Treatment finished

Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 295
Well, after mastectomy & axillary clearance, chemo & radiotherapy my active treatment is finally finished. It's taken the better part of the year & I still have hormone therapy & a lot of healing to do, but I'm done. As I drove home yesterday after my last 'zap' rather than feeling joy, relief etc. I was feeling rather despondent. I couldn't help reflecting on all I've lost & endured this year when I should've been out & about with my young kids & friends enjoying life. I couldn't help agonising over how far away pre-cancer life now feels and that it will never be like that again. I couldn't help feeling distressed that my doctors are all only now interested in seeing me again to sign me off & send me out into the world like a ticking time bomb, never knowing if and when it will return. Cancer, you're a real arsehole. That's enough now. I'm taking back my joy.

Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 923
    Too right you are!! Treatment is very reassuring to some extent, no matter how unpleasant. We do as we are asked and can get up in the weekly/monthly cycles. Then all that ends and you have to start building your new normal. It's hard. But it's worth doing. No you will never take life for granted again, but that insight can be positive not negative. No you can't reclaim a year of treatment, but you can learn from it. Joy is very precious and you have experienced losing it. Take it back, hold it fast. Cancer is part of your story, but you are in charge of the writing! Best wishes.
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 295
    Thank you @Afraser
  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 508
    Hi @Molly001, wishing you all the best. Time to start enjoying life again. 
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 882
    It takes a while for everything to settle down, @Molly001 I felt like I'd been spat out of a giant sausage machine--a minced, mixed and repackaged version of my old self. It's great to be through the whole process but the results are 'meh, not impressed'. 

    There will be a few things to deal with in the aftermath, but as the weeks pass those feelings of being abandoned subside. Not being tethered to an appointment schedule is a bit disconcerting and I've found that I have 'wasted' a couple of months just puddling around in circles trying to get some sort of rhythm and routine sorted out. I haven't done half the stuff that I promised myself I'd get sorted as soon as I was finished treatment. But I am slowly getting my shit together. It all takes time. 

    Yes, if you listen carefully you may think you can hear that time bomb ticking; I deal with that by creating a fair bit of background noise to distract myself. You will find your feet and figure out how to restart your life. Be kind to yourself now, the 'end' of treatment is a really tough and frustrating time for many of us. Good luck. Marg xxx
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 295
    Thanks Marg @Zoffiel. You're spot on.
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 516
    Congrats on finishing treatment.  As Marg said, it can take a while, a few months even, to make the transition back to being a non-cancer patient. I really struggled to do this. Twelve months of treatment was so consuming that I found I was a bit lost at the end of it. I started back at work part time but it wasn't until I went full time that I felt I could really put cancer behind me. If you find yourself in the same boat be kind to yourself, and just keep telling yourself it does get better.
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 295
    Thanks @Nadi and @LMK74
  • LucyELucyE Member Posts: 233
    edited September 7
    Congratulations on finishing treatment @Molly001. You've been through a lot, be kind to yourself. I finished treatment almost 3 years ago. It's been like a roller coaster for me. I saw a counsellor at the end of radiotherapy, the end of chemo and the end of surgery, just 9 weeks ago. These were stressful times for me and talking about it helped. 

    There are still things to process when the busy time of treatment ends. There's also time to get back to feeling well with the post cancer well-being programs offered by the Cancer Council and BCNA. Doing a Well-being after Cancer program helped me to move mentally to getting fitter from a focus on treatment and medicine. The other thing that helped me was having an interest. Work helped me as well because my students were more focused on themselves which was weirdly comforting! You're doing well, keep it up. x 
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 295
    Thanks @LucyE. I'm lucky that my 2 little ones keep me distracted and involved in routine things, so I dont have too much time to dwell in self. Counselling and a wellbeing program sounds like just what I need right now so I can have some 'me' time that is positive. I will look into this for myself. Are you a teacher? I'm a TRT in primary. I would like to go back to work next school year. I'm not ready to face the kids yet with all the changes to my body and still very lttle hair, but I do really miss my job.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 3,199
    Yes I found my finish to be an anti-climax and you will feel adrift for a bit. Time to reclaim that life bit by bit. Now is the timecto heal and recover.  Congratulations on getting through the marathon of treatment.  

  • iserbrowniserbrown Member Posts: 1,652
    @Molly001
    Woo hoo!  What a milestone!  What an achievement!  Now what you say!  We are so intense and so busy remembering appointments et cetera that we don't get much me time now that me time has arrived and you're like, hmm, has the system abandoned me or am I really able to break free from the constant rounds of being prodded, poked, zapped et cetera

    Take time to enjoy the fresh air and those around you, take some time to reflect on where you have been, find some me time and slowly you will rebuild a new normal!

    Take care and don't be afraid to seek guidance

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