• what am I supposed to feel

    Asked by Danielle3 on Sunday, August 30, 2015

    what am I supposed to feel

    After being diagnosed I cried (this was on 8/28) I am praying and trying to stay strong. But I break down and cry again. What am I supposed to feel? Is it a process of emotions?

    42 Answers from the Community

    42 answers
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      There is no wrong way to feel when it comes to this stuff. All your feelings are valid. Give yourself the time and the space you need to process. There is no timetable to these feelings either.

      Cancer hits everyone differently. We share a lot of common ground, but each of us comes from our own unique place that cancer disrupts. I think I can safely say that it is a roller coaster for all.

      Please be gentle with yourself. There are no "shoulds" when it comes to processing this.

      about 4 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      It is okay to cry!!!! You just got a very shocking diagnosis. It gets easier with time for most people. Once treatments begin and you can feel like you're fighting back against the intruder disease.

      Big hugs!!! You go ahead and cry ... and then ... pick up your shield and get ready to fight!!!! (and, on occasion, perhaps, cry again ... this whole experience can be very overwhelming.)

      Big, big hugs.

      about 4 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar
      debsweb18

      When I was diagnosed I had tears but didn't really cry. After about a week I sat down and cried my eyes out. I felt do much better!

      about 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      One doesn't stay strong.

      One becomes strong to rout the cancer.

      It is entirely okay to grieve for your lost good health and grieving is a process.

      Take a lot of deep breaths. Your body needs the oxygen and it is calming.

      Best wishes for recovered good health.

      about 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Daniella, you are supposed to feel exactly what you are feeling. The tears and the rending heart is a plea to god, a question why, you have so much fear that it's paralyzing. You feel fear of the pain, fear of treatments, fear of how this will change you, fear of what this will do to your family and friends, fear of finances.

      We can say- our body doesn't define us, it's what is inside us that counts, and that is still true, but we lose part of ourself. I felt that my body betrayed me, I felt disgusted and angry at my own body. I'm single and old, so I'm alone. Sometimes some demented guy thinks I'm interesting, but my surgery was my lip- my nose-- I don't want to kiss anybody that way. I'm scared of my lip being hurt. I'm scared of my nose being hurt. We are just plain scared and angry. We don't want to lose our hair-but some chemos let you keep your hair.

      I'm not a chemo patient, radiation. I said, Well, I'm going home, and my grandson is going to cut my hair off and shave my head, so my hair won't come out in messy clumps. My doctor stared- "WHO told you to do that? You won't lose your hair from radiation!! All of the ACS propaganda explained about total hair loss. It just forgot to mention that radiation was different. Just the area that's targeted. So I have half of a mustache and no nose hairs in one side of my nose.

      Lots of what you think will happen- won't, but you'll have lots of little things bother you. Many people have dry mouth. My disabled vet son doesn't have cancer, but his meds give him dry mouth-so we chew sugarless gum, suck on lemon drops, use Biotene for the night.

      Keep praying, and trust god. Ask questions. I believe that we have videos on this site where people explain pretty much what breast cancer treatment is like. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I think of other people that have it really bad. On the news a few days ago, I saw a 12 year old Christian boy that had his right hand cut off, and his left leg cut, because he refused to stop believing in Jesus Christ. ISIS did this. If people like him can survive- I can survive. Some people think that's depressing, so think about how lucky you are to be in a country that has excellent care for breast cancer. I think that it's like we had a car wreck, and we have to work to get well.

