That is really kind of you, thank you. My scars are healing nicely now, thankfully, still slapping on the cream every night though. Onwards and upwards...xx
Aveeno is great and so is E45 moisturing cream ( that was suggested on a leaflet from my radiotherapy dept).
I don't know whether you're a talcum powder user, as a generously proportioned woman myself , I use it every day but was told I couldnt during treatment because of the mineral content . I bought myself some Neal's Yard cornstarch body powder instead and that was really helpful . A lot more expensive than regular talc but very helpful for the time I needed it through treatment and immediately after .
How dare she!
I'm so sorry - trauma and treatment is not a competition as you say!
I've got some Baby Aveeno cream which is lovely and now the radiotherapy is over I've gone back to using Bio Oil which I've never used before but its lovely and as far as I can tell my scar is healing really nicely.
If you're on a phased return to work after cancer treatment , my guess is you're covered by Access to Work which is a DWP scheme related to the Equalities Act 2010 that assesses for and funds if necessary reasonable adjustments at work, so don't be afraid to lob that in the general direction of Occupational Health if they're not being what they should be.
I'm a coach and regularly work with clients supported through Access to Work with adjustments. Most of them are fabulous neurodiverse folk with cognitive differences ( eg autism, dyslexia , ADHD etc ) but i know a bit about the scheme so if you fancy a chat let me know and we'll swap personal details.
Meantime much love to you and carry on carrying on! xxx
I start radiation tomorrow and will look for the water bottle with that cap. I have Aveeno and bought some Eucerin. I noticed Aloe in our garden and might process a few leaves into a goo to use!
Thank you @Curly Sue you are very kind, and absolutely right in all that you've said.
I was a bit gob smacked yesterday .... occupational health assessment re. return to work and the woman said "oh you only had a lumpectomty? That's not as traumatic as a mastectomy" . .....
Didn't like to tell her it's not a competition and surely this is supposed to be a forward looking conversation re fitness to work and my recovery, not about how mine does or does not compare to others who have had their very own personal cancer journey.
Such throwaway comments are best not made in my opinion
Anyway, going back just four hours a day for the first fortnight, and all under review etc. So we'll see how it goes.
Thank you for your kindness and I wish you all the best with your radiotherapy. There is lots of support on here. I personally found it really useful to get a water bottle that had a cap you turned each time you refill, and a green dot comes up, and you know you need three dots a day. Helped me remember to drink enough,which really made a difference. Also slapping on aveeno cream three times a day
Best of luck
Sending love x
I think you hit the nail on the head there when you said you want your old self back. I think what you're dealing with is bereavement and grief for yourself and your life before cancer and thats a perfectly valid and rational way to feel . If you had been put throught anything half as invasive and traumatic as your treatment by someone wishing you harm they would be locked up for life! The fact that our wonderful NHS are doing their very best for us and saving our lives doesn't mean its OK and isn't deeply wounding at all sorts of levels.
The only person who knows how you're feeling and what the right response is for you, is you. Take your time, be very kind to yourself, just like you would with a dear friend going through the same situation. There's a whole lot more to healing than finishing surgery and other treatments . Most of it is in our hearts and spirit.
Its a cliche but the people around you won't know what to say if they haven't been through it and its perfectly OK for you to tell them not to make assumptions about how you're feeling - however well intentioned - and to just ask you how you are and accept what you say without trying to change it or tell you how they think they'd feel ( they have no idea!).
Lots of love to you , I've still got my radiotherapy to come so I've got some of this still to experience! xx
Thank you so much Jan, very wise words. Think you're totally right about family projecting their relief onto me...I'm sure my pre-diagnosis self has been guilty of saying and doing similar to family in the past. I think they're just desperate to put it all behind them as I'm usually the "strong one" and the "coper", the one everyone normally turns to in a crisis however large or small...! But I'm exhausted. And my fuse is shorter than a gnat's willy at the moment. A phased return sounds a good plan. I'm still angry about the whole cancer bombshell so somehow need to turn that energy into acceptance and a new normal. Don't get me started on the PM...! I have read the article you refer to many times and it is incredibly helpful. I have printed it off and made my family read it. Gives them some insight but I do think that unless you're a member of this exclusive CA club that none of us wanted to join then you can never truly understand. I know I will be very different in the future if when God forbid a friend gets a diagnosis. I hope I will be able to offer the kindness and wisdom and support of ladies such as you. Thank you x
You’ve got to think back a bit. Getting a cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. The uncertainties and fears you just can’t avoid cause havoc with your emotions. Then you undergo surgery and 20 sessions of radiotherapy, which is not a walk in the park. Don’t you think you should cut yourself some slack?
You don’t feel sorry for yourself. You’re emotionally and physically drained! Radiotherapy after effects often occur after you’ve had the treatment and fatigue is a common reaction. It’s not tiredness. It’s not needing a nap. It’s a profound physical and emotional exhaustion and it is VERY common. I think you’re being very harsh on yourself. And it’s too early to go back to work if you feel this way. People will drive you mad. Your exhaustion will make you cross with yourself. Don’t go back until you are sure you can cope.
Your employer is obliged to register you as disabled as soon as they know of your diagnosis, under the 2010 Equalities Act (2018 updates). They must make concessions and meet you halfway, maybe through a phased return maybe flexible hours - it depends on your work. Just don’t go back too early. Macmillan can be very helpful with this is you have questions.
As for your friends and family, they are projecting their own relief onto you. But they haven’t been through what you have. They won’t quite get it. You will learn to adapt to this, maybe a few friendly conversations, maybe a few pithy comments - or, if you choose, a brief period of isolation. There’s a website called futuredreams which offers online services (or real contact if you’re in London) and there is an amazing article one of the nurses posted on here a few years back. It really makes you appreciate that you can’t put the clock back, you can’t unthink what you thought or unhear what you were told - you are a different person now. You aren’t lost, you are reframing your life now (the author called it a new normal, which I though was the perfect term until our PM used it as a neat little soundbite for those millions upset cos they couldn’t go to the pub!).
Read it repeatedly. Let different bits register with you when you’re ready - and I really hope it helps you because you are a new person now. You may recover fast, you may recover more slowly, but you will find joy in little things and gradually the cancer and the side effects will dwindle, leaving room for a wiser, more experienced you all set to enjoy life again. Above all, be as kind to yourself as you would to someone else in this position.
Nearly two weeks since I finished 20 sessions of radiotherapy and started tamoxifen. And these past few days I am feeling really grumpy, sad, tearful and sorry for myself. Supposed to be going back to work in a week or so, as other than being very tired by the afternoons I'm doing ok, all surgery and radio is complete. So why am I like this when everyone around me is congratulating me on getting through it all, saying surely I must be celebrating left right and centre etc etc. I don't want to be around anybody but don't want to be by myself either. Don't know what I want! Just want my old self back