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Picture of Topic  'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions


Topic 'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions

Share how you are feeling and swap tips for managing stress with other members and the online team

  • 186 conversations

No motivation following treatment

Started by Anonymous on 17 November 2015 at 14:00


this is my first visit to the site and my first post. I was diagnosed with Primary Breast Cancer in Feb and have undergone chemotherapy, lumpectomy (and one lymph node removal) and radiotherapy. My treatment has finished now. I worked throughout my treatment until I had surgery at the end of August and have been off work since then.  I've returned to work this week but have no motivation to do anything either at work or at home. Is this normal? I keep thinking I've become very lazy and would love to shake myself out of it. Can anyone advise please if they've felt this way? Thanks in advance, Mandi

Comments (4)

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  • From Anonymous
    19 November 2015 at 11:41

    Hi Sal,

    thanks so much for your kind words and your encouragement. I chose to work through my treatment like you, to keep some normalcy in my life and I don't think I really thought about what I was going through, I was just taking it an appointment at a time.  I've tried to carry on my life as normal as possible, still going out, still going to the theatre, I even went to my first music festival! But I had to push myself to do it all and now I'm back at work I just don't feel that I want to be there. I'm sure I'll get my mojo back, I guess I just want a bit of a break. Thanks again and I hope you feel better soon too x

  • From Anonymous
    17 November 2015 at 22:10

    Hi Mandi, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2013. Like you I worked through all treatment. My choice, as I wanted things to stay as 'normal' as they could. Two years on and I still have 'issues' with feeling???.....well just not feeling me! I think a lot of it is allowing yourself the time to process everything that you have been through. I know I went through treatment a step at a time, and never really thought about how I was feeling. I've recently changed jobs, and it's only now that I have found that I, like you lack motivation and more to the point, enjoyment! I am struggling to find the 'new' me! Are you on any hormone treatment, I am on Tamoxifen, which has added to my issues. But I can honestly tell you, that I do have days when I feel happy and feel motivated. I think the biggest lesson I have learnt (from Robyn and Sue) is to not put so much pressure on myself to feel, how others expect you to feel. We have been through a lot, and our bodies and minds need time to work through everything! It's still very early days for you, so just take it a day at a time. Wishing you all the best. Sal x

  • From Anonymous
    17 November 2015 at 15:32

    Hi Sue,

    thank you so much for replying and for the detailed answer. I'll definitely take a look at the links you've provided.  Work have been very supportive and it was them that pointed me to Maggies Centres.  I think you're right that it is probably now that it's hitting me because all this year I've just been focussed on getting through the treatment and carrying on as 'normal' as possible.

    Thanks again,


  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    17 November 2015 at 15:21
    Edited on: 17 November 2015 at 15:24

    Hi Mandi,

    It's an awful sensation when you feel you should be upbeat and motivated. Those around you may be expecting you to be leaping with joy, now the cancer diagnosis and treatment are behind you...and is just the time when everything might be hitting home.

    Many people who have finished their treatment will identify with what you describe. The sense that they still feel a bit 'fragmented' by the whole experience, and finding it hard to find normality again.

    The thing is, you've been through a life changing time, on occasions, perhaps, full of fear and uncertainty. It may be you coped by getting on with treatment, and trying to maintain as normal a life as possible during it. You worked through most of your treatment, perhaps from necessity, but also to keep busy and engaged.

    However, your body and mind will have slowly been getting exhausted ...chemotherapy and radiotherapy take their toll, and it can be many months or more, before fatigue levels reduce. Emotionally, you've had lots to deal with, and you're yet to find your new 'normal'.

    It's early days since your return to work...hopefully you're being eased gently back into it, as you'll still be low on energy. What you're feeling is a common feature (if that's any help) of trying to get on with life...when physically and emotionally you may not yet be ready.

    In our Maggie's Centres, you'll see that we run 'Where Now?' courses, giving people the skills to cope with this difficult transition period, post treatment. You may also find this article 'Life after cancer' - from NHS Choices website a helpful read. There's also an excellent book, 'The Cancer Survivor's Companion' by Lucy Atkins and Dr. Frances Goodhart which explains many of the emotions experienced, and how to handle them, managing the psychological and physical features post treatment.

    I also hope that others who have got through this tricky part of recovery will get in touch, to offer encouragement and support...

    Please do get in touch with Robyn or myself if you'd like to talk through anything, or ask any questions...

    Warm wishes


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