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Picture of Topic After cancer treatment


Topic After cancer treatment

Finished treatment? Trying to find a new normal or perhaps feeling a bit lost and anxious - share experiences and practical tips with other members and the online team.

  • 42 conversations

Anxious and lost

Started by Anonymous on 15 August 2017 at 16:35
Edited on 15 August 2017 at 16:39

I am coming up to all my 12 month milestones now and getting more and more anxious all the time.  I coped with all the treatment really well and the last 9 months have been good.  I worked throughout the treatment and only had an enforced 4 week off sick after my operation.  Now I feel anxious and feel I am beginning to panic about everything.  Maybe it's having to cope with the new normal, being tired easier, skin being horrendous, hair growing shockingly bad.  Or maybe the fact my daughter is going to start school in September and I'm starting to realise I can't have anymore children.  I hate feeling so scared over things, I shake and feel like I'm having panic attacks more frequently.  I was fine through out the treatment as I had an end goal, now I barely see any of the cancer treatment team, my friends and family don't know how it feels and think I should be over it now and back to normal.  I was never a very social person due to a difficult childhood and now I prefer to stay home or will only go out with my Husband or daughter.  Some days I wish I could stay in bed, but get up for my daughter.  My husband is out a lot with work and other social activities with his friends.  I should be grateful I am still here as it was a very invasive, quick growing cancer which was caught really early.  Instead I find myself thinking what if I hadn't found the lump, what if the treatment hadn't worked, what am I supposed to feel like now.  It seems to have come on really suddenly and I can cry at the slightest thing.  At a loss as to what I can do to feel better about myself and make me feel better with everything else that is going on around me.

Comments (2)

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    16 August 2017 at 10:06
    Edited on: 16 August 2017 at 11:27


    Reading your message today, I can see what a lot you've been through in the last year - a huge amount to process, with a cancer diagnosis and a long spell of treatment.

    You're not alone in how you feel - although it may seem that way. Many people tell us that once they've finished treatment, and particularly as the first anniversary looms, that they feel anxious. There can also be a loss of confidence in the future - once treatment finishes and hospital visits lessen.

    For several months you'd had a new temporary routine to follow - very focused on treating your fast growing but early breast cancer. Classicly, you coped really well whilst all this was going on...and now it's finished, the brakes are off emotionally. You may just be beginning to process the enormity of what you've been through, the natural fears of what the future holds, and a good deal of 'what if's'.

    It's a well recognised psychological 'dip' that many people experience. So much so, that there are courses in our Maggie's Centres, to help people move forward post treatment - taking control back in your life after cancer. 'Where now?' runs over seven weeks, and it offers skills and techniques to support you through this transition period and beyond.

    There's also a good book that our online visitors have found helpful - The Cancer Survivor's companion: practical ways to cope with your feelings after cancer (2013) by Dr Frances Lockhart and Lucy Atkins.

    I wondered if you felt able to visit your GP, and speak about how you're feeling with your panic attacks. Whilst they sound a natural consequence of what is going through, especially as the anniversary nears...he/she may also be able to refer you for some counselling.

    You've got a lot going've been through lots of losses. Losses of your old life, temporary loss of your hair condition and skin texture, and loss of the prospect of more children, and changes with your daughter about to start preschool.

    There are other online visitors who will recognise what you're going through, and they would be welcome to comment. Hearing from others who have been where you are today, can help make things feel more managable.

    You mention that friends and family don't know how it feels - and sometimes that may be because they think that now the treatment's finished - all should be well. If you feel able to, explain to those closest to you, about how you feel (you've described it so well in your conversation post).

    If you're near a Maggie's Centre, you'd be welcome to visit, and talk with the team there about how things are - there'll be practical support, and the chance to feel supported, through this difficult one year anniversary...

    Finally, Robyn and I are always availabe to message your thoughts to, and can offer online support and encouragement,

    Warm wishes


  • From Anonymous
    18 August 2017 at 13:46

    I felt so much better putting it into words on paper.  I haven't had a panic since and seem to be able to rationalise it all again.  I will make an appointment to see my doctor and continue to make progress.  I didn't come on here yesterday as it was 12 months since my operation, I just continued as normal and got through it.  Thank you so much for your comments, it helped me get through a difficult day.


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