Getting positivity back

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I am really in a quandary and don’t know how to get back into a positive frame of mind. Can you help?

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2022 I was very upbeat about everything. All I wanted to do was to have the tumour removed and get on with my life. I didn’t realise there is a lot more to treatment than that especially after I was told about being triple negative. Although I initially didn’t want chemotherapy appreciating the high incidence of reoccurrence with TN I accepted chemotherapy was necessary and I still felt quite positive about it.

In the middle of March I had a lumpectomy and all was well and I was about to start chemotherapy and I had an infection in my breast and my scar split open and chemotherapy had to be postponed.

The wound is slow to heal and I was told it could take months to heal and as chemotherapy could not wait plastic surgery was being considered.

During this time I have been taking 2 lots of heavy duty antibiotics. So generally I have been feeling really unwell. I have had to see so many different types of specialists as well as keep attending appointments to have the dressing changed. There has been little time for anything else.

I have now gone into a deep depression and feel I just can’t cope with this anymore and I really don’t know how I am going to get back in that positive frame of mind to take on chemotherapy even though it looks at long last my wound has started to heal and surgery has been postponed and hopefully won’t be necessary.

As I had previously said I started out being upbeat, i tolerated peoples stupid comments with a smile and I was compliant in doing all the right things. I don’t feel like this anymore and all I keep doing is biting peoples heads off who are trying to help me.
I appreciate it is just bad luck what has happened and no one’s fault.

I would love to hear if any of you had felt this way and come out of the other side and how I can get my positivity back.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m also triple negative - first diagnosed in 2019. It’s a really tough thing to get your head around, and I’ve found that emotions can be really up and down- it’s honestly to be expected. You just won’t be positive all the time, and acknowledging that really helps. Just allow yourself to feel it, you’ll  get the positivity back in your own time. Having a good support network helps so much, and plenty of nice distractions also help; other things to focus on. Somehow you get through, and the downs are just part of it. Sending warm wishes xxx

  • Hi

    Just wanted to say that you have made an important positive step by posting your feelings on here. There are so many people on this forum that have brilliant advice and understanding.

    Have you talked to your breast nurse about how you are feeling? I was diagnosed in 2013 with triple negative at the age of 39. I’m currently going through the menopause and struggling a bit so my GP referred me to a gynaecologist who gave me lots of good advice and non HRT options I could try. I am currently enrolled on a 12 month CBT self help program. It’s all online and you can dip in and out when you need it. Along with this I have loaned menopause based mind books from my local library. This is definitely helping me to look at things from a different place, and whilst I agree it’s not a magic fix for everyone, it may be worth a call to your breast nurse to see if she can point you in the right direction of some similar. You have proved already that you can have a positive mindset, so it’s finding a way back to that space.

    Good luck, you can do this.Blush

  • I am sorry you are going through this. I also have TNBC, found in my routine mammogram in January. I had a wide area excision which whilst not infected, is still quite distorted and uncomfortable. I certainly expected a better cosmetic outcome, although it does look normal in a bra. I started chemo last week. I found it quite hard to take the decision to have chemo after spending too much time deep into risks and benefits. So it’s pretty horrible to be sitting here feeling off colour and knowing this is my life for the next 6 months. 

    I am quite up and down about it. Most of my close contacts have been great but there are people who have effectively disappeared from my life, and others who spend forever telling me about so and so who had x treatment, regardless of whether x is relevant to me or not. You learn an awful lot about other people. 

    it’s a cliche but the only thing any of us can do is take this one day at a time, and try to enjoy the better days we have. It will eventually pass. Try also not to get sucked into horror stories. People use resources like this when they need support and tend to move on when they are through it. Those who are struggling will stay engaged longer so there is going to be a bias towards their problems and outcomes. 

    Find time for exercise if you can - it always helps - and lean on those you feel are being helpful.