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Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

We had some friends out today and one of my friends said that since all of my treatments are over now, I can just go back to being the old me again. I just smiled and said yea, sure. Why can't people understand that I don't think I can go back to the old me, that I have changed, and probably not in a good way for now. I finished rads just a few months ago and I still feel lost. I still feel like I am kind of in a queary as to how do I forget about a recurrence, how do I just not think of my bc everyday. How do I not look at her or any of my other girlfriends and just say why, why me. Guess I am just feeling a little down and like others on here, needed to write this down. I will get past this, it just upset me that she thought I can go back to how I was before my bc, because I can't, no matter how hard I try. Thanks for reading this.

Megan

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

We all go thru this Megan. I got sick of hearing it too, so, I just ignored those comments. They mean well, they just don't understand. People close to me understand that I am still going thru a lot and will for awhile. It doesn't just go away after our treatments end. Hang in there and I promise, it will get better for you. And vent anytime you want. The rest of us do. LOL

Hugs, Angie

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I so get what your saying.

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

I think it hit you wrong because you know you cannot go back to the way you were. Having cancer changes you physically and emotionally. Those around you cannot understand what they cannot see. If they are really your friend, they will come to understand and accept the new you. If they don't, it's their loss.

Take care,

P

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

It did hit me wrong Aztec, as, I knew that my before bc was gone. I just want to feel good again, mentally and physically. I thought I was doing pretty good until she said that.

Thanks!

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

We accept the new you if no one else does. Keep that in mind. And I too want to feel well again.

Hang in there.

P

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you again Aztec! Thank you so much!

Hugs, Megan

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1245
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi there,

I'm brand new, surgery scheduled for Thursday, and already I hear the word "just." So, they say, just lummpectomy? Just radiation? Number one, that's what's scheduled, but who knows what they will find, how many nodes, clear margins or not, blah blah blah. And number two, it's that word "just." I haven't even begun and it's already minimized.

I hope to be as strong and real as all of you.

Victoria

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks for letting me know that it isn't just me feeling like this. It just hit me wrong yesterday when my girlfriend said that and I needed to vent. You are all the best!

Megan

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

Welcome to the site. I wish you well on your upcoming surgery.

Take care,

P

dash4
Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

Megan,
I have been in the cancer world since 2004 as caregiver for my husband and so I have learned way too much already. Now, when anyone says I will get back to the old me- I tell them, "the old me was gone once I got the cancer diagnosis. Nothing will ever be the same again." I am not being dramatic, just truthful. Every thought you mentioned in your post will not quit buzzing through my head too....and I have no idea who the new me is. I too am definitely struggling with day to day.
Keeping you im my prayers.
Mary Kay

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

bumping up

pinkkari09's picture
pinkkari09
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm with you Megan. I believe the old me is gone, and as already stated if people can't accept the new us then we have to just go on. I know that I'm still a good hearted person but I've lost a lot and I will never be the same. We are however better than we were because we are warriors and we have fought the biggest fight anyone can ever fight!! Remember your a beautiful person and you should be accepted for who you are through all of your changes and times of trial.
Mountains of Love and Big Hugs,
~Kari

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

I agree with everyone. The old me is no longer here, but, the new me isn't bad. I think it hurts us to hear people say that as we had nothing to do with the changeover. Like Kari said, we are warriors and for that alone, we have become stronger.

Hugs, Debby

roseann4
Posts: 994
Joined: Sep 2009

I wish it could be over. Onc visits every 3 months, frightening mammos every 6 months and don't get me started on the Arimidex side effects. I'm fatter and crabbier than ever before. It has been a rough year and lots is behind me but like the rest of you I'm clear about my mortality and try to make the most of each day. I'm not bitter but it is odd that people are surprized that I still come to the website and read about cancer. We've been tramatized and that doesn't go away with the end of our treatments. In fact, it can be more of a challenge when there is nothing more we can do but wait and hope it doesn't hit again. Hugs to all.

