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Tips for coping after cancer diagnosis???

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Rachel
Tips for coping after cancer diagnosis???

Hello all,

I wondered from other peoples experience...does having a cancer diagnosis ever get any easier to deal with on a day to day basis?

I was diagnosed with stage 1b on 22nd Dec 2004. I had a Rad hysterectomy in Feb this year, followed by removal of the remaining ovary in July. I now have a surgical menopause and have started HRT.

My question to you ladies is - how do you cope with day to day life? My whole thoughts seem to revolve around cancer and I really feel angry that this has taken over my whole life. I'm scared for the future and although I know that I need to take each day as it comes, I just seem to be overcome with the anxiety of cancer and the fear of recurrance. Every ache and pain I have and I become convinced that it has returned.

I guess that many of you will be able to relate to how I am feeling but, I just wondered if you could share with me any ways which you find enable to you carry on with some normality of life without the cancer ruling your every waking thought???

I can't remember a life before cancer...it seems such a long time ago although in reality it wasn't that long ago. However, I don't want the cancer to rule my every waking thought for the rest of my days. So, how do you move forward and still cope with the reality that the worry of the cancer brings us?

Sorry for rambling on....I guess that I somehow want to start and pick a few threads back up in my life but am not sure if I dare to or even how to go about it!!! Hope that you understand where I am coming from and don't think that I have lost the plot?!? :roll:

Lots of love to you all.

Rachel xx

Radical Hysterectomy, Lymphadectomy and ovary removed in Feb 2005 following cancer diagnosis. Further surgery in July 2005 to remove remaining ovary.

AliN

Hi Rachel

This was me about 5-6 months ago. I could have written exactly what you have done. I think it the whole cancer ruling your life thing really is at its worst at the time you are at now. I felt like I could never concentrate on anything other than having had cancer, I felt like it would always be hanging over my head. One day, probably around June I guess, I noticed that I had been able to concentrate on my work for an hour. Nothing had changed - nothing has changed, I still worry about every ache and pain and I guess there it little you can do with that other than trying to rationalise your risk of your cancer returning - and what that ache and pain is more likely to be.

I can't remember life before cancer particularly, so much has changed. But little by little, without any conscious effort and without much changing, cancer has become easier to cope with. I do think about my cancer often - several times an hour and it is something that makes me now as a person, but it isn't something that I feel so angry or frightened about any more. I can now go to work, concentrate for long periods of time on things other than cancer - it is always there, but in some way it just seems easier - I don't feel like it rules my life - but is a big part of my life and I guess will be for many years to come.

I know in terms of practical tips this isn't useful - and I know when people told me 'it gets easier - you get used to it' i couldn't possibly imagine how - but somehow it has, somehow life has moved on - it isn't as it was before my cancer - lots of things have changed - but cancer isn't the be all and end all any more. I am now 14.5 months post diagnosis and really, after the year mark, things got easier.

Alison xxx

Radical Hysterectomy for 1b cervical cancer September 2004

admin

hi rachel,Firstly THANKS again for your reply i check every day but yours is the only reply up to now :( so sorry to hear you feel the way you do,but i know what you mean as i feel just the same even though my op was only 11wks ago now i still fear the cancer will return,, as you know i also am on HRT which also comes with a worry as my mum has had breaste cancer!I hope you are ok?you can email me anytime if you feel down, also my auntie in america has just sent me a book called SUDDEN MENOPAUSE!!! all about women just like us,i only recieved it yesterday but when i have finished it i will let you know if i think there is any good tips i think might help you, anyway keep strong lots of love lynnxxx :)

onlyme

Hi Rachel,
I often feel just as you are right now, then I feel guilty for not being more grateful then I think...." what, be grateful for having cancer that got treated early", then on other days it doesn't seem to be such a problem as its now a part of who I am and I'm learning to except that now.

I'm taking anti depressants and starting counselling this week, but these are things I felt that I needed (I lost my Mum last september was only getting used to that when this happened) to help me through all of this.

It will never leave us but we will somehow learn to live with it not scaring the hell out of us forever.

I suppose it's just gonna take some time, at the moment I'm trying not to think about my next check up in January and tring to enjoy the time untill it arrives,I'm planning to go O.T.T for christmas this year decorations and lights EVERYWHERE my way of sticking two fingers up

Feel free to e-mail or p.m me anytime ((((((((((big hugs))))))))))

Survivor of 1b1 cervical cancer, Radical Hysterectomy 13th April 2005

Ten years and counting :D

 

juliao

Hi rachel

From your dates I can see your a year behind me. After the rad hyst +++ in feb 2004 life was slow to return.

Daily I would log in here and read and add to the postings.

Little by little I built up my strength and motivation to do more.

I made sure I achieved a little more each day and looked for something positive, as I still do.

Sometimes my achievements were small and barely notiveable to the outside world. but I did it and built up my strngth and stamina to be fit enough for work.

When i was able to walk to the doctors I started counselling and then when fit enough to travel on the train I started an art therapy support group for cancer patients at my local hospital.

My ovaries etc went at the time of the operation and I remeber waking up in what seemed to be one continous sweat. But I beat as will you.
The loss of ovaries will also add to your mood swings and this is you being totally normal.

