Treatment, hysterectomy, mastectomy, and now an emotional mess!

TripleTeaTripleTea BunburyMember Posts: 59
edited March 2018 in Health and wellbeing
Hi everyone,

I had had my last chemo on Jan 11th for triple neg BC. I have BRCA1 and in the last 6 weeks since finishing treatment I have had a full hysterectomy with uterus & ovaries removed 3 weeks after chemo and then a double mastectomy 3 weeks after the hysterectomy. 

I have been doing pretty well throughout my journey with the odd day here and there where I’m teary but now I feel down &  flat every day and I keep crying but for no reason. I’m not normally a cryer in normal circumstances so it’s hard.

I am still in a bit of pain and very uncomfortable with the expanders and am not allowed to drive or exercise so I am housebound by myself all day  and I feel like I need a purpose but at the same time I feel so flat and unmotivated I don’t want to do much anyway.  I just cry on and off and have bloody hot flashes!
Last week I had a panic attack thinking about recurrence. Sitting around with my mind is obviously not a good thing. 

Throughout treatment I couldn’t wait to get back to normal and “live every moment” etc and now I feel like this. What is wrong with me???

I had another lump prior to mastectomy which ended up being benign so all my pathology was clear. I should be celebrating that all is good and I’m cancer free and sometimes I am feeling really up beat but then other times I’m a mess or just flat.

Has anyone ever felt like this and if so do you have any suggestions? 

Sorry for the novel.
Thankyou x




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Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,603
    Dear @TripleTea

    i think it's called catch up time. You've had enough going on to qualify for a full on traumatic episode, you've kept it all pretty controlled and sensible but sooner or later you and your body need to howl. Time alone by yourself will just make the catch up more likely. "Normal" frequently needs to be redefined after treatment. New normal isn't awful or unacceptable but it's not what you had, and there has to be a transition and some grieving is to be expected. I felt that all the air had been knocked out of me after treatment and a few permanent side effects. A short time with a really good, cancer experienced counsellor did wonders. We accept and welcome professional help for our bodies, but cancer, serious surgery and its implications bash the mind too. You are actually completely normal, it's just a very new sort of normal, hugely uncomfortable at first and a bit of a pilot light would help immensely to navigate to the new world.  Best wishes.
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,234
    hi @TripleTea
    it is very common to feel like this .... plus you have had all your hormones removed with hysterectomy and ovaries gone on top of BC 
    Like Afraser said ask for a Mental Health plan and see a good psychologist who is experienced in Cancer counselling.

    I would just cry for no reason .... my teens said I would cry in my sleep but a good few sessions with the Psychologist has seen me come out the other end with my new normal and I am reclaiming my life .... it didn't happen overnight.... 
    you have been on a rollercoaster ride which you didnt ask to join accept that you need to emotionally heal from that. 

    Hugs 
    Soldiercrab

  • TripleTeaTripleTea BunburyMember Posts: 59
    Thanks for your reply’s @Afraser & @SoldierCrab.  Are either of you able to point me in the right direction please? Do I contact our cancer council center or GP for a referral? 

    Thanks
    Tripletea
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,655
    @TripleTea I'm struggling with some of these emotions too and the wonderful women here have been very reassuring that it's all very normal.

    Basically you can ask anyone you feel comfortable asking! Your breast care nurse, your oncologist, your GP. The latter can draw up a mental health plan so you can get Medicare rebates (for ten sessions I think). My breast care nurse and oncologist both recommended the same counsellor. She's community funded and so very affordable.

    Or as you suggest, call the Cancer Council, or the BCNA helpline, 1800 500 258. They'll be able to point you in the right direction.

