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Not coping very well


Re: Not coping very well

Just do what feels right for you. If you feel angry, that's fine. You probably have every reason to be angry. You don't have to win a brave cancer patient of the year. On the forums we all pretend to be doing great. It makes us feel better. I think you sound like a great mum, you sound funny, you have had loads to deal with already in life and didn't need this extra shit. 

I bet you thought about your son when you were first diagnosed. I couldn't look at my 5 year old daughter without crying the first few days.  Now that they can make it better, even if they have messed up your lymph nodes, you can feel angry and sad and everything you need to feel, maybe because of the relief as well. Stop judging yourself, you are doing great. Give yourself as much time as you can to deal with your feelings. 

Will you need chemotherapy? I find it hard to trust doctors usually but with this disease in find I have no choice. I would be dead soon without them. It was strange at first because not in my nature, i google and question everything. 

Big hug. 


Re: Not coping very well


Just read your message.  You’re not doing anything wrong ......you are coming to terms with an experience you don’t want in your life.  The body and mind need to adjust to this..... this needs time.

Be kind to yourself! 
Seek help and support if you need it,

Mindfulness really helps ........ stay in the moment and try to stop those spinning thoughts/worries.

i found walking a huge help ........ with someone when I wanted to talk but also on my own.  Yoga also helped hugely ........ some great exercises that help you to briefly switch off.

it’s also ok to shout, rant and rage and cry .......afterwards search for something that gives you joy .......something pretty to look at, music, singing, dancing, whatever.

January is no time at all so don’t be hard on yourself.

I had lumpectomy in November, started tamoxifen in December and had radiotherapy in January.  It’s been a rough ride and I too have had previous negative life experiences so understand a little how you feel.  Give yourself time and keep talking!
Wishing you all the very best!  It will get easier..........


Re: Not coping very well

Hi letalightin 

I am Speaking as someone who has had breast cancer twice 20 years apart, going through it for the second time now, I know myself that I tend to think of everything at once what if this happens, what if the doctors want to do this or that, all I can say to you is that when it feels overwhelming I try to break it down into small steps,deal with it try to take a cross each bridge as you  come to it approach! Because what I found is that you do always have a choice about what treatment to have and how to approach it, doctors tell you how some treatment will be,based on science, research and experience but they are giving you an informed choice, All cancer treatment is at the end of the day is up to you its your body !! 

I was on tamoxifen after my first bc for five years and apart from the odd bad headache and hair thinning it was no trouble at all, this time around I am menopausal so I am on  anastrazole which I have struggled with.but other people have struggled with tamoxifen as it is very strong cos it puts you into the menopause,

So it is the case of some people get on with it and some don't, personally I found not having periods a good thing lol! But they did come back when I finished the treatment i think it depends on how old you are when you start 

Remember also that you do have time to make a decision, it is scary when you sit in the drs room or worse trying to make a decision over the phone with a doctor that has never met you because the hospitals are doing remote appointments which as happened to me recently, they will reel off a list of treatments oh we will just do this or that !! You just have to remind them you are individual  sometime !! It is easy to feel lost in the system that it is pushing you along take some time to talk things over with your breast care nurse as well. Half the battle with any cancer treatment is a mental one, you have to be in the right mindset to face the treatment. If you don't feel that a treatment will be right for you then don't be afraid to discuss with your team and remember that at the end of the day it is You that has to cope with treatment mentally and physically 24 hours a day, also with treatments you can always start them and see how it goes you may not find it is as bad as you think as everyone responds differently.

Anyway hope you get on OK.come back and chat on the forum ,we have all been in the same boat so to speak!




Re: Not coping very well

Hi Letalightin

Welcome to the forum - our unique club! 

Sorry to hear you are finding things hard following initial treatment, worries about next treatments and thoughts about past life matters popping up.

Firstly, many of us refer to our bc journeys as being bit of a rollercoaster for good reason - even those who think it's in hand and get their heads round it have dips...and ups...that's partly why many of us bc forum longer timers often say to take one day at a time, particularly when early on in your journey.

