I didn’t want to write this post. I’m not even sure if I should. I was warned that Cancer and depression go hand in hand, but I didn’t think it would for me.

My blog is supposed to be all about my three wonderful daughters. It’s supposed to full of my natural positivity, happy anecdotes, photos, poetry, love.

I feel selfish when I write about me… or my cancer.

I have become well known for how strong and upbeat and positive I am, in the face of everything life throws at me. Cancer included. I have blogged in the past, a few odd posts on down days, but mostly my upbeat, cheerful self.

But the down days have recently sunk lower, and as the weather outside gets darker, so does my motivation for doing anything useful around the house.

I have SO MUCH in my life to be thankful for and so many reasons to be happy. There are so many people in the world far worse off than me. I appreciate everything in my life, from my family, to the feeling of air in my lungs.

So why is it now, that I’m struggling? My optimism and enthusiasm for anything except cuddling my children, is waning. And soon I won’t be able to do that.

Today was day 5 of the low iodine diet. I struggled with it before. People tell me “it’s just food” or “it’s only for 14 days”, but when you struggle to find anything you want to eat, (and even then it doesn’t satisfy you), it becomes more than just a horrid diet. When the diet is over, I will again be given radioactive iodine, and be unable to cuddle my children.

I will be “Radioactive Mum” again (Google it – it’s all me – the whole first page of Google).

I went to bed at 7:30pm tonight, because I’ve had a long weekend travelling and I was so very tired. I read for a bit. Then I started thinking. I have so many friends and family around me who want to be supportive, yet I feel totally and utterly alone.

I’ve been feeling like this for about a week, and it shames me terribly, to say I’ve spent a lot of the last week crying. I try my best not to cry in front of the children.

I’m frightened. Frightened of my results, when I have my full body scan, to see if my radiotherapy has worked.

I’m frightened of asking for help, because I feel so low.

I’m frightened of peoples reactions, who tell me I’m being silly or over-reacting or that I should be thankful for all the incredible things I have in my life. I know. And I am thankful. Incredibly. But I’m still finding it hard.

I’ve been feeling unwell, both physically and emotionally, and I can’t put my finger on a reason.

We have other worries too. I’ve been inadvertently sacked from my job, with no notice or cause. Jonny is working his ass off in a new job to support us, but we are slipping into a financial black hole. But that seems to neither here nor there, in the grand scheme of my mind.

I’ve not had depression, since my teenage years, with the exception of a few winters of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in my pre-parenting years. Even then, as a teenager, I dealt with it by myself. I fixed myself with words and poetry, instead of a doctor.

I don’t want to admit that this could be the early stages of depression. It’s only been a week. Maybe two. There are good days and bad days. I’m good at hiding it too. It might not go as far as depression, but this low iodine diet, sure isn’t helping. It’s nearly day 6. Day 7 will be halfway there. Perhaps I could just live off smoothies for while and put the weight back on after?

Not really logical thinking is it.

Tomorrow I want to have the courage, to pick up the phone and make an appointment with the lovely psychologist at Maggies Cancer Centre. I want to. But I don’t see how sobbing in his office, instead of at home, is going to make much difference. Wanting to do something, and doing it, are two very different things.

I’m not used to pessimism. It doesn’t suit me. But right now, I can stand in a room full of people who love me and still feel like I’m alone. I don’t want to feel like that.

  1. Emma Wright says:

    Oh sweetie, I don’t know what to say. I Didn’t want to read and run.
    I really do think you should ring tomorrow. You don’t have to go through this alone. The people there are trained to help. If nothing else they are there to listen.
    But remember it is ok to feel what you are feeling. Don’t feel guilty for getting down x x x
    Emma Wright recently posted..Bonfire Night 2013My Profile

  2. liska says:

    I know that feeling and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (feeling alone in a crowded room).

    Having spent a lot of time chatting to you at blogfest I now know how incredibly upbeat you are. Maybe you couldn’t sustain it with what you are up against, and maybe you need this down time, as horrid as it may be. Let the sadness reach a peak, and fly off like a kite. Don’t resist it or it will persist. Own it and let it go.

    Thinking of you so much at the moment. If anyone can get through this YOU can… God never gives us a burden that we’re unable to carry.

