Scared to go back to “normal”

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Good Evening All,

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November last year and had a radical hysterectomy in January this year.  I had conplications during surgery and recovery is taking a lot longer than initially anticipated due to these set backs abd further surgery. (Details in bio)

I am now thankfully coming to the end of my treatment and my last radiotheraphy session is the 31st May, so three sessions left.

What i want to ask is, has anyone else found that they feel anxious, sad and scared to suddenly not have treatment ruling their lives on a daily basis.

 From my initial diagnosis & scans to surgeries through to other treatments, cancer has consumed my whole life for the last 7 months or so, and im really struggling with suddenly now going to be treatment free.  I feel guilty and silly.  And please dont get me wrong I am so thankful and greatful that im lucky enough to say that its coming to an end and that i am able to say I have no more treatment, but im scared to get on with my life again!? Its a strange feeling!
Am I alone in this? Please tell me i’m not!

Thank you x

  • Hi  and welcome to this corner of the community. Well done in navigating your journey and getting near the end. I think many will appreciate the post treatment apprehension and initially this can be a challenge.

    There are stepping stones in the post treatment journey and 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 and n this part of the journey.

    I have been on my journey for over 24 years living with and being treated for my very rare incurable blood cancer. I have developed the ability to live in the moment and make every moment matter……. I have relapsed multiple times over the years but refuse to allow the what if’s define me and my family….. but we define how we live and know if I relapse again we will deal with exactly the same as we have done for all these years (you can see my story through the link at the bottom)

    Do come back with your thoughts about the paper.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Wow thank you  for your words of wisdom and kindness.  Im so so sorry to read all that you have and are still going through, it makes my situation seem so trivial.  Although it obviously isnt. You are one awe inspiring individual.

    I have read the paper you attached and cant thank you enough, it has literally made so much sense to me and helped me understand my feelings better.
    It is a paper that i feek i may show my husband and close family and friendship group, as i really believe they will benefit from understanding how im feeling and how it may be once treatment is complete.  Its not just a case of getting back to normal, normal left the building when the word cancer entered! 

    It really has helped me process how im feeling so thank you again and im sending all my best wishes to you and your family on your ever changing rollercoaster of a journey Heart

    Best Wishes

    Kath x

  • Good morning Kath  I am pleased that you found my post helpful. My view is that everyone’s cancer journey is both challenging but inspiring in equal measures and using our journeys to support others can actually be a form of inner healing for ourself and the people we talk with.

    Following reading the paper many people do exactly what you are suggesting, giving a copy of the paper to family, friends and even employers as the paper articulates the post treatment journey ever so well.

    But after reading the paper I would always challenge folks like yourself to become proactive after reading through it and using it as a vehicle for change and life improvement.

    So get a note book or some sheets of paper and put pen to paper - it is a good way forward.

    So a page per subject heading. Start detailing the things you ‘have done’ already to move life on in each area and then start to set some achievable goals to work towards. 

    When you achieve the first goal on each lists, tick it off and then put a new goal at the bottom of the list.

    By doing this you can actually see your progress and celebrate achievements….. and when I say celebrate I do mean giving yourself treats and gifts........ you have life - celebrate it.

    The headings would be:

    What steps am I taking to regain trusts in my body?

    What steps am I taking to regain trust in myself?

    What steps am I taking to overcome living with uncertainty?

    What steps am I taking to deal with the world?

    What steps am I taking to regain mastery and control of my life?

    Try it, the future is sitting in front of you - think about driving a car. The big windscreen shows the future, the past is in the little mirrors and is getting smaller and more fuzzy as we move forward.....if you concentrate on the past you crash.

    Ehat do you think about that challenge I have given you?

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Bubbsy80 you are definitely not alone in feeling like this.  In the two years since my diagnosis I've read post after post about life when treatment ends' and the marvellous Highlander is often there with his wise words of wisdom plus a link to Dr Peter Harvey's paper which does make so much sense.  I can say that I'm still recovering after ending my treatment last September I am still trying to make sense of how to carry on the rest of my life and for me that involves also looking over my shoulder for the return of my melanoma. The odds are on it returning and so I am stuck a bit still not knowing quite how to move forward. I'll get there.  One day at a time plus lots of fresh air and gardening out on my nearby alottment.  

    I know you'll find a way to get through hon, wish you well.  Xx