'You're a strong person!' Well why doesn't it feel like it?

Having had 4 biopsies and being told I have 2 cancerous lumps in my r breast and a cancerous lymph node I came out all guns blazing. Yesterday I had a bone scan and ct body scan, results tomorrow. I have already been told that because of the size of the tumor I’ll have chemo first. Since finding the lump under my arm 3 1/2 weeks ago I have been positive and resigned to the fact that it will have to be dealt with. I am a strong person after all!
Today! Well! I am livid, weak, exhausted, hate myself, my body, constantly crying; now have a headache and puffy eyes, feel unactractive, it goes on.
I feel guilty that my husband and 3 lovely sons, 12, 15 and 17 have to see me go through this. It’s so unfair I’m fed up with people feeling sorry for me. Not as sorry as I feel for myself at this time!!
Will I snap out of this? Did you feel like this? I wasa planning on going into work todaybut can’t deal with all the sympathy :frowning:
Would rather be told to ‘pull myself together!’
Are these feelings normal? Xx

Dear Melrose15

I am so sorry that you are struggling at the moment and am sure that you will get lots of support from other forum users who have been just where you are now.

If you would like to talk to someone, please call our freephone helpline between 9-5 Monday’s to Friday’s and 10-2 on Saturday’s 0808 800 6000.

Also we have many publications and factsheets that cover the whole spectrum of breast cancer which can be found breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information via this link.

Wishing you all the very best

Anna

Things do seem to happen at such a speed that you don’t seem to have time to take it all in. I think all of us in the club we never wanted to join have dark moments but please do not beat yourself up about it. This is a safe place to let off steam and you will encounter some really amazing people. You have alot to cope with but you will cope and there is a lot of support around. Take care NB xx

Hello Melrose 15,
Yes ans Yes. You are perfectly normal - it is all an emotional rollercoaster you will rocket up and down - once you start treatment you may that this may be amplified. You will pull yourself together when you need to but you must allow yourself to acknowledge your anger and fear and heve a good cry they are perfectly valid feelings. If you have things you cannot say to your family you can let off here - this is the beauty of this forum. I chickened out of going into work the day before my surgery - like you I just could not cope with deling with other peopls questions and the hushed sympthetic voices, but one great thing about this situation is that you often find out who your real friends are and often they are the most unexpected people.
Good luck with your scan results - do let us know how it goes.
and remember there is info and support here 24/7
Jacquix

hi Melrose15
Yes all your feelings are perfectly normal, I myself am just starting out, I had what they thought was a 2.5cm lump and 3 affected lymph nodes under arm so they did surgery first, turns out that it was a 4.9 cm lump and a total of 9 infected lymph nodes, which has left me terrified that it has spread. All the waiting is definitely the worst bit and once you have a definite treatment plan in place it gives you something to focus on. I have started chemo now and have had ct and bone scan etc… Ct scan showed some indeterminate lung nodules so more waiting and a rescan in 6 months for me once chemo finished.
People keep telling me I am so brave and I am always the strong one but like you I don’t feel it, I just feel terrified all the time! I am 44 with a teenage son and just keep thinking its not fair and I wish it would just all go away!
I was going to try and keep working through all this but my doctor has signed me off and am going to ake the time to oncentate on myself and getting well. I will get my fighting spirit back and I will win!
So see yes you are definitely not alone in yor fears and feelings! Come ack here anytime for support or a godo rant, it helps!
Good luck with yor test results! Janey xx

Thanks all. I will keep in touch as it has helped me over the few weeks to browse and has given me hope and strength. I am hoping today’s just a bad day and I will find some inner strength that everyone tells me I have!!
Janey. How has your son coped? X

Hi Melrose
Im Struggling too. Your message describes me completly. Had 4 biopsies and told I have Stage 2 cancer with right exillary lymph involved. Need CT Scan and the lump needs to shrink in order to operate so I see the oncologist to discuss chemo tommorrow. I am absolutley petrified and feel soooo down. My husband and I told our two kids Wesley and Deanna (17 & 15 yrs) last night and it was heartbreaking. (Up most of the night with De).
So no you are not alone. I too feel completly washed out and can’t stop crying. De said that in biology class they were taught that crying is a natural tharapy that releases endorphines to make us feel better. So we cry together and I know I feel worse if I try to hold it in. This thing has completly taken over our lives and I for one am going to ring the helpline after work at dinner and go for all the help and support I can get off family and friends as I know i will have done the same for them.
I will let you know how I get on and would love to know how you do.
Sandy x

My son seemed to take the news very well, but after a couple of weeks I asked him if he had told anyone (his friends or his college tutor) and he hadn’t told a single person. we had another good talk and to be honest I have played it down as much as possible and tried to only tell him essential stuff and he has now told his college tutor at least. Kids are very resilient and I think it’s boys but he seems to be coping great, I have told him to come to me with any questions and I will try and answer them. Up to now apart from the occasional “how are you” he is just carrying on as normal! X

