Feeling very low and scared

I was diagnosed with grade 1 DCIS last Monday, and had a WLE and axillary node sampling on Thursday. I’ve been home since Friday, and I’m still feeling very low and very scared. I’ve been trying to do my exercises, but the padding covering the wounds is pulling and it hurts. Does it get easier when the dressings are off? What will my scars look like? I’m dreading having to look. Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Thank you.

Be pro-active: find out all you can via web, books, forums like this one. Good sites include cancerbackup & some US sites. I found that gathering as much info about disease, conventional & alternative treatments, reading good books like Jane Plant’s about breast cancer, helped me to prepare a long list of questions for my onc. There are numerous complimentary therapies - just getting information about them & observing what appeals most to you as an invididual, is taking a positive step. It may be diet, it may be supplements, it may be homeopathic treatments or shiatsu. Whatever feels right for you & is approved by your onc.
Things to watch out for are products containing natural hormones, so even things like soya, which one would have thought a good, wholesome thing, is a no-no for b/c.
Based on your research, you are then better equipped to ask the right questions of your onc, which in turn enables you to make informed choices. If your onc is reluctant to discuss alternative therapies, then ask for a second opinion.
It is a very scary situation to find oneself in, so one has to keep the mind gainfully employed in seeking information instead of dwelling on negatives.
The best approach is a holistic one: treatment for the physical body, keeping the mind usefully occupied & then seeking spiritual sustenance, whether from organised religion or some alternate source - it doesn’t matter, just find something to give you spiritual support.
Good music, good books, good company - these are all helpful. Talk about your feelings, express your fears, see diagnosis as an opportunity. My onc & surgeon both said that there is no medical explanation, but they have plenty of anecdotal experience of patients who face their situation head on & keep their spirits strong, fare better than ones with a negative attitude.
Good luck - may all be well.
TheaJ

Hi Lyn,

I am so sorry you’ve had to join us but wanted to welcome you to this most awesome site! I have found it to be invaluable ever since I was diagnosed in march. I was diagnosed with bc on March 19th, age 34, and had a right mastectomy and total axillary clearance a week after diagnosis. I have found it to be a v.steep learning curve as I knew v.little about bc prior to diagnosis! I started chemo in may and am due to finish on Oct 10th (bloods permitting!). After that its rads, Tamoxifen and Herceptin for me!

To be honest I don’t know a great deal about DCIS but there are pages on here specifically related to DCIS/LCIS, hopefully you will find them v.helpful. I can totally understand how you are feeling low and scared at the mo. It is a very frightening time for you and there is an awful lot to get your around. I found it all to be very surreal the first few weeks, I still do sometimes to be honest!

I wish you well as you start out on this journey. You know where we are if you need us,

Take care,

Kelly
-x-

Hi LynB1

Welcome to the forums. I am sure you will continue to receive lots of support from other users but if you would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling Breast Cancer Care have a helpline. The team on the helpline are able to offer you a listening ear as well as help and advice. I am sure the feelings you are having are only natural but BCC are here to support you so please call if it will help. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm and the number is free phone 0808 800 6000.

Kind regards

Sam
Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

Hi Lyn
You have come to the right place for support, help and good advice. The ladies on here are great.
I will offer some very basic advice! I had sentinal node biopsy and WLE in June. The first time I did my exercises I cried with the pain. However, I persevered and felt relief after about 30 mins. A night in bed though and you wake up like you can’t move again! Keep with the exercises - you may regret it if you don’t because you will cease up.
As for scarring, the scar for the node biopsy is well hidden and is now starting to fade. My scar form WLE was very puckered and caught on my bra initially, but by using ‘BIO-OIL’ each day I now have just a faint line. I am quite proud of my scars though - they are part of my journey! I now have to have a bilateral mastectomy in January and so am using the bio oil like moisturiser to help get my skin supple ready for my implants.

Best wishes

Carly x

Hi Lyn,
Sorry you are having a rough time - you will get lots of support from the ladies here. I had a WLE in March and yes it was quite uncomfortable to start with - mine swelled and was very tight but this will settle with time - they may have to take some excess fluid from it first. Certainly if it gets hot ring the bc nurse as you may have an infection Do try and do the exercises - they do hurt and pull at first but it gets easier. To start with my scar leaked every time I did the exercises - quite scarey but the BC nurse said to carry on, and i’m glad i did as it helped . The scars arn’t that bad really - one boob looks puckered and dented - but with a good bra you wouldn’t really notice the difference. Hope things seem brighter in a few days
cheers
caroline

HI LYNB1
Keep your chin up ,I’m with you, i had my op on Tuesday’ took my own dressings off this morning after i had taken my shower.
T he scar is good,alot better than i thought it would be,but do exercise your arm as much as they tell you to Just take one day at a time love juneXXXXXX

Good morning all, i have am going into hospital on Wednesday 10th October 07 to have a lumpectomy and some of my nodes taking out. I have a real Phobia of hospitals and i am not sleeping at all well. Dreams of not waking up from Anaesthetic, and not seeing my daughter get married in one and a half years time. I think after that the next 2 weeks are going to be a nightmare as i have to wait to find out how aggresive it is. Looking at this website there are lots of people going through much worse than me, and it makes mine really seem insignificant. Take Care everyone who is going through anything to do with Cancer Maraxxx

Dear Mara

I am sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, I am sure you will receive helpful advice and support from your fellow users.

