only a quarter of the woman i was

just had this thought last night, i said to my hubby that it was going to be really strange that after the 18th of december i was only going to be a quarter of the woman i once was, i waited for him to say i was “all woman to him” when i challenged him about it he said that had he said that then i would have called him a “corny git” which yes i would, but its made me think about who i am about to become, not sure that i like it very much, its made me feel sad, confused, angry, oh i think i have had every emotion under the sun (or rain if you live in my area) this last 24 hours, where is the positive in having had breast cancer? it doesn’t matter how much i look, well, i just can’t find anything that makes me think its ever going to have been a good experience for me.

lots of love

Alisonx

Oh Alison,
Please accept a very big hug from me ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((0)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

I can’t help make you feel any better about yourself or this whole debacle but would like you to know that someone has reached out to you in your pain.

I cringe every time I look at my breast, find it hard to touch the scar, and have had to steel myself to take off my clothes at night but my husband insists it doesn’t matter to him - I joke that he can’t see without his glasses anyway but he keeps repeating the old adage about love being blind. I’ve bought him a breast shaped stress reliever from BHS for Christmas and a fridge magnet for myself which reads " I’m not a complete idiot - parts of me are missing!" - a sense of humour carries me through a lot of hurt and uncertainty.

There is a way through this madness but we all approach it from very different angles - your husband, bless him, obviously knows you very well - let him in on how you really feel, and rant away on this site - there are loads of people out here going through exactly the same thing who I’m sure will try to help and tell you how they get through this.
Take care
Love Maddy xxxxxx

Alison,

My thoughts are with you. We all read those stories about people who say BC has had a positive effect on their lives and it’s hard to see it, isn’t it? I’ve just developed a swelling on the back of my hand, and with fluid seeping out of it it’s fairly certain it’s lymphodoema so I’ve been referred to the clinic. I just want to scream IT’S NOT FAIR!!

I am very unhappy with the way I look. I think I will pluck up the courage to have a reconstruction at some point, though not till I’ve survived two years - that being the most likely period for a recurrence, I would hate to spend time recovering from another operation only to find it had come back.

We have to try to use our experiences in a positive way. I’m trying to live more for the moment, rather than waiting for some mythical time in the future when the kids have grown up and we’ll have more time/money, but it’s not easy. I’m also spending more & saving less - I was always very prudent but what’s the point of savings if you’re dead? I’m also very conscious of trying to have good times with the children so if the worst were ever to happen they will have happy memories of this time. Also I find that little things that used to stress me don’t so much now. There’s no point sweating the small stuff. There you go - I’ve managed to talk myself into a whole load of good things! Must try to remember them next time I’m feeling low.

xx

I asked my husband what his thought were on the subject of me, his one boobed, no haired wifey… and he said that I am still me and that he still loves me for who I am as a person. Be confident and hold your head high… noone can change who we are as people. xxx

I wonder like you Alison, about people who say BC has had a positive effect on their lives, …uh! how does that work then?

I know I can sit here all day saying “Why me” till the cows come home, it won’t change things one bit, I’m a one boobed woman and sometimes I feel like sh*t.

I sit looking at myself in the mirror and …well…cry.

It’s coming up to Christmas and I used to go to the parties and out with the girls and whilst I’ve never really been a cleavage type of woman, now that I can’t show any, it makes me mad…grrr…

I haven’t gained any positivity out of having BC at all…ok…maybe I would be classed as weak, I don’t know.

BUT, it certainly doesn’t help with programmes like ‘How To Look Good Naked’ on TV and even though I watch it, I think…right Mr Gok Wan, I’ll give you a bl**dy challenge, make a good cleavage out of my one boob…if you can…if you dare…pah!!!

Nope, BC sucks…

Linda x

Hi
BC sucks - no arguments there. But we don’t. BabyBoo is right I think - at some fundamental level we remain who we were. Doesn’t it give this horrible disease a power we shouldn’t let it have to buy in to anything else?
I also have down days when all this seems unbearable. But there are all sorts of ways of looking at things. For instance, I do think women with one breast can look very beautiful - there are some wonderful photographs of woman who have had mastectomies which make that point…
Jo
xxxx

Hi all

Would just like to jump on this “bandwagon” - Linda is right - BC sucks. I have heard people say/or read them write “thanks to cancer” - jeepers, what were their lives like before then??? I will never thank BC for ANYTHING. I have made contacts on here and one or two (only) good real friends but BC brought us together and if I could turn back the clock I would do anything not to have this bl**dy awful disease and have no contacts here and no new friends.