Roseann

Katz77
Posts: 598
Joined: Sep 2009

Amen sister. Im hoping that the "heavy" thoughts lighten up. Maybe not think of it allll the time. I've finished all treatments, but it seems that the treatments still exsist. Drs visits, daily meds, tests and the " oh, whats this bump?" lol We are at least here for each other. Thanks to all you wonderful women, and yes, you few men for giving me inspiration and hope. Gayla

Scotch Freckles's picture
Scotch Freckles
Posts: 273
Joined: Apr 2010

I still remember all the Dr. visits and wished I didn't have to go so often. Everyone who worked in the Dr.s offices were great. But, on my last visit on my way out the door I told all good bye, it's been nice knowning you all, it's not that I don't care about you all, but I am out of here, bye......That was April 1, 2007, and yes it never ends.

I read a lot of the messages and sometimes feel guilty that I was so fortunate to have caught my tumor quickely, had a lumpectomy before the turmor had time to generate nerve endings or blood vessels. But remember deeply my surgeon's apology of not getting me in sooner because on a scale of good, bad, and ugly, I had ugly and it was only a matter of days before ugly turned into deceased. To this day, even if I had an enemy I wouldn't wish chemo on anyone. But, I never make it through a day without wondering will or when the ugly dragon will rear it's head again.

I learned a long time ago laughter is the best medicine. There is humor in everything if you let it happen. We laugh alot everyday. I tell a lot of ladies, laugh, dance, sing a little song, dance in the rain, enjoy life as if it is the first sunny day of your life.

Just remember friends and family are not being insensitive, it's that they are relieved you are doing well, back in the circle of friends and family, and really don't know how to express their feelings to you, not familur with your new concerns of how you are dealing with life changes. Hang in there, there are plenty of us to help tickly your funny bone.

lizzie17
Posts: 528
Joined: Nov 2009

I like your outlook----we will never be the same, but to take it one step further---
"we are warriors and we have fought the biggest fight anyone can fight!!"
Thanks for that thought!!

padee6339's picture
padee6339
Posts: 765
Joined: Jun 2009

People minimize it because they don't want to deal with it. Your response "yea sure" tells them to back off and that's what they want to do. We give them the ok to back off. I got the "just a lumpectomy", and boy you were lucky no lymph nodes were involved. What they did not realize is that it has a high "rate of return" indicated by the Oncotype DX test, so I had 6 rounds of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. I've been out of treatment now since last June, so everyone just assumes I am 100% better. Every time I get undressed I realize how "not better" I am. I guess this is what we have to deal with every time we are in other people's company, and its incredibly sad, isn't it.
Hugs - Pat

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

What you just wrote Pat made so much sense. They don't want to deal with it or maybe even face the fact that someone they know or love has been afflicted with this terrible disease. So maybe they, our friends and family, just want to move on past it because they don't want to have to face it, never realizing that we can't do that so easily. Thanks!

Megan

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I so understand the way you felt too Megan. I wish I could go back to the old me, but, I can't either. I am sure that with time, we will all feel better. I haven't been out of treatment that long either, so, I just need to be patient. Good luck!

HUGS

creampuff91344's picture
creampuff91344
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

Megan, this post comes around about every three months, and each time someone experiences the reality that the "old me" is gone, it makes me sad. I am almost a year and a half out of treatment (lympectomy, chemo TAC, rads, and on year 2 of tamoxifen), and I still am offended when someone tells me "you are looking so good". Only those of us who have experienced the bc journey can understand that just because you look okay on the outside, the inside is forever changed. The day I finished my last rad treatment, I came home to cards, flowers, and phone calls telling me how wonderful it was going to be to get back to my real life. Little did anyone know, my "real life" is what I carry with me every day since diagnosis....not the before. We learn from our experience with the fight for our lives, we welcome all who carry us when we can't do for ourselves, and now we just wish that all of those concerned people could feel what we feel every day of our life...and that is that we are different, and still are in a healing mode of some kind. Some of us have our hair back, some have gained the weight back that was lost, some have new hair color or texture, some have gained weight because of the hormone receptors. But all of us carry the scars that breast cancer leaves, both physically and mentally. I feel lucky to be alive, happy to watch as my family grows and become their own persons, and sad that I can't go back to the way I was before diagnosis. My favorite placque is still sitting on the counter in my bathroom, and it says, "Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow". Our tomorrows are different than they were before diagnosis, but they are something we all look forward to celebrating. I have accepted my new world, and hope you can find a "new you" and celebrate it every day. Hugs. Judy

