Living in fear !
edited June 2020 in General discussion
new to all this as I thought I could cope on my own .. rookie mistake !
new to all this as I thought I could cope on my own .. rookie mistake !
I was diagnosed July last year early stage breast cancer. I had Radiation and just got on with life I felt blessed that it had been caught early .. but 7 months down the track I’m finding I keep worrying about it coming back and cry at silly things now .. is this normal and how do I stop the morbid thoughts .. thank you in advance for any suggestions
It's perfectly normal and absolutely exasperating @Maudelicious. These things weigh on our minds, regardless of any reassurances that everything will be just peachy from now on.
If you find you are really struggling to the point you feel like you are falling -- rather than stumbling -- get thee to an appropriate mental health professional. Your GP can refer you and give you 5 subsided visits, which don't all have to be for the one practice. It may take 4 test drives to find someone who seems more stable than you are, but even that can be helpful. Mxx5
Thank you @Zoffiel .. for your kind input. Very appreciated. x2
Welcome to the blog, @Maudelicious - I think that many of us initially think we can do it 'on our own' .... and pretty quickly realise that it is as much a mental battle as a physical one, with surgery & followup active treatment.
You are coming up to your 1st year anniversary, so will no doubt be seeing your surgeon again, then your Rad Onc as well ...... it all brings back that initial 'shock' of diagnosis & the whirlwind of treatment that comes after that.
It is totally normal (almost expected) to fear recurrence & wonder 'what if' .... but if it is impacting your life, it is really important to seek professional help. BCNA has a help line that you can ring during work hours 1800500258 and they may be abe to help you with coping mechanisms or point you in the right direction, relative to where you live. Other links that may help on the site are here:
Many members see psychologists/psychiatrists as well - your GP will be able to help you with a referral. There is NO stigma attached to getting assistance to reduce the impact that Breast Cancer has on our lives.
If you add your 'city/town' to your profile information - others may be able to help with services in your area as well.
The Otis Foundation https://www.otisfoundation.org.au/ offers free retreats to those with Breast Cancer once their active treatment has finished - the Virus has affected it somewhat, but well worth contacting them & seeing if there is a retreat available sometime soon for a special 'holiday treat' for you and your family and/or friends. Some of the retreats are in some of the most beautiful areas & is good for the soul.
I am lucky & have a couple of brilliant hobbies that keeps me pretty busy most of the time - so keeping 'busy' is a great way of driving negative thoughts from the mind. In normal situations, even volunteering at Nursing Homes, hospitals etc can be a very cathartic effect as well, helping those who are in even more need of help. Just now, tho, most volunteering actiities have been suspended for the foreseeable future, due to the virus.
Joining a new group - even online - be it craft, cooking, knitting - or checking out our own craft area can be a lot of fun too.
I hope that you are able to get a hold of these negative thoughts & boot them out the door - and start enjoying your life again xx
take care, and all the best xx2
@Maudelicious, the Cancer Council also offers Breast Cancer counselling. I started there with one on one sessions. They give you five free straight up, but off course currently this is by phone, not in person. It was very helpful for me.2
Thank you @arpie .. that info was really helpful .. I think I have held it all in for a long time and yes the looming breast check has started a chain reaction .. I have often thought about calling the BCNA help line but always felt my worries were small compared to others .. but now realise I probably need to call them
Thank You xx3
Thank you @Zoebella.. if I don’t pick up mentally wise that’s my second choice .. it’s frustrating as I’m normally a shrug things off kinda girl ..
many thanks x1
Feel free to vent or put up anything that you like here, @Maudelicious - cos we all 'get it', cos we've all been thru it.
Sadly, many friends/family think that once you are over your 'active treatment' - that you are just FINE! I don't believe that it is malicious - they just don't know any better! They don't realise that the anniversaries and yearly scans/mammograms bring it all back. I've had 2 callbacks since my surgery in Jan 2018 ..... and both times, I was almost soiling my pants with worry - but the family (siblings) didn't have a clue how to react!
Thank you @arpie. Yes it’s been interesting how friends have sort of forgotten now that “I’m fine!” And all back to normal ! I told a girlfriend the other day I was sad a lot lately (so not like me ) she said I needed to get out more 😂😂 did make me smile.I feel sick thinking about my up and coming mammogram in July so I’m hearin ya on the callbacks .. I hope your ok and getting through it all ..😊
I think I’m still spinning around at the moment ..
but feel better that I’ve made the first step to chat about it all by joining the group .. 😀5
I'm fine for 99% of the time, thanks @Maudelicious - but come Oct when I have my MG & US - I know that I will also be 'jumpy' again!!
Deep Breaths .... you'll be right!1
Counselling can help a great deal. It’s very early days yet so see how you go, but cancer can dredge up all sorts of issues we haven’t really grasped. Including the fact that, even with an early diagnosis and a great prognosis, we’ve just had a brush with something unexpected that could kill. Most of us remain significantly untrained in things that matter (relationships, parenting, death) and it’s quite amazing that we handle many of them pretty well. But talking through deep seated issues with a trained ‘outsider’, allows you to raise things you may never do with a family member or even a friend. As @Zoffiel says, you may have to shop around a bit to get the right person for you, but if the blues persist, it’s a good idea. Best wishes.1
@Afraser thank you I feel a lot better already with the lovely responses I have received .. it’s good to be able to ask and someone knows where your coming from 😊 I think I barrelled through mine thinking I can do this solo but now it’s unravelling a little .. lol
take care too x3
A little unravel is to be expected, I think we sometimes assume we have to do everything solo. We wouldn’t avoid going to a doctor for a physical pain in the belief that we had to sort it out for ourself. Emotional pains are really much the same. Best wishes.4
Yes it’s certainly all a learning curve @Afraser 😊0
The very difficult thing with dealing with your fears I think is not being able to really share with the people you love and who want to support you because you don’t want them to know. I am in a near constant state of worry and turmoil some days and most nights but I don’t want my husband or siblings or parents to know because it would worry them so much. Having a councillor who doesn’t know and love us would be a big help I think - to pour it all out to and put those fears into words and be heard by someone whose heart won’t break for us. I haven’t found one yet but I know I need to start looking. I hope you find some help too xx4
@ddon, you have 'nailed' one of the reasons why many do not seek a therapist or counselor in time of emotional/mental stress - 'to be heard by someone whose heart won't break for us'. Yes! During those first few 'my head is spinning' weeks of diagnosis I found myself consoling a close friend as she sobbed on my shoulder. Since then I have had no hesitation in phoning a counselor - I always feel more 'put together' and calm.
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