new start

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

new start

No. of entries: 12 | Posted on 03 Jul 2013 01:28

new start

  • Hi all, I am now 5 weeks post radiotherapy, surgery completed in March and previous to that 3 FEC and 3 T chemotherapy treatments.

    My question is what comes next. I feel like i have a new start. All the things that I thought were important to me no longer seem to grab me in the same way. I am going to try to go back to work in a few weeks time just for a few days a week just to see how it goes but I am not even sure that I want to do that job anymore. It takes me away from my two boys for a night or two per week but I just want to be close to home.

    Did others feel the same. I thought I would be like the Carlesburg advert and everything would  be fantastic and I would skip off into the sunset. What is wrong with me

  • Hi Aroma mum

    I think we've all been where you are.  I wasn't working when diagnosed, so it was a bit different, but I think it made me feel like I wanted to grab life by the whatsits and DO something!

    My best suggestion is make sure that everything you do is something you want to do. You may have to carry on working where you are for the moment, but start looking out for something else. Think about where you would like to be in 10 years.  But also focus on the here and now.  If someone says would you like to do x or y, really think "do I?"  If the answer is yes, then go for it but don't be afraid to say no. 

    Life really is too short.

    Helen

  • Hi Aroma mum,

    I too have the same feelings. Before my MX and RT I thought I would be just happy to get on with my normal life, but I feel totally restless. I managed to get put into a new job at my work, which has made me more content on that front. I also run a small, creative business selling beads, which keeps me busy on the creative front, but I am now unhappy in other areas of my life and want to try new things and explore life a bit more. I need money and courage to do those though!! Lets hope we find happiness like the ad at some point!

    Janet x

  • I have been on this site for a few years and this dilema is ever-present. First we are 'scared to bits' by our diagnosis, then 'floored' by our treatment, then, when it is all over...? Well, 'Why don't I feel the way I was before?' It is a whole process through which we all travel... and it is a 'blankety blankety ... lots of suitable swear-words.. 'Crock of Sh*t'.  Sorry, if I'm sounding harsh... this whole journey is a life-changing experience. It took me a while to accept that life would not be the same again.

    Oh crumbs, I'm going to go all 'New-Age' now... but if age equals wisdom? I am an old bird and set in her ways but it took a 'cancer journey' to realise that we must accept that after our cancer-journey we     should accept a 'New Normal'.

    Strength to you and best wishes to you,

    KateG

  • It is so true, priorities change, what used to be important is so not! Other things on the other hand become very important! 

    When I was diagnosed a year ago I had just left my little part time job to spend more time with my husband. We were also seriously considering a move, as our children are leaving home now. I used to spend a lot of time clothes shopping, beautifying myself, in a random kind of a way. 

    When I did cancer though, everything changed! I was acutely aware that I was 'at home' where I was. That I belonged here! So we scrapped the idea of moving. Shopping, and material goods, have become something rather done on the sidelines now. I now shop because I need, not because I desire the latest fashion. 

    When I started chemo I felt very conscious of the fact that I would be isolating myself. I also had a need to show the world out there that I am not just 'cancer'. And I needed to have a mental stimulation other than talking treatments. So, I went to do an evening counselling skills course. Not too much, but enough to keep the old cells going. My classmates were extremely supportive. And if I had an off day, it was just dealt with. 

    After chemo I was aware that I felt tired, fatigued, just out of sorts. So that's when I decided to give running a try. In January I decided I would try to run the Race for Life at the end of June! And so I did. Last weekend! A lot of it was walking, and puffing and panting, but I absolutely managed it. And I have bitten the running bug now and am pacing the streets in the mornings! 

    Looking back at the me before my diagnosis, I have kind of gone through an MOT and major service! I know there are limitations out there, because of responsibilities we have, and because of what the treatment has left us to deal with. But, there are choices out there. And I think it has taken my diagnosis and treatment for me to sit up and take stock, and become aware of what is important to me. And I am no longer too scared to try something new! Time is too short and too precious. 

