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  • Lisejs29Lisejs29 Posts: 36

    Yeah will let you know how I get on

    love this forum as it helps me talk things through with people

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Laura,

    Welcome to our friendly community, really glad you have found us.

    You are in the right place, I do believe there are others diagnosed with the same cancer as yourself and even those that have a different cancer will understand the impact it has had on your life and everything else that goes hand-in-hand with cancer. I had breast cancer, treated with chemo, mastectomy and radiotherapy. I get what you mean about feeling isolated once treatment is over etc. It is really tough, readjusting to life that isn't governed by hospital appointments and procedures. With the fact you are still waiting perhaps for further treatment, it leaves you feeling in limbo. Processing everything that you have endured and experienced since diagnosis takes a long time, it may be only now that you are able to reflect upon it all. Do you have a timeline for any future treatment?

    There is a thread that you may find helpful or interesting, I put the link below.

    Please come and chat anytime, I look forward to chatting soon,

    Lou x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lisa....... ooh that's reassuring and worrying at the same time! ..... How did your appointment go? X

  • Lisejs29Lisejs29 Posts: 36

    My appointment is on Friday this week so still waiting

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou, thank you so much for your message. It is so weird after treatment as you spend so long being told where to go for treatment, when to go, what medication to take etc that once it's over and you have time to take a breath, it's a readjustment. I had a colonoscopy and biopsy in April and the fab news is that there were no cancer cells found, although there was still a suspicious bit that the surgeon wasnt happy with. I have another colonoscopy in June(ish) so again, more waiting unfortunately. I think this is the bit I'm finding a bit hard. Everyone around me is celebrating and I'm of course elated that there we no cancer cells found, but I cant celebrate totally yet. Although I am a very positive person, i feel that its a relief and a bit stressy at the same time!! ..... sorry for the moan...needed to vent a bit as I don't want to spoil my families happiness and relief.

    I do hope your cancer treatment has been successful? Xx

    Laura xx

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lisa,

    Please do let me know and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Laura,

    Yes I know what you mean, it's a bit like having unfinished business to attend to, but really it's crossing the t's and dotting the i's we hope for you in June. Hey, please don't apologise, this is exactly the place where you can vent without judgement or upsetting anyone, plus we all understand that feeling. Take each day as it comes now Laura, listen to your body, be kind to yourself, don't bend to pressure from outside influences either, such as ' ooh you can get back to normal now', or ' so you've finished treatment, you are ok now' and others!!! haha....uh NO!

    The waiting, in the unknown bits is probably the worst time for us all I expect. It is the place where fear and terror reside, fighting those is hard, but you know we are here with you too, you are not alone in this. Rejoice in the small things at the moment, there is good in every day, and you do have good news so far, allow yourself to breathe. Life is good, you cannot change tomorrow yet as you aren't there, you are in today still, deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. (This is regarding cancer and all of that stuff). I am really pleased for you that things are going in the right direction for you, stay focused on that.

    I hope you have a peaceful afternoon,

    Lou xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    I meant to say, yes, my cancer treatment was successful, thank you.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, started chemo immediately, even though the exact place hadn't been found. They just knew it was breast cancer, but all my tests came back negative. The biopsy of lymph nodes confirmed it was there though. That was a very scary time. To be honest my feet never touched the ground after my diagnosis, they knew it was aggressive, but didn't tell me that. But before I found out, they had already arranged my chemo sessions, surgery dates, radiotherapy all the way down the line...I just had to agree. That was really helpful to me, knowing they had made a plan, before knowing all the details. Eventually they found 3 tumours in my breast, that had not shown up initially on mammograms or ultrasounds. I was already in chemo by that time.

    I am almost coming up to three years since the end of treatment (not including follow up operations and complications though). I am very, very pleased to say I do not have cancer anymore, it has not been easy recovering. There are long-term effects from all the treatment which has changed how I live my life, but at least I am here to live it...that is worth it!😊.

    Hang in there Laura! 😊

    Lou xx

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou, thank you so much for your encouragement... I am indeed taking every day as it comes and in a very strange way, I want to wake up every day and remember cancer, as I never want to take a day for granted. Like we said, the waiting is the worst part and I am so thankful that I did get good news. I prepared myself so much for bad news that it took ages for the good news to sink in!! 😁 thank you also for your good wishes for June..... I shall of course let you know.

    Laura xx

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi everyone.....

    Don't know who crept in last night and stole all of my energy, but I sure wish they'd left me just a little bit!! 🤣😁 xxx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    I am so pleased to hear your good news though I am not surprised that you aren’t ready to celebrate. I think that friends and family generally want us to be the same person we were before cancer intervened, but we cannot always ‘snap back’ to that person because we are likely to be dealing with lingering physical and/or emotional effects and that takes time.

    Lou @Sunshinedaff mentioned the ‘Life and Living After Cancer’ thread and you can see from the comments in it that your feelings are pretty normal. I can also understand that you would like to get your June check out of the way too.