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I don't want to sound all depressed, because I am not. What she said just irritated me, a lot. I am thankful to be free of cancer and look forward to a long and healthy life. I just wish others that haven't been thru breast cancer could understand a little bit better, but, I know that isn't possible.

Thanks to all of you. You make me feel so much more a part of this board!

Hugs, Megan

GrandmaJ's picture
GrandmaJ
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

Your post is so true.... one of my friends called me a "hero"....I am not a hero, I am just trying to get through this. Chemo, lumpectomy and now half way through rads. And, as you said, we might look good on the outside, but the inside is full of fear, doubt and frustration. The only time I forget about all of this is when I spend time with my 2 year old granddaughter, who lives 200 miles away, so I don't see her as often as I need to.

Judy

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I really think we are all heros Judy, for all that we have to go thru. It sure isn't easy. But, we have shown that we are all stronger than the beast and will defeat it.

HUGS

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

I don't believe that we'll ever be our "old self" again and until you walk in our shoes I don't think you can understand that either. I can say that I've had my mortality brought before my eyes and I just don't look at life the same way anymore. I certainly don't take it for granted and try to live each day to the fullest. I try not to put off until tomorrow anything that I can do today...tomorrow is not a given, anymore. So, yes, things are different but not necessarily in a bad way. Life is precious and I intend to live it that way!!

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I hope you are feeling better Megan. I think that sometimes people just don't know what to say to us and sometimes they say something that hits a nerve with us. Try to talk to your girlfriend and explain to her how what she said hurt you. I wish we could go back to the way we were before bc too, but, we can't. But, who says we can't be better? Take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I always loved this post Megan. I think we all can relate to it! Thank you!

Lex

sbmly53
Posts: 1459
Joined: Jan 2010

I don't even remember the old me and don't know who the new me is yet. I do know I have an ever present thought about treatment not working, if it does, recurrance, etc. And Lymphadema. How can you not constantly be aware of playing with pets, gardening, bug bites, paper cuts....
People mean well, but they just don't get it.

Sue

Skeezie's picture
Skeezie
Posts: 583
Joined: Aug 2009

Remember the phrase "Until you've walked a mile in my shoes"? Well I feel it works in reverse. What I mean is, no one can possible even come close to imagining what we, or any big time illness survivor, has gone thru. How could they? In my wildest imagination I could not phathom all the anxiety, pokes, pains, surgeries, sickness from treatments and then all the side effects that are so horrible and on and on, not including the loss of hair, body parts, early menopause plus, plus, plus. I know I couldn't. My niece was dx 3yrs ago next month and although I was there with cards, flowers, concerns and prayers, I truly had no idea until it was me last June. I truly had no clue what I was sympathizing about, but I thought I knew. And when it was "over" and she was in bed still depressed and not taking phone calls, I couldn't possiblly understand. Til last June. When I used to think I could never be that brave, I didn't realize bravery has nothing to do with it. You do what you have to because you want to live. Someone said to me today when we were talking about someone having some illness and I said "Wow, I'm such a whimp etc." and she said not you, you are such a trooper etc. I'm not. Yesterday I hosted a luncheon for 50 of our volunteers and most hadn't seen me since our Xmas fundraiser the beginning of Dec 09 when I was too sick to put on make-up and wore a cap and no wig and they thought they would have to call 911 I looked so awful, tht yesterday (out of treatment since 12-11) that they all came up and hugged me and said how great Ilook and how great my "hiar" looks, all knowing it's a wig, and I was in my glory. I do feel great and I know my wig looks great and it's ok if they don't really know, I don't want them to feel bad for me. I'll do my "grieving" in private and when I'm out I forget and feel like the old me. I hope none of my dear friends ever will understand...that means they would have joined our group.

