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emmae
@emmae

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 05, 2019

Help finding a positive attitude

Posted by @emmae, Thu, Feb 7 6:32am

Hi all
I am new to this site and this is my first post. I am having A/C chemo for Triple Negative breast cancer, stage 3. I just finished 4 rounds and am due to start a different chemo drug next week.
I am really struggling with finding a positive attitude. I seemed to have slipped into a dark place that I having trouble getting out of. I know that a positive frame of mind is a huge part of the battle and I want to be able to have that but for whatever reason this feeling of depression is completely overwhelming me. I would be so grateful for thoughts on how to tackle this from anyone else who has experienced it. It seems like cancer is robbing me of who I am, what I look like and taking my personality.
I am hoping when I move o to my new chemo drug next week this may improve but 12 more sessions of chemo, then surgery and radiation feels daunting to say the least. I have a supportive family and I the hear the positive messages they are giving me, however I am having trouble believing them.
Any ideas on how to push past this would be gratefully received. Emma

REPLY

Some of that positive attitude stuff we hear as cancer patients really pisses me off. Many people use the belief that a “positive attitude makes all the difference in the world” to stifle some really dark horrible terrifying feelings. I think we need the space to feel whatever we feel and to express those feelings and to be heard by friends and family as scary as that may be for them. Here is a post I just shared on Facebook with my friends and family. I have been very open and honest about my personal experience in the hopes that I can educate others about what it means to really be there for us as we go through this. Perhaps you might find some hope in these words. I, too, went to a very dark place during my first chemo drug. It really changed my brain chemistry.

Almost one year to the day of my surgery I have finally experienced a few moments of genuine happiness. A few moments of not being terrified for my life and my kids in every waking moment. A few nights of only waking once or twice in full on panic. A few moments of not being consumed by fear of hidden cancer cells and recurrence and a shortened life of pain and suffering.

To all those in the “club” who assured me that it would get a little easier with each passing year, I thank you! I have held onto that hope so tightly to get me here. Although my treatment will continue for many more years, I am hopeful that the worst of it is behind me.

To others who are just starting on this horrible, terrifying, painful journey I offer you this post as hope that the fear that may now consume your every moment will ease-no matter how impossible that feels right now. The journey, whatever path you choose, will be worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it. Our surgical scars, our chemo wrinkles, our radiation tattoos and discoloration map our journey and showcase our strength.

Perhaps in our lifetime there will be a cure or a full understanding of what causes this disease and a global commitment to eradicate the causes. Until then we make the choices that are best for us and count on love and support to buoy us up through the real shit parts. Thanks to everyone who has offered me support this past year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

I have stage 4 ER positive HERS negative. I look at each day as a blessing, those days might be fewer than I’d like but I have as many as I am blessed with & want to make them count. Some days may be harder than others but I am blessed to be alive with thought & mobility. As I go about my day I always find there is someone less blessed than me, whether they have no arms, legs or are struggling with the challenges of diseases like MS, it reminds me of my blessings, no matter how many, today, I can articulate my words & move my body to build a positive memory to all those I meet throughout my day. God has blessed me with another day, for that I stay on the positive side. I send my wish that you lay your head down tonight knowing you are blessed & that you have left someone you encounter today with a positive memory.

Your attitude alone is your biggest blessing! Prayers for continued strength and encouragement. God bless you.

Liked by oilermama

@bluewater

I have stage 4 ER positive HERS negative. I look at each day as a blessing, those days might be fewer than I’d like but I have as many as I am blessed with & want to make them count. Some days may be harder than others but I am blessed to be alive with thought & mobility. As I go about my day I always find there is someone less blessed than me, whether they have no arms, legs or are struggling with the challenges of diseases like MS, it reminds me of my blessings, no matter how many, today, I can articulate my words & move my body to build a positive memory to all those I meet throughout my day. God has blessed me with another day, for that I stay on the positive side. I send my wish that you lay your head down tonight knowing you are blessed & that you have left someone you encounter today with a positive memory.

Jump to this post

That is exactly what I try to do. I am blessed with a family that is quite supportive, but I also have a strong faith in God. While I am not a church goer, I have always had my conversations with him. During my second chemo round whereupon I was quite frightened from the outcome, I woke up in the middle of the night hearing a voice telling me "I will be with you constantly." On my third round I woke up in the middle of the night hearing "Have patience." Since that time, I have been calm and when I am in doubt, I tell my self, I will be with you constantly and have patience. I am also starting a Mindfulness Meditation practice that will be 8 weeks and am finding that that is also quite calming as well as walking in my neighborhood — am having a bit of trouble with my balance so take my trusty hiking sticks to keep me upright! All the best to all of you in this group — take one day at a time and look forward, not backward.

