Where did my gratitude go? I swear I left it right here somewhere...

can anyone relate to that feeling of getting through a bloody battle of all the treatment, the horror, the fight, and then that awesome feeling of sheer happy gratitude after it’s over?

and you wanted to grab everyone and hug them and swore you’d never let a single second go by without being thrilled to be alive and not sick?

and you were going to live an amazing productive love filled life embracing everything because you knew how fragile life can be?

yeah. I’ve lost that. I’m depressed and wondering where the [email protected]&! did all of my pure gratitude and excitement go? I’m so angry at myself for being like this after fighting so hard to make it through. 

Has as anyone else found they just don’t have that spirit of gladness in everyday life anymore, that cancer stripped away your spark and you’ll never get it back and care about anything ever again? 
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Comments

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 2,646
    Try not to be too hard on yourself, @Summer Prevails  - everyone reacts differently to every situation ..... I hope you DO find that Joy of Life again ..... it may just take a little while .... 

    I think we all have our ups & downs - and hopefully the 'downs' aren't too long.  :( 

    Do you have a favourite hobby or past time that you can get back 'in to' - or want to try something 'new', for something different?

    Can you go away for a few days just for a 'break' - get away from the 'same old, same old'?

    All the best - take care xx


  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,711
    It can make you really grumpy.  It's like being in a perpetual queue; waiting, waiting, waiting then finding you've got to the front of the line only to find the checkout has closed or you've forgotten something you can't leave without. Back to the beginning. There are many reasons we don't want this disease. Mxx
  • beccabeccabeccabecca Member Posts: 71
    @Summer Prevails 
    Hi, I can totally relate to what you are going through. So sorry you are also having a bad time.
    I had my 4th surgery a month ago, it didn't go to plan & now I might have another in 6 months. I'm probably at my lowest point through all treatment. My emotions are all over the place, sad, angry & not much joy & no real interest in much. But I am also tired & lethargic a lot. Things I enjoyed before diagnosis 18months ago don't interest me now. & I think the worst thing is that people expect you to be the person you were before treatment, they just don't understand. Find someone to talk to who can maybe help you through this tough time, probably outside friends or family, that's what i'm going to try, may not help. Best of luck! 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,014
    You've pretty much described how I've been feeling all week. There's no spark, no joy. I just can't see the point. I feel sad at a deep soul level. I'm faking almost every interaction I have. It's two months since my double mastectomy & recon, and three and a half since chemo. I feel so, so tired. My body aches, my sleep is constantly broken and I'm struggling to find motivation. I knew this time was going to be difficult for me so I made a list of things that could help me through. I stare at that list now and think how can I possibly make this work? It's the school holidays and I'm on full time kid patrol. I've got the energy to do about one thing a day on top of the necessary cooking & housework. And that almost always goes to a child.

    It's not entirely bleak. I like to see a few friends, tv shows can make me laugh, and there are some things on the horizon that I'm looking forward to. But day to day, most of the time I am dull and flat. I feel like I've had the stuffing knocked out of me. The stuffing that was 'me' has gone.

    So yes @Summer Prevails, I can relate.
  • Annie CAnnie C Member Posts: 527
    Yes @Summer Prevails I can relate to what you are feeling. I have lost my "joy of life". Days pass by and I sometimes wonder what I have done. Things do not seem to go right. 

    The inside of my gate is far more appealing than the outside. Yet I make myself go into town to "meet and greet".

    I have changed. I no longer plan anything just in case I have to change or drop my plans. Past events tend to be placed into before BC or post BC. 

    Prior to BC my life was how I wanted it to be, ordered and controlled. On June 29, 2017 my world shifted on its axis and tipped me off. When I picked myself up and dusted myself off I found that I did not view the world as quite so friendly. Something had changed and that something for me was my idea of control. I had lost control of my life. Life was not going how I planned it. 

    I now plod through life whereas prior to BC I skipped. Am I happy?  Well at the end of each day when I close my eyes I tell myself that I am glad that I am still here.

    In order to find that joy of life again, I pick an activity for the day that I enjoyed and get stuck into it. Just one each day.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,014
    @Annie C When friends ask me how I am I say "plodding on". It's a good word to describe this state of being.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,951
    I'm not at the end of treatment, just trying to get through chemo, and can totally relate.  True moments of joy are few and far between and I'm struggling.  I have no motivation to do anything and care less.  The strongest emotion I've felt recently was yesterday was when I dropped my sick leave form in to work and popped into my office to say hello.  The woman who is replacing me at the moment (who is lovely) was sitting in my chair with my trolley filled with the new books I should have been selecting (just as she should be) and I wanted to push her over and take my trolley back - how bloody childish can you be?  I went back home, took my anti-nausea drugs and slept for 2 hours.
  • Annie CAnnie C Member Posts: 527
    @Sister I have completed treatment and am now in the "monitoring" stage. Me being me I probably would have pushed your replacement off the chair and reclaimed it.

    A week ago was my first 12 month scans. And so the long journey(2,300 km) to Perth and back was once again the highlight of that week. That's a highlight!?!

    I had a cold heart stopping moment when the mammogram operator said that the doctor wanted magnified views of Miss Lefty Pinky.

    I had a "here we go again" thought when an ultrasound was required and I had a teary moment when the sonographer called in the head of radiology for a second ultrasound.  The only good thing about it all was that the good folk at Fiona Stanley Hospital did the scans and results all in one day because of the distance we had travelled.  No anxious waiting.

    All I could think of at the time was "bugger there goes the Plan B conference and Field of Women in Melbourne". (Can't wait @kmakm ).  Just like last year when I had a trip to New Zealand which had to be cancelled.

    However at this stage areas of concern are to be "monitored" with my next visit in 6 months. So Melbourne in August here I come. That's the plan.