    Hugs, Liska xx
    liska recently posted..Ariel 3 in 1 and Eczema – An Honest ReviewMy Profile

  3. lowri earith says:

    You should never feel ashamed of your feelings whatever they are. You are allowed to feel sorry for yourself and although there is always someone worse off this is your life and everything is relative so never apologise for feeling down, fed up or depressed. I’m glad you have supportive people around you and i’m sure they will be there on the days when you need them and give you space on the days when you need that. But all that said try to keep smiling and know that you are doing a wonderful job and are an inspiration to many x

  4. Aida says:

    oh dear Emma, this is a dark place to be. I know nothing about fighting cancer but I know a thing or two about fighting depression. Let’s just say that after years of therapy and finally finding my footing, I move to London leaving friends and family in Brazil and went through all the crazy changes you can imagine from a move like that. On the top of it all I have been dealing with depression and anxiety on my own since the 3rd month of pregnancy, as the NHS fails to give me treatment time and time again. It might not suit everyone but a therapist or a counselor at a hard time like this can really help getting back perspective, which is already a big deal. Also please please please don’t feel guilty or ashamed about it, depression is a quimical reaction and – considering the cancer, diet and now the financial problems – you certainly have no reason to. I sure know how it is like to feel alone even when surrounded by people who love you and just want to help…so if you want to talk about it, or anything else, please know that there’s people out there who would love to help…and feel free get in touch hun, by email, blog or FB. Take care of yourself xxx

  5. menai says:

    I also did not want to read and run. I have many low days too and feel such sympathy for you. The circumstances that you find yourself in are very tough and I urge you, like the others, not to feel that you have to be upbeat all the time – you’re not alone and it’s ok to need some cuddle time/away from the world time. The diet must be so so hard – how about ordering a fruit/veggie box and trying some superfood soups (even better, can someone come over and make these for you?) And look at how speedy your body was last time at getting you back to your girls – you were way ahead of schedule. You can do this. We know you can. Winter weather and light does not help. Rant/tell us all about it – we’re listening and we care. xxx
    menai recently posted..Classics Club Spin (4)My Profile

  6. Katherine Hurt says:

    Stay strong for your children. Talk to person at maggies cancer centre it what they there for and it will help. We know whats coming with treatment so its gonna get us down. The diet your on is horrible andi cried alot and then even more withthe isolation. Please please stay strong. Just come out of hospital from having dangerously low calcium. I hate cancer too and we will both kick its ass. Love and hugs kate xxx

  7. Ramblings says:

    Anyone who says or thinks you are overacting is not a friend. You are living a pretty shitty parallel reality right now. Yes, you have the great family reality but you don’t have a great health reality and that sucks. Go talk to someone, tasked the chance to cry and talk unjudged. It might not help but even if it helps for an hour then it’s worth it. I think it’s completely normal to feel the way you do and you should be very proud of how well you are doing. I think you are very strong and resilient. Thinking of you xxxx
    Ramblings recently posted..What A Difference A Week MakesMy Profile

  8. Kara says:

    I can’t imagine what you are going through but I’ve suffered from depression and tried to ignore it and struggle on through myself.
    MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT – you might be sobbing in that office but it really does help and you will be given that support you need and hopefully some advice to help you! It really does help to talk!
    As for the food I’m with you – 9 months of a restricted diet was a nightmare but thankfully it’s all back to normal…..not long for you now!
    Kara recently posted..Teen Beach The Movie Brings a Wave of Fun This ChristmasMy Profile

  9. Mummy Glitzer says:

    I am not surprised you are down and struggling. I know how hard it is to ask for help but please call your counsellor, that is what he is there for. You might not think it will make any difference but just having someone to listen to you, your concerns and worries can make a massive difference. Whilst I know nothing about battling Cancer I do know a fair amount about battling anxiety and depression. I am always here to listen if you want. Xxx
    Mummy Glitzer recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

  10. Emma says:

    Oh Emma, I think it’s understandable don’t u? Try not to be so very hard on yourself. I think writing that post is the best thing u could have done. Cathartic and all that… Perhaps rereading thru some of the shoulder2shoulder posts every eve before closing ur eyes may help u feel some of that support from the blog world? If it is depression u are strong enough to see that throu too kid. I know u are. Be kind to yourself. Ok? Thinking of u.
    Emma recently posted..Currently, my 1Grace1FaithMy Profile

  11. Julia P says:

    I’m so moved reading your post. Feeling down sounds more than normal in the circumstances, but you have so much to be proud of yourself for and good stuff to look forward to. Please make the appt and seek some help-they really can help you. You are not alone xxxx

  12. Katherine says:

    Oh, bless you. There is nothing wrong at all with letting things get to you at times, and the best place to put it all is in your blog. Food is hugely important too me, and so if I had to be on your diet I would be the most grumpy person ever -I completely understand how hard it must be. And then to add in the worry, the waiting for results and the looking after of three children etc, you are going through loads fit now.

