Hi all I’m new here, I was diagnosed last week with invasive and non invasive stage 2 breast cancer, I am in shock and don’t really have any family near to where I live or many friends to call in on to chat to, I have my husband, my daughter has bad health anxiety of cancer so I’m not sure how I can tell her, I would love to chat to someone who has the same as me.
Hi @boffj - welcome to this lovely forum, although obviously I am very sorry to read about your diagnosis and that you find yourself on here. If you have any questions about using the forum please ask. You may also be interested in the Someone Like Me service where you can be paired with someone who has/had the same diagnosis. Also there are the lovely nurses you can always call for medical information or for help.
Of course you may prefer just to chat on the forum as there will be lots of other members out there with a similar diagnosis. I had my treatment about 4 years ago, same as you but with lymph node involvement so I am also happy to chat with you if I can help, or listen.
I’m sure you feel as if you have just been hit by a truck that came out of nowhere, it really is such a shock isn’t it. Also even well meaning family and friends don’t totally understand what it’s like, that’s why I found this forum such a life saver while going through treatment as everyone on here just “get’s it” without any explanation needed.
I have a book called the Cancer Survivor’s Companion by Frances Goodhart and Lucy Atkins and they tell us that “fears are NOT facts”, that we should focus on what we know rather than let our minds run away or worse still use Dr Google. So if you can try to take one day at a time. The waiting times are always hardest, once you get a treatment plan in place bizarrely it feels a bit better in that you are taking steps to get rid of it.
Sending you big hugs and strength, Evie xx
This diagnosis turns your world upside down and removes almost all sense of safety so it’s no wonder you feel ‘lost’, which was the impression I got from your post. You may already have a breast care nurse assigned to you (this is standard practice) who can answer any questions or address any fears you have. Personally, I would ring the nurses at the number above - they are so reassuring and comforting without patronising you or forcing the issue - just to talk.
It’s important to remember that we all react differently. Some people need to know every single detail and check everything for themselves; others just leave it to the experts and get on with the minimum information they can handle (me!). There’s no right or wrong. You’ve made a good start, finding this site and posting, which couldn’t have been easy. It was months before I found it. Just please don’t Google anything about breast cancer. There is so much out there but there’s no filter. It can be outdated, outright wrong, not applicable to your particular diagnosis and, most important, it cannot respond to emotions - and you will probably be a complete mess right now.
I found it helpful to give my husband specific tasks to support me. I say give, I mean I asked him! It certainly reduced his anxiety because imaginations go into overdrive in the early stages. What’s important to remember is that virtually everyone who uses the site has been through some if not all the treatments so you can be assured by this wimp that, unpleasant as it is, it’s all manageable. You’ll learn to trust your team and relax into it once the uncertainties have gone.
This is now about YOU. You need support so you will need to get help for your daughter immediately - you can’t be dealing with her anxieties too. Ask the hospital if there’s a support service for families . Some have closed because of the pandemic, some have gone online, including Zoom, some like Maggie’s Centres remain open - I can strongly recommend Maggie’s for your daughter if you’re lucky enough to have one you can access. Maybe you can learn together. I know when I visited the chemo suites prior to treatment, I was expecting to see people vomiting and lying back distraught. What I saw was people tucking into NHS sandwiches with NHS cups of tea and having a good natter - and not a bald head in sight. A lot of anxiety is based on preconceptions and we all know what cancer preconceptions are - they need to be changed. I speak as someone with multiple lifelong phobias so I do understand her condition. If there are no support services, I’d strongly advise her to see her GP at least (you didn’t indicate her age).
I wish you all the best. You can post here as often as you like and you’ll get a friendly response. Good luck,