Feeling a bit silly...

NadiNadi Member Posts: 555
edited May 2017 in Health and wellbeing
Things are good 14 months after chemo and 5 months after Herceptin finished.  I accept my scars and the side effects I have are now part of the new me and I am getting on with things. I am not thinking about cancer every day. I am making decisions about my future that are not cancer driven. So all good.

BUT lately if someone genuinely asks me how I am after treatment (as opposed to the usual "how you going?" you get each morning from your work colleagues) I just totally lose it and burst into tears.  It's all too emotional and I just can't talk about it. This is new. I wasn't like this 2 months ago. 

Today I went to a life after cancer workshop. Couldn't last more than 15 mins. Just bawled my eyes out when people starting talking about their treatments and challenges.  I don't know why I find it all so raw now when the worst is over?

Just wondering whether others have had similar experiences? 


  • Tracey_BTracey_B Orbost, VictoriaMember Posts: 1,286
    Yep, the most common comment besides how are you doing is that you're looking well. 
    My general view is that there is a distinct lack of education in the community and that lots of people don't know what to say or do, so they say and do stupid shit with the best of intentions.
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.... Please know that you are unique, individual, and valuable. Keep your head high and understand that some people don't know how to speak to people diagnosed with cancer in a way that makes us all feel comfortable, it's just how it is, it's not personal.
    Sending you a huge cuddle, Trace xxx
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,284
    @Nadi crumbs we are all so fragile and exhausted by it all. Your reaction is coming from a brave you who has let her guard down. Nice to try a workshop however it doesn't always cut it. Just roll with the emotions as you're still raw from the trauma of it all. I don't cope with someone saying you look so well. Sensible me knows they are being genuine. Angry me thinks why aren't I supposed to look well? I put a bit of effort into looking well. That just shows me I'm still raw and touchy and haven’t come out of the fog. 
    Roll with it you will be fine in time.
    Take care sending you a virtual hug from Christine xx 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,116
    I think really in the middle of treatment etc you are so overwhelmed coping with it all you don't think more than past getting through the next week and hoping just to survive. So now we have. Now the fears are what remain. Every darn niggle, skin spot, every headache scares us. Every sad story we here of others not doing so well and it hits home ...that could be me. We hope so much we are going to be the ones that beat this disease and get to post on here celebrating our 5, 10  and beyond years of NED. But....in the back if our minds we are always worried it is just lurking. Grieving for the old healthy life (where for a lot of us we just worried about getting a bit fat)  is real. Accept we are changed forever Nadi both physically and emotionally . Allow the tears. Acknowledge fears ...then once again put on that smile, determination and carry on. No shame my bc sister. I'm right here with ya and struggling too.  Kath x
  • nikkidnikkid Member Posts: 1,170
    I know where you're coming from @Nadi ....little things can send me off - without warning...like last year I was at a meeting when my son came home from camp and we were asked to talk about the experience with our sons. We were encouraged to make a promise to them. My promise was that I would always be there for him...and then I burst into tears! Then my son teared up and my hubby...and we had a group hug. It's just simmering below the surface.

    But what makes us sensitive also gives us an extra perspective on life...that only those who have walked in our shoes can understand. It helps us to cut through the bullshit, meet things head on and be honest.

    Don't you think?

    Nikki xxxx
  • fairydustfairydust Member Posts: 290
    @Nadi I have observed the same reaction in others. I was at an event for people with breast cancer. We were sitting on couches and chairs in a lovely relaxed space. We were asked to give a brief summary of where we were in our treatment. We were then going on to art therapy. One lass could not take it and left the room totally overwhelmed. 
    Another lady admitted to me she had a tear in her eye listening to the group. I didnt burst into tears but was very shaken.I have walked in their shoes and know what some of it is like.
    I also become undone when someone is compassionate and really wants to know how I am. 
    The problem is  when you are getting your strength back you may be overdoing it which then effects your emotions.
    Just a thought make sure you have snacks eg almonds fruits etc keep your blood sugar level stable.
    I have hypoglycemia if I dont eat regularly my physical and mental health suffers
  • Butterfly 40Butterfly 40 Member Posts: 150
    @Nadi you are not silly at all. I was diagnosed late last year. I remember my amazing GP said to me, I was very teary every time I went to update him how I was doing. He said my emotions were all normal at the time, I was coping well. But if I suddenly become very emotional 1 or 2 years later which quite common, he will refer me for a psychologist. 
    I don't think we can ever forget what we have been through emotionally and physically. I can see myself will be like you this time next year.