@tessfair1

Some of that positive attitude stuff we hear as cancer patients really pisses me off. Many people use the belief that a “positive attitude makes all the difference in the world” to stifle some really dark horrible terrifying feelings. I think we need the space to feel whatever we feel and to express those feelings and to be heard by friends and family as scary as that may be for them. Here is a post I just shared on Facebook with my friends and family. I have been very open and honest about my personal experience in the hopes that I can educate others about what it means to really be there for us as we go through this. Perhaps you might find some hope in these words. I, too, went to a very dark place during my first chemo drug. It really changed my brain chemistry.

Almost one year to the day of my surgery I have finally experienced a few moments of genuine happiness. A few moments of not being terrified for my life and my kids in every waking moment. A few nights of only waking once or twice in full on panic. A few moments of not being consumed by fear of hidden cancer cells and recurrence and a shortened life of pain and suffering.

To all those in the “club” who assured me that it would get a little easier with each passing year, I thank you! I have held onto that hope so tightly to get me here. Although my treatment will continue for many more years, I am hopeful that the worst of it is behind me.

To others who are just starting on this horrible, terrifying, painful journey I offer you this post as hope that the fear that may now consume your every moment will ease-no matter how impossible that feels right now. The journey, whatever path you choose, will be worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it. Our surgical scars, our chemo wrinkles, our radiation tattoos and discoloration map our journey and showcase our strength.

Perhaps in our lifetime there will be a cure or a full understanding of what causes this disease and a global commitment to eradicate the causes. Until then we make the choices that are best for us and count on love and support to buoy us up through the real shit parts. Thanks to everyone who has offered me support this past year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It is a weird comfort to me knowing that you and possibly others have felt or feel the same fears and have the same emotions. Thank you for having the courage to post real feelings on Facebook, it is so easy to try and cover those feelings and pretend that we are coping well.
I know that this journey brings many different emotions and hopefully this is a phase that will pass as time moves on. I take encouragement from people who have walked this path and made it through the other side. Thank you

@bluewater

I have stage 4 ER positive HERS negative. I look at each day as a blessing, those days might be fewer than I’d like but I have as many as I am blessed with & want to make them count. Some days may be harder than others but I am blessed to be alive with thought & mobility. As I go about my day I always find there is someone less blessed than me, whether they have no arms, legs or are struggling with the challenges of diseases like MS, it reminds me of my blessings, no matter how many, today, I can articulate my words & move my body to build a positive memory to all those I meet throughout my day. God has blessed me with another day, for that I stay on the positive side. I send my wish that you lay your head down tonight knowing you are blessed & that you have left someone you encounter today with a positive memory.

Jump to this post

Thank you for your wise words and your courage and strength. I will make a move towards your way of thinking and be thankful that I am able to get up, move around and have my own mind. Thank you

Liked by oilermama

@trixie1313

That is exactly what I try to do. I am blessed with a family that is quite supportive, but I also have a strong faith in God. While I am not a church goer, I have always had my conversations with him. During my second chemo round whereupon I was quite frightened from the outcome, I woke up in the middle of the night hearing a voice telling me "I will be with you constantly." On my third round I woke up in the middle of the night hearing "Have patience." Since that time, I have been calm and when I am in doubt, I tell my self, I will be with you constantly and have patience. I am also starting a Mindfulness Meditation practice that will be 8 weeks and am finding that that is also quite calming as well as walking in my neighborhood — am having a bit of trouble with my balance so take my trusty hiking sticks to keep me upright! All the best to all of you in this group — take one day at a time and look forward, not backward.

Jump to this post

Good morning and thank you for your reply. I am a woman of faith and that does help me although it brings its own challenges too. I have taken a lot of comfort in God’s word, at times I have felt his presence strongly and at other times feel quite alone. I too force myself to walk in my neighborhood and try to appreciate each moment. It is scary for me that these negative feelings can get such a hold as I do consider myself to be a strong person with a positive attitude. I am hoping a lot of it is a side effect of the chemo. I will continue to pray for courage and strength for myself and others going through this horrible journey.

Good morning to you all. I too have been fighting depression and fear. Sometimes you feel so alone. I'm so glad I found this forum. I live in a very isolated area of our province so haven't access to groups or councillors si it helps to read that others feel the fear same as me. I'm trying so hard to be positive but it's so so hard. Hang in there everyone. I will try to practice what I preach.

@emmae

Good morning and thank you for your reply. I am a woman of faith and that does help me although it brings its own challenges too. I have taken a lot of comfort in God’s word, at times I have felt his presence strongly and at other times feel quite alone. I too force myself to walk in my neighborhood and try to appreciate each moment. It is scary for me that these negative feelings can get such a hold as I do consider myself to be a strong person with a positive attitude. I am hoping a lot of it is a side effect of the chemo. I will continue to pray for courage and strength for myself and others going through this horrible journey.

