It is a funny old thing cancer. Just when you think it is safe to get back in the water – BOOM!
In spite of being given the “all clear” last August, I find myself feeling absolutely rubbish at the moment, I feel terribly dispirited and I am struggling not to burst into tears at the drop of a hat, which is exactly what I did this morning when I rang the helpline at MacMillan Cancer Care. As has been my previous experience, the woman on the other end of the line was totally wonderful and instantly “got” what I was blabbing about. I think I have tried so hard to remain positive not just for me, but also for my family and friends, that a huge build up of anxiety and miserable-ness is sitting in my head which sometimes overwhelms me. I forget how recent my diagnosis was, how challenging the journey and how raw my emotions still feel. After the all clear I think I just expected to spring back to being the old Helen, and it doesn`t work like that! The fear of breast cancer returning lingers in the background for large chunks of my thinking time and I am told by fellow survivors that this will not leave me but it is something I can learn to manage.
When I was going through cancer treatment, it felt like I was doing something really positive and to some extent that gave me a sense of being in control. When my treatment finished, I experienced an anti-climax and it is partly this that makes me feel so low.
The MacMillan volunteer said that it might help me to go and get some counselling, so that is what I`m going to do. I`ve been told of a group in Solihull, near me. They are called Breast Friends (Ha ha.) I`m going to ask for some support because I deserve it, we all deserve a helping hand when the going gets tough.
Once upon a time a year ago, I was a robust, generally happy, buoyant human being. Cancer has changed me completely and as the woman at MacMillan said to me today, I am still on my journey, I am still finding my way. So if I seem a little down, give me a hug. If I seem a bit snappy, make me a cuppa, send me a virtual smile, it will be most welcome.
Have a happy Christmas and the best of New Years, I know I am going to.