    Big gentle hugs for you! Xxx 
  • AnnedipaAnnedipa Member Posts: 73
    I was/am like that too. I'm now nearly 2 years post treatment and it does get easier as time goes on. I think i didn't really have time to process what happened to me during treatment. But after it was like wow i had cancer and then all the fears it might come back. Those fears are still there but they are beginning to steal less of my thoughts.
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,024
    Hi there this shit is life changing that's for sure. And sometimes we can mask how we are really feeling for the sake of others and ourselves and then all of a sudden out it all comes. You are a true survivor, not like those ones on that crappy show with the same name or that other one I'm a celebrity get me out of here, fuck I wanted to slap them when they had to eat some bloody animal intestines and they were whinging and crying about it I would of ate that instead of having chemo any day, they talk about how tough it was, they have no idea how to be tough and gee must be tough in the south African jungle shitting money and having to camp out with other celebrities who shit money and have never had to deal with anything like how the hell are we going to pay for stuff on one wage as you cant get stuff all help from the govt or use any of your super you've worked your arse off for etc or have forgotten to take out that income protection policy or whos going to look after my kids while I do chemo, that's right they would have their nannies do it hey what a load of shit, Nadi your emotions are real and based on a real life changing experience you can whinge whenever you want cry whenever you want and get emotional whenever you want you've earned the right to do that as  we all have on this forum. And yes we are all trying to move on with our lives without talking about cancer and with time it will become less I'm sure but it will always be there and be proud as it has made us stronger wiser and makes us all appreciate what actually matters In life. Margie.
  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    I have read all these posts and thinking I'm not alone on how I feel. I'm 3 years this year and doing good at the moment. I remember my daughter telling me once how horrible I was christmas after I had finished all my treatment. I was shocked as I wasn't coping with some things but felt I was hiding it well. Obviously not from daughter. I looked at her in shock and then she said to me mum you have just been through a tough time and when you were doing treatment you just did it. Now you have finished you have had time to absorb and think about what you have been through. She then gave me a hug and told me it was ok to be angry and sad because I had been through alot. I was so proud of my daughter, to think I had instilled such compassion in her. That hug and support from her has helped me heal.
    I think though everyone thinks after you have finished active treatment that you are well, they don't realise that we ar e healing our souls..
    Sending everyone a hug and hope today you are wellx
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,992
    I agree, youre really on autopilot all the way through treatment whether it lasts 2 months or a year. Its only once it all stops and you start to get on with things, I think it catches up, because youre in a different space, you have time to breathe. Time to reflect and think how the hell....did you get through ALL THAT!!! Its overwhelming, and when you think about it, why wouldnt it be?? 

    So incredibly normal, Im 16 months post treatment and I still have the odd day that takes your breath away and is very emotional, but its the fragility of who we are and its honoring that piece deep inside us that says SHIT that scared me phew but I got through it...It will get better bit by bit!! ;) Melinda xo
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,642
    Post traumatic stress is a 'thing'.  We may not have been in war zones, blown up or spent years dragging bodies out of car wrecks but only the uninformed would argue that BC is not a very, very traumatic event.

    We concentrate on getting through treatment--an environment where there can be a great deal of support--and then try to get back to normal because the whole thing is 'over'. By that stage we, and everyone around us, are expecting to cope and move on. Most resources have been withdrawn because we no longer need them. It's not that simple. 

    It's never too late for the sort of emotional blow back you are talking about to suddenly appear. It sucks. It's difficult to explain and I have felt I am letting myself down because I feel like a grubby frayed old towel that should have been binned years ago. I can't​ trust myself to not lose it over silly things then am strangely indifferent about stuff that is important. Perplexing and frustrating. Another reason people don't want this disease. Marg xx

  • KarenhappyquilterKarenhappyquilter Member Posts: 191
    I finished radiation a little less than a year ago.  Still very emotional.  

    I also cried during my life after cancer workshop too. Any emotional film I see I cry, I cried all through Hidden Figures even though it has nothing specifically about cancer.  I can't bear to watch a tv program or film where the characters are mean or cruel.  It's too upsetting.  

    I think while we go through the treatment we are in shock, determined to endure it, significantly affected by the drugs we take and many of us are exhausted.  Once it finishes and we have more time to think and start to feel better, I suspect we finally get around to mourning what happened to us.  It's painful but maybe it's a productive process in the end.  I am yet to find out.
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,902
    I went to a psychiatrist who put me on Escitalopram to raise the serotonin (happy part of the brain) levels. There is scientific evidence that for a time after treatment our brain in a ct scan is altered. I feel much better on the tablet.
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