I stress from one thing to the next

ShorelleShorelle Member Posts: 80
Last week I stressed because my liver enzymes were way up and I feared the cancer on my liver. But that came back to mormal and aparently a side affect the the chemo I finished 3 weeks ago.  This week Im stressing because I have muscular (I think) pain accross my back about boob height. Could this be a side effect from the chemo too? Just started Tamoxafin today. I keep telling myself surely after 3 weeks of chemo It hasnt popped up in my spine. Im wondering when my thoughts are going to switch from thinking the worst with every problem. Ive had the flu, cronic cough and sinus over the past two weeks too and probably put my back out with all the coughing but it doesnt mean I am stressing less. Every day I wake up and instead of springing out of bed like the old me did post diagnosis I cry! This is not good and I need a switch to say. Stop worrying. 


  • nonkyboynonkyboy IngleburnMember Posts: 186
    Oh @Shorelle, you poor woman. That is awful to feel like that. Are you able to chat to someone about how you're feeling? Maybe you should see if you can see a councillor or a psychologist. I find it easier to chat to people that I'm not close to as then I don't feel like I'm burdening family and friends. You can also call the cancer helpline and chat to someone. I hope you feel better soon. Sending you war,m hugs
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,653
    Hey @Shorelle, I think that for us all, once you have been touched by the cancer bug your mindset changes. I know that initially every twinge or ache is a worry but I've only just realised today that my left knee aches of a night time and I have just been assuming its arthritis/cold weather/Tamoxifen. Never thought about it being anything else. So I'm either really relaxed, really complacent or really stupid!!! If your worries are becoming debilitating seek some help as nonkyboy suggested, it's no fun being miserable and worried. Cancer council for help 131120 they may be able to provide easy strategies to lessen your stress. Big hug. Xx Cath
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,115
    I got lots of muscle spasms during chemo and a good time after across my back...boob height. Even now 12 months on it still is a problem if I'm  tense or havent stretched my back and arm muscles for a while (post surgery exercises are perfect). I assumed it was related to my reconstruction but its a combo of that, and chemo. Yes the chemo does impact on our muscles.  

    Yoga or at least lots of stretching is great and it also helps to steady our worrying mind. It takes time but the worries improve. It doesn't ever go I don't  think but eventually it becomes a fleeting thought instead of a constant fear. 

    Kath x
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 552
    Hi Shorelle, what you are feeling is totally understandable and unfortunately you are not alone. Your body and mind are in survival mode and you will automatically be on alert for anything that may be a new symptom of cancer. I used to have the same fears. Oh who am I kidding, I still have the same fears, but at least now I only get them for a short while and instead of all the time I only have them occasionally.  Like Kath says they do improve. The other day I read that many women with breast cancer experience symptoms similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I can totally relate to that. I have never found simply telling myself to "stop worrying" actually causes me to stop worrying. I try and use logic instead. I run a dialogue telling myself "the chances are that this 'twinge/blood test result/symptom etc' is just something harmless. I will wait for  2 weeks and if it is still there get it checked to be on the safe side. Even if it does turnout to be something, I'll get a plan to tackle it.' I guess my suggestion is that worrying is normal, allowing that worry to overwhelm us to the point where we can't function isn't normal and that's when talking about those worries with someone may be able to help. My cancer treatment centre had free psychologist appointments which were great. Hopefully you can find something similar. Big hugs to you.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,271
    Oh Shorelle!  You have such a heightened awareness of your body now and your concern heads into the but, how come, am I, no, yes, what if and everything in-between! 

    Agree with others it maybe an idea to get in touch with a Counsellor to help you with coping mechanisms!  Ring the Cancer helpline 131120  http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/patient-support/131120.html

    Stressing is not good for your well being and you need your strength and coping mechanisms to get through each appointment, treatment, just normal every day et cetera

    Take care
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,631

    Three weeks to the day after I finished chemo I woke up and literally had to fall out of bed. Nothing worked; my legs felt like I had run a marathon, my head felt like it was nailed on, my feet felt like they were made of wood and my joints wouldn't bend. It was like I had been beaten up during the night.

    I freaked. Up until that point I had struggled with chemo, my gut was particularly affected, but the rest of me was sort of OK. I was tired, but was walking 5 km most mornings and having the occasional swim. Logically I knew that it was unlikely to be cancer--total body cancer developing over night? No.