    I don't know how long it is since your radiotherapy but I can say that the effects can build up on you and continue for some time after the treatment has finished which might help explain your tiredness. It might also be worth your while posting a question on the following.

    Ha ha, there’s a lot of homework for you 🤣

    It takes time to move on from cancer but it does get easier and there are a lot of lovely, kind and caring people in this community who love to chat and support each other along the way.

    Rob x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you so much for your comments...... I am extremely tired today and this has been creeping up for a while, you are right. It may sound crazy, but I'm actually trying to exercise more to increase my energy! My family have been amazing (thankfully) and actually like the new 'me' a bit more! ....I'm finding I'm a lot more direct with people and more enthusiastic about doing things now, where as before I would always delay things for 'tomorrow' .......they are appreciating the fact that I dont want to waste a single day now.......I think ive just realised why I'm tired!🤣🤪 I do love this site and knowing there are others here going through the same is so helpful. Thank you all for your lovely comments and support ❤

    Laura x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou and Rob....

    Sorry to ask, but has anyone had any experience with speaking to a psychologist about cancer etc...... I kinda want to know what to expect?!

    Laura

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    I have had and still have monthly sessions with a specially trained cancer counsellor supplied by MacMillan Cancer Support. If that counts.

    My counsellor helped me to find coping strategies to manage my cancer related stress, fears and anxieties. Initially, she just got me to talk about what was going on in my head. I found it a relief to be able to talk confidentially to a third party about everything and anything in a way I could not do with my family. We talked about how I was managing my reactions to cancer, family and relationship issues, personal and practical issues. I had been magnifying the negatives and downplaying the positive ones and she helped me to turn that round.

    I think that you are a very positive person anyway and I love and recognise the way that you have described the ‘new’ you. Life is for the living and in a funny way, cancer can actually make us more determined to enjoy it and not to sweat the small stuff.

    Rob x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your reply. Would I be able to go and speak with my partner too, or would we have to speak seperately? We have taken this journey together all the way and I'm very, very lucky that I have been able to talk about anything with my partner (good, bad and ugly) so the things that I need to talk about, we need to discuss jointly.

    Laura 😊

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    I am sure that the psychologist will be more than happy for you and your partner to be together during your session. It is fantastic that you want to do that and that your partner has been so supportive.

    I hope you both find it of value.

    Rob x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura,

    I am glad Rob was able to give you some information! I haven't had any experience of seeing psychologists.

    I really hope you find the sessions helpful for you, and I think the both of you going together is an excellent idea which will be encouraged I am sure.

    I am so glad you are here with us, your positive outlook and determination is such an encouragement for others too.

    Life is for living, we spend way too much time fretting about insignificant stuff, it's great to hear you intend to make the most of it.

    Hoping you are having a peaceful, relaxing weekend

    Lou x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou,

    Thank you so much for your lovely message...... I do have some 'low' days but I think that's more to do with the tiredness to be honest. I hope you have a great weekend too .... three days whoo hoo!!

    Laura xx

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Rob,

    Sorry, I've just seen your post after I'd read Lou's! Thank you for your advice. I'm sure the sessions would only be beneficial for us both. Have a great weekend!

    Laura 😊😁

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou and Rob......

    First session with psychologist tomorrow...... ia it silly that I'm feeling nervous?!!! 🙂

    Laura

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 7

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    No, of course its not silly - its a new experience for you and I imagine, for your partner too. I hope that you have a good rapport with the psychologist and I am pleased that you have agreed to see him/her. You have been through an awful lot and you do sound really positive, but as you have already mentioned, a person who has had cancer is generally not quite the same as they were before cancer and I suspect it never quite goes away. A lot of our members have said that they were OK whilst they were occupied with their treatments but felt deflated or flat after treatment. A good psychologist can help them find a way through that.

    All the best to you both.

    Rob 👍😀

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Good morning Laura!

    Sorry I didn't see your message last night.

    It is very natural to feel nervous when first going to see a psychologist. This a new territory for you both, but I am sure they will put you at ease as much as possible. Plus you and your partner have been a team all the way through this ordeal, you still are. Together you will find a way through this next bit.

    The effects of cancer upon our lives can be long lasting, even when we get an all clear. There are often so many other aspects that have been affected, we don't always realise until after we have come through all the treatment. The reality of life changing where 'normal' has packed up and moved can take some time to adjust to.

    It is great that you are both going, I really hope you find that it wasn't as nerve-racking as you expected, and more importantly it has been really helpful for you.

    Thinking of you today, let us know how you get on.

    Lou x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou,

    Thank you for your encouragment...... you are absolutely right and I'm sure that they will put us at ease...... I think I have so many things going over in my head that I'm not quite sure where to start! ....its also that I'm in limbo waiting until June to see if I need my operation or not and I know that therapy isn't going to be able to answer that or change the outcome. I should be so happy that at the last colonoscopy I had there we no cancer cells found, but there was a section that the surgeon wasnt happy with.....(hence the repeat in June) so the wait is so stressful! I will of course let you know how it goes ......