      I'm talking too much.

      about 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Try to take one day at a time-get through one problem at a time. make a list of questions. Take somebody with you that can take notes-then ask us anything you want-anytime you want.

      about 4 years ago
    • Danielle3's Avatar
      Danielle3

      Thank you guys so much. Its nearly 5am in the morning and I can't sleep but reading the post helped calm me. It matters

      about 4 years ago
    • cak61's Avatar
      cak61

      I cried a lot! And six years later, still do from time to time. It's a scary thing, this cancer!
      This community will give you a lot of information and tips on how to get through it.
      I was a wreck at first and asked my doctor for something for my nerves. It was so helpful, especially for being able to get to sleep.
      Deep breaths, one day at a time.

      about 4 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Believe me, it's normal to cry and pray and to feel as if your heart is rent asunder. When I found out I had BC, I cried a lot, wondered if I did something to bring cancer upon myself, even thought God was angry with me for some reason. I wanted so much to understand how this could happen, especially since BC didn't run in my family. I had dreadful thoughts of being bald, gaining weight, and being sick all the time, especially after I found out I couldn't dodge chemo. There were days when I felt fine and days when I wanted to throw the adult version of a temper tantrum. Days when I could pretned I didn'thave cancer and days when I was sensitive to everything. When I was going through chemo, that was the roughest part ofr me both physically and emotionally, as my first infusion sent me to the hospital for 3 days with neutropenia, and everyone had to don disposable scrubs when visiting me and couldnt' hug me. One nurse lamented that at the time when I needed it most, I couldn't get the mother's hug she felt I surely did deserve. Emotionally, I felt like I wasn't even a woman anymore, especially after my hair fell out and I developed thrush and chemo mouth; I felt like some kind of ape, this not being helped by my sister, thinking joking around would lift my spirits, calling me a "hairless beast". After chemo was over, I began to feel as close to normal as one can while on a cancer journey. To this day, I feel pretty much as I did before diagnosis; however, Tamoxifen has caused me some weight gain and I still tend to nap. It's been 2 years and some change since the diagnosis, and I'm back to exercising 6 days a week and am doing all I can to stay healthy. Please know it's normal to cry, and you will have good days and bad ones. We've all walked miles in the shoes you have just put on, so feel free to come to us with any questions or venting. HUGS and God bless.

      about 4 years ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar
      Judytjab

      It is perfectly normal to cry. You will go through such an emotional roller coaster. I know I did. I cried, couldn't eat, and was scared, angry, etc. I had to call my doctor for Xanax. It helped soooo much. I only took it for a short while but it calmed me so I could research and think about my options. After I found out my treatment plan, I was 100% better and I think you will be also. Research and ask LOTS of questions to all your doctors and to us. We're not doctors but we've all been through it and can give you our experiences. Make sure you take someone with you to all your Dr. appts. because you won't be in a state of mind to hear everything that's said. Hang in there, you are stronger than you think. ((Hugs)) to you and I wish you peace on all your decisions.

      about 4 years ago
    • vtra's Avatar
      vtra

      I cried, and cried, and then cried some more. And I was very angry in the beginning. I kept working in the first 5 months of treatment, and did chemo and radiation at night after work. So, there was no extra time to attend a support group. This online community was my support group. They answered every question, calmed every fear. I finished all treatments last September, and can tell you now that I don't think about it every day anymore. When I was first diagnosed,I was sure I would end up dying early. Now, I think a bad thing happened to me, I got through it, and I'm going to live!! It gets better- it just does. Much love (and hope) to you-

      about 4 years ago
    • Danielle3's Avatar
      Danielle3

      Guys I appreciate every encouraging word written. Thank you so much. I need the support from people that have walked before me.

      about 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      danielle-we're walking with you. I have a rare-incurable-head cancer, and people here still walked with me. They let me vent- rage--Things didn't go as expected-I went into remission, can you imagine that?

      about 4 years ago
    • Danielle3's Avatar
      Danielle3

      Meytai thank you...I'm praying for you. Your support is appreciated

      about 4 years ago
    • denimi's Avatar
      denimi

      Dear Danielle, I was diagnosed on Aug. 27, 2013. Included in this diagnosis, came the process of emotions. It is different for everyone. It's great that you that you will have a wonderful support group to help you through.
      I found my help online through this site and also breastcancer.org.
      Sometimes. it will seem that only your breast cancer sisters understand what you are going through, that why these forums are important.
      God be with you and keep you Danielle!

