Why am I still a mess emotionally?

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Hello everyone, I'd appreciate a bit of insight and I suppose a virtual hug Blush

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in September of last year, received chemoradiotherapy and had lots of scans and cameras, then last month was told I'd had a complete clinical response to the RT, the tumour was gone and I no longer needed surgery. This of course was amazing news and a tremendous relief to me and my family and friends, but I find I'm very up and down emotionally still, perhaps even more than when I was receiving treatment. Some days it feels like every little thing is a battle and I can't stand anything that is difficult or gets in the way of what I'm trying to do or interrupts when I'm trying to rest my mind. For example, I've cried four times already today - because the dog tried to steal my socks and when he barks at the cat and when he constantly pulls when I walk him. The constant physical discomfort of this is unbearable. Some days I feel really trapped by him. When I'm trying to cook and my son creeps up on me and pokes me. I frequently feel just overwhelmed for no reason. Why do I feel such a mess when I've had such a great outcome?

  • Hello Squashable

    How you are feeling now is very much how I felt when treatment finished. Very up and down some days, some days I just felt sort of flat. Personally I felt that during the diagnosis and treatment, things move so fast and we focus on the day to day, the next appointment etc and just trying to get through it. Once that stops, I felt the reflection and processing happens- there is literally time to think. 

    Some people find some counselling can help and it can be done through Bupa/Macmillan. If you give the Support Line a call they can help you. Some people find a Life After Cancer course helpful. 

    For me it's been a gradual process and it all takes time. I wrote this blog a while back and it sort of explains better how I was feeling and may help you to understand some of your feelings a bit better. 

    (+) Life One Year Later- Jane’s story - Macmillan Online Community

    It might also be worth contacting your CNS/GP to explain how you are feeling and to have a bit of a check up. There maybe some support locally to you. You have been through an awful lot over the last few months. Chemo and radiotherapy is not easy and it took me a good year to feel more myself and for things to feel a bit more settled. And I still have off days. 

    Hope this helps. If there is anything else you need, please do ask. But I do recommend giving the Support Line a call and chatting things through. I've used the Online Chat as well and that was really helpful. I spoke to a nurse who was really understanding.



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

  • hello Jane

    thank you so much for your kind words and advice. I will certainly have a look at the avenues you have mentioned. I feel a little better the last few days, looking back i can see i did feel very flat, i just wanted to stare into space and not have to deal with anything or anyone, but had to put on a normal front for family etc. I did call my CNS last week as I had a sudden sore spot in my bottom when passing a bowel movement, but this seems to have been a one off thankfully (now drinking more water!!). The CNS is going to call me back so i will mention the anxiety and low mood and see what she suggests.

    thank you so much

    Susie C