Afraid to finish chemo

ddonddon Member Posts: 82
edited March 13 in General discussion
This will sound crazy but with 7 taxol to go - 4 dose dense AC and 5 taxol behind- I am afraid to finish. People say to me ‘you must be just wanting it over’ and I can’t explain that actually I don’t. Firstly, I feel kind of like I am in a bubble of relative safety. Wherever those cancer cells have landed, at least while this stuff is circulating it is stopping them from actively growing. Fingers crossed even killing some. As soon as I am on my own the fear will really kick in. 
Secondly, I don’t wish any days/weeks away. I don’t know how much life I have left to live and I don’t want to be rushing through slabs of it wanting it over. I try to find joy in every day. This is the only one I am sure of. 
This chemo has been miserable in many ways as everyone knows but still mentally I feel safe and so I am afraid for it to end. 
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Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,778
    Most people have experienced this feeling - it’s powerful to feel you are doing something. But your body also needs to get over the licking chemo
    is giving all of your body, including all the healthy parts, otherwise other problems may arise. Try and see it as a health building period - healthy foods, exercise, yoga or meditation so that you are still actively helping your body. Taking each day as a gift is a great way of looking at life, as no one knows how much time they have. Best wishes. 

  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,411
    That's pretty normal @ddon.  Sometimes it kicks in just after you finish which is a surprise. For you it's a bit earlier.  I totally agree with not wishing days away, however, I can't say I felt that way about chemo though  xoxo
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,866
    @ddon I wanted chemo to finish but I felt very low. Friends said the same things to me as yours have. My family said nothing, there was no celebration cake, card, balloons or flowers. It's a very difficult time for many.

    Have you got a counsellor? If not I would suggest getting an appointment with one now, and setting it for as soon as you feel you can manage it.

    A survivorship plan is a good idea and a great help to move through this period. Talk to your GP about a care plan. You'll get five subsidised allied health visits. Talk to the member of your team with whom you feel comfortable.

    Many public hospitals run oncology rehab programmes,  which are exercise and education. It was the first thing I did and it was excellent. But there are waiting lists, so get onto it now.

    If you need help with your diet, get a referral to a dietician. Etc! Having a plan can help tremendously to feel in control after a lengthy period of actually being quite passive when things are done 'to' you.

    Like everything else this feeling will pass. It is horrible though, I do remember. So I'm sending you a big virtual hug lovely. K xox
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 82
    Thank you all for your replies. I know that outside of this space no-one really understands how much this messes with the mind. I feel like the person that I was is gone forever and I am trying to navigate this new life but be the ‘same’ for my kids and family. I thought I was doing ok until last week I found a large lump under my arm mastectomy side and waited a week in fear for the ultrasound which found a seroma. It was hugely stressful and just brought home to me that from now on for the rest of my life there will be scans and tests and terror. So down I went again - how do I get through that?  
    You are right kmakm - I think a councillor will be needed because although I have huge support from my husband and parents and siblings, there are many fears I don’t want to burden them with. I need to keep positive on the outside for their sake, especially my husband who is struggling enough. 
    And taking care of my poor battered body Afraser at the end of this will help me feel like there’s something I can do for myself. Fortunately my relatively young and otherwise healthy body has handled it all pretty well so far although I will probably be on beta blockers for the foreseeable future because the AC did muck my heart electrics around. 
    Thank you all for your words of understanding and reassurance xx
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 82

