But where am I??

I was diagnosed on the 24th of July 2009, after finding a lump in my right breast a couple of weeks earlier. I went to my GP’s on the Monday morning after I found the lump and the doctor was re assuring but felt it needed to be referred to the hospital as an urgent case. I felt happier that it was being taking seriously. Ha! Happier?? That was to change. Within 2 weeks I had an appointment for a mammogram and then an appointment the same day at the clinic with the consultant. The Mammogram was booked for 9.30 and the clinic 2.30 at a hospital about 30 mins away so we ended up going out for lunch whilst we waited. I think I knew for sure that there were serious concerns after the radiologist looked at the mammogram and reminded me 3 times about my clinic appointment that afternoon. My Partner thought I was being overly sensitive but I think I knew from that point.
We spent a few hours kicking our heels and then returned to join the biggest fairground I have ever felt in my life! The resident came and examined me and took some history, and then the consultant came in, he was a very pleasant man, examined me and then scanned the whole area. He took about 10 minutes to do all of this and then stood back. ‘I am sorry to tell you, you have breast cancer. ‘Just like that. I was amazed, where was my biopsy, how did he know without more tests, and what was he saying??? It was a big push onto the rollercoaster I am now on. The Breast care nurse came and chatted to me and told me that the lump had been found early and that there was every hope that the lump would be removed and that after 15 sessions of radiotherapy then I would be cured, done and dusted. It sounded easy to me.
Somewhere in that whole day, I was left lost in a corner, I do not know where, I am totally lost as to where I have gone, all I know is that the person who looks back at me in the mirror may look a little bit like the me I remember, but the person in my head is not me at all. I feel like all my confidence has gone, just one session into chemo (oh yes they did decide after the lumpectomy and SNB that chemo was needed – I really wish I had been better prepared for that!), it feels like such a long and scary road without the friend I had in me, the person I was at last, after 50 years of growing up quite comfortable with. It was a long road to get to that point and I feel that I have been robbed of a friendship that was very special to me.
In reality I am beginning to realise that this is the start of a very long ride, my partner listens to them saying how positive it all is and is finding it hard to understand why I don’t feel so excited about the future. I think he misses the old me too.

Sorry for the long post, but needed to get this off my chest!


Dena, sorry you’ve had to join us here but you’ll find loads of helpful advice and support. I totally understand whaen you say you feel the real you is lost. It seems to go with the territory. I’m almost a year from dx and I still feel like I can’t trust/don’t know my body as I did before bc. The whole experience just knocks you for six and a lot of what we feel is, I think shock. It’s only after the active treatment stopped (in May this year) that I was confronted with what had actually gone on and I found that hard to cope with, too. I found people’s reaction to me was changed and that just added to the feeling of not being me. But it does change. Although I still feel quite traumatised by it all, I feel more like the old me, just less confident. Working on that though!

At times you feel you’ll never get through it all, but somehow you do. It really helps to have a supportive partner, family and friends but it’s you ultimately that deals with it and it isn’t easy. What I’m trying to say is there is light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll find your inner friend again and in the meantime, bend our ears on here, whenever you want a chat, have a rant, whatever it is you need.

Truly wishing you all the best, Pat x

hi dena, sorry you had to join us but you have come to the right place.

I was diagnosed in april. my roller coaster ride consists of MX and SNB (grade 3) 6x chemo which i finished last week and am now waiting for rads (including lymph nodes) to start in the next couple of weeks. that to be followed by tamoxofen, overies removed and finally reconstruction. I wanted to add i totally know where you are coming from, i remember in the weeks after DX i remenber saying to my other half that i felt like i had been wrenched out of what was my normal life and thrust into this new life that i didnt like and didnt want to be part of. Must say i still fell like that to some degree and am hoping when i go back to work, to my old life, i might not feel like this anymore and begin to feel like my old self again, given time.

This is a long ride but i have found sharing it with the friends i have made on here invaluable. I am even meeting up with 16 of them in jan for a lovely girlie weekend, this is something i wouldnt have drempt of doing before all this but i now feel you have to go for it and make time for yourself, that is one good thing that has come from my ‘new life’ so not all bad eh.

Share your highs and lows on here with friends who understand what you are going through, it will help you get through i promise.

