Tough time at the mo...

Hiya,

I’m just writing this coz I need to get a few things off my chest at the mo… oh, I just realised what I said haha!!!

I was diagnosed on Valentines Day this year when I was 26 and have no history of BC in my family. I’ve had a lumpectomy and 6 FEC and I’m having 2 tamaxofen (I think that’s what it’s called), then rads for 3.5 weeks. I had eggs removed and frozen before chemo just incase of infertility - so that’s the BC in a nutshell!

Well… I feel like I’m having a total meltdown - something I really never expected to happen. I was completey fine and normal and really didn’t feel like I was having to cope until recently when I staretd to think about what if it comes back? I’m worried and have a million things running around my head like how would I like my funeral to be and how distraught my family would be if I died… and do I just plan for the short term and stay local to my family or should I still think long term and go traveling? Should I try to have children asap so I get longer with them if the BC does return or should I have them in a few years in which case I’ll miss out on more of their lives if the BC comes back? I’m totally confused.

Also, at the time I was diagnosed my brother had just started seeing my best friend and it was causing arguments between him and me which I found seriously upsetting and my friend and I didn’t stay friends because of the mess it had made. I was led to believe they had stopped seeing each other under the circumstances. However, I’ve just learnt that they have been seeing each other all along and now I realise that my brother has avoided me throughtout my treatment over the last 4.5 months because he’s been dating her. I feel really let down that he hasn’t bothered with me at this important time and don’t know what to do with these feelings.

As well as that my Dad has a serious alcohol addiction and my Mum is constantly trying to decide whether to leave him or not and talks to me alot about it. Of course I want her to talk to me but the whole thing is just hard sometimes.

Argh!!! So I think with all of these things put together I’m just crumbling at the moment and it’s scary. My friends are great but I don’t want to moan to them and I just feel like I want to be on my own and have the world just go away!!! I can’t stop crying and I’m not sure which bit I’m crying over - the BC coming back, my brother or my parents!!!

This helps to get it all out… good luck to everyone, Lizz xxx

Hi Liz

I am sorry to hear that you are having a rough time of it at the moment, not only are you having to deal with the BC but also your family problems. I can sort of understand how you feel, after your brother hasn’t visited as much as you would have liked while you have been undergoing treatment. I had a similar experience with my so called best friend. Just after my diagnosis we had our first and only trivial arguement on a night out. After that we didn’t speak again, and only recently are in touch purely by e-mail. She didn’t contact me to see how my operation went, how my chemo went or rads. Unfortunatly it is times like this that you really do find out who is truely there for you. Sometimes it can totally blow you out of the water like it did to me. I felt almost heart broken - and I know that probably sounds daft as she was ‘only’ a friend. But we were very close, and I had helped her through serious depression the year before and stopped her trying to commit suicide. It is just a shame she couldn’t be there when I needed her.
Maybe your brother isn’t sure how to act around you after everything that is happening, and it;s not just as simple as the fact that he is seeing your friend. Do you feel like you could chat to him about the way you feel?
I know you want to help your Mum, but you do have to try and put yourself first at the moment as hard as it is. You need all your strength to fight this and get better. Maybe you could try and talk to your Mum about this and maybe offer places where she can go for advice, and support to give you a little bit of a break. It doesn’t mean that you care any less. Just that you need to concentrate on getting better for you and your family.

I hope my babbling has helped a little, and if you need to chat some more you know where I am.

Dear Lizz

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care forums where I am sure you will continue to receive valuable support and information from your fellow forum users. In addition, you are welcome to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 for further support, information and a ‘listening ear’. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

The helpliners can also talk to you about our other support services which you may find helpful at the moment. We provide a ‘Peer support’ service whereby we can put you in touch with someone, by telephone, who is of similar age and diagnosis to you so that you are able to talk to someone who has an understanding of how you may be feeling.

Our ‘Live Chat’ service gives you the chance to ‘chat’ online in real time to others affected by breast cancer and many issues are discussed in these sessions, they are held on Thursday evenings between 9-10pm. If you feel these services would be of help to you now or in the future please contact us for more details or look under the ‘Support for you’ tab on the homepage of the website for further information.

Kind regards

Lucy
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

Hi Liz
Sorry that you are having such a rough go of it at the moment. I think that a good cry can do wonders for the soul. You have quite alot on your plate at the moment with just getting through treatment nevermind all of the additional family stress. I think that you need to take a step back from the family issues and try to concentrate on getting through treatment. I know, it is easier said than done isn’t it. You are going through so much that you really don’t need the additional stress. It doesn’t mean that you love your family less or anything. However at the moment things should be about you. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish and put yourself first.
As you go through treatment you will have meltdown moments where you are fine one minute and sobbing the next. Trust me in that it happens to all of us.
I can tell you that it does get better. We are all here to support one another and whenever you feel the need of an ear, just shout ok!!! I am usually around and you can always PM me if you want to chat.
I hope that you will be feeling stronger soon
wishing you the best
Sending you a big cyber hug to make you feel better
karen

Hi Lizz,

sending you a massive cyber hug ((((((((((o))))))))))! Sorry to hear you are having a tough time at the mo. With everything you have been through and continue to go through you can well do without the added trauma of family troubles!