    Good luck, you can and will get through this.xx

  13. Lisa H says:

    Like others have said, you have nothing to feel ashamed of and every reason to be low. You are going through very difficult times right now and if anyone tells you to buck up they need slapping! I hope you have made that appointment, whilst you may not think it now, talking to someone will help xxx

  14. Helen says:

    Like many others, I also did not want to read and run. You are incredibly brave jotting down all your feelings and you should never be ashamed to ask for help.

    You are bound to feel down/depressed. Your body is going through such turmoil at the moment, it is going to have an effect.

    Please do make that appointment and seek support, you can’t be the one to give it at the moment. Sending much love <3
    Helen recently posted..Sign up for a Reading Eggs FREE trial: Get kids reading in 4 weeks!My Profile

  15. emma dunn says:

    I am sorry to hear about this, I have underactive thyroid, which I know isnt the same. However you may have come of the symptoms. – For months i went feeling tied and shitty – was told i had depression took the pills and yet it never seemed to change my hair loss or the fact i would be able to sleep for hours and wake up feeling like i hadnt slept. Id also be achy all over, to the point where I just didnt want to move at all.
    I had had tests in the past and nothing had ever shown up, it wasnt until the doctor suggested I tried a fasting blood test, nothing to eat or drink for hours 13hrs that it finally got picked up.
    I still fill shit pretty much all the time, I am only on 25mg of thyroxine, with levels increasing but nothing happening,they want to re test me.

    I feel pretty miserable all the time, and feel like there is no one to talk to i normally get told “to take a tablet” especially if im very low or crying, but then i just get even more pissed off because i have took my tablet.

    I cant bear to think what you must be feeling, but its fantastic you have a great support network, who all want to help – even if you feel there not and dont understand. Thats all ok – Because you no they will be there if you need them.

    The fact you want to go and see someone to talk to is actually a huge step! – It may not feel that it will achive anything in the long run, it will help you heaps, I find talking to someone who is not close to me, is sometimes easier and most rewarding. Maybe they can help you with finding new ways to find positive things in things that are not so positive.

    On my Low days, I was told to have a kiddy child chart and do something I no i can manage to do and then treat myself as a reward, Like put the washing on and hoover, in return for a hot chocolate, or bath time! Tick of the achievement so you can look back on it, and think yes I did that today – feeling like this!

    Also keep a note/diary of all feelings and then if you have happy moments put that down it too, again to look back over and say wow that really made me feel better.

    If you ever need to talk then please feel free to email me

    or just use the form on my blog -www.allthingsemmadunn.com

    🙂 x
    emma dunn recently posted..Lush Christmas Bath Bombs!My Profile

    • Emma Day says:

      Hi Emma,

      The symptoms you describe are of Hypothyroidism – which is because you didn’t have enough thyroxine, because of your underactive thyroid. I had a forced hypo with my treatment, and so I can empathise with you… it feels rubbish. I’m not Hypo now, I’m on 150mcg Levothyroxine and not being put into a forced hypo this time either. The depression I am sinking into, does feel very similar though. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you eventually got a diagnosis and hope you feel better soon – Have you had your levels checked recently to see if you are on a high enough dose?

      PS> The hot chocolate sounds like a lovely idea, but is sadly something I’m not allowed on my low iodine diet 🙁

  16. MishMashMamma says:

    Hi Emma, so sad to read that you are feeling like this. It was lovely meeting you at Britmums when you had just finished your last isolation treatment and I remembered how happy and glowing you were. Just try and do things that make you happy – whether it is looking at pictures of your babies, listening to your fav music, reading books ( have you read this one – 50 Essential Things To Do When The Doctor Says Its Cancer? It’s brilliant! You can get it from Amazon)…

    Also, yogic breathing is very relaxing for the mind and body.
    Here are some sites to help you with that:


    http://thehealthylivinglounge.com/2009/06/16/12-great-reasons-to-start-alternate-nostril-breathing-today/ doing some breathing and yoga is great for the mind.

    Hope you feel a lot better soon. As somebody once said “Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain”
    MishMashMamma recently posted..My Kenya is MourningMy Profile

  17. pippa @storyofmum says:

    Thank you for sharing Emma. It’s so important that people feel able to talk openly about depression, and adding your honest voice to that conversation is hugely valuable. As others have said above, do get that help – we can all benefit from a space to be heard by someone whose feelings or opinions of you don’t matter as much as those you are worrying about (you don’t really need to worry about being positive to everyone else either, but I know that feeling too), and who can see the situation objectively and offer support. Sending love to you, your so-called ‘flaws’, like admitting you are feeling depressed, are inspiring too.

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