Jump to this post

@trixie1313 My Faith has helped to sustain me since my diagnosis. I am so Thankful to have a Pastor who also supports Mental Health Counseling. I have been in counseling through Mayo. I just had a wonderful Mindfulness Consultation this morning. The Breast Clinic at Mayo scheduled i.

@karendb

Good morning to you all. I too have been fighting depression and fear. Sometimes you feel so alone. I'm so glad I found this forum. I live in a very isolated area of our province so haven't access to groups or councillors si it helps to read that others feel the fear same as me. I'm trying so hard to be positive but it's so so hard. Hang in there everyone. I will try to practice what I preach.

Jump to this post

Hope you’re doing good today. This disease does this. Take care of yourself. 💓

@tammyp

@trixie1313 My Faith has helped to sustain me since my diagnosis. I am so Thankful to have a Pastor who also supports Mental Health Counseling. I have been in counseling through Mayo. I just had a wonderful Mindfulness Consultation this morning. The Breast Clinic at Mayo scheduled i.

Jump to this post

That’s good!

@bluewater

I have stage 4 ER positive HERS negative. I look at each day as a blessing, those days might be fewer than I’d like but I have as many as I am blessed with & want to make them count. Some days may be harder than others but I am blessed to be alive with thought & mobility. As I go about my day I always find there is someone less blessed than me, whether they have no arms, legs or are struggling with the challenges of diseases like MS, it reminds me of my blessings, no matter how many, today, I can articulate my words & move my body to build a positive memory to all those I meet throughout my day. God has blessed me with another day, for that I stay on the positive side. I send my wish that you lay your head down tonight knowing you are blessed & that you have left someone you encounter today with a positive memory.

Jump to this post

God bless you. In my thoughts.

Liked by emmae

@tessfair1

Some of that positive attitude stuff we hear as cancer patients really pisses me off. Many people use the belief that a “positive attitude makes all the difference in the world” to stifle some really dark horrible terrifying feelings. I think we need the space to feel whatever we feel and to express those feelings and to be heard by friends and family as scary as that may be for them. Here is a post I just shared on Facebook with my friends and family. I have been very open and honest about my personal experience in the hopes that I can educate others about what it means to really be there for us as we go through this. Perhaps you might find some hope in these words. I, too, went to a very dark place during my first chemo drug. It really changed my brain chemistry.

Almost one year to the day of my surgery I have finally experienced a few moments of genuine happiness. A few moments of not being terrified for my life and my kids in every waking moment. A few nights of only waking once or twice in full on panic. A few moments of not being consumed by fear of hidden cancer cells and recurrence and a shortened life of pain and suffering.

To all those in the “club” who assured me that it would get a little easier with each passing year, I thank you! I have held onto that hope so tightly to get me here. Although my treatment will continue for many more years, I am hopeful that the worst of it is behind me.

To others who are just starting on this horrible, terrifying, painful journey I offer you this post as hope that the fear that may now consume your every moment will ease-no matter how impossible that feels right now. The journey, whatever path you choose, will be worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it. Our surgical scars, our chemo wrinkles, our radiation tattoos and discoloration map our journey and showcase our strength.

Perhaps in our lifetime there will be a cure or a full understanding of what causes this disease and a global commitment to eradicate the causes. Until then we make the choices that are best for us and count on love and support to buoy us up through the real shit parts. Thanks to everyone who has offered me support this past year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Jump to this post

That is very well said. Thank you. I want your message to give me encouragement as well as others here. 😊💓

Being diagnosed with and treated for cancer is very hard. I have worked through pretty much every emotion I can imagine. I've felt complete and consuming fear, depression, anger and resentment. I think it's completely normal to have to face all of these emotions and everyone is different in how they cope. Depending on your cancer diagnosis and circumstance it can feel really isolating and overwhelming. Of course you want and think you should have the energy to 'fight' but sometimes it's hard to work up that extra energy, especially when you're going through treatments and need all your strength to just get up everyday.
Unfortunately, there wasn't any kind of counseling or support group available to me that didn't require a great deal of planning and effort on my part. Neither my doctors, insurance or hospital had any kind of support group (pretty pitiful isn't it?) so I found this Mayo site and it's been a lifesaver for me.
I think we all have to find a way to work through this. Some people join groups, some turn to their faith or churches, some get out and march…some (like me) get through it hoping for the least damage possible and hoping maybe they can be a support to the next person who comes along and might need a shoulder to cry on….and it's ok to cry. We don't all have to dress in full pink outfits and act as if this isn't possible the hardest thing we'll ever do or face….because it's truly difficult.
My challenge is getting up everyday and being grateful for just this one day and making the most of it – in whatever form it takes.

Well said. You have described my feelings and emotions to a T.

Liked by oilermama

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