I have just been told I have it, and it is like my life is imploding. I cant get my head around it and feel like I am two different people. I am the me, and I feel fine not I’ll, and then there is the she…who has cancer. 

Next week I have to go and get my treatment organised but I am so afraid. 

Hi there I just wanted to send you a virtual hug. You are understandably scared but the breast care teams are amazingly supportive. I am not sure what your diagnosis is and what your options will be but I just wanted to tell you how frightened I was when first diagnosed.  I felt lost and had anxiety like I have never known BUT fast forward to today and everything is mostly all behind me.  The initial shock is awful but you will get through this.  If I can help anymore please let me know.  Xx

Hi Tansy

I can back up Kathryn’s comments. Like you, I couldn’t get my head round feeling perfectly fine and then being told actually I had breast cancer. The uncertainty of everything is a huge shock. Suddenly your sense of safety is whipped away and you feel completely alone - no one can understand how you’re feeling. Control is slipping away. It IS scary but nothing like as scary as we fear it will be. The problem is, we’re surrounded by negative images of cancer and we still equate cancer with a death sentence when the prognosis is getting better every year as treatments improve. The other problem is that everyone reacts differently to the different treatments and we obsess over losing our hair or being sick when these things actually may not happen (and in some cases, can be avoided). A lot of people don’t need chemotherapy. Some sail through it, others are wiped out (I was). Radiotherapy sounds horrendous but again, some sail through unaffected (I did) and others don’t. You just don’t know so don’t panic about the unknowns till you have to?

The next few weeks will take a huge toll on you as you get a clearer picture of your specific diagnosis and treatment programme. Take a trusted friend or partner with you to appointments - they can take in information you may hear and forget and can ask questions you want asked. My friend even took notes! Be prepared for interminable delays (only short ones but they feel interminable) and spend as much time as you can looking after your emotional health. Everyone is different but mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, hypnotherapy etc can all work. My lifesaver was Progressive Hypnosis’ Manifest Healing on YouTube. I would just plug myself in and drift off several times a day. Most important, do NOT google anything. It usually makes things even more scary - there are knowledgeable nurses here who can answer your questions (number is above) and you will be assigned a breastcare nurse who can answer any questions way better than Dr Google.

I wish you all the best for what lies ahead and hope it’s simple for you. Even if it isn’t, there are thousands of us here to bear witness to the fact that we get through it. We’re not particularly brave or strong - we just find our own ways of getting through to the other side, as you will. Take care of yourself,

Jan x

 Aww I found myself the same back in Nov it’s horrid you feel like someone has pulled the rug from under your feet, unable to take it all in, unable to sleep due to fear.

I feel for you the best thing I did was join this group & found lovely ladies we are all going through the same & some have got to the finish line & their stories are now helping others (like me) and you too will get help & tips , advice, encouragement.

You will have a cancer nurse at the hospital ask for her advice & support sometimes after a consultant appointment I sit with her I find this so helpful it’s explained easier, like many of us we go into see the consultant & don’t take it all in.

I have sat & sobbed a few times it’s hard to be brave.

Don’t go on google I did & all it does is scare you.

try a few meditation apps & ask for help on here, also the nurses you can phone.

Some days are stronger than others trust me I was Mrs meltdown at first remember it’s okay to cry your processing this awful bombshell.

You will find your strength & powers & think right let’s do what’s got to be done I’ve got this! ??

Take one day at a time & breathe, your not alone.

 Wishing you all the best on this journey, I haven’t finished mine yet but I know I’m gonna reach the finish line just as you will.

Remember be kind to you big hugs ? 

Nicky Xxx

Hi Tansy,

I just wanted to echo what the other lovely ladies have said to you. You will get through this.

I completely empathise with your fear though. I was diagnosed on 1st June 2018, aged 50. I couldn’t believe it- I felt so well, and I felt like my happy, carefree life had ended, and I would never feel peace again. But here I am, back at work, feeling so well, exercising again, socialising,  and actually, I feel like I have a second chance at life. 

I am due to have a delayed reconstruction in a couple of months, and other than tamoxifen for the next few years, that will be the treatment over. 

Although we all wish this hadn’t happened to us, I can honestly say there have been positives, in that I realise how lucky I am to have so many people who love and care for me, and I don’t ‘sweat the small stuff’ any more. 

I agree it’s best not to google. The breast cancer nurses are phenomenal. A mine of information and so positive so ask them for advice.

I wish you the very best of luck with your treatment.

Jane xx

Hello tansy 

So sorry you have had to join our club  i was diagnosed a year ago but it seems like a lifetime ago. I noticed you asked a few times about looking at be you mastectomy post surgery so I thought I might offer you something else to think about as I had the same fears. I needed a full mastectomy as it turned out I had multifocal cancer. That is to say I had 6 different tumours in one breast. I opted for a skin sparing mastectomy with diep (pronounced deep) reconstruction  my hospital does not offer this so I had to find out where it was available and ask to be referred there.  This meant I had an immediate reconstruction made from the small spare tyre I had been carrying for a while. The operation took 10.5 hours but when I woke up I still had a breast the same size and shape as the one I had before which was warm and felt exactly the same as it always had and the only scar is a small neat one where my nipple use to be. In a few months I am going to have a new nipple made by the same surgeon and a small adjustment where some of the new breast has moved slightly. So I never had that frightening moment of looking at the scar as when I woke up from the operation it looked great ( minus the nipple) and I am very happy with it. When I showed the breast cancer nurse at my local hospital. She actually said “wow. I had to look carefully to see which breast had had cancer”. I know you are avoiding dr Google but it might be worth looking this up as everything happens so quickly when under cancer treatment that you often don’t get much time to make decisions so it’s better to be prepared over what options you would like to consider for yourself…

I will warn you thought that most surgeons do not take kindly to you asking to be referred elsewhere

Good luck on your journey and I wish you well. if you need to Google look for “diep reconstruction”