How well I look!

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I've been told how well I look by friends and at the moment I do feel OK most of the time, apart from my bowels playing up, been told by consultant it's probably  the tumour in my cervix pressing on my bowels, plus long term effects of the brachytherapy. I feel quite nauseous when this happens, usually in the mornings. It's funny, but sometimes other people think because you look OK it can't be that serious and that there must be something that can be done and that I'm being pessimistic and negative, when in fact I'm just being realistic.

Also, because I didn't lose my hair during my chemo and radiotherapy last year, maybe they think the cancer can't possibly be that bad. It didn't work and the cancer came back. I get a bit irritated when others tell me to keep positive. I know they mean well of course and on the whole I'm keeping cheerful with my rather dark humour, which upsets some people who interpret it as negativity. I've always had it though, well before my diagnosis. I'm enjoying days out and doing things, planning holidays etc and had a comment from a friend saying that for someone who's so ill I get about a lot!  It seems you can't win. Rant over.. for now!

  • Morning Nan. It seems we have this conversation quite often and I think it does get under our collective skins a fair bit. I think it's just one of those phrases that come out because they don't want to feel that they are creating a dark mood by asking. People don't like to deal with the nuts and bolts, so they try this artificial gaiety to avoid talking with you about your cancer.

    Even good friends come out with it sometimes. I had lunch this week with a friend who greeted me with something similar but then we got into a chat about how it was when you're waiting for scan results which was matter-of-fact and more like our usual exchange. We talked about ways to keep busy and get out when you're immune suppressed. I know that the people close to me are of a more practical bent and down-to-earth regarding how I am, so I can overlook the odd comment now. However, we all know what you mean.

    Can something be done to alleviate your symptoms Nan? Something to improve the comfort factor? Thinking of you. Hugs from Rainie x

  • Hi . I'm getting the same sort of comments all the time as I've quite a good tan at the moment. I'm also losing a bit of weight as my appetite has gone down. I'm waiting for a scan next month as I've the same sort of pain coming back as I had last year. One of the masses pressed up against my bowels causing extreme pain and I too dreaded going to the loo in the morning. It's a wait and see scenario which all of us here go through too often.

    People also say how good my hair looks as it's now short and spiky - it's taken 10 years off me - no the bloody cancer will be taking years off me. Outwardly I stay pretty cheerful but inside I can't stop having dark thoughts. The horrors on the news at the moment make me glad I'm 69 instead of 29. The good thing is my bestie knows how to talk to me and always keeps me grounded.

    When I'm "champing" in my group I sometimes find it really hard to be so positive for others. When I had my op and adjuvant brachytherapy I though that was me done and dusted. A good percentage of ladies have the op, no further treatment, and go back to normal living. I'm sadly one of the minority percent. Less than a year later I'm incurable and things are happening quicker than they should. 

    After eventually venturing out and getting Covid that's knocked my confidence back somewhat. When I have a drink I think perhaps I shouldn't be doing it but then think Sod it, there's got to be something in life to enjoy.

    I picked up a little plaque at a garden centre a few months ago. It says "I'm sorry, my give a shit fairy just died" I does make me smile

    Hugs, Barb xx

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  • I'd like one of those plaques. Sounds like a good Xmas present.  Rainie xx

  • Thanks Barb. Your humour sounds very similar to mine. I recently lost a very dear friend to breast cancer. She was diagnosed about six months before me. We used to chat on the phone and talk about side effects and how we were doing.and I really miss that plus all the good times and holidays we had together. We'd known each other since our children were small.  I love the idea of that fairy plaque! All the best to you x


  • Hi Rainie. I'm waiting to see oncology consultant at Addenbrookes to discuss all of this, plus bleeding I'm having all the time now.. He's on holiday at present. Hopefully he can help with some of my symptoms.

  • Hope things look up for you soon Nan. Let us know how you get on. Rainie x

  • Hi Nan yes I get things like this all the time. I'm on immunotherapy and never lost my hair and as you say people think your OK. Mine has gone on from beginning  to now 4 yrs and people think I'm better. I just smile and walk away, if in a bad mood they get a nasty remark. Just keep on keeping on and take care xx


  • Hi girls, I've had the same silly comments you look, been abroad, fighting fit, ect.

    I just say, if you had x-ray eyes you'd change your opinion.

    Love that plaque, think I'll make one. Everyone on this site is a champion.

  • Well, I have a funny story to tell you on this subject.  First it needs some background.  I haven't returned to my running club since lockdown.  Partly because I had some physio issues, then I kept retching after running a mile, and finally there was a bit of cancer going on which meant I felt a bit lethargic and didn't feel like it anyway.  It's a very sociable club with lots of chatter so it's been a target in the last 9-12 months to make a comeback for the social, not the "training".  Monday was that day.  I haven't told anyone there about the cancer/treatment or health issues.  

    I rock-up and the run leader was delighted to see me and very welcoming.  "You look sooooo well!" commented a friend.  Very funny I thought!   The chatter continued and 10 mins later another friend commented "you have lost soooooooo much weight!"  LOLzers.   (only half a stone, but I didn't think it was noticable).  

    The context made it just really really funny.   

  • Hi Nan

    I could have written your post.

    I also get continuously told how well I look. People don't see me on my bad days. That's when I hide from the world.

    Once I feel a bit better its a case of makeup on and bright clothes on with hair done, ready to face the world.

    I've also kept my hair despite regular chemo so i must look like a right fraud.

    What's sad is, I wanted to go for a gentle run the other day as I knew it was my week where energy levels were on the up.  I use the word run loosely! It's more a case of run for 1 minute, walk for 3 (repeat a few times) 

    I ended up driving to a remote beauty spot to do the run  because I didn't want to bump into someone I knew and risk them thnking "Harebelle can't be that bad if she's out running.! AND  she's got hair" "B****y Fraud"!"

    People also think cancer is a linear process.  I've had people get upset because they've seen me out and about on a Monday but then get upset because I've declined to meet up wirh them for a coffee on a Tuesday.  "But you were alright to go out yesterday!"

    They don't realise I usually only know how much energy I've got on rhe morning I wake up.

    Thank goodness we have sites like this where people in the same boat understand