17 days post-surgery & struggling

Felt so positive right after surgery, but then complications & re-admittance to hospital have meant I don't feel quite as 'on the road to recovery' as I'd expected. Finding it hard some days also to deal with the pain. It's almost much harder than I thought emotionally. I'm crying very easily over nothing.

It feels like when I'm in bed, I'm wishing it to be morning, so I will have just got through the pain of another night. I can just about make it through the morning & early afternoon before I start thinking I can't wait to take my evening pain killers, get into bed, & hopefully sleep so I've got through another day.

Plus nights are always harder, as you feel so alone, & often lay there with just your own thoughts for company.

My husband hates it when I'm tearful as he feels so helpless, that he just wants to cheer me up all the time & encourage me, which is brilliant I know, but sometimes I think you just need to cry, allow a teeny bit of self-pity out, before you pull it all together again, & put on your 'brave' face again...

I also thought that once I was home I'd hear from my friends a little more. Don't get me wrong they comment every now & then on my Facebook page, & I know they are thinking of me, but a few I know are def keeping their distance. Maybe it's my own fault as I've been fairly honest & open, & journal most days through my Facebook, which is my way of coping, but it would be nice to get more personal messages, or contact from them.

Maybe I'm just expecting too much. Sorry, obviously needed a bit of a rant. I know (& appreciate) that I'm more fortunate than most, but that doesn't make this journey any easier.

I take hope from all your stories of where you are now, & know this will all be a distant memory sooner than I know. I just have to find some patience... xxx

27 Replies

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  • Bless you Sarah. I'm having my surgery on Monday and will no doubt experience similar. But from my nursing experience your reaction is perfectly understandable and normal. Your body has been through a huge upheaval to put it mildly. You are allowed to feel sorry for yourself and cry a little. We were given the ability to cry for a reason as it releases our pent up emotions. You WILL get there but it might take time and that's ok. Please know that people do care but I think some 'friends' simply don't know how to deal with things that are emotionally challenging. It's their ignorance and lack of skills, nothing you've done. It doesn't help you I know. Sending massive hugs and positive thoughts, and as they say "This too shall pass"

    Live Marian xxx

  • Marian, thank you, you are right of course, but hard to see that firsthand sometimes. All the very best for your own surgery, may it go as straightforward as it possibly can ❤️❤️❤️

  • Sarah, I am glad you are home and getting better. About the friends would you believe most of us have gone through this. They go missing, they dont ring, they dont call, My sister was one who never called. You actually do find out who your friends are in all of this. Genuinely it could be because they dont know what to say. If you feel better by being open then be open. I am lucky I also have a lovely cousin who checks in with me very often and we go for a cuppa or a show or theatre, She is one in a million and I am lucky to have her. Its okay to cry to be fed up. If you are having problems sleeping then ask your gp for sleeping tablets. I couldnt function now without them, I feel a good nights sleep is the best medicine, You get up the next morning and are able to do the basics and even get out and about. You are not alone in this so do feel free to say what you feel, all the best

  • Suzuki, luckily I have one friend like that... she's one in a million. I met her on a F**k It Retreat 2 years ago, & don't know what I'd have done without her. Yet another friend has really kept her distance. It's funny, as she is the one I thought would be in touch more, however she lost a very good friend almost 7yrs ago from OC so I think me having it is just a bit too much for her? xxx

  • My heart goes out to you. I was not admitted again but I understand the emotional roller coaster and that horrible 4am slot where worries set in. I still cry at the drop if a hat but had my worst cries post surgery. As for friends it was the most unexpected friends who proved to be the greatest support and not so much my closest friends. I felt very let down by my daughters godmother especially as I had been there for her during a family tragedy. You may feel better talking to a counsellor. My chemo unit gave me the answer. I didn't go till a while after my last chemo but probably should have gone where you are now. You are just the same as all of us. Sending hugs and I promise it gets better x

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  • Yes, funny enough this is def my lowest point psychologically. For the first time I thought it might actually help to talk to someone qualified... xxx