    @kmakm   yep I plod. I used to be someone who literally skipped and ran through my day, now I plod. When people ask me how I am I just say "I am doing well". After all that's what you are expected to say.

    Breast cancer certainly stomped all over my "joie de vivre". Bugger it.

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 2,646
    edited June 2018
    @kmakm   @Sister  @beccabecca    @Zoffiel
    I wish I could drop in on you all and give you a big hug - and maybe get you to sing along with me on my uke!  :(  This thing is SUCH A BITCH!  And it comes with lots of bite.  :(

    @Annie C  ... my heart goes out to you too & I include you in the group above for a big hug.  Like you, I've found another lump in my other boob but being rural, the earliest I can get it checked out is July 9 up at Port Mac (where my Rad Onc wants me to 'be done' from now on, as she has such faith in them - vs the MG & US in Taree in Dec - neither of which picked up either of my first tumours.) Maybe I should ask for an MRI for some peace of mind?  .... so that 'wait' is happening - yet again!   I am hoping it is just a cyst (again!) - the lumps that I HAD felt (that took me off to my Dr) didn't worry my wonderful GP - it was the small one just below the nipple that I HADN'T felt that she is most concerned about, as she hadn't felt it in Nov/Dec.  My right boob one was a small one just above the nipple!  grrrr   So I hope my procedures are as thorough as yours, annoying & upsetting tho they are!  And guaranteed, they won't tell me straight away!  :( It will be days before the report is sent thru to my GP

    I am lucky - My uke group really DOES keep me motivated - they told me that they'd fold if I wasn't there .... so I HAVE to go, twice a week!! LOL Once I arrive - my mind just clears of everything except my uke in hand!  ;)   Shame we can't attach music files here - I've done an arrangement of Moscow in Midnight (for Ukulele instead of Trumpet!!) and it sounds terrific!!   I'd love you to hear it!   :wink:  

    Take care, my love to all you lovely ladies xxx


  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,125
    .Completely normal. I remember posting a similar thing after I finished treatment.

      I think while going through this you have so many goal posts.  Just get through the surgery, just get through chemo, just get through radiation.  We expend so much energy just getting to those goals then bam...thanks for coming and we'll see you in three months, 6  months,12 months. No more goal posts to chase.

    I think most people go through the"I'm going to do something amazing and worthwhile after this" feeling.  Then life slowly drifts back to the day to day grind of work, home and trying to decipher what the hell just happened.

    Your family realizes your probably not going to drop off the perch any time soon and you are just back to normal mum, wife whatever.

    If you are on HT you realize that treatment is going to go on for a very long time and have to adjust to that somewhat as well or get pissed of at it like I do...grr

    Personally, I try to take notice of things now that once I wouldn't have given a second glance.  The clouds, the sky, the wind in the trees, the sound of the birds etc.  Now I am no, sit on top of a mountain and discover myself, kind of person so it does take and effort to be somewhat more observant, in the moment,  grounded....not sure what the right terminology is LOl

    It does make me stop for a minute and appreciate the fact that I am still here and be thankful I found that stinky thing when I did.

    The second thing I try to do is say "yes" to invitations and trying new things.  Once upon a time I would have been too busy, too scared, couldn't be bothered.  I am in the habit now of saying yes before I even think about it now.  

    If I get a bit ho hum,  I go fix something or paint something, play (if that's what you can call it) my guitar, anything to distract my brain from itself. I find that works well for me.  I took a lot of photos of the things I did through treatment and made a video of all the good times I had along the way.  I found that helpful as well.  

    You don't have to be bouncing off the walls every day, don't be angry with yourself.  There is no place for guilt in this.   It will get better though and you will find your own way back to you.  xoxoxoxo




  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 2,646
    @Annie C
    Good on you for giving Violin a go!!  Personally, i reckon Uke is MUCH easier!  ;)   One of my group plays violin & we had her play a solo verse of Danny Boy recently for our gigs - as well as us singing & playing - it was just awesome!!   When you are confident enough - you could do the same!  :)  hehe, I've 'tried' violin - and it was VERY squeaky!  :( 

    I couldn't run round the block to save my life - Keith does that!!  I kayak fish & play uke!  :)   GOOD ON YOU for getting back into your sewing & craft making!  Do you have any pics of what you make?  I'd love to see them!

    If you save a document as a JPEG - you should be able to post it!!  :) 

    Take care xx
  • Summer PrevailsSummer Prevails Member Posts: 79
    I just kind of wish I was dead. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,014
    I get that too Summer P. I have had that thought from time to time. I don't really wish I was dead, but sometimes the pain is so great that the cessation of it appeals.

    If you feel these thoughts are starting to overwhelm you, you need to speak to someone irl about it asap. I am massively down in the dumps at the moment. Everything seems so fricking pointless that I can't even bring myself to talk to my psychologist. However I've recognised that I really need to, so come Monday morning I'm calling for an appointment.

    My psychologist told me that 50% of women who get breast cancer also have a bout of depression and that this usually occurs when active treatment has finished. She also told me that so similar is the psychological response to a diagnosis of breast cancer to PTSD, that they're studying if treatment methods of the latter would be useful in BC. So don't beat yourself up for feeling like crap. Well try not to anyway. I know it's hard...

    Do you have a counsellor? It sounds like now would be the time to see them. Did you have a good breastcare nurse? You could always give her a call. There's the Cancer Council helpline on 13 11 20, and the BCNA helpline on 1800 500 258. Ring them.

    Don't suffer this alone, no matter how alone you feel. There are many of us who feel the same. You have to hang in there, I have to hang in there. Those who have been before us tell us it passes. May that day be here soon. Deep breaths and a big hug. Kate xox
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