to me it will just be a year out of your life (treatment and surgery)! And the rest! It will be 5 years this year. I am on waiting list for further reconstruction as my LD and implant failed so I have all them emotions to deal with,I am in pain and discomfort, I am now waiting for a Diep. I will look like a patchwork quilt with all the scars. You then have other people putting their views forward such as my father in law saying why do you want to bother at your time of life!! (with reconstruction) I was 43 at diagnosis and now 48 hardly over the hill but he would never understand how it feels to be a woman who has had breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy. I also have lymphoedema which is a daily reminder and gets me down and am on Tamoxifen for at least another 2 years so just a year out of my life, I don't think so,it carries on for some of us. Maybe for those who have had a lumpectomy and not needed further surgery and chemotherapy it is less of a journey. Even then it is still a big deal to get over and it's not something that we can just forget about. To try and carry on and go to work every day with a smile on our face is not always easy xx
Hello Whitelily. I was relieved to see your message. I am two years post mastectomy and still have times when I can't cope. Then I feel annoyed with myself for feeling this way. You are right when you say people don't understand. They see you have gone back to work, made an effort with your hair and make up and that's makes everyone think you are fine. One person said to me ' it's only a boob". Well it wasn't just that...it changes your whole life. I feel like it's an effort to keep smiling all the time but I don't want to be known as the miserable one who's had cancer. You can't win really. I try to stay positive and I know how lucky I am but it is so difficult to explain how you feel to others. I feel you have to make an extra effort with everything we do. It is never ending. Thanks for listening. Xx
It's so good to know I'm not the only one who's struggling with not feeling able to go to work - there are some amazing people who just seem to sail through but I imagine it hits them in the end? I'm so lucky that I don't need any prosthetics and feel that some people think I should recover quickly because of that. When I'm told how well I look I feel like asking if they want to see my scar!! I find myself reminding them of all the trauma I've been through and that makes me feel a bit pathetic. I think people also forget that we still have to cope with other issues in our lives too alongside the cancer.
I keep myself going by taking a day at a time and trying not to dwell on the bad things. My family are brilliant.
I've just rejoined a knitting for charity group (Loving Hands if anyone's interested) so that I've got something to occupy myself with now Christmas knitting is over.