Take care, have a good weekend, luve Pauline x

Hi Dena, the best thing about these forums is the help and support we get from each other and realising we are not alone in the way we feel.
Having cancer can drive you a bit bonkers ! Talk about mind games,I still feel it is a totally surreal situation that I have found myself in and I have had a relatively easy ride of it.
I think it is a huge thing to take on board mentally and as much as family and friends can support us thay just don’t understand the full emotional inpact it has with us.
Getting your head around diagnosis itself is a fair old shock to the system never mind actually “doing” the treatment part then you pop out the other end and think "what the hell was that all about ! "

The helpline here is fantastic,so if you want to actually speak to someone about any aspects of what you are going through that is a great help.I have found these forums invaluable for help and support and am just thankfull that I found them.
As for me,I’m out the other end,obviously changed by my experience but looking forward to not taking anything for granted and enjoying the sun while it shines. Keep chating,it does help,big hugs.

Sandra x

Dena, I know exactly what you mean, and you have come to the right place for support. When I was diagnosed in Dec 2008, I just parked the whole thing mentally because my husband had incurable prostate cancer and our son’s fiancee had incurable breast cancer. Really, I just treated my problem as no more than an inconvenience, probably because I didn’t think any of us could take any more. When the treatment was finished I came down with a bit of a bump, lost all confidence that things would be okay and am still more anxious generally than I used to be. However, you do get back inside your own head eventually. Life is not the same as it was before, but you do ‘accommodate’ what’s happened, is the best way I can put it. You are still the same person, but every experience changes us in some way - and let’s face it, this one hell of an experience! All the best for your treatment. Take care and keep in touch - it’s good to talk!
Love H

Hi Dena, you have just summed up the exact same feelings i feel. I used to have so much confidence and always made an effort to look nice, now i dont like what i see and thats even before surgery. I dont think anyone can really understand what this disease takes away from us unless they are going through it too.

Oh Dena,
I sooooooo understand you, I can even feel how anxious you are while you are writing.
I too had a rollercoaster. I was 48 and Felt a thickerning it was quite large. Went to my docs last nov 98, no he couldnt feel anything, and stupid me felt wishful thinking at that time and like him took no notice, but strangely knew it was there, just playing a mental game with my -self it was called coward. Anyway decieded march this year after watching someone on tv dying of breast cancer which had been left untreated; to pop to my docs again see another one,so I did he had me down that hospital real quick and i had a mamogramme, then i was told to come back a few days later, on arrival at the Hospital they sent me for more mamogrames (which got me thinking) and then down in the clinic for a medical and biopsy.taking into consideration that i told no-one and never took anyone with me (not even hubby knew) Well i got on a bed, a doctor walked in hardly spoke a word, examined me. then took me off for a biopsy it was just hustle bustle with everyone all around, and i seemed to be in slow motion phsically and mentaly.
I laid down for my biopsys (wish i had spell check) and in the needles went and the doc was focosing on the scanner and saying that she didnt like the calcifacation on the one lump to the nurse, i didnt know there were 3 as no one spoke, i was just overhearing, it was as if i wasnt there ,as she was doing this i started bleeding as she inserted the needle in 4 times and then i dont know why but i said “are you saying i have cancer”, and she replied without even looking at me “take it as yes untill we say no” and that is how i found out, but by then i wanted to get up of the bed and get myself together but was forced to stay put because of the bleeding i feld gutted and wanted to get up and run out of there as fast as i could and never stop, (im crying just writing this) then when bleeding stopped i was put into a room and in came an arrogant doc who spent all of three mins telling me its time to tell my friends and family and he will see me next visit, he was just looking coldly at me and i know its what he does all day but for me it was my first cancer they didnt even let me knew on result day to cut a long story short that detatchment feeling came to mind, as i kept saying (in shock) that i went out the door that morning and i never came back this scared weeping week person did but not me, the one that left for the hospital that day.
further treatment and a horrible hospital stay put paid to everything and i ended up with severe anxiety and depression. I am of a nervous diposition anyway.
All I can say is i think that lady who didnt come back that day will be back when she feels everything is safe.
So yes Dena, understand totaly

Thanks for all these replies ladies, I am so glad I found this forum where I can actually say how bad I feel about all this and wonder out loud why this has happened to me! Its nice to know I am not lost alone - I wonder if our ‘normal’ selves are hanging about somewhere else having a ball?? I really hope so! But perhaps the chemo is just messing with my head!

Dena x

Thanks for all these replies ladies, I am so glad I found this forum where I can actually say how bad I feel about all this and wonder out loud why this has happened to me! Its nice to know I am not lost alone - I wonder if our ‘normal’ selves are hanging about somewhere else having a ball?? I really hope so! But perhaps the chemo is just messing with my head!

Dena x

Whoops - got a put trigger happy there and managed to get two posts!