    My kids' school motto was 'Carpe Diem'! I go with that wholeheartedly!

    Dorothee xx 

  • Thanks Aroma mum for posting this subjet - there is nothing wrong with you to feel like that! and thanks too, to other posters on this subject.      Very timely for me as I have been feeling like that too - I described it as feeling rather giddy and unsettled, I feel too excited just being alive to even think about work at the moment, or wasting a minute on anything I don't want to do.  I know I will have to settle back into a routine of the mundane chores that must be done, but as for work and other aspects,  I too want to make sure it is the right thing and I have a direction rather than drifting!           Dororthee is right, time is sort and precious and I want to have a serious think about how I spend my new found time!   

     

    hugs to you all

     

    Allme  x

  • Dear Aroma Mum I too feel the same, I am two weeks post rads tomorrow . I realise now that there are more important things in life than my career namely my two boys, husband,family, friends and my health! Aspects of my life at perhaps weren't prioritised before . This journey has made me stop and think, I needed to change my life and this has forced me to do so, I would have gone on as I was, not good. It's scary but after this is there anything that we all can't take on and challenge?! Good luck with whatever you decide, we just need to live life to the full. I now appreciate life and 'do' more than I put off. All positives !! Benja x
  • Thank you so much for your replies for my post.

    When I was first diagnosed I had just started a new job and was 6 weeks into it. I had sold my house and was looking to relocate with my two boys about 150 miles away to be closer to work.

    It then became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to move house, schools etc whilst having treatment.so I rented a house close to my boys current school and have all my treatment locally where I was.

    The company kept the job open and want me to return as soon as possible. But now I just feel like a delicate flower that has had her petals pulled out. I am grateful that they kept the job open for me but I am afraid to go back to work and have to give 100% to something that I am now not sure I want to do.

  • Please ring the nurses here on this site - they don't only offer medical advice but can tell you about employment law and your rights. It may be that you are entitled to do a phased return to work - which would be much less of a strain. They operate Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm on FREEPHONE 0808 808 0000.

    Best wishes

    KateG

  • I have been the breadwinner in our home for years as my husband retired early years ago on health grounds. I was also very very career driven and believed that getting back to work meant I was back to normal. I realise that after doing cancer that it is new normal and with hindsight went back far too quickly and expected far too much of myself physically and mentally. If anyone is able to delay working or feels they need not go back then give yourself time. I wish I had if you need to go back be kind to yourself and make sure it is at a pace to suit you I find that advice from others on this site helps and I am trying hard to realign my goals and embrace the new normal. Surviving our awful journeys gives us skills and strengths we should use to support us Take care June
  • I have been the breadwinner in our home for years as my husband retired early years ago on health grounds. I was also very very career driven and believed that getting back to work meant I was back to normal. I realise that after doing cancer that it is new normal and with hindsight went back far too quickly and expected far too much of myself physically and mentally. If anyone is able to delay working or feels they need not go back then give yourself time. I wish I had . If you need to go back be kind to yourself and make sure it is at a pace to suit you I find that advice from others on this site helps and I am trying hard to realign my goals and embrace the new normal. Surviving our awful journeys gives us skills and strengths we should use to support us Take care June
  • June, I love your advice! - Realign your goals. 

    Actually, we are having to realign our whole selves. And my approach is: go with the flow, in as much as you can. Do follow your instincts, they have merit! Do follow your priorities. Make life SIMPLE! 

    Ignore the pretty patterns, and go back to basics. 

    Having done bootcamp has given many of us backbone, and courage, which we did't think we had. Never had to experience before. Really tough decisions had to be made, really tough expectations were being laid on the table for us - no choice!

    Now we need time to readjust. We need to find our new equilibrium! Maybe it takes a bold step into a new direction, or it takes the realisation that no new steps need to be taken. Our self awareness, I believe, is the key to getting ourselves back on a reasonable track. So, we need to listen to what our body and our mind is wanting us to hear!

    Dorothee xx