But here is where we let our hair down, here everyone understands, here is comforting to know it's not only me that feels depressed, or angry etc. Sometimes we just don't feel up to a group and that's ok...before bc I felt that way sometimes anyway. I feel there is no right or wrong way to feel and our moods shift and change and some days some jerky person can really get to us, just can't help it.

I forgive most people because they just don't know...I didn't either. I posted a wonderful video yesterday titled "The girls should be dressed in pink". If you haven't seen it yet, take a look...it's all about us here, it's very moving and I felt very inspired about this group and a few select friends/ relatives "on the outside".

Megan, I'm glad you're feeling better. I don't work so I don't have to put up with the jerks at work anymore and boy there are some real jerks. But they were before bc and we probably ignored them then too.

The sun is shining today and I feel very hopeful...

Hugs, Judy :-)

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks Judy. Your post brought tears to my eyes as you understand and explained it all so well. Yes, the sun is shining and I want to make the most of my day however I can.

Thanks again!

Hugs, Megan

Skeezie's picture
Skeezie
Posts: 583
Joined: Aug 2009

When I was first finished with treatment, it felt so good to be able to eat and feel so much better and that's all I thoght about. But now, I'm pretty used to feeling pretty good and now my mind starts rehashing the past few months and my mind jumps ahead to my first mammogram on the remaining breast and fears of having to do this all over again or have a recurrence. Whether it's a fake boob like mine or reconstruction like so many others, it's still not the same, not being able to get blood pressure taken or iv's or blood test in the "bc arm", are all physical reminders of bc and will never go away. We must choose to deal with it as best we can, some days good, some days not. We just have to love the good days and hope for more of them than the other days.

The bad days, we are here for each other...thank heaven! I'm so happy I was able to help.

Hugs, Judy :-)

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Like everyone says, it is hard, if not impossible to go back to the way we were. But, we need to realize that we beat the beast and find that new us and maybe become even better. Realize how lucky we are to have survived it and to really look into enjoying our future's even more. I, as others, fall into the slump of where I feel sorry for myself to, but, I try to pull out of it as quickly as I can. I am sorry that what your friend said upset you. People that haven't been thru what we have, just don't understand. Hope you feel better Megan!

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Megan, your post is so much of what we all go thru with our friends, coworkers and families. It was great that you finally got it off of your chest and confronted your friends. I bet it has even made your friendships better and made you feel better too. Continued good health to you!

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

You did help me a lot Judy! I am lucky to have found this board and to have found all of you!

Hugs, Megan

canoegirl's picture
canoegirl
Posts: 169
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks for this thread Megan. It helps knowing that I'm not the only one who gets annoyed by what certain people say. I know they mean well (Well I'm not sure that they ALL mean well, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt), but sometimes I just want to scream.

BTW, I love your picture of the kitten! Makes me smile everytime I see it.

Hugs,
Marcy

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

No, you are not alone Marcy. I am just glad too to know that I am not the only one. I thought maybe I was just being over sensitive.

Glad you like my kitten picture and that it makes you smile.

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

Me too. I like your pic of the kitty. It looks like my baby when he was little. It also makes me smile.

P

Sharon40's picture
Sharon40
Posts: 93
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks Judy,
So well put - that's all I can say! I am off to get a tissue!!

pscheer
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

I am new to this site. How can I view your post of The girls should be dressed in pink?
Thank you.

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

You sound like you are doing better now Megan. I hope so. Vent here anytime you need to. That is why we are here, to help.