      about 4 years ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      It is absolutely a process. Shock, anger, sadness, fear are all normal emotions to go through. There is no right way or wrong way to feel. But use your energy and emotions wisely. The more facts you have, the better you can direct your thoughts. But initially it is overwhelming and scary. I was in a furniture store when the nurse called me. I had to sit down in order to listen and take notes. I was not expecting it at all. Shock and disbelief came first. I remember trying to breath. Then as the diagnosis became more real, I cried. Lots of terms I didn't understand. But luckily an excellent surgeon who drew pictures and explained things so carefully and clearly. An oncologist who got my perspective and presented clear and thoughtful options. As someone said earlier in these posts, you are not strong, you get strong. It is a process and a journey and an education.

      about 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      After a Cancer diagnosis you go through the process of grieving much like when a loved one dies, see the Kubler-Ross book. You will be angry, scared, depressed, think " why me" , worry about what you did or might have done to get Cancer..all perfectly normal. I found it helpful to write in a journal every day, I started a Pinterest board with positive affirmations for breast cancer, I meditated daily to get through the rough patches. I was diagnosed with invasive ducal carcinoma, DCIS, HERS+ in April 2014 shortly before my daughters wedding, I finished treatment in late June 2015 and in March 2015 my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery in June. We both made it through a terrible year and you can do it too.

      about 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      Ps: anything you feel is normal, we all have been through a huge range of emotions

      about 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      I cried for days after my DX. The hardest thing for me was telling my kids and my Aunt that I had been diagnosed. It really upset my little sister. There is no harm in letting your fears and anger come out in tears. That is how I handle it for a month. You are not alone in this.
      We have all been there and here for you.

      about 4 years ago
    • Dltmoll's Avatar
      Dltmoll

      You will cry. But as you educate yourself, find doctors that you trust to work with you, and draw on your faith, you will find the strength to deal with it all. It won't be easy, and it won't be a smooth progression as there will be good days and bad days, but it will get better.

      about 4 years ago
    • janstar47's Avatar
      janstar47

      It's such a shock and you feel like you look around at first n expect everybody to KNOW by looking at you. They don't and you will decide when to call out the troops. I was Dx 3 years ago on August 26th. My son began FB group for prayers for me. That helped a lot. I joined here n also a FB group called Beyond the Pink Moon. Great places to find good info and lots of great encouragement. I'm going to pray for you and I'm here to answer any questions. Big hugs. The crying came in waves for me. It is a scared time. You are not alone. Jan in Fl

      about 4 years ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      Definitely give yourself time to process and you will need time after each bit of new information, treatment, etc. I had some very dark days for sure. I'm just now feeling hopeful and somewhat emotionally stable as I finish my last four taxol chemo treatments and begin radiation. I was particularly angry and bitter because I had 16 positive lymph nodes (not good/stage IIIc). I kept thinking "why me?" I was always on top of screening and exams. I was somehow able to let the anger go and now I just look forward to taking charge of my health and doing everything I can to improve my prognosis.

      about 4 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      I reacted as many others did by crying, disbelief, and anger at being misdiagnosed for several months. I also felt defective as if I was somehow letting my loved ones down with this diagnosis. After initial shock could not discuss my diagnosis with anyone the first few weeks without tearing up and crying. My PCP put me on a mild antidepressant. Give yourself time. Set a firm foundation on which to build. Meeting with my gyn/onc helped tremendously, a game plan was set in place. Important you have a doctor that you can easily communicate with, an expert in your type cancer. Family and friends support meant the world to me, as did finding the WhatNext site.Faith for many, is another part of this foundation, as is knowledge. Knowledge will enable you to become proactive, to feel less the victim and more the survivor. The journey fighting this xxx disease is not easy, but it isDOABLE!!! Take care, wishing you better days.

