DCIS and no radiotherapy required (yay!) - but still feeling emotional post-surgery

CGuy16CGuy16 Member Posts: 3
Hi all you amazing women.
I had a diagnosis of Intermediate Grade 2 DCIS just before Christmas, and now, three weeks after breast-conserving surgery, I've had the most fabulous news that I don't need radiotherapy, and simply to follow up annually for the next 10 years. I am absolutely blessed.
I feel incredibly grateful and fortunate, as I simply need to focus on the rest of my recuperation from surgery, and then I'm done.

What I'm not really understanding is why I feel so emotional about it all. I couldn't have wished for a better result - and yet I still feel quite flat and blue, almost as though I'm being 'ungrateful' sometimes (because the results could have been quite different). I just don't get it.

My life is a little Topsy-Turvy at the moment - I had to come back interstate to stay with family for the surgery - as I've chosen to live a 'gypsy' lifestyle for the last 3 years, so have no fixed address (by choice), but my lovely sister-in-law has been an absolute godsend to me.
I had to cancel seasonal work I had planned in Queensland because of the timing of the surgery, so currently have no work lined up (however I'm sure I'll find something in the coming months).
And I'm currently choosing to house-sit here and there, simply to get a little space (as much as I love my family, I also need 'me-time').

I feel as though I'm being ungrateful, because, compared to even three weeks ago, my life is already better,
So maybe there's a few things going on outside of my wellness journey, but I realise - if that's the worst of my problems - then I should just get over myself.
I just don't know how to shake this flat feeling, whether it's normal for something like DCIS? (especially when compared to what so many other woman have gone / are going through), and whether it's something that will simply go with time?

If anyone else has experienced something similar, I'd love to hear from you
Thanks for listening.
Take care. x
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Comments

  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,002
    Hi @CGuy16 , and welcome to the club that none of us volunteered to join. Here you'll find a bunch of supportive women and men,  always willing to listen and help. 

    I think you'll find we've all felt something similar when we come to the end of active treatment, be that surgery only, as in your case, or the trifecta of treatment as in other situations. No matter which end of the spectrum, you've still heard a form of the words "you have cancer". Your world has been turned on end physically and emotionally, and your focus for recent months has just been to get through, and now, suddenly,  treatment is over. There's no comparing one person's path as harder than another, it's just what we've each had to do to give ourselves the best chance of long term survival. Your "flat" feeling is not uncommon. Give yourself time to heal physically. The emotional scars will take a little longer.

    There is always friendship and support here, and there is also the BCNA helpline, whose number, of course, escapes me
  • Riki_BCNARiki_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 203
    Hello and welcome @CGuy16 the emotional toll of DCIS can also be unexpectedly quite high. BCNAs myjourney online tool has information for people with DCIS that you might find helpful
    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/resources/my-journey-online-tool/
    The BCNA helpline 1800 500 258 is also available for you Monday to Friday with cancer nurses on the phone to speak to for information and support.Take care of you.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 6,869
    Hi @CGuy16. It's unexpectedly complex isn't it? Don't discount the impact of knowing your body has 'betrayed' you in a particularly serious way. No matter when it is that you catch a cancer, hearing that word is a shock. It's just not the same as needing say, a knee reconstruction.

    Be kind and gentle with yourself. Your emotions need time to catch up with what's happened to your body. Take a breather, reconnect with what has meaning for you, be present.

    If you find you get stuck in this flatness, you might like to see a counsellor to talk things through.

    It's really common to feel the way you do, but it will pass. Big hug, K xox
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,877
    You've had a helluva shock and now gone through surgery.  Your world has been turned upside down and your body is not as reliable as you thought it was.  Take some time and space to get your head around this and perhaps try to touch base with a counsellor who understands cancer.
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 VicMember Posts: 944
    Hi @CGuy16 I agree with all the above. The shock we receive when part of our bodies turn against us is overwhelming. Unfortunately, feeling flat seems part of the package deal. Big hugs
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,877
    That must be what I'm doing right @Blossom1961 - I'm only half flat.  Okay...silly joke...  Seriously @CGuy16 , this crap is a rollercoaster of emotions - sometimes all you can do is hang on.
  • JusttoomuchJusttoomuch Member Posts: 9
    [email protected] 5 years ago I had surgery for DCIS. Same as you I didn't need radiation. I was given Tamoxifen and off I went. As some side effects started I turned to the net for answers. There were none. DCIS is called pre-stage here. I had all the same symptoms as any other person on Tamoxifen but like you I felt I had no right to the emotions I had. No matter what stage or number or name your cancer has you have the right to be sad, angry, upset. It is a big deal. Your journey is just that....YOURS.  So be kind and patient with yourself. Allow your mind to take its time to wrap around what has happened. 
  • CGuy16CGuy16 Member Posts: 3
    JulieVT11
    Thanks so much for sharing your story Julie, you've been through so much, and still the journey continues. I agree - that as well as getting over the physical healing, the emotional recovery is so important. 
    I'm not even 4 weeks post-surgery yet, so a little more physical healing to go for me.
    Like you, as well as 'sharing' and feeling the support from all the  amazing women on this forum, I'm also reaching out and seeing a counsellor to help me along my path forwards.
    So, thanks again for your kind words, and wishing you only good things for your future good health and happiness. As a good friend (breast cancer survivor) told me ... this is simply "a lump in the road" which I'll work through and overcome, even better and stronger than before.
    Take care. x
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