Hi from New Zealand
Hi from New Zealand Unfortunately I must gate-crash your forum. Like all of you I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I have to say, this has been the longest 4 weeks of my life and my, how life has changed. As my darling partner said early in the piece “everything’s the same, but nothing’s the same”.
I feel like I want to talk to other people whose elite club I have now had the dubious honour of joining - but I really have no idea what to say or where to start.
I’m terrified of the future - not of more surgery (I’m up for seconds on Wednesday), nor of chemo or radiation - but of what lies beyond that. I guess when I get some more answers after my second surgery that path will become a little clearer but right now its fear of the unknown I suppose. Alot of the time I forget and then it suddenly pops back into my brain and my heart just sinks.
I turn 50 at the end of this month and had been rabbitting on about how OLD that sounds, until I got my cancer diagnosis. Then I found myself thinking - I’m only 49 and I have breast cancer - suddenly turning 50 seems very young and I’ve still got way too much fun to have for this shitty little thing to stuff it up. I am madly in love with the most wonderful man, my only child - a 21 year old son - has just finished at university (we had his formal graduation ceremony yesterday, a prouder mum you could not find!) and we have so many plans for our future. I’ll be really pissed off if this cancer messes with all that in the long term.
Anyway, I’ll stop waffling for now - I really find it quite difficult to express what I am feeling. I can easily talk about the facts and figures of this journey I now find myself on, but I have no idea how to explain how I really feel. It is completely and utterly surreal.
Thanks for listening.
You sound so much like me Hi Janman
I am so sorry you have to join us but would say welcome - we’re a pretty nice bunch.
I read you post and it so expresses what I’ve been thinking that I had to say hello.
I went for a normal screening in Dec last year, got called back and told I had DCIS and would need an operation. Fine by me - let’s get on with it. Then after the first op in January when I went back to see the surgeon he said they had found cancer in with the DCIS. No lump as such but I would need a further op to get clear margins and while they were at it they would take some lymph nodes to check. The nodes came back negative and clear margins were achieved on the second op. Then there’s the meeting with the oncologist which really drove it home for me. He was brilliant and made a cd of the appointment so that I could listen again if I want to. I decided against having chemo and am now half way through rads. It’s better once you know what is going to happen. But like you I had no trouble understanding the facts and figures, no trouble getting on with the second op and the rads but just couldn’t get past what happens then - the uncertainty made me think all sorts of strange things like what’s the point of watching what I eat, I even stopped buying things I needed as it seemed a waste of money! Anyway I’ve pulled myself together now and am just starting on a project to have the kitchen in our new house extended and refitted. Life goes on and one thing the onc did say to me after my first appointment was - you can have a week to think about what to do but no longer that way lies madness and I think he was right. No one knows what will happen in the future but think positive, enjoy every day the best way you can and don’t dwell on the prognosis after all, all of these calculations are based on Mrs Average and she doesn’t exist!!
I wish you luck and strength - keep focused on the light at the end of the tunnel it’s sunshine not an express train bearing down on you!!
Keep us posted on your progress.
Welcome Isn’t it a shock the diagnosis. You are jolted from mundane normality to abject terror. I well remember how I felt. Once you start treatment as is often said, you will feel better I can assure you. It takes a while to get your head round it. This site has helped me and I am sure it will help you.Life will never be the same as it was, and that is difficult because I had such a happy carefree life. The treatment is not too bad and goes quickly. Hope everything ok for 2nd operation take care Eileen
Welcome Nice to meet you Janman - wish it were under different circumstances…
The amazing thing about talking to fellow bc sufferers is that they totally understand what you’re talking about, no matter how much you think you’re not making sense!
Wish I could say the right things. I’m not much good at that. I’ll leave that to the others, but I find myself thinking that I can just take one day at a time and enjoy that to the full. It’s more than most people do. No one really knows exactly what the future holds or how long we have, but I think those with cancer have a lot more insight, and we think about it more (no choice!). And we appreciate every good thing around us.