      about 4 years ago
    • Samcharlie's Avatar
      Samcharlie

      I also cried -a lot! I could not speak to anyone about my diagnosis without crying. My oncologist put me on an anti depressant which helped immensely. It has been six years since diagnosis and I seldom cry now. This is a journey that you have found yourself on - it does get easier. This site is wonderful and very supportive. Best to you and let us know how you are doing.

      about 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      It is good to cry, I really wish I could cry. It is also good to get angry and scream and through things. And it is really good to come here and post a lively rant. Word of caution we have a really dumb censor so if you want to post a really healthy rant you have to put spaces between the words. Also throwing yourself a pity party is very acceptable.
      I will be praying for you.

      about 4 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      Crying is a coping mechanism. Quite normal. And anyone here can tell you that you cry when you get the diagnosis, you cry when you hear the plan of action, and you can cry throughout the treatments. I know my son said I was crying all the time. You may also not be able to sleep because your head is spinning with all the "What if's" that will be coming your way. As you go through each part of treatment, rely on friends and family to help you out. Let people make you meals, drive you to the doctor, take care of your kids, walk your dog, help out with laundry and anything else people offer. Let them help and be grateful. Hugs to you.

      about 4 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      It's okay to cry. The first day I went home made my phone calls and then sat with my two dogs and cried all day! After that there have been mostly good days but still plenty of days I sit and have good cry. We are all here for you! Love and hugs! Sandi

      about 4 years ago
    • Roadrunner's Avatar
      Roadrunner

      All emotions are part of this journey. When I heard my dx on the phone I didn't cry, however, went into a void feeling. It hit me a year and five days after my surgery after driving home from the PS office. For me everything happened so fast I didn't have time to process any of the information. Thank goodness for my daughters who went to every visit with me and took great notes. Contact the American Cancer Society for information, check out books at the library. One of the best books that the hospital loaned to me was 100 questions and answers about breast cancer. I read about 30 books to find information and to keep my mind busy. I totally agree with the above person (read it and now cannot find it) that said to talk with other breast cancer patients. Post all your questions, feelings, emotions here as we understand. I am so sorry you had to join this group, however, this is the best group of people you will ever meet.

      about 4 years ago
    • pixiesmom's Avatar
      pixiesmom

      I cried until I was dry. Then, called my sister because i was so ANGRY. Now, it's almost a year and the tears are infrequent. Made it through surgery and radiation and am back to enjoying life. Thank fully, my husband is wonderfully supportive and understands that my emotions can still be a roller coaster depending on the stimulus.

      Wishing you much love and support. Use ALL of the support available to you and keep on trying to find laughter amid the craziness.

      about 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I went the exact other way. I kept waiting to have a major meltdown. I tend to go into crisis mode when things happen, and that's what I did. I usually cried when I got good news (go figure!) out in the car by myself, but it still wasn't the breakdown I was waiting for. It was finally triggered almost 9 months after diagnosis when a friend cancelled plans w/me. So, we are all different in how we deal with things. This is another form of grief. I hope things go well for you and you can put both the tears & the cancer behind you. All the best.

      about 4 years ago
    • Xandra85242's Avatar
      Xandra85242

      Dear heart, there is no right or wrong way to feel. The emotions are there. I asked why me and eventually worked to why not me. But that's a process of acceptance and adjustment. Sadness is a part of it, as is growth and becoming strong, appreciating each day and for me increased reliance on my Creator. Know that we are all here for each other.

      about 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I'm not stronger----you eat or die, you breathe or die, neither one says anything about my character.

