Young mother one year post hysterectomy and chemo not coping, looking for similiar cases please

Hi, I was diagnosed last January with stage 3 ovarian cancer at 34 years of age, I had a massive 13cm tumour on my left ovary. I had no symptoms and was even still breast feeding my 14 month old baby at that point. Within 13 days of diagnosis I had a full hysterectomy - no choices were given. I then had three cycles of 5 days in hospital for chemo. Chemo was a horrible experience for me, creating huge separation anxiety, physical illness. I am Irish but live in Spain, so I have no family here, dependant on friends and husbands family to take care of the baby while I was ill. I finished chemo in June with an all clear and all tests have been fine til now, However, my mental state is pretty bad. I lost a friend to cancer in February and took it really badly. I am suffering daily because I cannot have any more children (and I know some of you can't at all, I am so so sorry, I also feel the loss too.) I have crazy angry mood swings and a lot of anxiety. I desperately need to find someone who has had a similiar experience because noone I know understands me, or the constant fear, the sadness, the loss and the mood swings. I am not able to take care of myself right now let alone a child and I am getting pretty desperate because even my husband wants me to get bacl to normal but I dont know how (he had a rough year too, he lost his father at the same time I got ill, and then his mother had breast cancer in July). If you know of any young mothers in this situation please ask them to contact me, thanks

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  • Sorry you're in this position, thought I am old enough to be your mother I completely understand being also stage 3c grade3. Ovacome are setting up a group for young women who have OC - contact their nurse led advice line - Ruth in particular is brilliant. The number is 0845 371 0554. Weekdays and office hours only. If you're desperate, you will always find a sympathetic ear at The Samaritans, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    One problem is that here in the UK there are relatively few young mothers with OC. In the US there are hundreds, possibly thousands. You'll find a number of them here:

    inspire.com/groups/ovarian-...

    I can only give you my very best personal wishes and hope that you are like a number of young women I've encountered over the last two years a survivor. All statistics are at least five years old, and as the American surgeon turned therapist Bernie Seigel says, we are all individuals and there are no statistics for individuals.

    Hugs,

    Chrystynh

  • PS - a remarkable coincidence - I am also a mix of Irish and highland Scottish. My gaelic is rusty but I can only wish you; síochán leat , bail ó Dhia ort, agus sláinte chugat riamh agus go deo. Rath Dé ort agus go deo. I'm RC (lapsed) if you're Episcopalian or Protestant (or indeed Muslim etc. or even Buddhist) I believe that we who believe all pray to the same God. If you don't believe, I'm sorry if I offended you but personally I've found my faith to be of enormous comfort in trying and difficult times. I'm now, aged 56, cancer free for 16 months, despite the nodal involvement that at stage3 grade3 gave me a grim initial prognosis. I don't know how to use it or even if there's a facility on this site to give you my contact details but if so I will do so ASAP. Once again, very best wishes. Initially we all suffer the same despair & emotional desparation during diagnosis, surgery, chemo and for many months and sometimes years afterwards.

  • Hi,

    Im so sorry that you feel in such a desperate situation.I am a bit older than you at 46 but also have one chlld and wanted more but it was not to be.I have to echo the comments made by Chrystynh in that faith is the most enormous comfort.I truly believe that God healed me of oc and for that I am so humbled and grateful.Dont think that others cant relate to how you are feeling ,even though their experiences may not mirror yours the emotions and feelings are very similar and nothing we experience as humans is unique,others have always been there and got through it!!

    Hard as it may seem my advice to you is to consider the many positives you have mentioned,you have a loving husband,a child and are free from oc!!Each day when you start to think in negative ways turn each thing to a positive,there is ALWAYS a silver lining,its just recognizing it!It takes time to learn to do this effectively but its worth the effort and you will feel so much happier.

