Diagnosis Bingo

A week last Monday, after several years in a wheelchair, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Two days later, the results of my breast biopsy revealed I have cancer.

Outside I’m fine.

Inside I’m a quivering snot sogged mess.

I’m at work, doing work things but on the edge of eye-leakage and desperately trying to keep my shit together.

I’m so scared. But I can’t tell anyone how frightened I am.

I want to scream and shout. I want to cry. But instead, I’m doing my job, and trying not to let people know how frightened I actually am.

I know 1 in 4 people will get cancer, but that just seems to make me feel even worse.

I have surgery in two weeks time.

I need to get my head together so I can be strong for it. 

Please tell me my feelings are normal.

Dear @BeesBoobs  

Ahhh ffflip, darlin. I’ve supported on this forum since 2014, and every time I see and read of newly diagnosed ladies, I literally HATE it FOR you. My heart soo goes out to you. I’m glad you’ve at least reached out to this Forum.

Yeh, you do some screaming and shouting. Ain’t gonna do you much good to keep it all “locked” in, sweetheart.

You sound to be staunchly independent, but. . . I would drop it and let your fellow workmates and everyone else in your life know > make it known. The more that know, the more support you will hopefully get/have. Believe me, you need every ounce of support you can get with this blasted (polite) BC.  So try and let go of your  proud and independent  self right now. Focus that much applauded and admired self strength for helping you to recover from your op and afterwards. But it’ll be that much easier for you the more people you have behind you.

To talk more nitty-gritty, What surgery will you be having, beesboobs??

Lots of love to you, Delly xx

I’m soo hoping it all goes well for you, 

Hi Bee





Very uncomfortable but we all deal with things differently. However you are reacting to a diagnosis that turns your world upside down, it’s all normal. And to manage it all alongside fibromyalgia will feel a daunting prospect.

What you can do is be proactive now on your emotional/mental health. You won’t feel such powerful emotions all the time but putting on a face is not necessarily the best way to handle things. Have you talked to anyone about how you’re feeling? Once you have your final diagnosis (the outcome of your surgery and subsequent tests), your employer is obliged under the Equalities Act 2010 to register you as ‘disabled’. This is to do with cancer, not the fibromyalgia. Regardless, it will entitle you to additional employment rights which might be worth following up. Usually I say do not Google under any circumstances (you will certainly be a quivering mess then) but it should be easy to google the Equalities Act and read all the updates relating to cancer. For now, it may mean taking the next couple of weeks off because of the emotional impact. But then, maybe work is a diversion for you.

Do whatever you can to look after yourself, starting with talking to someone about your emotional mess, which is NORMAL. The nurses here on the helpline above are brilliant. You may already do something like meditation or mindfulness. Do it more, with a purpose. I found my strength to get through stuff from videos on YouTube that helped me relax and gave me a few hours of respite, particularly Progressive Hypnosis which I recommend so regularly, you’d think I was on commission!

Sadly, the latest advertising is saying 1 in 2 people will get cancer now, so the odds are even shorter BUT, as someone with lifelong phobias and who’s been though it, it’s nothing like the public perception shaped by the media. It’s manageable and some people (not me) get through it quite easily. It all depends on the details of your cancer, which are yet to be established. 

Try not to predict the worst-case scenarios. They are rare. Forget the advertising images - they capture what may be a moment but it leaves us thinking this is how it always is. Not true. Just focus on stuff that will help balance your emotions now, not ruling out a good cry every now and then. Obviously you’ll have a crap Christmas and be waiting on results (there is so much waiting involved, which doesn’t help) and I commiserate with you - I had my first chemo on Christmas Eve 2018! Merry bloody Christmas! But (sorry to use the expression) it is what it is. You can’t change it so make life easier for yourself by going with the flow.

I wish you all the best for your surgery and whatever treatment that follows,

Jan x