Quite new

Hi I'm quite new to this site and have commented on others posts but not done my own.

I have invasive DCIS with lymph node involvement. I've completed FEC-T x6 cycles and just had a total mastectomy with axillary node clearance. I am getting loads of Seroma since my operation a week ago and need it draining again. I have radiotherapy to come once the Seroma stops.

I am a senior healthcare professional 49yr old woman who normally helps others so this is weird. I am fiercely independent, not good at asking for help and hopeless at relaxing. I worked all through my chemotherapy, which was tough, but now I am exhausted and feel really angry, overwhelming sadness and this is really unlike me. Does or has anyone else felt this way? I am seeing a counsellor next week but just wondered......

This site is really great so would appreciate any response. Thank you xx

9 Replies

  • Hi, I totally understand your feelings, I had mastectomy with axillary clearance in December, finished 6 rounds of FEC T in November, been mostly positive but had few down days, yesterday being one. Feel a heavy sense of sadness, almost like I'm grieving for my former care free self. I don't recognise myself in the mirror any more, some days I want to shut myself off from the world, fed up keeping up appearances for friends and family, knowing they too are doing the same. Feel angry that at 35 I ache all the time, tire easily and my get up and go has gone, I'm forced into menopause with all its horrible side effects and then I have the overwhelming sense of guilt for feeling this way as I should be grateful for still being here, and I am but its not without its cost. I guess we just have to learn to live with the new normal xx

  • Thank you for sharing now I don't feel so alone and I feel just the same as you. I live in Berkshire and its hard to find people who are in the same position. I feel like people have got used to me being upbeat, "brave" and "looking so well" that being honest with them might freak them out, I'm the one who is seen as the rock but I've had enough of that!

    Thank you for sharing, it's helped.


  • Hey there, I had mastectomy last year, and 8 rounds of chemo which have just finished last month. i chose to have a diep flap operation, which uses tummy tissue to make a new breast, had that at same time as mastectomy. operation is longer and you have 2 scars, one long one across lower abdomen, but as it does not interfere with abdominal muscles, the recovery time is not so long or sore.. like you i worked a lot in between treatments a day here and there, and everyone also knows me to be the 'get on with it' type, having rasied 2 boys on my own and am strong and healthy and never go to the doctor... now i feel like my life and my body has cheated me and really let me down and that i dont deserve to be in this place, fearing for my life going forward and having to put up with side effects and horrible weight gain from steroids etc. I was told this would happen, that i would feel a 'grief' for my lost health and 'perfect' body.. i used to hate my body, now i wish for it back, with all it's faults... i have spoken to a counsellor and i found it great.. she identified with all of these feelings and said it is totally normal.. there will be this stage then there will be an improvement when i get my independence (free from hospital appointments and checkups at the doctor) and i will then be far more relaxed and happy once my life goes back to it's normal routine and people stop asking me every hour of every day how am i feeling.. had i had to have more than 8 rounds of chemo i would have been back in there today for most of the day, and instead i went for a long walk with a friend and a coffee and it's starting to dawn on me that i'll get through this and get my life back... i wish you all the best in your journey, just know that it does get better and this stage of anger that we are in is totally normal. xxxx

  • Hi Gracie.

    Thank you so much for your honest response and support. I'm seeing a counsellor this week so here's hoping!

    Good luck with your health too.


    Emily x

  • Hi ladies,

    I'm a bit new to these sites, and what I'm reading has taken me back a bit, I'm half way through my remition, and only the last 6 months been feeling a bit posative for the future, I too was mourning the old me, my old body, and felt really ungrateful, and that I should just be happy I'm alive, but I never did, so much so it nearly cost me my marriage, I never had counselling or went to any of these sites, but I wished I did! , I put it down to a forced menopause as had to have hysterectomy year after all my treatment, I don't think I'm ever be the person I was before all this, but I couldn't get any lower last year, so I think the only way is up, and giving myself a good talking too try to think that this is a huge life experience, and its got to make you stronger, I've been looking for groups in my area but not really any around, 1 I found was once a mo th on an evening!,

    It's such a rollercoaster, but all the best ladies, dig deep we are all stronger than we realise, think posative, I read self help books, went walking, bodybalance when I had the energy, I still miss weeks of it when I'm hurting but it defentely helps just wished I could be with people experiencing tbd same feelings xx

  • Hello Footprints and thank you for replying. Its nice to know we are not alone, once a month for support is just not enough is it?! What area are you living in?

    I will look at body balance when recovered a bit more.

    Take care xx

  • I'm in romford essex, defentely look at body balance, it's slow stretches and balance, relaxation at end of class,!

    May be through this sight we could change things, ?

    Wouldn't that feel good from something so life changing, ( once a month is not enough)

    Take care and a big hug x

  • I'm in Romford too. Perhaps I can put the word out when I start my Chemo sessions (haven't got a date yet and still to see an oncologist) at Queen's and maybe have a meet up in the future?

  • Hi, I had a single mastectomy end of May after discovering a change in my breast at the end of April. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer. I started to start to feel really down a few weeks ago. After the op I was fine but I think it only 'hit me' a few weeks afterwards. I also have started seeing a counsellor and I think it is helping me to get my feelings out in the open. The loss of my breast and the way my body looks so lop sided now (I am left with a large droopy left breast and an ugly puckered scar on the right) . The counsellor says that I need to grieve before I can move forwards.

    I think I spent so long being 'strong' for my kids, family and friends (they tell me that I am brave and positive so much that I have had to push my feelings under the surface). I don't feel that I can be sad and upset around them. I have also been to see the doctor and he prescribed an antidepressant (he told me that he had bowel cancer a couple of years ago and also takes the antidepressant still). he is the same age as me 45. It really reassured me to know even a doctor can get depressed as I felt like I was failing and being weak.

    I am currently off work as I have quite a stressful demanding job and don't feel ready to go back. I am a single parent of three and luckily my dad is helping me financially (I only get SSP) . I was feeling anxiety (attacks?) quite a lot and episodes of uncontrollable crying and sadness. Ive been taking the antidepressants for two weeks and feel that the crying and anxiety attacks are lessening somewhat.

    I have never been to see a counsellor before and it is quite exhausting to get my feelings out there in the open and spend the hour crying and sniffling into a tissue. I know it will help me recover emotionally from this trauma.

    Hugs to all you ladies who have gone through so much, xxxxx

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