Delayed reaction

Hi girls

I was diagnosed with stage 2B cancer a year ago and have undergone my treatment and was given the all clear in Oct last year, but I dont think its really hit me until now. A, of what quite it means or  B, what it is i am really dealing with post it all. I pushed it all aside and had to stay strong as my dad was really ill and my sister was getting married. I didnt want myself, let alone anyone else, to know quite what was going on.

I think i need counselling or possibly just even someone to talk to but have fallen through the slates slightly i think as well.  My GP keeps trying to refer me back to the hospital where i had my treatment but the nurse keeps pushing me back to the GP.  I am feeling a little lost and am not even sure where to start.  I dont know if i am feeling the way I am due to the whole cancer thing, knowing i cant have kids or just the emotions and everything I am now dealing with due to the early menopause (I was 32 when told I had cancer).  That in itself has not been fun as I am sure you are all finding as well.

I have days like today where i am fine but I know deep down inside I am not the person I was. 

Anyway I dont know if anyone else ever feels the same or has a massive delayed reaction like me. Or has ever had counselling and if so where i can go for that.



Hello Sweetheart,

I think a reaction like yours is much more common than anyone realises. As women, we are so used to putting our needs aside and looking after everyone else, it is easy for us to forget that we need to allow ourselves time to process a major life experience like this and grieve for all that has been lost, as well as celebrating our survivorship.

Provision for counselling under the NHS is limited and there can be a long waiting list. I managed to access counselling through the Maggie's Centre at my hospital but there are other cancer support charities that also provide support. You could call your CSN or MacMillan for advice about services in your area. If you are on a restricted income and have to resort to a private counsellor, Macmillan may be able to help you with a grant towards costs.

My employer also provides an Employee Assistance Programme, even though we're a  small charity. This is a BUPA service (we don't get private health care btw) and you can get a course of counselling over the phone under that scheme. Not as good as face to face I expect but better than struggling on alone. If you are employed its well worth asking what support you can tap in to that way.

Finally, I also heard about a charity called Odyssey that runs a one week course for people who have survived a cancer diagnosis. You need to be referred by your care team, but  some time out away from home in the countryside might be a goods way to get some space and perspective.

i found the counselling I had really helpful, so I'd recommend it to anyone. We aren't shy about doing what we need to do to heal our bodies and we should feel ok about doing the same for our hearts and minds.

much love to everyone struggling through and good luck to you, P x

Hi P 

thanks for the reply.  its good to know I am not the only one. I have been researching and have found a counsellor in my area I am going to call tomorrow and see if I can meet up with. 

I just hope I dont freeze up and actually manage to talk.It feels so odd to be like this is really not like me. 

thanks for all the advice. hugely helpful. As you can see its taken me a while to even get back to you.... i really need to stop and put myself first for a bit!

hope you are doing well.

S x

I hope you had some luck I  finding a counsellor.   I've been seeing one on a monthly basis since I finished my treatment in january.  I go to my not so local maggies centre but it is worth it.  What I find most helpful is that there is a constant point of reference each time so I am often able to pinpoint what may have triggered a bad patch or even how much progress I have made.

You are definately not alone on the delayed reaction as I think it is only now that everything is sinking in with me too! 

I really hope you find the support you need. It really isn't as easy to find as people think.  I also use a local charity called the old mill foundation where I can go for massage/reflexology etc and find that a huge help as I have contact with others who are able to understand, may be worth a google search to see if there is a similar facilty in your area.

Best of luck

Deb x