    What point is there in being anxious and worried all the time,it cant change the situation you are in and just makes us miserable.Im sorry if I sound a bit hard ,I dont mean to,I think that sometimes we need others to make us realise that our situation really isnt as bad as we feel and that compared to so many we are actually blessed!Let us know how you are,God bless,Gillyxx

  • Thanks for your comments, I'm feeling a little better now, although the fear and sadness is still there, but trying to get better emotionally, bit by bit...

    thanks again

  • I am one of the support line nurses and am sorry to hear about the incredibly difficult time you are having. So much happened so quickly that often it isn't until afterwards the full impact of all that has taken place hits home. There has been so much going on that and all away from your family means it is very lonely. Have you been to see your doctor ( GP or oncologist ) to discuss how you are feeling as I do strongly feel you need some medical help. If you want to email us at ovacome@ovacome.org.uk we will try and give you some more support or if you are able to phone do please give us a ring 08453710554. I do hope that you also get some support from others who have been a similar situation to yourself. Today we are having a meeting of younger women and I will see if someone can help.

    Best Wishes

    Ruth

  • Thanks Ruth

    I have asked for an appt to see my GP tomorrow, to see what she has to say. I did see her last Sept and told her I was feeling awful but she said that was par for the course and that it would be worrying if I wasn't. I am not so depressed that I can't function, I do get up every day and go through the whole routine.

    Thanks for the email and phone number, I'll try to see if I can manage to call.

    A

  • Dear Skinnymalink,

    I'm so sorry to hear you're going through such a tough time. I feel I can empathise with you as I am also a younger woman affected by OC, and like you it has affected my fertility. I totally understand that even though the physical scars might be healing, the trauma you have been through takes much longer to deal with. I don't know if it's any comfort to you to hear this, but as far as I'm concerned what you're going through sounds normal. Having said that, I don't mean that you should have to keep putting up with feeling so low.

    I was diagnosed quite suddenly last summer (having had no symptoms at all) and as a result had to have my ovaries removed. I am 34 and had no children although my husband and I were just getting ready to try. I have been allowed to keep my womb for just now, as we were able to save and freeze some eggs before my cancer surgery. I am currently just beginning my second attempt at IVF (the first time it didn't work). I can completely imagine that for you, even though you have a child, what you have been through has turned your world upside down. We really wanted two children - if we are very, very lucky, we may end up with one. So I can completely understand that you need to grieve for the other children you wished for - I think we do need to grieve our 'imagined' children, as well as our changed selves. For me coming to terms with the changes to my body is taking a lot of time, and I definitely need support from those around me, as well as seeing a therapist. I think as a younger woman, who obviously was not geared up for menopause, there are some really tough issues to work through - it's going to take me some time yet! Like I said, I have been seeing a counsellor, even though my family are supportive and understanding. Sometimes it can feel hard to tell family how you're feeling when you know it's been tough for them, too. I wondered if there were any chance of your seeing someone where you live? Even when family and husbands are supportive, it can be hard for them to 'hold' our emotions sometimes, and sometimes it can be hard for family not to try to 'fix' it.

    Again, I can really empathise with your difficulties with your energy levels and coping. I have ended up giving up work for a while (career break) as I just couldn't hold it together doing IVF and working too. But I think a lot of that had also to do with the consequences of my illness and surgery - I think it really takes time to recover. I'm sure your husband wants the best for you, but I feel he really needs to accept that you won't be able to just 'go back to normal'. (Easy for me to say, I know). Having had ovarian cancer and coping with all the changes to your body, your fertility and your self-image, is extremely difficult and exhausting in itself. It really does sound like you need more support, and for your husband and family to hear how it is for you. I know it's not easy for my husband, he has to do much more for me at the moment than he used to, but he sees how exhausted I get, and we have had to change our expectations for now. I know it must be very difficult if you have few family or friends around you, but I wonder what solutions there might be, if your husband can really hear how it is for you, and accept more that you are going to need time and space to recover. Although I don't live abroad, when I got sick we had recently moved to a city where I didn't know anyone, so I know how it feels in some way to feel isolated from family and friends. Obviously for you it's harder as you are also caring for your child. I do hope though that if your husband can really understand how it is for you, and also if your GP listens, you might be able to get more support - you deserve it.

    I know you're in Spain but if you ever want to skype sometime for a chat, I'd love to talk to you.

    Love from

    Cat

    xxx

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