Life after cancer

This group is for cancer survivors and people who have finished treatment. It is a space to discuss things like the physical and emotional after effects of cancer, returning to work, or trying to move on with your life.

Feel lost

Lou00
Posted by

Hi there i just joined this group hoping someone can shed some light,  was diagnosed with BC october 18 had chemo, operation and 4 weeks ago finished rads ,i just feel so lost and alone feel i cant move forward keep thinking what if it comes back and worse just feel so angry all the time all through treatments i was so strong and just got on with it but now feel the opposite you would think i would be on top of the world that everything all clear and can get on with life but i just feel like there is a big wall in front of me stopping me from going forward,  i know this is probably normal but just dont know what to do , x

Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi  and welcome to this corner of the Community.

You have been on a marathon, the first 1/3 was the diagnosis and the second 1/3 is the treatment and the final 1/3 is the post treatment recovery.

This time is full of ups and down but taking each days as it come is a good way to start then build up.

Have a look at this great paper as it will answer a lot of your questions.

You had a routine when going through treatments, you were seeing medical staff and you got to know people then that stops..... your safety blanket has been taken away.

The big wall has to to be taken down stone by stone and you my find that it’s not actually a wall but the stuff that you have collected in the rucksack on your back and you carry it day out day in.

Sit down with pen and paper and “unpack” the stuff on to paper. Then start to refill the rucksack with positive thoughts, simple plans that can overwrite some of the old stuff...... and as you do this some of the old stuff will not be worthy of a space now. So look at ways of lightning the load.

Talking to people face to face can help a lot so check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support Groups in your area or a Maggie’s Centre as these folks are amazing.

When you feel up to it try putting some information in your profile. This really helps others when answering. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. Just click on YOUR username, select 'Edit Profile'. Put as much or as little in your profile and you can amend it at any time - you can see members profiles by hitting our forum names.

Keep posting as we are always around to help.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

buttercup01
Posted by

The Highlander's given u some v good advice.  Do look at the paper he mentions.

In the meantime  the Room is a place to just rant if that's what u feel u need to do. U can join it like the other groups 

If you've not got a local support group/ Maggie's centre nearby, u might want to ring the Helpline on 0808 808 0000

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
cmsteve
Posted by

Hi Lou,

Also a BC survivor, about 5 months ahead of you and I identify with your feelings. I have just read Dr Peter Harvey's paper and also strongly identify with that.

From being very optimistic about life, loving travel plans, and expecting a long life, I suddenly had a very short horizon and a very different outlook.

I am naturally nervous as my 22/7 review with my oncologist approaches, and just hope of course that I am still in remission.

Last review I got a talking -to, as my ldl and blood sugar were too high, largely due to inactivity whilst I felt lousy during chemo.

So I started going to the gym about 5 times a week. Weights, cycling, treadmill. Tough to start with but I can't tell you how much better I feel.. Not only physically but more importantly, mentally. That brain fog has gone! I feel more alert, and more future focussed.

After 3 months I can do more gym stuff in 40 minutes than I could do in 2 hour sessions initially.

I know recovery is not a one size fits all but you are very early in the cycle still. You will start feeling better and If You feel able to step up exercise maybe it will help you too. Initially I just did long walks out side but it took aerobic stuff in the gym to lift my mood.

Very Best wishes,

Steve

buttercup01
Posted by

Let us know how your 22/7 review goes pls

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
buttercup01
Posted by

When u feel angry the Room is a good place to go n just rant

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
AnxiousKate
Posted by

Hi Lou00

its as though you have taken the words out of my mouth!!

all though I’ve been told my cancer has been removed with my recent hysterectomy and that I do not need any further treatment, I’m scared that they have missed something! Like you I have been putting on a brave face and supporting everyone else! Now I feel lost! X

Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi , I see that this is your first post so welcome to the Online Community.

On my 20 year journey with Lymphoma the “what if’s” do show their ugly head from time to time but it’s all about developing a trust in your body and what you do during these times.

The paper posted earlier on this thread is great and helps unpack the post treatment journey. Over my many years I have had to deal with a few times where scans comeback showing stuff but I have found out that there are lots of medical tools in the box to deal with these times.

20 years back I was told that I would never be in remission and my condition would get me......... fast toward 17+ years I am in remission - can it come back? Yes....... do we let this rule our lives - No!

The following is taken from an article about one of the real hurdles that may come along and that is Scanxiety or the “what if’s” and how we manage it?

Plan for the Worst Outcome…

Along with knowing what could possibly come of your scan or the future, creating a strategy for the worst case scenario can improve your sense of control. By no means should this be perceived as giving up or being resigning yourself to bad news. Cancer can make you feel powerless, but creating a basic action plan just in case can help  you regain your power as well as your optimism.

…but Visualise the Best

Your mind is more powerful than you might realise. Visualisation and guided imagery have been shown to improve your mood, control symptoms or side effects and even boost your immune system. Imagine yourself receiving great news after your scan.

Allow yourself to experience the feelings of relief, gratitude and elation. Think about these things as though you are remembering them. Seeing it in your mind’s eye can give you the encouragement you need to overcome your “what if’s” or scanxiety.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela