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What should I feel now?

Hi All

On Monday 21st Jan I was 50 and it was also the day I went to hospital for the results after my mastectomy. I had already been through 7 very hard neo-adjuvant chemotherapy sessions up until Dec last year and op on 2/1/19.

My consultant told me that my histology results showed no cancer left in the breast tissue or in the lymph nodes taken (ANC). I just sat there serious, my Dad and friend were smiling away with the consultant and I didn't seem to know how to react? Was this good I asked? Yes consultant said excellent results couldn't ask for anything better so why then do I feel down? Of course I am happy as they say cancer gone but I am scared, worried, wondering what if?? Is this how it is now? How do I move on from this now, just feel like all I am doing now is wondering if it will come back, noone is checking me anymore, no hospital all the time, where do I go now??

I don't want to seem ungrateful as it is good news but just wonder why I feel as I do. Any help, tips, thoughts welcome xx

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I think what you are feeling is quite normal. It is like a huge anticlimax. However I do not think the fear ever goes away, it is a constant case ofn’looking over your shoulder’. What you have to do is learn how to live with it so that this fear and uncertainty does not become all consuming and thus affects every day of your life. I took up meditation, swimming, art and many other activities to keep me busy. Meditation totally helped me, there are also councillors linked to the cancer societies that you can speak to should you feel the need. Wishing you all the best and peace of mind. Lainey66

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Yes I think you are right, thanks so much for replying to me. It is kind of an anti climax which makes me feel bad to feel like that. I am going to see the psychologist on Tuesday, only my second appt but first since surgery. I am hoping he can help me in managing my feelings and being able to live again without it being at the front of my mind.

I think, as you say, I will always think about this and look over my shoulder. I need to find activities to enjoy and keep myself occupied. I will eventually go back to work but feel after all this, throughout the last nine months, it has made me feel differently about the rest of my life. I want to do something which is valuable and means something in life, whether that be volunteering or something which is helpful to others. It's something for me to look into and research before I make any decisions.

Thanks for your words and hope everything stays well with you too. It is so good to hear from someone who understands me :-) difficult to find sometimes especially within your family and close friends. Good luck to you too xx

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I have discussed with my BCN about the seroma I have at mo and she says it will eventually disperse but it worries me as do the twinges and sometimes pain I get. I think what is hard for me is I have never had an op and don't know what to expect or feel after one. Everything seems to be a worry to me although I am very much a worrypot as it is?? I have been told it can take weeks for the swelling to go down and for the pain to get better. The good thing is I am very constant with my exercises for movement etc you are given and just hope things will eventually settle. Sorry to go on about it but I can't help but get worried about everything :-( x

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It can take a while to go down..mine took over six weeks before it started to settle. I had a double mastectomy in 2016. I still get a bit of discomfort, due to tightness where muscle had to be pulled around from my back as my tumours were deep, but swimming helps me a lot. Just take each day as it comes, do relaxation exercises and perhaps take up meditation. It will help you xxx

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I thought it might take sometime to go down. Fingers crossed it will do in time. I have some discomfort but maybe as it is just about 3 weeks it is no time at all. I maybe wanted quick turnaround but not ever having had an op before it could explain. I need to calm down I think and as you say do relaxation exercises and perhaps look into meditation. Thanks for coming back to me I do appreciate it xx

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You are most welcome. You do need to definitely relax, you will stress yourself out and that can create a whole host of other issues. Give yourself time to heal and recover. It is not just the physical recovery but the emotional and psychological recovery caused by the horror, fear and stress of having the diagnosis in the first place. It wrecks you entirely. Xxx

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Thanks for coming back to me. I have had a better day today, trying to not worry too much and keep things under control. I believe some time out, relaxation whether reading, listening to music I like etc could be good for me too. I might also take up with the Haven again and have some treatments as I stopped these when on treatment as wasn't sure when I would be ok or not. I am happy you came back to me as you understand as do others on this site and it is so nice to know I am not alone, thank you. Take care xx

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You are more than welcome. It is not an easy road, and when you have people around who constantly say, "Oh you look great", when inside you feel real fear and worry and nowhere near as great as they think you look, it is hard to deal with. Remember this, you are you, you have come through a situation that is frightening, traumatic and a battle that takes all your physical, mental and emotional strength. You are going to need time to heal, time to accept what has happened and time to adjust to this 'new' you, because it does change you. Yes I agree, listen to the music, read the books, do what you havve to do to mentally, emotionally and physically rest. You may feel fatigue for some time, but when your body tells you it is tired, listen to it and rest. I am 52 it is three and a half years since my diagnosis and 2 and a half since treatment stopped, I still need to rest or I can't function. While you rest you heal. Take care, find beauty in every day, and look after you.

Hugs

Lainey66

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That’s wonderful news that there’s no sign of cancer . It seems to me we get into such anxious thinking habits trying to brace ourselves for the worst possible news which sits close to our wellbeing that when the news is positive it’s hard to process!! If you can make each day one in which you do things that you couldn’t have fine if you were very ill (!) I think this might help ? Writing down your feeling in a journal I find very therapeutic . Here on this site we are linked by common experiences and know how we are never alone . It’s good that you gave joined our forum. Enjoy life !! With love Denise x

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Thanks Denizt, I think I was expecting the worse so it was a shock to be told what I was told. Yes you do work yourselves up and get anxious and stressed about everything.

I kept a kind of journal through my treatment and found it helpful in the good and bad times to write down how I felt. I think I will continue this as I do find it helpful to me to write down and then read how I am feeling. I am going to go back to Haven I think and pick up some of the treatments as I stopped attending when on treatment as wasn't sure if I would feel ok or poorly?? It was hard to pinpoint best time so after a few cancellations I thought I would leave it. Now is perhaps a good opportunity for me to go back. Thanks for your kind words and for making me feel I am not alone in feeling as I do. Take care xx

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After every check up my husband was joyous and I just cried, it took a lot longer to process the news. The hospital referred me to wellness classes. These helped me to manage my emotions and bring things into perspective so my fears did not take over. It’s early days, be kind to yourself, you need time to come to terms with this so don’t expect you’ll suddenly have all the answers!!

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Thank you for replying to me. The classes you went to sound good. I have an appt with the psychologist on Tuesday and am hoping to discuss my feelings there. I have been told I will be invited to a Moving On session with other ladies in similar positions as me where they help you with moving on after treatment/surgery etc. I think this will be positive for me as I imagine meeting others in similar positions will be good. Take care and stay well xx

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