I really feel for you, and as one of the other girls says I think you need to try and maybe take a step back from everything that is going on with your family. I know it’ll be hard but you really do need to be putting yourself first right now and concentrate on looking after number 1. Personally I am finding bc and chemo and all that goes with it as tough mentally as it is physically. I honestly don’t think I would be able to cope if I started having other worries too, so its no wonder you feel as though you are rapidly approaching meltdown!!

You are certainly not the only one on here who has fears about bc returning and who has been busy planning their funeral. I have even had thoughts about what it would be like if I died in my local hospice. I have imagined that I would like to be in my boyfriend’s arms (hopefully he would be my husband by then though!) (well, hopefully it won’t happen at all and I’ll live a very long and happy life but you know what I mean!), and that I would just slip away peacefully while he cuddled me. Previously I’ve even wondered what songs I would want played at my funeral!! Don’t get me wrong, its not something I dwell on but it is something that does cross my mind from time to time. I’m sure this is perfectly normal.

I have booked myself some counselling though my local support centre and I have my first ‘session’ later this month. Is that something that you would maybe consider too? I really think it will help me no end as I really am finding the ‘mental’ side of bc and my treatment really hard to deal with. We don’t always want to, or feel able to talk to those that are closest to us about our fears and worries. Also, I attend my local support group, we have monthly meetings and its awesome being able to meet with other ladies who are in a similar position. Do you have anything like this in your area?

Thats enough of my waffle anyway!! I hope you are feeling much brighter and better about things very soon and I really hope things pick-up for you family and friend wise.

Take care and let us know how you’re doing,

Kelly
-x-

Hi Lizz
Don’t ever worry that you sound like a winger!! You are no such thing!! Breast cancer is very stressfull. Then there is life on top of it!!
I am so glad that you are able to go back and see a councellor to help you get through this. You are right in that it is incredibly stressfull going through diagnosis and treatment. I am a little further along in my breast cancer journey than you are and i always hope that i am able to help someone else as so many helped me. It is not an easy road my friend but you WILL get through it. When i was diagnosed, sheer terror ran through my veins. I was so scared. How could i have cancer?? I am a nurse. I take care of myself, go to the gym and try to eat right. Surely there had to be some mistake. It has been a life altering journey but one that i wouldn’t change. I now know who my true friends are and whom i love in my life and what is important to me. It has forced me to reexamine my life thus far. I was even so scared that i had planned my funeral at one point.
When i was diagnosed, I had chemo immediately because my tumour was very large and agressive.(stage3) They also could see one lymph node on the mammogram so they knew already that it had gone to the nodes. I started chemo that week and had AC and taxotere.(10 sessions) I had a really tough time with my chemo with nausea and vomitting. I was hospitalized twice for neutropenia and fevers and dehydration. I then had bilateral mastectomies and 30 radiation treatments. I have had several scares as well with lumps appearing out of now where along my chest wall. I had a revision of my chest wall last fall as another lump had appeared along the mastectomy site. I was very fortunate that these lumps have not turned out to be recurrences.
It is a long road as you are constantly fearing that your cancer will come back and all of the stress of going to test after test and then waiting for your results.
It is tough but there are so many wonderful women on this and the other site who have great advice to help you through. We are all here to help and support you. For me, i found that i was ok during treatment because you are so busy going for chemo and appts and you see the oncs and the nurses and you feel like everyone is keeping an eye on you. Then treatment ends and whammo, you are left to process all that you have been through. That is when it hit me. I found that after your treatment is done, everyone assumes that you are finished treatment and you must get back to leading a normal life.
Everyone will tell you that you are cured and to now get on with life. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. You can’t just pick up where you left off before cancer.
Your life will never be the same again. Every lump, bump, ache or pain has to be investigated and you will worry. However, it does get better with time.
Along the way, there will be joys and sorrows, laughter and tears and worries and then huge sighs of relief. You will have ups and downs and you will shed a few tears along the way. People will say stupid things to you and others will avoid you and all talk of anything cancer. I find that you can never really understand what a cancer patient goes through unless you have been there yourself. It is easier to talk to someone who has been there than a member of your own family.
Lizz, you must put yourself first and let others take care of you instead of you taking care of them. You are a bubbly person and have a great attitude and this will take you far in this journey. When things get tough, just remember that we are all here for you and if you ever need an ear, just shout ok!!
Take care and i wish you the best with your treatment.
Sending you some cyber hugs to help you through
cheers
karen

Hi Lizz,

I hope you are feeling a wee bit happier today.

Everything you are feeling is totally natural, it’s a rocky road we’re all on. Just to say that I’ve done the funeral thing as well, dark thoughts in the early hours of the morning of my little girl asking for her Mummy. It’s totally understandable. What helps me is writing it all down, I’m keeping a journal of my feelings on this journey so everything gets written down, the painful, down times as well as the good positive times. It feels like it’s out of head and in the book if you know what I mean and then I move on.

