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As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

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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


Started by Anonymous on 20 August 2017 at 16:28

Hello all.  Like many people here, I am currently feeling overwhelmed.  I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer (6 of 26 lymph nodes affected) in Feb this year aged 39. I've had a bowel resection and am half way through 8 cycles of chemo.  I have two young kids, 2 and 7.  This week my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, and they also think she has a serious bowel problem, possibly cancer.  My poor husband is an only child with no other family so supporting her (his dad has passed away) is falling entirely on him.  He's stuck in a job he hates trying to be there for both of us so I don't feel I can really offload to him at the moment.  But I'm really struggling.  I know I'm not stage 4 but I can't shake the feeling that when I am scanned after chemo finishes they will have found it's spread, and then my mind spirals into what that means for us and for my children.  I'm finding the chemo hard physically (although I know my side effects could be a lot worse), but mentally I just can't pick myself up at the moment.  It seems like such a long slog.  I got put on the waiting list for counselling at diagnosis, but am still waiting, and am not sure where else to go.  We couldn't afford private counselling at the moment. I'm lucky to have lots of supportive friends and lots of help (mostly paid!) with the kids.  But I feel like everyone is always saying how strong and amazing I am - if they only knew how I am crumbling inside they wouldn't say that....

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    21 August 2017 at 12:43
    Edited on: 21 August 2017 at 15:50


    This sounds a great deal to be going through - both as a family, and for you individually. Your mum-in-law's diagnosis, on top of everything else, may make you feel 'whatever else can go wrong?'...

    You're perhaps feeling you have to be strong for everyone around you, even though you've got the intensity of the cancer and chemo going on for you too. Keith is right're doing really well, in challenging circumstances. You're only human, and feeling vulnerable about your own future...wondering about whether the treatment is working, and thinking about all the 'what if's'.

    Chemotherapy is a long slog, as you wisely said...and on top of everything else that is going on, may be adding to how you're feeling emotionally.

    If you're able to get to one of our Maggie's Centres, there's one to one support, as well as the chance to meet others in a similar position. Your husband would be welcome can come in together or separately. Simply knowing that much of what you're feeling is normal, and learning strategies to manage stress and anxiety can help.

    You can also message Robyn and myself anytime, writing stuff down can clear the head - and you may have thoughts, feelings and conversations whirling in your brain that you need to explore...

    Warm wishes


  • From Anonymous
    20 August 2017 at 21:50

    I have the same fear as you. I was diagnosed as stage 3, but it took 11 weeks after my bone scan before receiving the biopsy results and then the start of treatment. Every odd pain makes me think it's spread. I know it's very difficult, but I think it's best to assume everything is OK unless proven otherwise i.e. keep thinking positively.

    This cancer trip is definitely a long slog, which perhaps is not such a bad thing. I'm 1yr in and expecting to get the results of my radiotherapy in the next week or two. Anxious times.

    Regarding counselling, can you get to a Maggie's centre, or a Macmillan one? I've found Maggie's really helpful, even without specific counselling. Just talking to staff and visitors there can be very helpful.

    Finally, don't beat yourself up - you're doing amazing! I can't imagine having to cope with everything that you are, but don't keep it bottled up. Seek help wherever you can.

    All The Best


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