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.

4 Years on and maybe it still affects me

Clarkey321
Posted by

I was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue 4 years ago. I went through daily radiotherapy and chemo for 3 months. I was then given all clear 4 months later.

Since that time I've had monthly then 3 monthly checkups and have been supported by an amazing team.

But now we are into Year 4 and I feel lost.

I have taken a good look at myself and I have lost all sense of drive and purpose both in my working life and my relationship with my wife.

I know I need a big kick up the backside as I am lucky to be here and should be living life to the full.

has anyone else had this sort of experience where you realize that you have been concentrating so much on worrying/making sure the cancer does not return that you have forgotten how to live and hold a relationship.

buttercup01
Posted by

I think this feeling is  all too common post- cancer. It affects many different aspect of our  lives n those close to us too

If u do give yourself a kick up the backside, make sure it's a gentle one!. No "shoulds" ...

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Clarkey321
Posted by

Thanks for this . I know that once my treatment finished I decided to change jobs and live a more stress-free lifestyle

However, I now feel as if I have drifted for the past 3 years. I need a big goal to aim at but somehow cannot get in the mindset to define it let alone execute it.  I can't allow myself to drift forever. I need to learn how to focus once again.

Thehighlander
Posted by

I am coming in late on this but in one of your other posts you said that you have had some face to face support.

I am four years on and from my experience doing this a few times helps a lot, I would suggest you do this again. Doing this can help bring more prospective and can help outwork any lasting mind games that are going on and sort of brings a type of accountability as you are making a commitment to a real person.

Check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support in your area or a Maggie’s Centre as these folks are amazing.

Keep talking on this thread as we will help as best as we can.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

Clarkey321
Posted by

Thanks  I had thought of that but rejected it as I haven't been in a Macmillan centre for over 3 years I ffel that It would be wrong to call upon them again

as in a way it would be a sign to say that I had failed. However, I will give them a call later today - Many thanks

I can't work out if I am feeling like this because i am 53 or because I have had cancer if that makes sense 

Thehighlander
Posted by

Hi again, well done in contacting them as in doing this you are identifying your challenges and looking to move them forward.

From my long (20 years) experience living and working through cancer there are milestone points in the marathon. These need to be negotiated to allow you to move on to the next point.

I go to our local Maggie’s Centre regularly....... post cancer support groups, men’s keep fit....... I see it all about using these times to move further on with life, yes going does remind me that I had cancer but I see it as an opportunity to claim life and at the same time I help out others around me who are looking down the dark cancer tunnel...... a pay back sort of thing.

Living in the Highlands we are surrounded by amazing scenery. I often post this mental picture. 

I see the cancer journey to be like a climb up a craggy Scottish Mountain.

These Mountains have well trodden paths with little cairns (stones on stones) put up by the many folks who have walked these paths before us.

At each cairn the path divides in two - these are the points of decision - like..... How we deal with side effects.....? The mental and physical challenges.....!! The picking our selves up 'again' times......!! It’s scan time again....!! How can we move on...?

We do have to look very carefully at where each track will take us. Do we knuckle down and tough it out and keep climbing up or do we take the low path and keep going round the hill and not reaching the summit...... not seeing that view for the first time.

When you look at the cairns they are always just on the tracks that will lead to the top. So each stone that is put on the cairns is a "yes we can do this" decision......... keep putting the stones on the 'yes' cairns....... and every now and then have a look back down the hill and see the starting point and all the little cairns on the paths you have taken. The further you move on, the past looks very small and fuzzy at the edges.

If you keep walking the low paths you will see stones left at the side of the track where that hope and dream was lost.

Always around to help out.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

buttercup01
Posted by

Hi Mike, I've been looking for that paper by  Dr  Peter  somebody to post for Clarkey321 but can't find it.Have u  still got it easily to hand?

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

Tada ;)

paper

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

buttercup01
Posted by

Clarkey,321, u might find the paper above useful. I know i did

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

Thanks Mike!!

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Clarkey321
Posted by

Thankyou guys