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.

Getting on with it

Janeejanjan
Posted by

I had my last breast cancer treatment in May this year and I am currently recovering. 

I went with my mum and partner David to visit my sister and her family in York. Although she has been down to see me it was the first time I had been to hers since my diagnosis in October last year. 

It was lovely seeing everyone and spending time with them . . Everyone has moved on with their lives are getting on with things and it was like a physical blow to realise that I do not feel I have moved anywhere. I have had the operation, chemo and radiotherapy and that's it. I feel like I am on pause waiting for my health and fitness levels to return to a point where I can carry on in the REAL world, not the world dictated by cancer 

I feel really depressed and miserable and wondered if anyone else had experienced this. I know it's not unique but it feels like I have slapped in the face.

Janeejanjan

Janeejanjan 
Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi, what you are experiencing is normal and just takes time to move on. There are triggers that will come along that will make you go round the mountain a few times but life can mi e on.

You may want to have a cup of tea and have a look at this great paper.

((hugs))

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

Janeejanjan
Posted by

Thank you Mike. It was very helpful. 

Janeejanjan 
Thehighlander
Posted by

Good morning, the paper is a good starting point and helps you think through the very real milestones in recovery.

I have been on my cancer journey for 20 years now so it’s part of life. It actually took 17 years before I was told that I was in remission from a condition that I was first told that remission was not possible.

Living the post cancer journey is like living in a parallel universe - you can see your old life but regardless what you do you can not get back on that same path.

I am now nearly 4 years into my post treatment life, a situation I was unwillingly put into. It did actually make me review life and everything that my wife and I once thought important.

So some things from our old life are still in our lives but various aspects of our old life that were once seen as important were put in the bin and we don’t miss them.

Some friends don’t understand this part of a cancer journey and say some stupid things but I can understand their lack of first hand understanding and others are great and have got beside us to move life on at our pace.

Its all about taking each day as it comes, dealing with that new experiences and emotion that will come along and storing that under ‘lesson learned’ and move on to the next part of the recovery.

((hugs))

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

Galanthophile
Posted by

It’s less than a year since I was diagnosed but already I feel like I’m a different person. I don’t feel anywhere near recovered and I now feel I can’t go back to work. People think once your treatment is over you’re ok but I’ve found that period has been the most trying and unexpectedly difficult. There are so many things and activities that I used to enjoy but now I just don’t have the energy to do them. Even a trip to the supermarket wipes me out. I have to believe that in time I will get better but this feels like a new normal.

JMay
Posted by

Oh gosh I have just sent a very similar post.

I'm exactly the same. I feel nobody realises it hasn't ended for me, and that nobody understands or cares the impact this has had on me.

I'm 62, and can't work due to my poor health, and I've only a daughter who really cares but she is extremely busy so I feel so alone.

Today I have volunteered to do something at my local theatre hoping it will take my mind off things, and it's an upbeat kind of place.

I hope things improve for us both x

Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi and sorry to hear that you are finding the post treatment journey hard. You will have seen that I have been on my post journey for 4 years, it does take time and a lot of perseverance.

The paper further up this post is a good platform for moving on with life. Life is out there, it is full of new opportunities but life very often does not remain the same as some of your old life may drop from your priorities and new priorities get set.

Keep climbing the mountain as the view gets better the further you climb.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

JMay
Posted by

Thanks Mike. All the best.

Dee1959
Posted by

I’m 6 years post diagnosis and I would say I’m about 70% back to normal. The exhaustion never leaves me. If I go to the gym or do yoga that’s it for the day. I can only work about 5 hours a day. I lost my tastebuds completely 35 days ago and I’m just about to have my last 5 teeth out due to my radiotherapy. I agree people imagine if you’re cancer free it’s all over but it’s not for us. I can’t plan a holiday too far ahead because I think I’m tempting fate. These feelings are normal for us in our cancer survivor club but others don’t understand. Sending a big cyber hug to you. It’s ok to feel sorry for ourselves and the lifestyle we’ve lost just as long as we smile and feel joy on the good days xxxxxx

JMay
Posted by

I just joined, but I am finding the replies and posts interesting, an I'm reassured that I'm not just a lightweight who moans for nothing.

Thank you.