Here is a link to a Breast Cancer Care publication Resources Pack which can be ordered on line, it is filled with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available:

breastcancercare.org.uk//content.php?page_id=7514

You are also welcome to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 600, the helpline team can offer you further support and a ‘listening ear’ so that you can talk about the things that are worrying you at the moment, such as the fear of hospitals and surgery that you have expressed. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes
Katie
Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

Thank you so much, ladies, for your lovely welcome. Your kind words have made such a difference, and reassured me no end, I can tell you. The nurse came today, and took my dressings off, and said the wounds looked OK, with no sign of infection. I have to have the stitches out next Monday. I have an appointment with the oncologist on the 18th, so I’m crossing everything for that!

Some of you have been through so much more than me, yet you all seem so positive. I feel like a bit of a whinger, but I’m such a coward that it’s hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Still, my prognosis is good, so I’m just holding on to that.

Thanks again - and take care.

Hi LynB1

Its good to hear you are feeling a little more up beat today.

Not wishing to kill the moment but I did get an infection, but wait, don’t be alarmed, it was easily remedied with antibiotics. I think doing the exercises is the single most important thing to keep supple and relief comes fairly soon.
As to whether any of us has been through more than you, it makes no different because we all need to deal with the situation we are handed. Believe me you will cope, have a whinge whenever you like!

Take care
Carol

Just reading through the comments and wanted to ask if I am ‘normal’ (whatever that means nowadays). I was dx with bc 3 weeks ago and go in for surgery on Thursday for mastectomy and axillary node clearance. I am very anxious about surgery and then chemo. Feel like everything is getting me down and have very little energy to do the simplest of tasks - and I’m not even on chemo yet. I just feel like curling up in bed 24/7. I have no enthusiasm for anything. Even walking around the supermarket I can’t stop the tears streaming down my face. There seems to be no getting away from thinking about the disease even though I have three young children to keep me going and a husband who is absolutely brilliant.

I’m so worried about how I will cope. Axx

Hi Andrea,
So sorry you have had to join this wonderful group

You are just starting on your journey through all the treatment and yes it is very scary and you will wonder how you will get through it, but with good friends and family around you YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.

All the ladies have been through it on this site and first hand experience as to what you are going through i found this really helped me as you know that you are not alone.

I was diagnosed a year ago almost to the day and it has been a long haul but with help and support you will come out the other side a much stronger person as you can tell by a lot of the stories you have read on hear.

A postive attitude will help you on your way i no it is very hard now but we just have to pick up the pieces and carry on as best we can.

I was like you when first diagnosed i couldn’t stop crying but this is all part of the process try and get out with the children and enjoy the simple things in life.

Just try and get through one day at a time and soon you will be like me a year down the line with all the treatment out of the way and enjoying life to the full.

Take Care and keep us posted on your treatment
We are all hear to help
JanW

Dear All,
I am new to this site. I had a lumpectomy on 14th August which when biopsied in the clinic a few months previously had come back as benign and I was only having the lump removed as a matter of course. Can you imagine my shock when two weeks after the operation (my follow-up was originally booked for a month later) I was called back to the clinic to be told that the removed lump had revealed cancer. I then had further tissue removed from where the lump had been and full axillary clearance done 2 weeks ago. I am going back for follow-up next week to be told the results. I will definitely be having radiotherapy but maybe chemo, depending what was found in the lymph nodes.

Still very sore and have some swelling now under the arm (drain removed last week). Going to see BCN this afternoon for her to take a look.

Supposed to be going to Rome next week but looks like we may have to cancel.

Wish you all well.

Sandra

I have posted this for new user Sue
Sam, Moderator

HI LynB1

Don’t worry the scaring feels worst than it is for the first couple of weeks. If my experience is anything to go by it does get better and you get more relief, Although exercise is the last thing you want to do, do try a little each day. They do help.

Sue

Thank you, Sue. It is beginning to get a little easier now, since my dressing was changed. I was allergic to the tegaderm, and it really pulled at my skin. Although I feel like I have a tennis ball under my armpit, things are definitely easier. I have an appointment at the hospital on the 18th, feeling really nervous.

Take care

Hi Jan, thanks for your comments. Some days are better than others and I do feel a little better today. I’m in for ANC and mastectomy tomorrow so fingers crossed hoping all goes well! Glad to hear your treatment has finished and you are enjoying life. A x

Good Luck for tomorrow Andrea

Love Maddy x

Good Luck for tomorrow Andrea, i had mastectomy and axillary clearance 3rd May and found the op not as bad as expected, am now having chemo. Rads, herceptin and tamoxifen to follow. Its hard to belieive at this stage but you will gradually find it easier to cope. I cried quite a lot at first it was never out of my mind i think it is the shock and fear but once treatment began i felt more able to cope. I am 37 with 2 girls and a brilliant supportive husband and family and this keeps my sanity.
Take care
Rachie

Thanks girls for your support. I’m sure I’ll feel better once the first hurdle is out of the way. A xx