Sweetheart, like the other girls have said you have to try and think of yourself as well, you sound like a generous, giving person who wants to help people around her but sometimes you have to put yourself first and keep your energy just for you. There are people in my husband’s family that we haven’t told about my cancer because we know that we would have to support them more than they would support us if you know what I mean. I know it’s not easy.

The subject of children is so emotive and difficult and so personal that no-one can say what is right and wrong, only you can decide and I’m sorry I know that doesn’t help! In my case at 41 I will probably go into an early menopause, we were trying for another baby but it looks like now the choice has been taken away from us, this is one of the most difficult things for me, I do feel for you Lizz, have you spoken to your breast cancer care nurse about this? they are there for everything, not just the physical side of things.

What also helps me is just to focus on what I have achieved so far, how I am today and not to think ahead to what is still to be done (and it’s a lot!) You’re getting there Lizz, chemo’s nearly finished, you ARE getting there.

I hope I have helped a little bit and not sounded too preachy! We’re in this together, lean on us all you want.

Take care, love

Carole

Hi Liz

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I have had a really busy week of it.

You don’t need to thank me for responding to you, I relpied because I wanted to :slight_smile:
Regarding my so called best mate, it was quite strange how we got back in touch, she claimed that I sent her an e-mail by mistake, of which she replied to asking how I was. I tried in as diplomatic way as I could ask her why we had fallen out, to which she didn’t really answer. She has not apologised for not being around at all. My problem is that I tend to make excuses for people a lot of the time, and since we fell out in May last year. She has got married and had a baby. Your right when you say that things will never be the same between us. I have learnt the hard way that people are not always as they seem, and that unfortunatly their are very few people in life you can truely rely on. Part of me would love our friendship to be like it used to. But I know deep down that it will never be. I think she may blame me for missing her wedding and the birth of her son.
I have had a very similar experience as you with regards friends you thought weren’t that close being more of a friend to you than the one’s you thought would be there for you.

I am glad to hear that you are making the first steps with your brother, it will be difficult but I am sure given the time and effort you will both rekindel the relationship you had before. I think maybe your Mum was trying to protect you, I know your probably thinking that you just wanted to hear the truth. But ultimatly our parents are our protectors and she may not want to hurt you with your brothers decision. Try, if you can, to give your Mum a second chance it seems to me she had your best interest’s at heart.

In reply to your question on how I dealt with loosing my best mate. Well, it was difficult and I did get upset. My boyfriend, family and friends all wanted to give her a piece of their minds. However, thankfully never did. I did get upset about it a fair bit but hid it from people close to me. As they all thought I should just be angry with her for letting me down.
The thing is we had an ‘all round’ friendhip. We liked the same sort of music so went to concerts together, we both had problems in our child hood that we felt each other understood about. We had the same sort of sense of humour etc… Anyway, things change…
I am post treatment, I finished in january this year. I had a lumpectomy and lymph glands removed, followed my immediate reconstruction. FEC, and then rads for 5 weeks. I got back to work in March, and now work with a friend who runs his own business. (he was an aquentence before DX, and proved to be a good friend through out my treatment)… Good things do come out of all this :slight_smile:

Anyway, I hope you are feeling a little more positive and again, if you need to chat. I will look out for you

Luv Nic xxx

Hey Lizz

I’ve only just registered and I am overwhelmed by the support out there! I hope that you have been able to draw strength from some of these replies. They have also helped me as I was feeling exactly like you have described! I agree with all the suggestions - writing things down (the old fashioned way with pen and paper!) really helps and I’ve just signed up for some counselling at the support centre located on the grounds of my hospital. Because as one of the girls says - it’s not just about dealing with breast cancer, you have to deal what’s going on in the rest of your life. What I’ve learnt over the past 7 months since my diagnosis is that I’m not as strong as everyone around me believes I am - and that I can’t get through this on my own. But I’ve also been told that asking for help is a very courageous and brave thing to do.

A really good friend of mine found me a fantastic book - it’s called Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas. I would recommend you to read this. Even though she is an American and so the experience of hospitals etc is very different to what we have here, she is still a young woman going through the biggest ordeal of her life. There is also a really good website where I believe you can order copies of this book - www.whyiworelipstick.com.

Good luck with everything - love Monique x

Hi Lizz

Not on this forum as often these days but just wanted to reply to your post. I was 26 when dx last year - had lumpectomy, chemo & rads and just had my first post treatment check up last week. I can relate to a lot of the things you have said in your post - as everyone whos replied has said, we all have our moments and I think that it really helps to get things off your chest (theres the pun again!) on these forums!

I hope you’re having a better time today and just wanted to say if you fancy a chat, private message me (I’ve not worked out how to do this yet myself but if you want to get in touch & can then do!).

Lots of hugs

Sarah xx