      about 4 years ago
    • Fortyniner's Avatar
      Fortyniner

      there is no one way to feel each individual is different its okay to cry, scream, or what ever it may be its the initial shock of the C Word. We need to take a deep breath and conquer this Beast and with motivitaion and love and support from everybody and faith in god we can win, keep the strength and positive and emotions are ok take care.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      I have to say one more thing. I handled my anger with prayer. I was so angry I was asking God why me? And, for the last 3 years it has been one health problem after another. Shortly after I got my reconstruction surgery and was on the road to recovery I ended up with bursitis in my shoulder. Had to get two cortisone shots to make it go away. I was two months fighting that and the pain from the reconstruction. After that cleared up I had another surgery to finish the reconstruction. Then about 3 months later I ended up with bursitis in the right hip and I could NOT walk upright. I had to bend over just to walk to the bathroom it was so painful. I was laid up with that for 3 months. Then the beginning of this year I ended up with problems in the right hip again and it was so painful I could barely walk. I was limping everywhere even to church. In January, with this happened, I had no insurance except Medicare. Thankfully they paid for chiropractic care and I had to go 6 days a week for two weeks before the problem got solved. This last surgery on my right hand was the point that broke the camels back. They wanted half the co-pay up front and I couldn't come up with that kind of money. After I hung up I was angry about that and went into my bedroom and cried out to God, "God, how much more am I suppose to take? I can't come up with that kind of money and you know it. When is this going to end? I have had enough." He answered me within a half hour with a way to get the entire copay for this operation. Sometimes we really have to rely on God to help us. It is okay to be angry and tell God you are angry. He will make a way for escape for you. Just remember that many of us on this board have been through what you are going through and much worse. That is why we are here for you. Hang in there and give it all to God. I wish you the best of luck on this painful journey.

      about 4 years ago
    • Sharlie's Avatar
      Sharlie

      There are no supposed tos in this, but you're allowed to feel everything: anger, sadness, confusion, disbelief, denial, worry about everything under the sun, maybe even thankfulness if they found it in the early stages, and umpteen other feelings. Crying is a good release. IMHO, what is not good is bottling it all up. As soon as I got over the worst of the shock (back in March of this year), I shared my diagnosis with as many people as possible because I knew I'd need a lot of support and prayers. You'll need to do a lot of research and decision making in the coming days and weeks, so try to get some good rest and take good care of yourself. This is a great group and the folks here are a wealth of information and support. Come back often and God bless.

      about 4 years ago
    • TigerAndDragon's Avatar
      TigerAndDragon

      Big, big, hugs, dear heart. Keep praying and reaching out; you are not alone. There are people all over the world who really and truly understand how you feel.

      I just finished chemo; I really and truly thought I was fine with everything. I'm a born optimist and never let myself get too deep in the weeds with statistics or fear. However, my oncologist reminded me in our last appointment that my type of cancer is aggressive with a high rate of reoccurrence, even after chemo...and I went home after that...and I cried my eyeballs out. My eyelids looked like shelves. However, after about a minute or two of freaking out, I started thinking of the people on this forum who have beat cancer again and again, despite facing worse odds than me...and I thought to myself "Why not me? I can do this as many times as I have to. I've lived my life with more than my share of good fortune, and nothing can take away the joy I've had. I'm going to do everything I can to bend the odds in my favor."

      You are in my thoughts and prayers, and nothing that you are feeling is wrong!! Tell God and tell us what is in your heart.

      Thinking of you...