Sorry to be so brutally honest but I felt my life was okay before BC, I worked hard and played hard and valued things and people in the same way I do now, I didn’t need a life threatening disease to teach me any lessons - I got that when I was 8 and my Mum died from BC.

Another rant over …

i look at how much i have lost through bc, a good sex life with my husband, for the time being my job, my confidence to a good extent, cos i to had a fantastic life before this happened, i was so very happy, kids nearly grown up, me and the hubby getting away on our own and making plans for our future, i can’t even think of planning our future at the moment, maybe it does eventually get better mentally, but the scars will always be there as a reminder, and the sore joints and medication for the next 7 years. sometimes i wish i had never found the lump in the first place, silly to think that i know, but i have hated every damn moment of this disease, and if it wasn’t for the fact that i have lots of scars now, well, i’d go and have hypnotherapy to forget all about it!!!

lots of love

Alisonxx

I feel very inadequate when I read of happy positive women who have had all the treatments then do the New York marathon for charity or climb a big mountain or cycle thousands of miles. I feel like I should be doing my bit for charity too. I feel I should be using the experience to reinvent myself, lose weight, get a fab career, become a happy Stepford Wife or super mummy or make quilts for all the beds, dig the garden, redecorate throughout. Could go on. The reality is that I swallow my Tamoxifen each day and do as much housework as I need to then I sit and watch Doctors and Neighbours and all the other crappy programmes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have to pick my husband up from work, I am sure I would just sit in my jimmies all day.

Debbie
xxx

Hi all

Reading this post has made me happy in a weird way - cos I know I am not the only one who is feeling this way. I too cannot see anything positive about this bc crap - I was a nice person before and will be a nice person after - but suspect I will be less tolerant in some ways - if that makes sense - I can see myself getting quite annoyed if people moan about mundane things (as I have no doubt done in the past!!).

I am fed up of people saying never mind this time next year etc etc etc - yeah = this time next year I might have hair, but I will have 1 boob and loads of bad memories.

Just wanted to add my tuppence worth and empathise with you all

Thinking of you all
Fiona
x

I didn’t have chemo and still have two boobs but I fully sympathise Fiona.

I am a tad bit worried about my spending habits at the moment…all bc related. I am happy when I am spending…totally goes against my nature, hence my posting name of Thrifty. Hope I can pull in the reins by New Year or I will be broke by Feb,. One funny thing to mention. We had just bought Toyota Avensis when I was dx and had a hefty loan to pay for it. We didn’t even want a new car but our old escort had failed its MOT and wouldn’t repair. I had life and critical illness cover which paid out the equivalent of our mortgage (not v big. Should have moved house and got huge mortgage before getting bc but don’t a crystal ball or have benefit of hindsight unfortunately ). Anyway, pay out covered car loan with some left over so the car is now nicknamed “the Toyota Tumour”. Bit sick I suppose but it makes me smile.

Debbie
xxx

Hi all

really glad I’m not the only one feeling crap. Between diagnosis and mastectomy I thought " never wore low cut tops so it will be ok" NO IT WON’T . I want to wear strappy tops and not have to worry about crater in chest. I want to wear frilly, lacey bras instead of this construction job I seem to be stuck with.

My OH is brillant and he would be the first to admit he was always a “boob” man, think I will try to find the stress reliever thingy in BHS.

Since diagnosis I have spent money on all the things I have always wanted, what’s the point in waiting.

Diane

Toyota Tumour, i love that Debbie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi everyone,

Live for the day! how often do we say that to people we meet when we are out and they tell us how good and well we look! Oh thank you i say, i am living each day as it comes and doing everything i want to,I am not worrying about spending money i am just enjoying myself, what is the point in saving for my old age when i may not have one, in response they pat my hand and tell me they don’t blame me!!!

I often think afterwards what a load of boll***s, why do i keep saying it to everyone, I am trying so hard to be positive, forward thinking and trying to do exactly what i used to before BC. Then sometimes when i am sitting in the house alone it hits me like an almighty tsunami, s**t i had BC, i actually have had the big C! I start to feel the panic rise inside me, next i have the dreaded sweats followed by a period of nausea, i have to stop myself from completely freaking out by the enormity of it all. I can calm down then and start to rationalise but i am terrified of recurrence and secondaries which my breast nurse terrifies me about by talking about every time i see her. She says things like i have a 50% chance of it coming back in the other breast and because one of my cancers was lobular that is not always picked up on mammograms. I leave there feeling like i might as well throw myself under the 101 bus straight away and spare myself the worry!

