How to psychologically recover

I do feel a little indulgent posting about this, when so many are having a worse time of it ( for now , I always say that, not tempting fate)

Back story- husband diagnosed out of the blue, very few symptoms apart from a loving nagging wife (me), with Oesophageal cancer - July 2020. Nuclear chemo, major surgery , nuclear chemo, 'good' histology. disease free for 18 months ( finger crossed forever).

Now the indulgent bit- how on earth do recover mentally from the whole world wind. I am relatively okay- or at least at the moment I am.

Him- he says he's lost all the 'certainty' in life. Due to the whole thing he has retired from work. Then his mum pops off in February this year ('just' old age) He feels quite 'got at' , like all his life ballasts have been removed. He has done group stuff at maggies, but what we are trying to do I find a way through the psychological recovery. . We know time and adjustment, but like most humans we want it to happen right now!He has hobbies, friends etc. We are really trying to 'live' with mad holidays etc, BUT...
So, I guess what I'm after is 'tips' on what others have experienced AND how they got or are getting through it.


  • Hi Hilts 

    Sorry to hear about your husband and glad he is disease free.

    I finished chemo and radiotherapy only a couple of months ago so maybe my perspective is still quite current but I would say everything changes once you have been told you have cancer.In some ways its like post traumatic stress.

    I feel like I am not the same person anymore.Nothing is going to slot back into the old life , however long you wait for an adjustment.

    I have found new hobbies and friends , still have some of the old friends but don't feel as close to them as I am not the same person I used to be.They maybe identified me by my job (I had my own sucsessful business) I now feel like a square peg trying to fit into round holes which were my life before.

    Sorry if this sounds quite negative , there are some positive outcomes , I please myself more and don't stress the small things.

    I guess what I'm saying is don't think of this as a temporary state, this is life now and given a second chance we have to embrace each day and hope it will be a good one x

  • Same I finished chemotherapy July 6th.  Finished radiotherapy this week. Now what still worn out I don't feel like me any more x

  • It's so hard to deal with the emotional impact , good luck xxx

  • Hi Hilts,

    Sorry to hear that your husband had to go through this and that you have had the sad news of his mother passing away.

    I was diagnosed with a small low grade breast cancer 6 months ago.  Apparently I'm told I should feel lucky that it was found so early and low grade and stage and I have a good prognosis.   I can categorically say I didn't and that the trauma of being told I had breast cancer absolutely floored me.  I've recently finished 6 sessions of counselling which helped via Macmillan.  It takes time to adjust and grieve I suppose for the carefree person you were pre diagnosis.  It's the feeling of never being safe again' that I found hard.  I can honestly say that 6 months on I am only just starting to come to terms with it all and enjoy life again, keeping things in more perspective I suppose.  I think you just have to give things time to adjust to the new 'normal', it's very much work in progress.   Everyone is different and I suppose it can take longer for some.  Go at your own pace.

    All the best.



  • Thank you every day the same worn out x

  • Hi Hilts, 

    I can relate to this a lot, my dad was diagnosed in August 2020, had surgery and told cancer free in April 2021. Now it is looking as though the cancer has returned.

    My first thought was how is he going to even try and process this for a second time, we all thought we were done with the waiting for updates, more appointments, more scans, more worrying. Then in the next breath I remind myself I am lucky that he was able to get the all clear the first time and we've had more time with him than we thought we would have. Then some days I am angry at the world for making him go through this again!

    I'm sorry I don't have any tips, but I certainly know what you mean.

    Jade x

  • For me it was about rebuilding a new life.  It's not the same as my old life but can be as good if not better.  It about starting a new and exciting chapter.  Thank God I have been fortunate to survive and start this new chapter, you owe it to yourself and others to find a new happy!

  • Hi alot of us call it the new normal, things change and alot don't get back to how things were before cancer came into our lives, we still do things the same just we've changed most becoming stronger more determined to do what we want in life. 




  • Hi , 

    Thanks to all of you that responded. 
    Marywj- we took your suggestion of sessions at macmillian and He called them . That is in the process of being arranged- so thank you.

    Billy- you are soo right when you say just doing what we like,  ergo- not doing stuff we don't want to with WHO we DONT want to, we are less inclined to please others and prefer to please ourselves (:

    What all seem to be saying is that this is the new normal. Yes sure, but it is how to deal with 'bereavement' of your old life if that makes sense.?

    We are certainly going on great holidays, making plans , laughing lots, BUT we are great over thinkers (: I suppose we are 'adjusting' and with that comes happy times and sad times.

    Hopefully the sessions can train those thoughts into moving forward



  • Hi Hilts, sent you a Friend Request so I can PM you my number and connect with your Hubby via WhatsApp and maybe help.

    Had done the same with BFG last year and also in contact with a few others mentoring and supporting each other etc.

    If it helps, add me and happy to connect with him !