      about 4 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar
      MelanieIIB

      It is certainly a process of emotions and because we are all unique, we all have different emotions, feelings and intensity of those emotions and feelings. Part of the emotions for me was "fear of the unknown" and my lack of knowledge about breast cancer and treatments. Why could one person I know be given a choice to have a lumpectomy and I didn't have a choice and was told I needed a mastectomy. What was surgery going to be like? Recuperation? How was my body going to react to chemo? radiation? I prayed, my husband prayed and my church family prayed for me. God gave me His incredible peace when after praying I chose to leave it all in God's hands and not to take the worry back by thinking about it over and over again. It was a conscious decision to not allow negative thoughts about it to permeate my mind. It wasn't good news in that cancer was found in my sentinel node, an axillary dissection was done, removing 17 more nodes and I have lymphedema as a result. I also found out I have a more aggressive form of breast cancer...her2 positive. I learned to take one day at a time and one step of treatment at a time. Even though God gave me His incredible peace, I'm still human and there were times when I cried like when I found out I had cancer, when I found out I had no choice and needed a mastectomy, when I found out I needed chemo and radiation, when my hair fell out, just to name a few. But in each case, God saw me through it, even though some of it was unpleasant at times. I can say I had more good days than bad. One thing that helped me, and is continuing to help me, is to focus on what good can come out of my experience. I truly believe God wants me to encourage others who are going through this trial. Let us know more about your diagnosis when you find out so we can help you through it.

      about 4 years ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      I will add that once I knew the action plan for myself, I kicked into project manager mode. First we will do the sentinel lymph node dissection, then the bi-lateral mastectomy, then chemo & targeted therapy and then continue targeted therapy. One step, one task at a time. Breaking it down into manageable tasks and not getting overwhelmed by the enormity of it all was very helpful and reduced my stress. I also did my very best to maintain a positive attitude inwardly and outwardly. Some days I didn't feel it, but if someone asked me how I was doing, I was great. I did vent or weep occasionally with my very closest friends, but the more I manifested the positive, the better I felt too.

      about 4 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      It is definitely a grieving process. You have to let your emotions out. I got to the point where I was really angry and wanted it out of my body, so I walked into my oncologist and said "Let's do this!" You are going to run the spectrum of emotions, its really OK. Best wishes

      about 4 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      You just got diagnosed so yeah, crying is completely normal. No one plans to get cancer.

      I cried a lot when I was first diagnosed too and was much more emotional afterwards (and still today). A cancer diagnosis brings a lot of things into focus that we often push to the backs of our minds. It's not bad or good, it just is.

      Once you start treatment and have a goal, you may find it's easier to focus on getting better and getting through treatment. But I bet there will still be the occasional times when you feel sorry for yourself (not in a bad way but in a 'this isn't what I planned for my life way') and cry. It's OK. It's normal. It's healthy. It helps relieve stress.

      Hugs and best wishes to you in the days, weeks and years to come. We are all here for you.

      about 4 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar
      mofields

      You'll feel every emotion - name it, you'll feel it (sadness, anger, fright, excitement, etc.). It's okay to feel all of these. Lean on those you are close to. The people I work with were so supportive and my family and close friends have been wonderful. You really discover who your friends really are with this diagnosis and how they react. Pray and breathe and think positive thoughts. Remember, you are not your cancer and you don't have to wear its colors. I am still me, I just had cancer. Much luck and hugs.

      about 4 years ago
    • KimG's Avatar
      KimG

      Wow Danielle, you sure did get a lot of answers. Like most of them say, there is no right or wrong way to feel. The way you feel is the way you feel. All I can tell you is give yourself time,a lot of time-you will need it. Don't feel guilty when you need a nap or can't get out the way you always did. This treatment and healing takes time. You will go through so many different emotions and physical demands on your body. For me it took every bit of the 5 years of breast cancer medicine. I had to start depression and anxiety meds. None of my family was supportive so I had to distance myself from them. All except my 11 year old son(at the time)who I believe is smarter than all the rest of the family even though he is a high functioning learning disabled boy who is now 17. He is also high functioning ADHD on the autism spectrum. He is impulsive, but between all this I have learned from him. Yes it can be hard at times but I wouldn't have him any other way. He is the most sharing of his emotions and feelings and the most loving child and young adult I will ever know.No matter what you will always have our family of What Nexters for your feelings, questions, pinboard for inspiration, and your thoughts to help others. Just take your time and don't rush anything. You have a long road ahead of you but there will be that day where you can say "I now feel better and stronger" .

      about 4 years ago

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