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Coping with Down days
Pepper2021
7 Posts

I’m 45 with stage 2 breast cancer her2+ with a good prognosis. I’m currently on my 2nd round of chemo and have been fairly positive but I’m already tired of feeling awful. I can’t do very much without getting exhausted and need to rest after any activities. How do you cope with the down days? To not get too overwhelmed with the next year ahead of me (chemo/surgery/radiation). I have a very supportive network around me but they all treat me like I’m made of glass. I don’t like this whole cancer stuff :(.

10 Replies
JMH
10 Posts

@Pepper2021 I am also Stage 2 HER2 + and I just finished my 6th ( last) round of neoadjuvent Chem. There were days I sailed through and there were days of being down. I agree it’s hard,but being down is not a healthy place .I decided I would give myself time to be down and then I would go on Pinterest and find uplifting quotes until one resonate. Don’t beat yourself up(the chemo is already doing that😜) I had to tell my very loving supportive family that i needed to feel included not bubble wrapped. I said “I’m still me, I just have a different knowledge of my body.” You will find the strength, I have my surgery Thursday coming and my Oncologist could not feel any lumps in my breast. The chemo did its job. Take care and I am sending virtual hugs.❤️

JustJan
1033 Posts

@Pepper2021 what you are feeling is perfectly normal. My journey was a little bit different in that I had a lumpectomy, radiation, total hysterectomy and then chemo. I was 59/60 during treatment. For me, Chemo was the toughest part. My chemo was every 3 weeks and I remember every Friday of week 2, I would look at my husband and tell him I couldn’t do it anymore. He said yes you can and Saturday morning I was ready to go again. I think it’s okay to tell your support team to back off sometimes and let you do things for yourself. I appreciated my husband so much during this time but there were times when I got a little cranky and had to tell him to let me be. It does suck feeling awful but know it is temporary.

You can do this.

#cancersucks #Breastcancer #chemotherapy


Pepper2021
7 Posts

Great tips, thank you 😊! Best of luck on Thursday!!

supersu
498 Posts

@Pepper2021

good for you – you are working thru some very hard chapters of your cancer story.

and I love how well you articulate the 'down days' feelings. I am not a professional, but I am sure that acknowledging the feelings is the first and most important part of dealing with them!

thank you 🙌 for the post, I think it will help others in the same space as you are---we all have those days, and for some reason not much is discussed about this stuff. being positive ALL THE TIME is not reality!

is there support that you can access at your cancer centre?

it sounds like you have a strong loving & support network. you have had some great tips from @jmh & @JustJan – this community is a great place to come and share ALL the feels….we ‘get it’ here…..

sending best wishes that you are able to enjoy a meal and some time with loved ones this weekend.

cheers
su

#downdays #copewithbreastcancertreatments #idontlikecancereither

hailo
5 Posts

@Pepper2021

When I told friend and family about my diagnosis, I told them to spare me the pity train and to talk to me as if nothing changed. I asked them instead of sending "how are you today?" messages, to tell me about deals they found at the grocery store or the stupid sh!t their kids did today (we all have school aged kids). That way conversation just carries on and there's just more to talk about.

Be kind to yourself. I used to beat myself up when I got tired easily doing simple tasks during chemo. It took a while for me to let things go. But doing that helped me mentally. Allow yourself to be sad sometimes - it's normal and understandable.

Maybe try to find a new hobby? For me, I found solace through..colouring books. My best friend got me a swearing colouring book (very much up my alley..) and I spent a good chunk of chemo colouring. It helped channel my negative energy into those coloured pencils, plus looking at those swear words made me chuckle. And also because the brain fog I got during chemo was so bad that my brain couldn't focus on tv or anything else.

I met another breast cancer survivor in a store one day. She told me, "stay well rested, well fed and remember this is only a chapter in your life, your story is not over." I ended up getting the last line engraved in a ring that I wear constantly now.

Best of luck on your next cycle. Come to this community to vent, to laugh, to cry. I know I have.