I keep being told how wonderful and cheerful i am, also how lucky i am to be alive, this really does my head in, lucky would not having BC in the first place. It seems while i have this dreadful lumpy, uneven scar across my chest where my once beautiful breast was i can never escape from it, it is there when i wake in the morning and also when i go to bed at night. So i am afraid i also have become a terrible spendthrift, if i see anything i like i just pull out the old credit card and give it a good bashing, i have more important things to worry about other than paying the bill when it comes in. So i may see some of you in debtors prison!!!

Enjoy spending
Suzy

Ditto Suzy

God what a depressing bc nurse. Mine are the opposite. I have to prise info out of them and they always skirt over secondaries etc. I too am no longer worried about money and am spending alot. I am definately not “Thrifty” anymore. I bought a microwave convection oven the other day simply because my mam had and I fancied one. I ahd been talking about ones costing £399 ( wishful thinking) with my husband so he went a funny coulour when I said I had bought one but was very relieved and enthusiastic when he realised I had only spent £79. I bought him a bottle of Riggwelter to soften the blow first.

Debbie
xx

Hi again

Love the placating the hubby bit, i always used to buy my hubby something costing about £10 everytime i used to have a blowout myself buying myself somelthing for about £80! You know how it goes “Do you love my beautiful top, oh by the way i bought you this shirt…” I have just treated myself to a new tv in the bedroom, one thats HD Digital with Freeview, will take me a year to work out how to use the thing but it looks nice and shiny on my bookcase! I keep falling asleep downstairs while watching tv anytime from 7pm to 11pm then when i wake up and have to go upstairs to bed i am wide awake! Hence the tv in the bedroom.

I have no confidence in my BC nurse, she should really retire she is so gloom and doom, she never remembers my name either which makes me feel such a non person, the last time i went i took my friend Teresa with me as a witness, the BC nurse called me Abbey not Suzy and Teresa said to her very sharply “Her name is Suzy” to which the breast nurse replied “We like the name Abigail in here so we call her abbey”! Teresa then said “I like the name Tom but i don’t want to be called it”! You couldn’t make it up!

Anyway take care
Abbey …oh yes my name is Suzy

When the going gets tough - the tough go shopping !

Maddy xxx

Can I join in with the moans please? I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago and am having mastectomy on 7th. I have been fairly positive so far but the ‘blues’ hit me yesterday and I can’t shake them off. I am sooooooooo sick of people telling me that I’m a strong and positive person etc etc WELL I DONT FEEL STRONG RIGHT NOW!! Just been round Tesco to stock up (both kids home from Uni this week) and saw some people I know (Mums from previous schools I’ve worked at) and all I wanted to do was grab the speaker system and say every swear word I could think of!!! Not like me at all! My poor old partner is being wonderful but every time he tells me how gorgeous I am (his words not mine!!) I want to shout at him, ‘WELL I WON’T LOOK BL**DY GORGEOUS WITH ONE BOOB WILL I?’!
And, while I’m on a role, why to all these catalogues for mastectomy bras show gorgeous, drop-dead (oops! probably not the most apt phrase to use!) 18 year old girls with oodles of clevage whose only experience of surgery has been a boob job?!!!
There I feel better for that little rant-sorry girls! Better than being arrested in Tesco I suppose!
Love Gill x

Just another bit of a rant…why do people always say to me…“You do look well, you’ve got colour in your cheeks”…that’s because I’m having a bl**dy hot sweat you, you … I feel like saying (moron)…

I’m not well, half the time I don’t feel well, but try as you might to explain because you ‘look’ well, I give up trying to explain.

Yes Gill I know what you mean about the catalogues, plus, I hate the fact that I can’t pop into M & S now and buy their gorgeous bras…

It’s a funny old world… :- )

Linda x

i popped into M & S six weeks after my recon, could i find a bra that fitted well, no i couldn’t so then the poor assistant asked me would i like to try one of their new range of bra’s for women who had had a mastectomy, i pointed out to her that yes indeed i had had a mastectomy, and that the new boob was actually made up of muscle from my back and an implant, she fetched me two very nice bra’s, i asked her were the pockets for putting my money in when i go on a night out!!! my husband was all ready to complain to the manager at what he saw as this assistant being very insensitive, i told him to leave it as i felt the poor assistant was just very ignorant and didn’t have a clue what she was doing!

so the search for bra’s carries on !!!

Alisonxxxxxxxxx