    This, on top of my wavering mental state, really sent me on a downer. I found out that the pain I was experiencing was pretty common and that myalgia (the muscle pain) and tendonitis (mad pain in joints) are, indeed, listed  as side effects of TC. Listed, but well down the page. Since then, I've discovered that what I am experiencing is very 'normal' but it seems to be glossed over when you are told what to expect when you have chemo.

    Good news is, it has gotten better. I'm now taking Femara so thought it would get worse. Bad news it has taken, for me, months. I know that when I get stressed I hunch my back and clench my fists and jaw. This doesn't help with the neck pain and I have to consciously try to relax before I become completely rigid. I had  to learn  all this stuff and it shits me to tears, but I'm stuck with it. Which doesn't mean I don't have a damn good whinge every once in a while.

    Hang in there. Marg xxx

  • ShorelleShorelle Member Posts: 80
    Thank you. X
  • HITHIT Perth WAMember Posts: 261
    Hello Shorelle.  Sounds like your normal.  On diagnosis I was in shock, then straight into treatment which kept kept your mind busy, then suddenly its finished and the rot sets in.  Lots of good advice above, but I also found that keeping a diary with any probs, aches and pains has come in very handy.  I often read back and remember that hey, I've felt like, had that before and all was good... maybe chemo brain but I often can't remember.  And time will heal a lot.  
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,979
    @Shorelle as everyone has shared, it's incredibly normal how you are feeling, I wish it weren't true but it is. I'm 22 months post chemo now. It's been a very long recovery and I've had 2 massive surgeries in 5 months this year too. The thing is, we would hope we go back to how we were pre diagnosis, especially the springing out of bed and getting on with the day. It's such a harsh reality when it is a massive struggle for so many reasons. I've been in pain most of that time, which was due to chemo, early menopause and Arimidex. Ive been switched a few months ago now to Aromasin but they're pretty much the same, they cause pain, particularly in my lower back and neck. The only thing over time that has helped is taking powdered magnesium in water daily with Vit. D and Caltrate and working with an Exercise Physiologist that was organised through my income protection, I would have been lost without her! 

    Something to be mindful of too that I didn't' know is, when I had radiation treatment in 2011 I started to suffer cramping pain in the chest and back....still do!! a side effect of radiation hmmm. The other thing is Chemo shrinks the sheath over the muscles in the entire body, so it causes cramping and soreness. Stretching is the only way it improves but it is a task! Im back at work 3 days only this year and manage it ok, but am facing full time next year and dreading it. Yikes!! It can take up to 2 years to recover to some sort of normality post treatment, so be kind to you!!!

    Having someone objective to talk to I couldn't recommend more like a Psychologist, I've used one off and on and helps alot!! 

    Take care, and know you're not alone in how you feel, nobody gets the depths of this whole shit thing...but we do ;)
    Hugs Melinda xo
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,271
    What a great post you just put up! Describes us happy campers so well. Do we ever get over the fatigue and somewhere near what we think is normal.
    Take care and sending you a virtual hug xx 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,979
    @iserbrown Thanks Christine, big hugs to you too :smiley: we are certainly all in this together. x
  • ShorelleShorelle Member Posts: 80
    Thank you all. Im only 3 months into this and still the bilateral mastectomy to go. I know I need to get a grip on my emotions, Im waiting for that switch to flick. Ive never been one to complain about things and now I hear myself doing a lot of it. All your words are so wise and I think you are all amazing to have got your head space to where it is. This is never going away is it. Its something Im going to have to accept. My old life is gone. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,271
    Acceptance will help you to cope.  As melclarity said earlier we're all in this together.  
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,979
    @shorelle you know it's so complex the entire thing, and there's so much grieving that happens, grieving for the diagnosis, grieving for your life you had, grieving for your body and what it goes through, it really is incredibly in depth the magnitude of it. I personally have been where you are, and can honestly say, had some incredibly low points that I didn't think I could possibly come back from, but I did...you will wonder where on earth you got the strength from, but you will. Even if you focus on 1 day ONLY...not the next or week after. Come back to where we are right now, do small things that make you feel loved and supported and nurtured and most importantly keep talking, you will get through this, I promise you. xo
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,896
    I was going crazy on Tamoxifen until I found a Tamoxifen support group on Facebook. OMG it was like finding family. They were having the same odd side effects as I was, so now I don't stress anywhere near as much as before.
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