  • What you describe is exactly how I felt even my own family didn't come round to see me and all you do is think .... it does get better but I remember thinking the days are the same and endless .... you get through them much like Groundhog Day and you improve each day towards better health ... I had nightmares too awful which has put me off ever having surgery again... where I am now is Ned and going back to work probably mid Feb getting my life back is my goal ,,, if you have a mini goal to achieve along the way it gives a positivity to our journey .... so hope you feel better soon ... big hugs 🤗

  • Have had a number of nightmares/weird dreams. Literally tonight already I dreamt someone put a shotgun to my head to kill me... most disturbing dreams, some I can't remember but I know I've had them!

    Congrats re NED & going back to work...my goal is a holiday after all this, plus a girls reunion in Amsterdam! xxx

  • Oh Sarah

    You have described exactly how I was feeling after surgery . Am stage 4 and had 7 hours of radical surgery in Nov and was in hospital for 10 days due to infection and breathing problems.

    The nights are awful and sometimes you just need a good cry. had been reasonably well through my chemo so surgery was such a shock esp seeing the scar .

    Take one day at a time and be kind to yourself . I tried to do a little walk each day which seemed to help with the pain and stiffness. Slowly managed to do alittle further each day and then realised i was walking without feeling like my stomach was going to burst !

    Am now 11 weeks post op and feeling more like my old self . Am now driving , shopping and able to eat normally without worrying about bowels etc Managed trips to Bristol to see my daughter when a few weeks ago couldn't even sit comfortably in the car. My surgeon always said it would take 8 -12 weeks as I had aggressive surgery. Have also coped with 2 more chemos . I have recently asked for both physio and counselling referrals to help which you may want to consider.

    As for friends and family you certainly find out who you can rely on and it's not always who you would expect .

    Take it slowly and you will get there but if the pain is too bad speak to your nurse or Dr to review your meds .

    Stay strong you are over the worst and each day will get easier Kimx

  • SEE Kim!! THIS is what gives me hope! YOUR story... yes, chemo was a bit of a breeze for me, didn't even lose my hair thanks to the cold cap, so the surgery & added complications have knocked me sideways! I really do take hope from you, that it will soon be MY story 😘 xxx

  • Aw Sarah,

    I too felt the same as you when I had my surgery and returned home. I was not re-admitted to hospital but the pains were horrendous and I sooo looked forward to my pain relief!.. I'm now around 10 weeks post surgery and still experience aches and pains.. I do also believe that lots of the ladies on here appear to recover quickly from surgery and I thought I would be the same , WRONG!!!! So like you Sarah, I am struggling too.

    As for the emotional side of things, I mirror that too.. here I am , been awake since 4am, composing this response!!!

    Keep in touch flower 🌺

    Love ❤️ Jackie xxx

  • Thanks Jackie, it's just nice to know you're not alone huh xxx

  • Hi Sarah,

    How are you going today ?

    I've managed a walk despite feeling crap 💩! Last chemo yesterday so feeling the benefit of steroids at present, trouble is , the feeling of ' keep going ' lasts all the way through the night !!! 😴😳..

    no doubt I'll strike up another conversation on here around 4am 🙄.. oh the joys 🎉

    Take care and you'll soon be on the other side of this honey 🍯

    Love ❤️ Jackie xxx

  • Was a better day. Def on top of painkillers, managed 1500+ steps round the house & was kind to myself.

    Sat on sofa with fire on & watched a good film, & chatted with my most amazing friend for an hour. She was wonderful. Made me laugh, & I felt able to cry with her & say how shitty it's been lately. Better than therapy!!