NAN033's picture
NAN033
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2010

I think that after you hear that BC news and have surgery and rads and I too am on Arimedix. I am crabby and tired and now I need to take blood pressure meds daily. Trying to get back to a regular schedule. And this all started right after Thanksgiving. But I am fortunate to have a friend who lets me be all of these and loves me any way but she has been my friend for over 45 years. I think that makes a difference. She sent me a journal book She called it my ugly book and told me It was just to right things that make me annoyed or angry. When I opened it I laughed. Surprisingly it helps me cope on bad days. When I try not to take it out on my family. But everyday is a new journey. Friday is another doctor visit. But you keep going cause you try to have hope!!!

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

I hear you. I am not anywhere near done, still have over a year of treatments with the Herception. And I feel right now that my life will never be the same again. I am not sure why people think that life will just got back to the way it was before or that we will be the same person. There is a bitter sweet feeling about it. There is a loss of naivety when we have cancer and brush with death, it opens our eyes a little or pushes in directions we would never have chosen to go and confront aspects of ourselves. It is very very different from how we were before.

I did hear from the breast cancer educator and counsellor at the clinic where I go tell me that women after cancer they really transform into truly amazing people. I see that already on this site with what all of us are enduring as a result of this cancer and even in the down moments you are all so amazing.

I don't think trying to go back to the way you were before breast cancer is the answer and as you said you cannot. The best to do is to keep moving forward with what you have, your health and life.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Mariam! The loss of naivety when we have cancer and brush with death, it opens our eyes a little or pushes us in directions we would never have chosen to go! That is so right, so perfect! I am trying to move forward, I really am. I guess when she said that, it just brought me down, where I don't want to be and try not to be. I just couldn't get it out of my head. I told my husband how much it upset me and he understands the best that he can. He knows that I am still troubled and he sympathizes with me. I guess I just need all of you to listen to me and to tell me that I am ok. Thank you!

Hugs, Megan

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Mariam! The loss of naivety when we have cancer and brush with death, it opens our eyes a little or pushes us in directions we would never have chosen to go! That is so right, so perfect! I am trying to move forward, I really am. I guess when she said that, it just brought me down, where I don't want to be and try not to be. I just couldn't get it out of my head. I told my husband how much it upset me and he understands the best that he can. He knows that I am still troubled and he sympathizes with me. I guess I just need all of you to listen to me and to tell me that I am ok. Thank you!

Hugs, Megan

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

This post is so informative and says so much of how I feel too.  It would be great to go back to the way we were before breast cancer, but like everyone writes, it is not possible.  But, that just makes me want to make myself better, a better wife, a better person, a better friend, a better everything.  Anyone else feel like that?

 

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Pinkrose, we all, at times, wish we could go back to prior bc, but, what we need to do is focus on our after bc and make it the best that we can.  That's why this forum is so great.  We can speak freely and get help and support from survivors that understand.  I think you will find that to be very true.

Good luck!

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Hello Megan,

We simply cannot ever go back to the way we were prior to cancer it is not possibility as we are forever changed emotionally, mentally, physically it is as if we have been rewired. Folk who have never had to deal with a life threatening illness that is treated and then can loom inside waiting to return for Act 2 or 3 have no way to understand how we feel. I have been dealing with this for 12 years now and I think ahhhh cancer with every new ache, thob or change. It has kept me alive cause it makes me go to the doctor and get checked out. We can still live a happy life and with time it won't be so raw for you, it is who you are now and somewhere along the line there is usually one or two truly close people who will end up sort of getting it.

Hugs to you,

RE

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Bumping up for sisters going through this too

JillyB's picture
JillyB
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

Megan,
I personally think ppl saying things like that is more for them. They don't or most likely didn't really know what to say while you were going thru treatment and now that it is over, it is for them too. It's kind of like, maybe they can relax more, and not have to worry so much about you. Make any sense? My advice would be to choose those closest to you who you really care about, and care about you, and if They are saying these things, sit them down and really talk to them about what you are still going through. Have like a heart to heart....hope that helped at all...
jilly

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

You are probably right Jilly. My gf just didn't know what to say, and ofcourse, it hit me wrong. I haven't yet sat her down and told her how it made me feel, but, you are right, I really should. Thanks for your help Jilly.

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