The help was out there when I looked!


I haven't posted for weeks, partly due to internet issues (grrr!!) and partly because I've just felt so lethargic and low that I really couldn't be bothered to do anything at all. I knew I should be upping my physical activity levels and eating more healthily but I just couldn’t face making the effort. I've been getting stressed so easily and, goodness me, I hate it every time someone tells me I look well. I want to shout, "But I'm not well! I'm not back to normal yet and you probably think I'm a wimpy malingerer!!" Needless to say, I haven't shouted those things. I've just shuffled off and got back under my cosy blanket. I lie there, knowing I'm not right but not knowing whether it's the aftermath of being told I had cancer, recovering from a big op, stresses about returning to work, the menopause, the wrong HRT........My consultant has made it clear I am recovered and cancer free (hooray!) and my GP is signing me off work without even really discussing how I feel. I feel adrift.

So yesterday I went to my local Maggie's Centre. Oh my goodness - the difference it has made to my mood! I had some reflexology and then a load of really friendly people complimented my knitting :) and told me of course I still feel like this because it's perfectly normal. (I think I need to be told that every day!) Then the person running the centre told me about a course they're running called, "What Now?" (or something) which sounds like just the kind of thing I need to help me move on. But the main thing is, she told me she had a lot of experience in gynae oncology and asked about my menopause and HRT. I'm going to see her and she's going to help me find one that suits me as she thinks that may be part of my problem. Yippee!! (My GP didn't seem to know that much about it.) She's also someone who is experienced in talking about another source of distress for me - will I ever be able to cope with the idea of sex again? 

Anyway, I felt instantly more upbeat. I was thinking that my medical team had washed their hands of me and that that meant I should get a grip and get back to normal. I felt like I had been abandoned when I still needed a bit more professional TLC. Well, here it is! I'm posting this because I imagine there will be others out there who are feeling a little bit lost and like they just have to get on with it. I know there aren't Maggie's Centres everywhere but I know there are lots of other cancer care organisations. Knowing I have that support has given me a spring in my step. I've even cleaned the kitchen sink! I'm going to be okay but I just need a bit of coaching in this next phase. So my message is, there seems to be help out there and we’re entitled to it.

Hope you’re all doing okay and sending hugs to all who need it!


Kirsty xx


Hi Kirsty,

Great post as always. So glad you have found your mojo and are back on here sending such a positive message.


Wonderful post.  I was 1B2, 6 weeks chemoradiation followed by Brachytherapy.  I will be 3 years in remission in May.  I still don't feel the same, I don't think we ever will be.  I became a different person the day they said 'you've got cancer'.  I think after what I went through (I was so ill with the treatment), the fact that I was thrown into menopause overnight, and my mental health, will never be what they were.  They are still there, but they are different.  Every twinge I get, is cancer (of course not physically, but mentally).  I view things differently, some things are more impirtant, some things less.  We will never be what we were, pre cancer, but life is VERY good afterwards, just differeI know what you mean about being on your own after the medical team have finished what they needed to.  I felt the same, and it is very common.  You have been under a little safety umbrella, with people looking after your ever worry.  Then suddenly the medical team say, 'that's it, we've finished your treatment', then you go home, and then what?  I had been at the hospital every day for 6 weeks, and then weekly for 3 weeks, then suddenly I was at home and told to come back in 3 momths!  I had everyone asking about me, and how I felt, everyday at the hospital, and then they tell me to go away for 3 months!  I expected to feel like that though, I had gone through the same thing with my little girl, when she has cancer.

As for the sex thing.  My boyfriend and I had an amazing sex life before cancer, couldn't keep our hands off each other.  Then I started treatment, and I could not bare the thought of him coming h=near me and didn't care if I never had sex again.  That wore off, and we soon went back to having sex, not as much, but I think with menopause the libido decreases anyway.  But, it was just as good.  It takes time, it really does.

Thank you Kirsty!

i have just looked it up having read your post, but am a bit far away from a Maggie's! Thre don't seem to be very many of them. However, I am going to contact my Macmillan councillor again; as you know I have been feeling pretty much exactly the way you have! Think I need a chat/kick up the bum.


Molly xxx

Brilliant post Kirsty!

I didn't have access to a Maggies but when I got really low I found a Macmillan counsellor who turned my whole life around, so I can strongly recommend that (even if it means crossing Europe, living in drizzle for 3 months and paying for the counselling!)

Don't you just hate that "You look so well" crap? Yeah, that's right, I got my diagnosis at the hairdressers, never had to suffer a speculum nor a biopsy or nothing, just a bad hair day and bam! You have cancer. Idiots!

Be lucky :-)


Counsellor! Lol. I was going to discuss local services, clearly.


Thanks for posting this Kirsty :-)

Everyone at some point feels low and not the same

as they were before,and thats because we're not!

Just to know that you are not alone and even though we may look

fine(ARRRGH!!!)we're struggling to get to grips with what and

who we are now on every level.NO TIME LIMITS it takes as long as it

takes.We're not throwing a "sickie" here, we had/have cancer and yes

its a big deal.

Brilliant that you have found somewhere you feel safe to talk your feelings

through.Been with people who understand instantly improves my self esteem.

All the best for the future.

Take care

Becky x  

LOL! Don't worry about it Molly, when I originally mentioned that I was in need of a counsellor someone gave me a list of lawyers in Athens. Personally, I prefer the refuse removal team, much nicer to talk to ;-)

Keep smiling


I couldn't remember how to  spell "Welsh" the other day. I kept trying to put a superfluous "C" in there. My cognitive function is rubbish!

K xx

Just because it's rubbish Kirsty there is no need to leave it out for the refuse removal team ;-D

Be happy


Hee hee! I'm hoping to upscale it into something useful at some stage. I've got a vague recollection it's useful. ;)

Thanks, Suzy! Feeling positive. :) 

Thanks folks!

I always thought I could imagine what it would be like to get a cancer diagnosis and yet it wasn't how I thought it would be. I was a bag of nerves (horrendous!) until I knew what the stage and treatment was and then a strange kind of calm came over me - except for brief moments ever few days when I would panic and lose the plot! ;)

I had heard of other people getting cancer diagnoses and then having "just" surgery and then getting the all clear. I breathed a sigh of relief for them and thought how lucky they were to have it all over. After all, "proper" cancer treatment was chemo and radiotherapy. It has come as such a shock to me to discover that my radical hysterectomy is so hard for me to recover from emotionally. What I have learned is that any feelings I have over this are not at all original - there are lots of other people who feel just like this and I can't tell you what a comfort that is. :) What a lovely forum! Thank you! :)

Kirsty xx