    Hang in there. K
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,234
    GP for referral ....  then here is where you can search them for your local area. https//www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,241
    Hi there @TripleTea wow love you have been through the ringer haven’t you. As you know I’m a triple neg girl myself like @SoldierCrab and hell yes I’ve felt the same. I had a hysterectomy a few years back already and as you know I’ve had the double mastectomy too and there are plenty of days when i felt that way in the early days and then just recently was feeling blah as I had to find a new job with more hours which was daunting but has worked out great. Your gp can give you a referal with the mental health care plan and she or he should know one that uses the referal with no out of pockets for you too. Try and keep yourself busy st home I found thsts helped. Try some light exercise when you’re up to it and perhaps try a hobby or something else you love to do. Thst helps me for sure even now. Biggest hug love it does get better. Margie xx
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 631
    Dear @TripleTea, nothing to add to the great advice and info above; just best wishes from jennyss
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,338
    Panic attacks are not nice and put huge stress on you. Get your GP to put you on an antidepressant. Your body is going through a lifetime change which might normally happen in menopause over several years but its been jam packed in to one event and it is hard to take and hard to get used to. Rest up, go for walks (which really do help) and practice awareness. Feel the breeze. Smell the perfume of flowers or even the bad smells of cars. Enjoy watching the trees. Listen to the birds. How many can you hear if you really concentrate? It all helps. Hugz <3

  • TripleTeaTripleTea BunburyMember Posts: 59
    Thanks everyone. The menopause specialist has put me on desvenaflaxine to help with the hot flushes and it is also an anti depressant so I’m surprised it hasn’t got me feeling fine. 

    After taking it it for a couple of weeks my hot flashes really died down but the last few days have been back with a vengeance, along with the emotions and a few(rare) pimples I am wondering if the body knows it’s normally period time? Even though I haven’t had a period for 5 months from chemopuse. 

    I will definately try the counselling and @Brenda5 the idea of stopping and smelling the roses etc is a good one. When first diagnosed I was really soaking everything up as opposed to always being on a phone, in a rush etc and I really want to get back to that. Living in the present and enjoying it all and not letting life just fly by.

    @onemargie  distraction is a great idea and I’m feeling better today with my husband around. 

    Thanks for all the hugs xxx

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,603
    Glad to feel you are feeling brighter! 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,655
    @TripleTea I'm on desvenaflaxine too, for two weeks now. It has done nothing for my hot flushes so far. In fact I've just had three this afternoon and I don't normally get them during the day! I'll be interested to see if I have the same reaction as you. And I've wondered exactly the same as you. About once a month I feel like my body is trying to ovulate! I know it's not (blood tests), but is it possible there's a habitual response?? I was still menstruating in November...

    It's very challenging to celebrate life at times, despite truly knowing how fortunate we are to be survivors.
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,234
    Ladies @primek
     said something very true a little while ago elsewhere that is Survivorship is hard.... it comes with the fact we can go forward, but also the impact of the treatment on our lives and those around us. it also comes with the what ifs..... Take it one day at a time when things are particularly bad take it an hour or minute at a time..... 
    mediation has helped me to regroup and refocus on the positives.... 
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,868
    When you get dropped into the mincer life changes. Yes, you can get some form and structure back ( being rebirthed as one of those revolting fat pork sausages has been a personal insult but never mind) however the whole business screws you over. 

    BC version 1 I just got on with it like a good girl. This time? Porridge Woman. Sans tits and ovaries and great chunks of meat from under my arm--not, of course, the Nana wings I'd be happy to lose--on a variety of crappy meds I am, to borrow someone else analogy, a miserable Bandicoot. 

    Trotting off and dumping everything on a mental health professional of your choice is helpful. So is exercise. You can't turn back the clock and that, I believe, is the thing that is hardest for me. I don't stress to much about the future, but I do grieive for what has passed. 

    On we trudge. One foot in front of the other. Repeat. Mxxx
  • Tracey_BTracey_B Orbost, VictoriaMember Posts: 1,286
    Sounds pretty normal to me, it is a reaction that anyone diagnosed with cancer feels. Do you have a local cancer support group, where you can access some face yo face support and fellowship ? Also, you may be able to access some govt funded counselling services to confidentially work through your feelings (I think that they fund 5-6 per year, needs a dr referral)
    Hoping that this helps xxx
    Cuddles, Trace
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,434
    @TripleTea and @kmakm In January I could finally say after 18 months that I've gone into natural menopause.  I often felt as if my body was going through the motions of menstruation without any result other than a couple of episodes 12 months before so I don't think it's strange that the drugs could mimic that.

    @zoffiel Those bandicoots do get around, don't they? 
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