Fearful

  • 3 replies
  • 16 subscribers
  • 548 views

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I was "shell shocked" but just got on with it. That was back in the summer of last year. However, three months ago I completely went to pieces. I have finished my chemo but still have to have radiotherapy. I feel very negative about everything and feel fearful about 90% of the time. I am sleeping less and less. Waking up between 3 and 4 in the morning terrified about the future.

  • Hi  and I see it’s your first post so a warm very welcome to the Macmillan Community but sorry to hear about your ongoing journey.

    Navigating the cancer journey can be such a stressful and challenging time but getting support from people who have walked the ‘exact same' cancer type journey can help a lot.

    Can I recommend you consider joining and posting in our dedicated Breast cancer support group. This is a safe place to talk to others with a similar diagnosis, treatment experience, to ask questions and get support.

    Macmillan have also teamed up with BUPA to offer up to 6 free counselling sessions for people struggling emotionally because they are living with cancer. Clicking on the link will give you more information about this.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hello Miw

    I am so sorry to hear about how you are feeling right now.   I see you have already had a reply with some really good information and signposting in.    I think it can be really helpful to connect with people who have the same type of cancer.   I have Ovarian Cancer and I am in that group - it has helped me.    I have always said to myself - expect the unexpected.  As I have never really been able to predict how I might feel from one week to the next (in the early months it was from one hour to the next!)   But things have settled.   I have come to the end of my 6 sessions of chemo and it is scary.  Its like - ok my body is pretty much on its own now!  So each part of my journey has brought different challenges - like now I am feeling relief that I am not having any more treatment (currently) but scared that my body is on its own. 

    One of the things that has helped me - and has been extremely difficult to learn to do.   Is to focus on living in the present.  I have really worked hard at that.   From someone who was always fearful of the future it is particularly hard as that is my 'normal'.   I have simply had to force myself to think 'present' 'present' continually.  I used grounding techniques (walk around the house looking at items and picking them up, into the garden pull a few weeds, practice listening to different sounds I could hear and sights I could see).   I used rubbishy TV programmes, music - anything at all that would keep me in the present.    I also used to tell myself that I am ok - still breathing and getting about doing what I needed to do - so I was ok!  When we experience fear - it can be incredibly hard to ground in the present and it can be a case of trial and error in what helps you.

    The waking up in the early hours..... I found very difficult to deal with.   Again, I used to find things that helped me.  Getting up and doing something to distract me and then going back to bed.    Listening to a factual podcast (something none triggering) can also be helpful at switching off the fear and switching on the logical brain.

    The future is scary and it used to be scary for me but for different reasons (before cancer) now it is scary because of cancer and the other things I worried about have faded into the distance.   

    You will navigate this journey in the best way for you but like Mike has said - seeking some emotional support from others similarly affected and perhaps some counselling may help you.   Being diagnosed with cancer is not for the faint hearted - it takes immense strength to keep going despite everything.   Think about how far you have come on your journey and see this as a blip that you will get through - you just might need a bit more support right now.

    Hugs xx

  • Hello Miw - sorry I have replied to Mike instead of you - if you look under Mike's reply - you will see my reply to you.  Sorry!