Feeling low, alone and ugly, even though not alone. Is this normal?


i been lurking since March, but found it hard to sign up as, well I guess I was in denial and still disbelief at what was happening to me.  Let’s roll back a bit.  In February this year, at the age of 51, I had my 1st routine mammogram.  The following weeks and months after that have spiralled my life, out of recognition.  I had no lumps, no concerns, so was taken back when I received a letter stating that further investigation was needed on my right breast.  Surely a mistake, I thought.  Partner took me for further mammogram, I got results 2 weeks later, I had invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast, and that my left breast needed another look at, as something was suspicious, that came back with an area of DCIS.  So fast forward, having had a little delay to have  lumpdectomies and sentinel node biopsy, due to Corvid, I now find myself four months later, having had to have a mastectomy of my right breast.  The invasive cancer though only in two areas was set in a big area of pre cancer abnormal cells and there wasn’t a clear margin.  My lumpectomy scars was so neat, I really thought, that wasn’t too bad, I had recovered well,and now this.

Having now this past week, had my right breast removed, I find myself weeping at the drop of a hat.  Exhausted, though I have family help.  Restricted due to corvid and I hate my appearance.  Is this normal?  Sorry to have rambled on a bit. I see some brave ladies out there, and I feel like a quivering mess.

Jan, the range of emotions on this journey are like being in a hurricane and being tossed around, take it one day at a time and one treatment at a time, step by step you will get through. It’s hard not recognising yourself when you look in the mirror, but look deep in your eyes when you do, you are still there Still fabulous and beautiful and everything that you are Just a new looking version of you cancer free please use the someone like me option and speak to the nurses, also join the threads for surgery, chemo and rads if you want too, sharing the journey with others can help and even bring laughter to a journey that none of us ever expected to face. Most of all be kind to yourself, do everything your way and what’s right for you You are amazing and always remember that :two_hearts: :two_hearts: :sparkles: :sparkles: Shi xx

Hi Jan68,

Your story is very familiar to me, though in my case it was a left side mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The days straight after were a roller coaster. Being grateful it was all over and I had survived a long op. Then came the desperation to get back home and return to some kind of normal life. Then the sadness kicked in, the loss of a part of my body, the loss of normal sensation in my left breast. The exhaustion from lack of sleep post op did not help. The discomfort from having had drains in my shoulder and not being able to lie on my left side. I was all over the place. But gradually, bit by bit, things improved. And then, many months later when the op had settled down, relief that my new ‘breast’ was not so bad to look at after all. So here I am, 4 years post op, and pretty much it is something that I rarely think about anymore, though I have odd moments of looking in the mirror and thinking that I wish I had my ‘real’ breast back. 

I think it is perfectly normal to feel such a range of emotions. So please be kind to yourself. Accept that for now you feel this way, but that over the coming weeks things will improve.  

My girlfriends (and this forum) were the biggest source of comfort to me - just talking to them about the usual stuff helped keep me ‘grounded’, and laughing with them really, really helped, but I could have a cry with them too when needed. 

You have been through a massive ordeal which for most of us comes with a range of consequences, including feeling pretty pants about the whole thing. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling down but do try to ‘look outwards’ - friends, family, work, hobbies, will all help you regain your poise and help you feel like ‘you’ once more. Good luck.