I have just joined Cancer Connect and as a survivor of breast cancer for 20 years, with a second scary experience (different type of cancer) about 18 months ago that required radiotherapy, I can really relate to the emotional roller-coaster that anyone who is diagnosed with cancer is forced onto. I had a complete breakdown after my treatment for breast cancer ended and despite a good prognosis from my oncologist I was absolutely convinced I was going to die very soon. I was depressed and suffered severe anxiety and had panic attacks. It took me a full year to recover enough confidence to work again and that was only with the help of a fabulous support group. I truly credit them with saving my life otherwise I think I would have 'pointed the bone' at myself.
I believe the reason I broke down was because I put on a brave face while undergoing treatment because nobody every asked me how I was really doing. Things are much better these days, but 20 years ago there was no recognition of the emotional trauma I was going through. Although the oncologist, registrars and chemo nurses were very concerned about my physical health they never evinced any interest in what my support network was. I was in fact a sole parent with a disabled teenager whose father was far more interested in his new wife and her children from a previous relationship than he was in taking on some of the responsibility of caring for our child.
I urge anyone who is feeling overwhelmed to get help, whether it's from a psychologist, a counsellor, a minister/priest or a cancer support group. I highly recommend support groups because everyone else there 'gets' it! Most cancer patients don't want to upset their families and make them even more frightened than they already are (then you have to deal with their fear as well as your own), but it is absolutely vital to be able to be real and hear that other people have been through or are going through a very similar experience. Sherrell, I hope that things have improved for you now that you are a bit farther away from your diagnosis and treatment.
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Anxiety and depression are REALLY horrible, but in all honesty u have really good reason to feel that way, its a horrible and depression situation to be in isnt it! having said that u need to try anything to get out of it, I think u heal a lot better when having a positive outlook, plus its overall better for u too,I havent finished chemo so not in the same position as u but i really wish u well and hope u start to feel better soon as x
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.