    Laura xx

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Rob,

    I'm so sorry ....I've done it again.....I only read and answered Lou!...... I hope we get on with the psychologist too... a good rapport Is crucial I think. I will let you both know how things go 🤞

    Laura 😁

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Lou and Rob,

    We had our first session with the psychologist yesterday. I felt a bit bad for him really. I should have told him I have a degree in psychology and was answering his questions before he asked them!! To be honest, I dont really think it helped that much and even he said that we both seem to be communicating with each other. He did say if we felt the need to speak again then to make an appt but he was asking what we wanted from the session. The truth is, we didn't go there expecting anything so couldn't answer what we wanted from it?! I dont know if we'll be going again. We will have to wait and see.

    Laura 😕

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura,

    Were you able to discuss the things you needed to that you originally wanted to talk about?

    I am sorry it seemed unfruitful for you. At least if you do want to go again you are in the system so to speak. The good thing is that you both have really good communication between you. I think if there are issues that you can't resolve in your own then going again would be beneficial.

    Hahaha, he probably thought you were testing him!

    Your own knowledge will of course be helpful too.

    Did your partner feel the same way as you?

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    Haha. You didn't tell us you have a degree in psychology either👩‍🎓. I certainly don't but I think that since you and your partner can talk to each other so comfortably and openly, I guess you probably get the best possible benefit from that.

    My situation was very different. I was very depressed and my counsellor didn't need to ask me what I wanted from the sessions. She helped me to get my life back and Mary and I owe her a great deal.

    I think that you are very positive and of course, it will be better when you get that colonoscopy out of the way next month. How great that you have each other for support in the meantime.

    There is always our lovely community to chat to as well. I love it, there are lots of lovely people who have been or are going through tough times and who will always be here for one another.

    Rob 👍🙋‍♂️

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    HI Lou and Rob....

    My partner felt the same way. The one issue that we did discuss was that my GP wouldn't send me for a colonoscopy. I was going to her for 9 months stating that I had a change in bowel habits and bleeding and felt like I had a blockage. It was only when I went to her because I was bleeding so heavily and she still did nothing and that night I was rushed in by ambulance and given two bags of blood as my blood pressure had dropped so much. We have sooooo much anger and resentment towards my GP. I have since found out through my solicitor that the results of an ultra sound scan five months before being blue lighted in, showed a mass on the bowel and again, my GP ignored this. I trained as a nurse after leaving school so have the brains to know when something is wrong, and yet she still ignored everything. I was at the mercy of the GP referring me which she just wouldn't do. (Sorry for the rant) ......the psychologist didn't really know how to deal with this. I know that they have helped so many people and if I didn't have my partner I know that the psychologist would be invaluable. If my GP had acted when I first visited with symptoms I would not have to have the colostomy bag and wouldn't be facing major surgery, as I had a fast growing tumour (4-6 months) so it wouldn't have grown through the colon and through the vaginal wall, so her delay seriously worsened my condition unfortunately. That's about half of the story and maybe psychotherapy will be needed once I know my result in June. Again, sorry for the rant and the moan!! I'm so glad you found it beneficial Rob, like I said, they are invaluable in peoples fight with cancer and all the mixed emotions which come with it.

    Laura 😊

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laura

    Hi Laura

    First of all. Please rant away whenever you want to. I think that coping with a cancer diagnosis is different to any other illness and chatting to others who have been there can take a bit of pressure from family and friends who can't really put themselves in your shoes and completely ‘get’ how you feel in a way that we can. I have found this community so valuable and I have made many friends like Lou, who have had so much thrown at them and are still here to care for and support others.

    Oh dear, you really have been let down. I am particularly interested in that because I was also let down by a locum doctor when my lovely GP was away on compassionate leave. I had a routine blood test during which he omitted an androgen test for prostate cancer which he should have taken. Like yours, my cancer turned out to be aggressive and by the time it was actually diagnosed a year later, it had spread into the surrounding tissues and was inoperable. The hormone therapy I need to prevent the cancer from spreading has physical and mental side effects and I was not able to let go of my resentment over the delay in diagnosis. It was at this point that I was referred to my MacMillan counsellor who has lived through cancer herself and who is a specialist in helping cancer patients. She helped me to let go of my anger and to look forward instead of back. I could have opted for a different counsellor if I was not happy with her, but she is brilliant and we still meet up once a month for a chat. If you do want to try again and you have a MacMillan locally, it might be worth a try.

    I do hope that your colonoscopy next month is clear.

    Rob x

  • LauraLaura Posts: 33

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis and the fact that you were also let down by a GP. We as mere patients have no alternative but to put our trust in our GP's unfortunately .......and many times I have heard of people being given a horrendous cancer diagnosis much too late. I am letting go of the anger, but sadly, two other people with the same GP have also been overlooked and are now no longer here. I am acting on my lack of care received, so I just hope and pray that I can stop this from happening to others.

    I will try Macmillan as you suggested. Thank you for the tip!

    Feel free to rant too if you need..... I fully understand the anger, frustration and resentment when let down!

    Laura 😱

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