Pepper2021
7 Posts

I love that idea about asking people to send deals/other talking points instead of how you feel. Im so grateful to have people checking in on me but sometimes it gets to be a lot. Thank you!

Daisy21
39 Posts

I allowed myself an hour so day to go for a drive and cry over my coffee .Pretending I was going to check mailbox. You are lucky to have so many people worried for u but I understand the constant cancer conversation, questions and Dr google .I have 4 kids in their mid 20s ,eldest son a paramedic ,said he snd his wife felt they must step back and let other siblings help as their life is stress free and they prefer to keep it so .I am absolutely so disappointed. My daughter that lives with us has been helpful most days and my husband took one day off work as money is low .I had DMC 3 weeks ago with two infections since one in drain ,one in incisions. I was angry before surgery and after that this is happening to me ,I even ran away two nites during recovery to hotel alone as felt that family were all carrying on around me like I had had a tooth pulled or something similar. Make meals for when u are home too as u know what u like 👍Be brave ,breathe, one minute at a time ,its a disease that thankfully had many new treatment options and great survival rates .Stay calm you really are stronger than you know until you are tested .Don't think too far ahead that's the Dr's job to plan everything. One tiny step at a time ……and before you know it you will be through it

Daisy21
39 Posts

Guess I should have told you I'm 45 with cancer in uterus, ovaries, breast ,and having liver biopsy and ct on lung nodules growing slowly in few weeks. Had mastectomy 3 weeks ago and next week having incisions closed as they opened, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, liver biopsy and hernia repair so if I can do this you can too .Fight it like a warrior ,be prepared, eat healthy this week ,eat light day before surgery, use senokot few days before .If u need any advice just ask ,I'm here

Essjay
1598 Posts

@Pepper2021 we all cope in different ways. What helped for me was my oncologist telling me that my ‘job’ was to stay well and keep to the schedule for treatment. Once I treated my treatment as a ’project’ to get through I ticked off the treatments and milestones one at a time, dealing with any hitches or side effects along the way.

My first round of chemo I made it to a wedding and lasted through the main course but had to drag my hubby away before dessert…Second dose on day 12 I made it out for a short snowshoe hike for a birthday picnic (hubby’) with friends and fell asleep in the restaurant we went to after…Some days I didn’t make it out of bed before lunch and could barely cope with Netflix, other days I made it out for a walk or to the gym, or I had coffee with a friend. The fatigue was cumulative and sometimes the side effects kept me from doing much (I suffered with diarrhea on AC)…

I was 50 when I started treatment, having been diagnosed with TNBC at 49. 3 year survivor now…

Daffy74
12 Posts

Hi Pepper2021!

The roller coaster of cancer and all it brings to the table sure is not easy! I am glad to see you have so many friends and family supporting you!

I , too have breast cancer. I have been though surgery and am currently doing chemo before moving on to radiation and then hormonal therapy. I am use to being the nurse, not the patient! It is hard! I, like you, have a great support system but sometimes, I just want to be left alone. I have cried many nights and have those days where I just want to run away and pretend all this is not happening to me. But then reality sets in and life goes on. I find, for me, what helps is letting it out when I need to. Sometimes a good cry helps get those festering feelings out and then I can face life a little bit more easily. I also find journaling helps. When I write down my feelings, I acknowledge them and then can move on. Sometimes it also helps me realize things as I write them. I also like to plan my days as this way it gives me a sense of purpose and also keeps me busy so I have less time to get inside my head. I like to colour too and also knit and crochet . They little projects I finish give me pride and also the planning of the projects gives me something to look forward to. I was also told by my team that my job for the next year is to look after myself and to manage my appointments so I hung my scrubs and let go of trying to return to work ASAP to care for the most important person in my life now. I also let my kids tell me all about their day and all the drama at school and dance so that takes my mind off things and keeps me entertained!!! My husband also has great stories from work so I live bicuriously through them! Lol. Hope this helps a little! Best of luck to you and keep you head up! You got this girl!!

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