Hope you get to enjoy many more good things in your life!
youve said it all hi janman
just had to reply to your posting as you have said just about everything i would of said myself if only i could of said it aswell as you did.
thanks for organising my thoughts
i find it strange to think that we do all keep going and then as you say it does pop back into your head world stops for split second and off we go again
take care xxx
nothing prepares us for the shock of a breast cancer diagnosis-l liken it to being hit by a truck in the face.I am 3yrs down the line and yes it is on my mind still but things get easier and we find ways of coping,you have just started on the rollercoaster so give yourself time.Is treatment similar to uks in New Zealand-and do you have private health care.Despite the way we do complain we are so lucky to have everything without worrying about healthcare costs as well.come visit us again soon-you are welcome sadly to our club take care love sharon x
Thank you guys. That’s the first time I’ve posted a message and its quite a good feeling reading your replies, knowing you are going through or have been through exactly this and know just what I’m feeling, even if I can’t put that into words yet.
Just so you know, I have invasive lobular cancer with one of the two lymph nodes taken containing a 4mm tumour. Unfortunately following the lumpectomy cancer cells appear way too close to one of the margins so I’m back for more surgery on Wednesday for the rest of the lymph nodes and more breast tissue to be removed. Then hopefully that will be that I can start to move forward with the treatment and a new kind of ‘normal’ routine in life.
All cancer treatments in NZ are available free on our public health system but the waiting can take a while so I have opted to have my surgery done privately because I have health insurance that will cover it all - finally going to get my monies-worth from all the those years of paying premiums.
My cancer was picked up on a routine 2-yearly free breast screening. I’m so pleased I was eligible to join the programme when the screening caravan was outside my work 2 years ago! That 1st mammogram was clear but the one taken 6 weeks ago obviously wasn’t - had it not been for that caravan and NZ having only just lowered the age of eligibility to 47 then (its now 45) I would still be blissfully unaware that I had cancer 'cause I know I would not have bothered to have a mammogram otherwise.
Thanks for your support girls, see you on the forums soon.
hello kiwi Hi janman sorry you have to join us. Couldnt resist replying to your post as I have lived in new zealand for 27 years, most of that time in christchurch. Came home here to uk after my marriage broke up, am now living happily with my childhood sweetheart. I was diagnosed last july with invasive ductal carcinoma grade three, had a lumpectomy but didnt get it all so then had a WLE. My lymph nodes are clear so consider my self lucky, unfortunately i am triple neagative so have had to have chemo and just finished rads, mainly as a mop up. I am also 49 and turn 50 in july, as you say suddenley 50 doesnt seem old anymore. I feel sacres a lot now my treatment has finished but I guess that will pass in time. Anyway just wanted to say hello and good luck, these forums are very helpful love lizzy
ps i worked for kumfs shoes for 7 years do you know them?
Greetings New Zealand! Hi Janman,
sorry to hear you have had to join us but you already know I’m sure that you are in good company here. I am 34 and was diagnosed 8 weeks ago and I have found this site invaluable ever since. It is all a bit of a blur isn’t it and quite surreal really. When I go to appts, its like I am listening to what they are saying, but they are not talking about me. Although I have only lived with this for 8 weeks I can not remember what my life was like before andit feels like I have been living with this forever!
I hope all goes well with your op. I had my mastectomy on March 29th and was relieved to find it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had first imagined. This whole thing is a bl**dy nightmare but I am sure we will all get through it,
Take care and let us know how you get on,
Encouragement Janman - just a few words of encouragement - I was 51 when I was first diagnosed, lumpectomy, radiotherapy and Tamoxifen. Am now 68 and have just had local recurrence in same breast treated with another wide excision (you can’t have radiotherapy twice to same breast) and am about to start Arimidex for 5 years if I can tolerate the side-effects.
So a break of 17 years was pretty good.
It really is a mystifying disease as I have absoluely no family history, am very fit, eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke and drink only socially. I also go to the gym several times a week and also yoga classes plus skiing most of the winter.
Lizzy2 - Yes I do know Kumfs shoes - I even used to own a pair. I am very pleased you are happy back home in England now.
I had my 2nd surgery on Wednesday so don’t really know any more yet, other than I am oestrogen & progesterone +ve which I believe is a good thing 'cause I now have another cannon to try and throw at this disease. I’ll know more next Thursday when I get the results of this latest surgery. So fingers crossed there are no more lymph nodes involved and they got all the cancer cells from my breast!
I’m having a ‘down’ day today - post-surgery blues perhaps or maybe its just all a bit overwhelming today. Tomorrow will be better!
I wish you well for the future, and now that you are at the end of your treatment may you have a wonderful healthy life ahead.