Together we will beat cancer


Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

22 Dec 2017 19:50

Hi everyone,

Firstly A Very Very Merry Xmas to you all!!!

I am having a bit of a melt down!! Just wanted to write how I'm feeling as don't want to disappoint my family and friends as they all think I'm doing extremely well in juggling job, life and breast cancer.

To be totally honest I'm in a lot of pain and feel very sad as not really all that tough, it's just a front!!!


Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

22 Dec 2017 20:45 in response to Margiemary


A very Merry Christmas to you too and welcome to the forum!

None of us are super-heros but too many of us try to be. Our expectations are often set at unrealistic levels by portrayals of cancer in the media. A bit of a melt down from time to time is only to be expected -  we are only human!

This is a pretty good place to have a rant about the unfairness of it all with people who have been through a similar experience, as well as getting practical help and advice.

Best wishes



Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

22 Dec 2017 21:03 in response to Margiemary

Merry Christmas to you too.  Sorry you are having a downer.  Can you not get some medication to help with the pain you are experiencing?

Regarding family and friends, it is of course your decision what you are share with them.  Would at least some of them be good listeners?  Also some of them may be already aware that you are struggling  and would be happy to listen to your issues and try to help you.  Davek in his reply is so right in that we try to pretend we are strong and can handle anything but to what purpose?  I hope you get through this nasty phase.

Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

25 Dec 2017 04:03 in response to Margiemary

Hi MargieMary,

A very Merry Christmas to you too Happy

there are free counselling sessions from the NHS or even the Cruse web site.

give them a ring if you feel you can't or don't want to talk friends or family.

what about a neighbour who's friendly and may be kind enough for tea and a little chat?

I'm sorry you're in pain. If you can, go to your GP as soon as they open after Christmas or even call your cancer nurse and see if you can get those counselling sessions (they're usually 6-12 weeks) and something for the pain as well.

There's also a number on this chat forum website that you can call free of charge

Also, vent and rant away on here as well. We're all going through something similar or watching somebody close to us going through it.

i hope you're okay.



Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

25 Dec 2017 07:33 in response to Margiemary

Merry Christmas to you. Sorry to hear that you are feeling  sad, this is a tough time of year, tell your family and friends how you are feeling, the first time that you tell people is the hardest, but don't try to soldier on alone. My husband has terminal cancer, and we have talked to all our family and friends, and without their support I would be lost. We have a lovely cancer nurse who has been our saviour. Love and hugs xxx



Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

25 Dec 2017 08:26 in response to Margiemary

Merry Christmas Margiemary.  I hope you are not finding Christmas too horrendous.  I hope you have managed to get help from one or more of the suggested sources but if you are still struggling along please be kind to yourself and get some physical and supportive help for yourself as soon as Christmas is over.  Best wishes.

Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

27 Dec 2017 10:56 in response to Margiemary

Hi Margiemary

I really really hate the stereotype of the brave cancer sufferer boldly "fighting" their disease, smiliing through pain, bringing up a family of 5 kids while embarking on super-marathons and raising thousands of pounds for cancer research.

It's all bull. We spend a lot of our time wondering what the future is going to bring, sweating from test result to test result, and worried that each new ache and pain is a recurrence, or worse, a new primary.  As for raising money for cancer research, I find it hard enough to get out of bed in the morning, never mind running a marathon.

The stereotype is a fiction. You are 100% entitled to feel like rubbish and to express your frustration at your situation. Your feelings are completely valid, and you are entitled to tell your friends when you feel rough, with no need at all to apologise for not living up to a fictional steretype. 

Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

13 Jan 2018 13:16 in response to Margiemary

Hi Margiemary

I have just been diagnosed with cancer and go into chemo this coming Tuesday. At first I was pretty philosophical about it and told others not to worry. But as time went on ( I had my ct scan in November about 12 hours before my father passed away and to a large extent combatted the anxiety about the cancer by throwing myself into arranging the funeral and trying, not at all successfully to deal with his affairs) I have become less confident. I have been given no one to contact ahead of my admission who I can talk about my situation. I tried the local Macmillan drop in centre but they just me to go away and sort things out for myself.

I can fully relate to trying to put on s brave face but really what you want is for someone to really understand how you feel. I hope things work out for you, all the best.



Re: Stiff upper lip syndrome!!

13 Jan 2018 15:49 in response to Poirot

Hi Poirot. Welcome to our forum, although nobody really wants to join it!

I can understand your loneliness and desperation. The problem with too many medical people is that they deal with sick patients every day, and become somewhat acclimatised to it. Quite naturally, they forget that this is all new and frightening to their patients, who don't understand the ropes.

I'm also concerned that the Macmillan drop in centre was less than helpful.  Ok, these are probably not staffed by fully qualified people, but if they can't answer a question, there should be a system in place to find out the answer. Sending you away dissatisfied brings the whole organisation into disrepute. Clearly that is a question of staff training.

Now, I guess you've two options. The first is that you can go with the flow and be satisfied with griping here. That's fine. We're here to listen to your gripes. We'll always listen. Or you can complain (nicely) to the hospital about the lack of information, and you can complain (nicely) to Macmillan about the unsatisfactory way they sent you away without answers.  The worst that can happen is you're ignored. However, I have found that by being highly targeted in my complaining, writing very nicely, and complimenting what's good before stating what's bad, sometimes things change. I once got the Pepsi-Cola company to change the design of their plastic bottles, so it can be done.