    Glad your chemo behind you. Time to repair & rebuild your body now with lots of goodness ❤️ Xxx

  • Hi Sarah Im so sorry to hear you are having a rough time and I can say, hand on heart it will get better it just doesnt seem or feel like it right now. 17 days isnt really very long following major surgery and the added complication of a readmittance to hospital. I remember the nights were awful, waiting for the morning to come so at least I could tick off another day on the road to recovery and back to some sort of normality. As for the tears, let them out and definitely talk to to someone, I know I had councelling a couple of times at the local hospice and definitely felt much better afterwards, l even rang the samaritans once because I just felt so very alone. As for friends and family disappearing I just held fast to the ones that were there for me, most dont know what to say. My neighbour on the otherhand when she learnt of my first recurrence just knocked on my front door stepped in and just grabbed me for the biggest hug whilst I broke down, thats a friend..... Time as they say is a great healer and day by day you will heal and feel better , it just doesnt feel like it right now but you will. Stay positive xx (thats soooooo easier said than done I know!). Kathy xx

  • Thanks Kathy, yes, you're so right about ticking off days, that's exactly how it feels! Ironic really that I'm wishing my life away to be a step closer to recovery. Never really understood before now, about 'Quality' of life!

    I'm very grateful for the friend who has been an utter rock to me, & interestingly the other friend has been in touch today x

  • I hope things get better for you soon, I just got diagnosed with ovarian cancer so I'm really nervous. Prayers and hugs sending your way💕

  • Ivster, sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. You have found a great forum in terms of support. It's understandable to be nervous. Take your time in allowing the news to sink in, & seek advice & support here if needed xxx

  • I can't add very much to the wise words of everyone else. Your surgery was more challenging than mine, but your tale echoes my experience of two lots of emergency surgery. Everything's messed about with and you haven't found any new normal yet. The painkillers probably play a part in your wierd dreams. I always hallucinate ( and not always in a pleasant way ) with morphine based ones. I became a lot more tearful when I had my son. I'm not sure how much my health stuff has added to that, but some, I think. I think cancer is unavoidably a very lonely experience. Speaking as a real oldie here.... why don't you leave Facebook alone, at least for a bit, and do your journal for yourself if you want to keep one? I wouldn't have had the energy. Real friends will remain real friends. The ones who want to know how you are will get in touch. It will get better and 17 days is not very long, even without the second admission.

    Hoping today's a tiny bit better...... xxx

  • Thanks, I actually love Facebook, am a bit of an addict & have found that it's been a real outlet for me, & in truth I've had a lot of support from everyone. Think I'm just having a woe is me moment, but as usual everything looks better during the day huh

    Just reading everyone's supportive comments on here got me through the night, and ready to face another day... xxx

  • Hi,

    It was the same situation with me.

    Same story with friends, hard nights and lot of tears. It was 2015. I was clear for a 12 months and now I'm fighting again. I have my blog and website as well. If you wish you can read it here:

    hairlessbeauty.ie/my-story/

    Defo Talk to your doctor and ask for psychological help. That helped me.

    Fight hard and take care

    Lots of hugs

    Zaneta xx

  • Zaneta, I'll def have a read thanks 😘xxx

  • Hi Sarah

    It's very early days and so normal to feel like you do but in a month or two you will feel much better as time is what it takes. Your body has been through a great trauma but will heal and the pain will subside. Many of us have set backs and it can seem never ending so give yourself some treats and rest as much as you can. Sending hugs and support to help you through this tough time.

    Take care xx

  • Thank You 😘 Xxx

  • Your body is going through a roller coaster of emotions at the moment. Hormones everywhere. It's no wonder you are tearful, I think most of us were when we had surgery, it's a huge shock, ticking along in life, settled, then wham along comes the cancer truck and blows everything normal out of the water. You need to be kind to yourself, if you want to cry then cry, sleep when your body craves it and speak to your team about better pain relief. I eventually settled on Tramadol after trying a host of others, it spaced me out and made me whoozy but it worked.

    Friends are another matter, if you feel they are letting you down ask them if they are uncomfortable rather than letting it add to your stress, they are likely to be scared for you but don't know how to help.

    LA xx

  • Funny how the tears still take me by surprise, I try & be kind. I think one friend is keeping her distance as she's struggling herself with my diagnosis. I think I was just feeling sorry for myself earlier as truthfully I'm not much in the mood for company at the minute x

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