Self destruct after cancer

Before I write this, I am so sorry if this comes across as selfish. I’m not denying that I have been completely selfish, and there are so many people who would have done anything to be as lucky as me, and the way I acted feels like I’ve thrown it in their face. For that I am genuinely sorry, but I want to be honest and I want help.

I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at 28, I was lucky really as it was caught quickly. I had a huge operation to remove a 22cm tumour, and lost one of my ovaries, and had precautionary chemotherapy after for 6 months. I finished at the end of 2019 and shielded through the majority of 2020, but qualified as a social worker whilst going through this. I thought I coped really well, and I got a job which I started at the beginning of 2021. Looking back, I didn’t cope very well, I buried it and pretended it didn’t happen. I was very unhealthy and got into bad habits. These have spilled over into my recovery. Things such as drinking and taking pills for anxiety. I gained a lot of weight during chemo which made me dislike myself even more. I am so ashamed of the person I have become, and how i have allowed myself to treat my body during this time. It has led to inevitable depression, anxiety and inefficiency doing a job I could be brilliant at. 
I am desperate to change and feel proud of who I am. 

can anyone help me? I can’t seem to get out of complete self destruct mode and I honestly don’t know why I’m doing to to myself because it’s selfish and shameful.

  •  I am so sorry you have gone through this.  We all react and deal with our diagnosis differently and there is no right or wrong way.  We do the best we can to get ourselves through the process.  Be kind to yourself you have nothing to be ashamed about and you have done nothing wrong.

    It's never too late to make a change if that's what you want, maybe start with baby steps or one thing at a time.  

    It sounds like you might need some emotional support to help you process what you have been through.  I would suggest contacting MacMillan on 0808 808 00 00 who should be able to help you.

    Wishing you all the best x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hi, I know you posted this basically a month ago but I saw this whilst reading posts and just wanted to say that I understand so much and you're not the only one who has felt like this! You're also not selfish, I just wanted to say that to. Cancer is a beast and it can really hurt people, even if they don't realise it immediately. The mental side of things I think gets really bad afterwards as well and you're not always prepared for that.

    You spend so much time trying to be strong to get through, that you often just have to focus on treatment and doing that and keep going, going, going, and not on how you actually feel. You might bottle it all up over time and then it explodes afterwards because you actually get a moment to stop and realise "wow that was a lot."

    Self-destruct seems a little bit like what I did as well. Not that far out of treatment, thought I coped really well and I recently realised I'm really not okay. I have a lot of trauma and I don't know how best to deal with it.

    I got in contact with my hospital team and they referred me to some free counselling. I believe cancer patients do get a certain amount of free sessions! Maybe you could look in to that, or use the services on Macmillian (the chat etc.)

    Lily