Some will opt for HRT others cope without - one way is not better than another- hang on in here and post cause there are so many supportive people.

take care

Good Bye all
julia
We will all be winners in our own special way

Im not living with cancer
Im living with a colostomy and urostomy
Im living without my vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, bladder, bowel, anus, rectum and perineum

amanda 26

Hi Rachel
Your post struck a chord with me too.
It's definitely got better for me as time goes on. I have counselling which I find really helpful - though it really depends on finding the right counsellor who doesn't grate. The counselling has helped as an outlet for my rage and fury if nothing else. Those sort of 'negative' emotions need to be expressed but it can be quite hard to show them to friends and family at times. Especially when they think we should be all better now.
I do exactly the same as you with thinking every ache and pain is sinister, and I never go to the loo without fear and thinking 'is this the day when I'll see blood?'. It's horrible, but I think it's entirely normal too after what we've all been through.
I think I've tried to channel my anger into deciding this isn't going to diminish me, and that I'm going to live the best life possible. I feel I was only half-living before anyway, and I'm determined not to drift any more. And have a laugh if possible.
I feel like a strong woman now. We are all strong women on Jo's and should all feel bloody proud of ourselves
Amanda

Caro

Hi Rachel

I understand how you feel.

I was diagnosed last year and had op(radical tralectomy) in Sept 04.
I have had weeks where I have felt great again and really feel like I am moving on. However then I may have some issue - health related. For instance my periods have not returned to normal which completely throws me out of orbit when I get bleeding when my period is not due.
I do attend a support group which has been fab. This offers complementary therapies which have been great for relaxation and improving my sleep patterns. You may want to explore that it your local area.

I recently thought I might stop attending but only the other week I had a stressful week at work (I was counselling everyone and no one at works knows I have had cancer) and also trying to communicate with the hospital and GP(who were messing me around) and I ended up in tears at the group.

I think as the others say it takes time.

Also recently joined a theatre group which I love and it is such good fun. So I have found that for periods of time I forget about the cancer. Also recently acquired a bike which I a busy doing up and got on it yestereday . I felt so happy a bit like a kid really.

I also can not remember a time before cancer. it seems like another lifetime.

Good luck with everything . I hope to you can make it to the Let's Meet day.

Best wishes
Caroline

Caroline

kaz

Dear rachel, so sorry your feeling down, i had a radical hysterectomy when i was 27 ten years ago now, in my experience things have got better i,m having a great life making the most of every day. life is never free from cancer its always in the back of my mind but the good things are at the front now. i work in a hospital so have everyone else to worry about now. im trying very hard to raise awarness for the inportance of cervical smears at the moment so that keeps me busy. doing an event on the 22nd of november. keep your chin up im sure you will start feeling better soon dont let it get you down. xxx love kaz

15 years cancer free,ive won my battle but not yet the war!!

Sue M

Dear Rachel

I'm probably not much help as my cancer dignosis is still very new and I only had my op in September. For the most part I have tried to stay really positive but there are some days like last week where I still can't believe this has happened and feel it is very unfair. I'm getting married next year so have all the wedding to organise and keep me busy but I am devastated about not being able to have children.

However I have realised what wonderful friends and family I have - I have also decided to have some counselling as an outlet for my frustrations!

Take care and keep your chin up!

Sue xxx

Rachel

Hi all,

WOW...thank you so much for all the replies to my post. I suddenly don't feel so alone in how I am feeling. :) It gives me reassurance that so many of you can relate to what I am saying and have had, or do still experience the same. I feel now that this is probably part of the emotional process we go through following a cancer diagnosis. It makes me feel better to know that I'm probably not losing the plot here after all!!!

I am going to see my GP tomorrow to have a chat about how I am feeling. I also have my next appointment with my Consultant and Oncologist on Wednesday which always makes me go a bit 'wobbly' at the best of times!!

I really hope that I will be able to make it to Brighton...it would be so nice to meet up and put faces to names. At the moment though it doesn't seem possible due to childcare and also logistics for the day! However, I will try my best to be able to get there....I feel that I will be missing out on so much if I can't make it.

Thanks again for your wonderful support....you are all fab.

Love Rachel xx

Radical Hysterectomy, Lymphadectomy and ovary removed in Feb 2005 following cancer diagnosis. Further surgery in July 2005 to remove remaining ovary.

Caro

Hi Rachel
Hope your appointments go ok.
Let us all know how it goes.
Caroline

Caroline

nostalgicsam

Hi,
I am not coping with cancerI had total hyst on 17 Oct- 4 weeks ago !I am doing ok but feel completely changed by what I have been through, I don't feellike myself anymore...for me though the worst is losing my fertility, I cry daily I've had counselling but it does nothing to stop my devestation.... feel like since my diagnosis in June this year everything had passed quickly and slowly a tthe same time, I went through a round of egg colletion priortothehyst at my consultants advice,which resulted in me being severely ill with OHSS and my hyst was delayed due to this, but I wsn't ready for the hyst, don't think anyone can ever be ready for it... I feel bad as I should feel glad my cancer was removed and I am alive but I don't feel thankful (yet) I feel robbed of my life and can't accept a childless future, keep thinking what I've done to deserve this... people take life and children for gtanted we think cancer won't happen to us and we think we will get married and have kids... we never think that we won't.....I feel sick when I see some people with children, so easily made and yet so easily not cared for, we are happily married and loving and can't have children, life is so unfair.... cancer has made me bitter and sad, it makes me feel like an outcast, I wish I could print and wear a t-shirt to tell the world what has happened to me, can't ear people looking at me in my thrities and married and I can see them thinking why don't they have kids...it's soawful, and some people just ask me outright, 'don't you want kids' like I am selfish or a career woman or don'tl ike kids, if only they knew...
Sam