    I am booked in for a rehab/ exercise program after rads thanks to my wonderful breast care nurse. I am looking forward to that. 
  • PV123PV123 Member Posts: 96
    I totally get what you are feeling @ddon.  I have finished chemo but still have 6 months of Herceptin to go through.  I too have worries about the future, my husband keeps reminding me “Don’t spoil the present worrying about the future”.  I try and keep this in mind, it doesn’t always work but I keep trying.
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 165
    I get it too....but I just agree with Afraser that no one knows how much time they have got, and I don’t want to spend my time worrying or feeling sad. I try and find some joy each day ....One day at a time my friend.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,778
    I got the heart electrical fault problem too. Seven years on, who cares about taking beta blockers! Happy to do so as I am just fine (and on holiday!). Things get into perspective as you get further away from diagnosis (although the lump under the arm is a shocker - I already had a seroma and got a schwannoma as well!). All benign, all well now. Try and take things one at a time if you can. 
  • BeaglemumBeaglemum Member Posts: 16
    Hi @ddon totally understand your feelings - I finished chemo in Jan and had my last radiotherapy on Thursday - so everyone is saying " great - congratulations, etc!"  and I  don't know what i think - thought I would be relieved to get to the end of active treatment, thought I'd been coping well (or reasonably well) - but then on Wednesday - one day before finishing had a total melt down - couldn't stop crying over nothing (and unfortunately was at work which made it worse).
    Went home - cried to my husband who was very sympathetic as usual  - but as we all know if you haven't been through it, its very difficult to understand what goes through our minds.
    Best thing I can say is I went on Thursday - had my last session and then on Friday went back to work with happy face and much happier heart - felt really positive - so hope that lasts.  
    Take care you will get through those last few treatments and none of us know what the future holds  (as I write this I have Doris Day singing Que Sera Sera - whatever will be - will be - going through my head)
    Happy thoughts and wishes to you  xx

  • ddonddon Member Posts: 82
    Thank you all. I know this is the place where I feel understood. These teary sessions that I don’t exactly have a reason for, and the hours laying awake at night and the complete inability to make future plans because I don’t know if I will be back having treatment or just not here at all.  This is a wonderful place of support and kindness. 
  • Katy_SodapopKaty_Sodapop Member Posts: 23
    I would have to say the scariest part of having treatment was finishing up my active treatment of chemo & radiation. Even though I was having monthly injections & monthly oncologist appointments...its not the same as having treatment that you know is actively killing cancers butt. It's a scary time and literally everyone else is like yay it's over & they put it behind then but there's no way we can and so we're almost expected to "get over it" 

    I like kmakm thoughts around having other plans, something that gives us structure like treatment did. 
    Counselling - especially around grief & loss 
    Massage 
    Exercise
    Nutrition
    Learning/keeping up with BC news
    Support groups 
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 82
    Thank you - I think I will have to make some plans on structured things to be doing when treatment is over. I do worry about the expectation from others that treatment is over and now life goes back to normal but people don’t understand the toll it all takes physically and emotionally. 
  • Katy_SodapopKaty_Sodapop Member Posts: 23
    ddon said:
    Thank you - I think I will have to make some plans on structured things to be doing when treatment is over. I do worry about the expectation from others that treatment is over and now life goes back to normal but people don’t understand the toll it all takes physically and emotionally. 
    Absolutely, I'm 5 years on from chemo & radiation. Still on long term meds that have continued to mess with my body and life's plans. I'm just a lot more assertive, if people throw me any grief or question why you're still struggling. I say I'm still doing treatment and doing it tough 
    I've become better at knowing what I can and can't control and I definitely can't control others expectations or actions 
  • Shellshocked2018_Shellshocked2018_ Fleurieu Peninsula , SAMember Posts: 194
    Hi ddon, 
    Know exactly where you’re coming from.
    I finished chemotherapy last July and Radiotherapy last October.
    I like you was very anxious and felt like my safety net had been taken away from me, like you I thought whilst this evil stuff is being pumped through me I’m going to be ok.

    Im now 6 months post Chemotherapy and feeling better all the time, Had first mammogram in December had the all clear after diagnosis and treatment.
    I felt much better after the first check up.
    Keep yourself busy with things you love to do, stay around positive people, I’m finding even now that meditation is helping me enormously.
    Speaking with a therapist is an excellent idea, as like you I don’t want to burden my family with more.
    Talking here is also a great way to express your feelings as we understand.
    If you want to pm me we can also speak privately as I’m not that far in front of you and have just recently been through those emotions.
    Stay positive as it does get better, give yourself time to adjust it does get easier.
    Stay in contact with your BC nurse, you are never alone.

    Sending hugs xx

  • ddonddon Member Posts: 82
    Thank you shell shocked. How do I pm you? Would love someone to communicate with because I don’t know anyone going thru this or anyone who has been thru it recently. 
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