Dear Nannabee! I feel like you are a woman and a Mother who has always put everyone else first. Now, you need to put “you” first. Talk to your Sons and feel certain that they will understand. Above all, be gentle with yourself because inside all “toughies” there lies a heart of gold.
Oh #shamrock you know me well . My sons have handled it well and I’ve promised they will be kept fully informed. But my daughter in laws are devastated. I keep telling myself they are in that same dark place I was three weeks ago and they’ll handle it but they both sobbed uncontrollably. I wish I hadn’t brought this on my family.
A lot of progress has been made in research. Today, we can safely trust our oncology teams to be on top of this progress. You will get over this, don’t doubt it … D’ont dwell on the negative side of the illness, but make the most of the positive to do the things you want to do. Sending lots of positivity your way.
We know that men can get BC as well but the general perception is that it’s a woman’s disease and although they were concerned for me neither my brother , my Dad , my male cousin nor any male colleague / friend reacted strongly when I told them. My immediate superior at work who I told over the phone however and who is normally quite a tough cookie - I thought she would take it ok but she was incredibly upset and spent 5 minutes just saying "Oh that’s awful I’m so sorry " over and over. It’s a woman thing - that’s why your daughter in laws are more upset than your sons .
From one of your earlier posts I think one of them has recently lost a parent ? In which case yes she will be vulnerable right now . This is not your fault - it is what it is and I’m sure they will be glad that you told them even if they are upset . It sounds as though they really care about you and would want to support you through this .
that is such a reassuring response. Yes cancer is scary but your chances of a full recovery are brilliant with today’s effective treatments. Good luck
I just want to say Nannabee that you didn’t ‘bring this on your family’. You have done nothing wrong. I do know that feeling though as the last thing we ever want to tell our loved ones is something that’s going to hurt them. We aren’t the ones responsible for this though, breast cancer is to blame! As incredibly hard as it was to break this news to your family, well done for telling them so that you can have as much support around you as possible.
You’re putting others first again! Now’s the time to be kind to yourself -please know that you have not ‘brought this on your family’. Worrying about the effects of your own problems upon your loved ones is NOT what you need right now! Poor you - I would have been upset if anyone had cried when I told them my news after getting diagnosed - it would have compounded all my own fears. But your daughters in law were obviously shocked - when it’s sunk in and they properly understand your prognosis, I’m sure they’ll rally round and determine to help out and support you. In my experience, the whole episode has strengthened bonds of family and friendship.
I told absolutely everyone about my diagnosis - with my surgeons words in mind…this is NOT a death sentence these days - we can sort this. After all, not very long ago there weren’t the routine mammograms which find these tumours SO very early, before even we ourselves suspect anything.
Take each step at a time. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t wasted time and energy worrying too much ahead, as none of it was anything like as bad as I feared. I know - easier said than done! The calm reassurance of my BC survivor work-colleague (an ex-nurse) was a life-saver. She kept me grounded. I also found that certain relaxation techniques suggested to me really worked when I sometimes got those jittery feelings during all that interminable waiting!
Oh Nannabee I don’t like this post as it’s not going to get you anywhere. You can’t start worrying about others worrying about you because that way lies madness. As I said in my first post, people around you will take their cue from you in how they behave around you. You don’t want to be treated as if you’re dying because you aren’t. You have contracted a nasty ailment that one in three of us will suffer from in our lifetimes. Horrid. Now, get over it and help everyone around you, including your medical team, to give you the support you need.
Cancer is horrid, not least because it is such a tricky beast and no two sufferers have the same experience. But it’s no longer ‘the big C’ that people used to whisper about. You are massively fortunate in that you have the lowest grade possible that has been found at an early stage. Your chances of sailing through treatment and resuming normal life with many many years ahead are right up there in the late nineties of percentage points. Please get your hair done, layer on the lipstick and the blusher and tell people you don’t want to keep talking about cancer. Make some lovely plans for post treatment and impress everybody with your attitude.
Apologies for the tough love but, honestly, positivity will help you and your loved ones and this will all be over before you know it. I had a rather difficult hysterectomy some years back and always remember the surgeon making his rounds a couple of days post surgery. He smiled as he told me that despite complications, I was going to be fine. He then explained that of the three ladies he’d operated on on the same day as me, I was the only one who was up and dressed including makeup and perfume! Maybe it made me a bit shallow, but despite being the oldest, I ended up needing less physio than the others who I’d watched in full invalid mode with their long suffering husbands!
You are loved by a close family and you will be dancing the Argentine Tango soon!
Teddy271, I have to say you are so right and I’m a great believer in Tough love. But on some things I think you might have misunderstood me or I’ve been a bit misleading. I am a toughie through and through but yes it did upset me that the girls were so upset and I hate being the cause of their distress. I know it isn’t my fault, I haven’t wished this on myself and believe me I don’t look at this as a death sentence, a real inconvenience yes but I’ll get through it and be stronger and even more appreciative of life at the end of it. I do get up every morning and put on my makeup and a good spritz of perfume. Always have done, always will. Hair - well that’s an easy one as I’ve lost most of mine through another illness and have a lovely selection of wigs. Yes I hate putting my loved ones through this and normally I do everything in my power to protect them, just the way my mother taught me others first me second. But I do know that through this I need to put myself first and they’ve all been warned. They will support me, they’ll walk every step with me and even more importantly to me they’ll look after my husband whose carer I am.
