1st anniversary of diagnosis

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Hi. I have recently hit my 1st anniversary of cervical cancer diagnosis, radical hysterectomy and given all clear, all within 10 weeks. Last year was a bit of a whirlwind with the cancer, a teenage daughter with severe anxiety, divorce and living literally in a building site and work being done. At the time I didn't have any real feelings towards the cancer, almost like it all wasn't happening to me and I just got on with everything. I felt very guilty that my cancer journey has been easy in comparison to so many people and I still do.especially now as I feel that getting to the 1st anniversary I've  even hit by a truck emotionally. I still feel very guilty and I still feel a fraud to call myself a cancer survivor but I am feeling a lot more scared than I ever was. I haven't had an epiphany of wanting to climb everest or bungee jump or anything but what I have had is a feeling of I need to get my financial house in order and I want to do something nice for myself instead of everything being 100% on my children as the last 20 years have been a real struggle in far too many ways to mention !. But thats another thing I feel guilty about..thinking about myself. I'm really scared that the cancer will appear somewhere else, it seems to be at the forefront of my mind at the moment. Physically I struggle anyway with fibromyalgia, arthritis and now exhaustion from covid and my mobility and energy levels seem to be taking a major hit at the moment. I'm just emotionally all over the show and wondering if this is normal a year on.

Sorry its so long but I feel I need to shout out to someone....anyone 

Thankyou . X

  • Hi again …. I think many will understand your post and will recognise themselves in various parts of your journey. A cancer diagnosis and treatment is hard in itself but you then have to add all your he other ‘stuff’ that life would be throwing up cancer or no.

    No one who has had a cancer diagnosis, been through treatment and come out the other end should feel any guilt….. but it happens. I for one was struck with survivors guilt when 2 very good friends were diagnosed after me and died within 6 months. I got some great help from my local Maggie's Centre.

    I had a few one on one sessions where we unpacked this invisible ruck-sack that is put on our backs as we walk through our journey….. we fill this with our treatments, clinics, blood tests, scans, side effects……. unknowingly, we continually throw stuff into the ruck-sack…… and the stuff builds up. It’s only when we finished our treatment (rang the bell) and look to try and ‘live’ life we realise that it’s not that straight forward.

    During my support session I remembered a conversation I had with my two friends. We sat with single malts and agreed that the last man standing had to live a full life in celebration of the ones that had went before…… this was a light bulb moment…. I was aloud to ‘live’ my life.

    I celebrated my diagnosis anniversary a few weeks ago…… I am now into my 24th year with my incurable blood cancer (hit my community name for my story) so yes there is a good chance my condition will raise its head again…… but at the same time it may not. I relapsed multiple times over my first 15 or so years but my last treatment did eventually get me into remission back in Sep 2016….. the longest remission in 17 years as up until then my longest remission had been about 9 months….. you getting the smile Blush yes I am left with post treatment ‘left over’ issues but I don’t let these issues and the ‘fear’ of relapse define my life…… my family and I define how we move forward with life. My cancer is stored on a rather high shelf and it only comes out once a year when I have my late effects clinic…… and if it was not fit coming on here to support others the memories would be much more fuzzy round the edges.

    You may find it helpful to make a cuppa and have a look at this great paper After Treatment Finishes - Then What? by Dr Peter Harvey as it highlights the post treatment milestones.

    Do come back with your thoughts on the paper and let’s unpack this more if you want.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hi, , yes it does seem to be fairly normal for everything to catch up with you. It just takes different people different lengths of time. Please read the paper above, I found it very useful. Sending ((hugs))

  • Hatfe 

    This was like reading my own thoughts. Like you I had cervical cancer and had a radical hysterectomy and like you didn't feel anything last year when I was going through it. 

    I got emotional 9-10 months after operation and feel like a fake. But saying this that how I feel about alot in my life. 

    The after effects of the cancer is what I'm not handling well. Body not where I thought I'd be a year on and health isn't good either. 

    I feel like a 80yr old and not a 49 yr old. Having my partner my carer is also not good for me as we always row led but now when we disagree I feel like he hates me when he loves me to bits and just wants me to  let others help but also do more for myself. Right now I think I have lymphoedema no I know I have it but doctors won't listen to me and refer me so I have swollen legs, back that has stopped me going back to work after cancer and maybe fibromyalgia too which again waiting for referrals for. 

    If you want to talk inbox me X 

  • Hatfre, I'd be surprised if you hadn't been feeling like this hon to be honest.

    You have had a whirlwind of a time and some of us have just had cancer to deal with!

    Wow, sounds like you've used up all your energy now and definitely need some recouperation time.  Your life has been upside down and back to front plus all that emotion.  You've probably not had time to assimilate the cancer piece of your life at all so you might experience a bit of a "down" time in order to absorb the news.  It might even feel like you are re-living the whole diagnosis and surgery bits. Please feel no guilt.  If you have the diagnosis then everything changes hon no matter the stage of illness and no-one will judge you on here.

    Give yourself bits of 'me' time now if you can, spoil yourself, indulge, talk to the Macmillan helpline, feel sad for you, cry for what you've been through, feel pride at your strength and courage to Heartget through your last year, hang out with friends and family who love you.  Sendin you a huge hug of love,  admiration and respect Heart

  • Hi I’m coming up to 1 Year since diagnosis of breast cancer had 5 months of chemo had lumpectomy and 3 weeks of radiotherapy I have rheumatoid arthritis and feel like o should be back to my old self but I’m not I’m so tired all the time and feel drained constantly think it’s normal but I really just want the old Me back xxxx

  • Hi, this really echos my experience too - I've aged a decade in the last year since diagnosis, yet the surgery and treatment went well. I'm left with eyesight issues and debilitating fatigue. The frustration, isolation, boredom & loss of independence that fatigue brings show no signs of ending ... I'm now trying a new personal trainer once a week, and also some support at Maggie's. So you're not alone! Best wishes