Emotionally drained

First a little background, I am in my mid twenties and found out I had papillary thyroid cancer 18 months ago. I had a total thyroidectomy and left lymph node dissection (removal of lymph nodes on left side of my neck). I've also had radioiodine treatment. Now I need to have another surgery to get another lymph node which is worrying as they originally wouldn't do because of nerves and blood vessels maybe being in the way. I have had fatigue now for over a year due to cancer/surgery

I have been so positive about everything but now I just feel drained, I am scared about another operation and just don't feel like me anymore. I'm always tired and often have to cancel things as I know it will be too much for me. I can't work, so can't build a career, have had to move back in my family and am very skint. I've been so positive the last year but it's just all hit me at once. I know I can talk to friends and family but feel my cancer has taken over their lives as well for the last 18 months and I feel so bad for it.

Has anyone else hit this wall? How have you or are getting through it?

I just want to sit in bed all day eating rubbish but that's not helpful. Sorry for my rant just needed to get it off my chest

  • I am not surprised the way you are feeling.You have to be strong and fight with the cancer.There are so many options available, make a plan for every day, keep yourself busy and don't hesitate to get help from your family and friends.

    Sending you my love and hugs x

  • Hi, I am sorry for how your feeling but its good to reach out and let it out. Your having an incredibly tough time,  its OK not to be positive all the time, some times we have to dip down in order to rise up again and rise up you will. Don't be afraid to communicate and talk with your family. I am a partner of someone going through cancer, he's had a life  changing operation and undergoing chemo at the moment, we have both accepted that a period of his and our life's has been and is crappy at the moment with not being able to plan anything due to how he feels and treatment and that's ok. iI wish he was more open with me about how he feels. As they say its OK not to be ok sometimes. Sending you hugs. 

  • Finding this group and likeminded individuals has given me a small lift.

    like you, I feel like I have found that wall, constantly hitting my head against it every day. I finished chemo in September 2021 following a diagnosis of stage 3 testicular cancer that spread to my lungs.

    I returned to work in January on a phased return and initially I was on fire. Within a few weeks, I was working harder than I had before, felt more alert and was running harder and faster than I had before.

    in March I fell off a cliff overnight. Plagued by neuropathy pain in my arms and legs, I then found a sudden weariness overcome me in the afternoons. Every Sunday night there after I thought to myself this would be the week I’m back to normal.

    3 months on I’m not. I’m not working my full hours, and for brief spells I feel on top of everything, but then the fatigue kicks in. It is draining me, and I feel empty, like I have nothing left to give. Having built a career on the back of putting others first, I now feel like I push myself through barriers just to prove I can, but then pay the price. Monday to Friday is survival. No longer do I feel like I’m thriving.

    2 weeks ago I had my latest CT scan. My next oncology appointment is 11th July. I will either be told my last remaining tumour has gone and I’m cancer free, or it’s grown. The unconscious stress is now at the forefront of my mind. I no longer feel like me, that I want to lock myself away from others. Everyone around me treat me like my journey finished last year, such is the good act I put on every day, but inside I’m screaming at them for not cutting me some slack, even though it’s me who needs to relax a little.

    as someone who has always planned well ahead for everything, I now feel lost in the person I’ve become and don’t know how to adjust, half convinced my fatigue will go overnight, half convinced it will be permanent.

  • Hi Carter Kane, it's a massive journey that you've been on.  You've gone through so much hard stuff and come out the other end, well done on getting through it all.  I'm nearing the end of my treatment and far from happy about it coming to an end oddly.  It's a time which were not told about or prepared for. Everything does not just go back to normal as we'd expect it to do. The "new normal" is a strange new world.  Naturally after ending treatment you wanted to get back to normal, back to work.  Maybe you were naturally happy, cancer treated, all is ok- and maybe you simply overdid it.  You just worked too hard too soon.   You're right too about others expectations and we know we should feel happy and free and a "survivor" and yes pretend it's all gone.  But the truth is that we are still fragile, still living daily with the fear of recurrence of disease and so tired of pretending to be ok that we can be screaming inside.   I believe we need assistance to face this stage of our journey.  I know someone has written a good article on this but can't remember their name, maybe someone else can remember

    Also it might be worth looking at the six sessions of talking support that Macmillan offer too. They may be able to offer ideas of how to manage life now.

    From me to you- give yourself a break, talk to your boss about how you've misjudged your recovery times, find articles on the physical effects of chemo and radiotherapy to show friends and family, your boss and work colleagues, if you can arrange a staggered return to work even now it's worth beginning again and forgive yourself for feeling tired, that bone- shattering exhaustion.   I'm sure the fatigue will fade in time.  

    Cut yourself some slack too, there are loads of us out here feeling the same as you and you are at least waving your hand up and saying help so good for you.  Please grab some help to get through this, you deserve it.

    Sorry for the rant but I too am running scared and I know there needs to be more out there for this stage.  Take care xx