I might have breast cancer but believe me breast cancer does not have me and I intend kicking it’s butt right out of my body.
thank you so much for your replies. The girls have calmed down and they are rallying round. I’ve decided to only tell close family and a couple of very special friends, I don’t do well with people fussing round me and have promised I will keep them fully in the picture and ask for help and I fully intend doing just that. I’m kicking BC’s butt already and know whatever it takes I will do and I will win. xx
Terrific post Nannabee. You are going to be absolutely fine, not least because you are obviously surrounded with love. Well done, you deserve it.
It sounds like there are many reasons for you to be very positive.
I was diagnosed 7 weeks ago. I approached telling my sons in a very upbeat , ‘all will be well’ way. They will tske your lead.
Good luck x
Hello and belated birthday wishes to you
You are acting normal you are like me thinking about my family rather than about myself.
I’m now 57 and after a double mastectomy due to breast cancer in 2014, I’m now waiting for a reconstructive surgery mastectomy going flat both sides. This is my third cancer since 2014. I got breast cancer again in 2018 I was upset but dealt with it unfortunately in September I was diagnosed again but stage 3 breast cancer this time I’m not coping very well, my bp was all over the place just got it under control as I was due to have my mastectomy yesterday but unfortunately my surgeon went sick with Covid, as you can imagine my stress levels are high once again.
Sorry to rant on but what I’m trying to say is everyone goes through this, it’s worse when you go to bed because of the silence then your brain goes into overtime. I wear two faces, smile to friends and family and crying face when I’m alone. I totally understand where you are coming from. I smile to keep my husband going because he needs to be strong. This time I needed a CT scan n MRI scan it was the longest 3 weeks.
I found coping better writing on this site because when you read each story you then feel better knowing you’re not alone. Our journeys are different but we are all the same we either have C or have had it. Nobody judges you for having a crazy head, bad thoughts or loneliness because I’m sorry to say but unless you have or have had it nobody truly can understand how you are feeling.
You will be fine and your family will but if you don’t need to let your grandchildren know then don’t or do only you can make this decision but people are out there to help and support and if you just want a chat I’m happy for you to contact me.
I’m just waiting for a new date, I’m stressing over it’s getting closer to Christmas but my husband did reassure me that if I couldn’t open my presents he was only to happy to help me
I wish you well in your journey, if you have a cancer book if in the U.K. I found this helpful to write in it because as much as I love my family the word be positive can get me down x
Gosh you are really going through the mill. Sending positive thoughts and just to say I LOVE your humour
So so agree teddy271. And people taking their cue from you about how they react and behave around you - spot on! To save any awkwardness or misunderstanding, I told everyone - in the most upbeat way I could muster (easier when your prognosis is as good as it gets - I realise that). A year on, when random friends/acquaintances I meet say How are you? they double check, with a subtle knowing look. I’m touched by how quietly caring so many people are!
Yes so much love I didn’t know was there. One forgets that it is difficult for friends. Do they weep all over you or slap you on the back and say ‘Tough break, sport.’
I explained everything carefully in a round-robin email and then updated whenever there was anything to report. I tried to include as much humour as possible and a few pictures of daft things like the ridiculous brick-sized prosthesis the NHS provided and the first (absolutely terrible) wig I bought.
All that said, I had my touchy points. Absolutely hated it when through chemotherapy people kept telling me how well I looked! This was one time when I wanted to be able to wallow! No point in imbibing poison if you don’t get the sympathy with it.
I can absolutely understand how the well meaning exhortation to keep positive can sometimes get you down! We feel more positive some times than others and even when we know people are trying to help, just occasionally we want to be allowed to scream our fears and frustration without feeling guilty about it afterwards - for upsetting people or showing ‘weakness’…or whatever! Even trained nurses frustrated me sometimes when their reassurances sometimes felt like they were dismissing my fears - I thought…You don’t know because you haven’t actually BEEN here!! Poor things - they couldn’t win! I wouldn’t want their job.
My best helper was a friend who allowed me to have the odd rant about my fears without interruption, just quiet understanding. Then we’d go for an outing and forget it all for a while - for it’s also important not to be allowed to wallow!!
Good luck, I’ll think of you at Xmas -hopefully opening your own presents!
Oh I can understand that! When you are suffering you NEED sympathy. Pampering and spoiling are the prescription for that. Upbeat cheery reassurance that you’re looking well is only required later, when you’re flagging a bit in recovery!
And I like it when people say it now - I often don’t believe them, but I like it!
Good morning to all you beautiful people. As I think I’ve said before I decided to keep my diagnosis on a strictly need to know basis, I simply can’t handle the “knowing looks” or the uninformed advice, I simply want to put my head down and get on with it. Yes there are days when I do/will need some tender loving care but the people who count are well attuned to my needs/moods. I’m not sleeping but that’s quite normal for me when I’m stressed. Last night we went out for a carvery with elder son and his partner and although the BC subject came up it was all fine and seemed completely natural. Last night I slept for 12 hours and am still zombiefied this morning so I made one of those executive decisions, today I’m just going to potter about, catch up on all those silly little things I’ve been ignoring, forget BC, some good old Neil Diamond songs belting out on Alexa and just be. Should be going to the gym this afternoon but said forget it (or words to that effect). So to you all I’m wishing you a day of doing exactly what’s right for you, no pressures, no must do, just a day of pure self indulgence. Cry if you want, shout if you want or join me dancing round the kitchen singing at top voice (pity the neighbours). No rules today my friends JUST BE!
Love to you all, you are quite simply the best xx
Don’t put a hip out!!Or you’ll be needing another different forum!!