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March last year I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I had surgery in April, followed by chemotherapy, which ended in September. I returned to work at the end of October and I am now back to full-time since the start of the year. I have some neurological issues related to my treatment, but I am really struggling with my mental health. I have held back on sharing this with anyone, as I think I should be coping better than this. Any suggestions?
Hi,You have been through so much in a relatively short period of time.Don’t be too hard on yourself.I felt the same but joining this community has really helped.I think you will feel better if you can share your worries.Do you have anyone you can talk to ? I got depressed following major surgery.I still get low days but am happier knowing that the emotional highs & lows are commonly experienced with cancer.How are you coping at work ? Best wishes Jane
Have you phoned the MacMillan helpline? I found them very helpful & of course they are experts in this field. They have separate helplines for emotional, work & also nurses who can advise you on any questions you have about cancer. You could also speak to your gp. Lots of people on this website have accessed support through MacMillan supoort centres.
Wishing you all the best
Can I also highly recommend our various Macmillan Support Line Services - you can call them free on 0808 808 00 00 This service covers Emotional Support, Practical Information. Clinical Information, Financial Support and Work Guidance mostly open 8.00 to 8.00 but check the link.
Talking to people face to face can help a lot so check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support in your area or a Maggie’s Centre as these folks are amazing.
Mike - Thehighlander
It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela
Thank you Jane. The reassurance that my feelings are quite normal is a help. I am kept busy at work which helps.
Your feelings are normal & understandable given what you've been through. It's good to keep busy at work but important not to bottle up your emotions; you will probably find that many people on MacMillan feel or have felt the same way. Don't worry about reaching out for support; it's a sign of strength not of weakness & you are not alone! Having said that, everyone is different but it's important to find an outlet which works for you
Thank you for the information and kind words.
Yesterday I handed in a sick note from my GP. I finished my treatment last May, went back to work in June, and only started to process things in December. By January, I was emotionally exhausted. I started SSRIs a few weeks ago, and - after much deliberation - handed in 2 months sick leave starting yesterday.
I am lucky in having a generous sick pay allowance. However, these few months are going to be tricky because I need to overcome the temptation to mope about.
Depression after treatment, feeling a stranger in my own body, changes to my appearance... It's all very weird. I think of I carried on at work as though nothing happened things might have built up and resulted in a bit of a meltdown.
I'm hoping some time to work on this will help...
I've put together an exercise plan and have enrolled on a few courses to keep my mind focused. Like I said, I'm lucky that I can access paid leave for a few months.
Anyway, that's how I'm managing ATM. - not sure if that helps you but thought I'd share.
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