You mention your mind is spinning.... a few things:

1 - You should be able to access counselling for people who have bc via your hospital. You can also try contacting Maggie Centres and the Haven if any of those are near to you since they can offer a range of support, plus various relaxation, mindfulness types of sessions to help calm a spinning mind.   

2 - I appreciate you say you don't trust doctors, however you might find it helpful to discuss how you are feeling and your worry's with your GP. They might be able to suggest things in addition to the above.

3 - Try distracting yourself by going for walks, listening to the birds sing, looking at the spring bulbs popping up. If you enjoy baking, or gardening do it or more of it. It will make you feel better and help you to feel calmer for a while.

4 - Try mindfulness - I try to visualise one of my favourite places, actually imagining I'm there, seeing it, hearing the sounds, feeling the breeze etc. Practice makes perfect - it's worth trying.


Most women find radiotherapy relatively ok, some get sore skin (a bit like sunburn) during active treatment and/or fatigue. Both usually go gradually after the end of radiotherapy. The healthy skin cells recover better than the bc cells, so radio is a good way of zapping any localised tiny cell changes which may exist in the tissue.

Tamoxifen - quite a few of us were apprehensive about starting to take it. I confess I had a staring competition with the packet for awhile before I started taking it. Yes I had hot flushes, which did reduce gradually...but 6 plus years on without a reoccurrence I am relieved I started taking it. So much so I decided to continue taking it from the end of year 5 to 10, since research has found it does reduce the chance of reoccurrence while you take the medication plus for a period of a few years beyond that.

I didn't have chemo - so I'll leave that one for someone who is better positioned to share their experience. While chemo can be harsh on the body oncologists only recommend it when they really think it will help to get rid of and/or reduce bc.

The oncologists usually all get together and discuss treatments for each patient collectively, with the scans enlarged up on the wall, so you really should feel you can trust them. My experiences of the oncologists were very good.

Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Some of us are unlucky and get bc. Some of us have other stuff happen in our life's which can rattle us to our core and in some way shapes us. But it sounds like you have got through a lot of past issues, that counts! You have a son, and a partner who from what you say is worried about you, so cares for you.... 

Try not to feel bad for having a spin out re bc. It's a big thing to get your mind round. That's why taking one day at a time and being kind and compassionate to yourself can really help. And most likely its the spin out from bc that is causing other feelings and worries to feel worse.

You might also find it helpful to give BCN a call (tel no as per top right hand side of screen) to talk through how you are feeling and your worries. They are really experienced and may well be able to help answer some of your concerns and make you feel a bit calmer.

I'm sure others will post soon, 

Sending you a virtual hug

XXX Seabreeze (6 years on and doing ok)                



Not coping very well

Hi everyone...

Been trucking along with this BC thing since first week of January. Oh yes, happy new year mwah ha ha (warning: that was the only cheerful part of this post). Well anyway, I started off being quite stoic. At one point I think I may have actually said 'I've been preparing for this fight all my life', by which I think I meant I've been through a lot (childhood trauma, addiction, bereavement and such) and so I would surely be able to handle this.

That turns out not to be the case and I feel foolish now when I realise how arrogant I must have sounded. In fact, this experience has dragged up lots of unresolved stuff that has led to a massive amount of grief since my lumpectomy and axillary clearance 2 weeks ago. The whole of life just seems a pointless waste of time when it is filled with so much sadness and waste and then you get a stupid disease like BC. 

I know there are feelings we have to deal with, with this whole BC thing, and I know I sound rational in this post, but other times I feel nearly out of control. I have a history of issues like depression from years ago, so I'm afraid of where I might end up.

I know we're told not to Google stuff but I don't trust anyone least of all doctors, so of course I did. I wonder why I got a level 2 clearance leaving me with a potential disability, I'm scared of side effects from radiotherapy and how chemo shortens your life, and I'm especially worried about Tamoxifen making me crazy. So much so that I probably won't take it. My partner says he's terrified. That should tell you a lot. 

I sent my 11 year old son off to his dad's for a couple of weeks thank goodness so he's not here to witness my breakdown. My partner is exhausted. I hate myself for being so weak. 

I know ye all suffer too, and many are going through far, far worse than me. But there is no let-up from the sadness. What am I doing wrong?