Hugs girls!
Be kind to yourselves, you are in shock. A cancer diagnosis rocks the very foundation of your world - so rant and rave, weep and wail - we’ve all done it!
The turning point comes when you get your treatment plan, there is a comfort in knowing what’s going to happen, and whilst you can’t control it, you can accept it as it is the steps you need to take to banish the cancer.
It is perfectly natural to fear the unknown, I did. But I can honestly tell you that the treatment may not be as bad as you fear, you can do it, and once you start, you will soon be ticking off those three weekly chemo cycles, surgery, rads - the lot!
Sue xx

Hi Melrose,
I think anything and everything is normal. Some rage at the world all the way through, some quietly get on with it, some are up and down and all over the place. All are normal. We all have different ways of dealing with things, and different triggers that send us over the edge.
Please don’t feel guilty about your husband and sons - it’s not as if you chose to impose this on them. Your husband needs to support you, not the other way around. I know it’s different for your sons. My children were 12,14 and 17 when I was diagnosed, and I tried to protect them from everything as much as possible. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do or not, but it felt right for me at the time.
I am now 6 years on - and so those ‘children’ are now 18, 20 and 23 and all thriving. We got through it, and so will you.

Hi - I thought it may help you to tell you how my two sons (13 and almost 11) have dealt with it. When I told them I had a lump that had to be removed and that it was cancer I reminded them that cancer described a lot of different conditions with various degrees of seriousness and emphasised that mine was a treatable type. I focused quite a lot on the “amusing” bits of the proposed treatment, like having to be injected with radioactive isotypes and blue dye and how I would have blue wee and tears. We managed to have a bit of a joke (black humour abounds in our house!) and I disappointed the younger one by telling him no steroids planned at that point so I wouldn’t be the new blue Hulk. The older one asked if they could poke me to make me cry so they could see the blue tears! They have a cousin with leukaemia (five when disgnosed) so that helped to put it in to perspective for them.
I knew they would ask me their own questions when they were ready and sure enough they did. The older one wanted to know how much would be taken away so I told him it would be the full breast in my case and he was clearly worried about me looking lobsided so I explained about the prosthesis and likened it to the soldiers in Afghanistan getting a false leg or arm, only I was much luckier than them as it was only a boob. He also asked if I would lose my nipple and I realised I didn’t know! So I found out and told him I would. Teenage boys (and I imagine girls) are very concerned about their family not looking odd.
The younger one didn’t ask for so much detail so I waited until after the op when he could see I was okay to tell him the whole boob had gone. He has been fantastic, always telling me how good I look and how well I am doing. When I was berating myself for forgetting their beds needed stripping at the weekend he said “Mum, don’t forget you are recovering and you are doing brilliant!” He has happily swapped to left cuddles rather than right.
The older one has tried really hard at school for the last few weeks - no bad comments (which makes a change!), so every cloud has a silver lining! I have told both schools and both of the boys know who they can go to at school if they are struggling and need to talk to someone other than us. I think it is good if you can give children a family friend or relative to discuss things with as they may have concerns that they don’t want to raise with you in case they upset you.
You and they are bound to have bad moments - I prescribe lots of hugs and to remember that the bad bits will pass and every difficult step you take will make you a stronger person.

I can remember the horror of dx day and instead of returning to work as planned I went straight to bed and stayed there. I think there is so much to take in even the strongest of us fall apart for a while. This is when you appreciate the ones you love and let them hold your hand through this bit. Your colleagues and acquaintances won’t know what to say to you so don’t feel bad about withdrawing yourself away from what you can’t cope with. Your boys will get through it in their own way. I know my children were amazing. The important thing is to be honest with them about how you are feeling and stick together as a family unit. I look back now at the horror of it all but I really believe it made my children better human beings. They learned about responsibility and compassion. This is big stuff and you need time. Be kind to yourself. xx

I can remember the horror of dx day and instead of returning to work as planned I went straight to bed and stayed there. I think there is so much to take in even the strongest of us fall apart for a while. This is when you appreciate the ones you love and let them hold your hand through this bit. Your colleagues and acquaintances won’t know what to say to you so don’t feel bad about withdrawing yourself away from what you can’t cope with. Your boys will get through it in their own way. I know my children were amazing. The important thing is to be honest with them about how you are feeling and stick together as a family unit. I look back now at the horror of it all but I really believe it made my children better human beings. They learned about responsibility and compassion. This is big stuff and you need time. Be kind to yourself. xx

Such lovely words give me comfort. Thank you.
The boys school has been told today and they are fantastic and have already spoken to them. My friend turned up this morning and we went for a long walk and lunch. Just what I needed. (never got to work!)
Sspence. Good luck tomorrow. What hospital are you at? I am not surewhat stage I am at yet, get results of scans tomorrow so will know more then but seems we have similar cases.
All kids are different. My three definitely are but it’s good to hear that they all seem resilient and looking back, those of you who have been through it can see that they’ve coped and come out unscathed.
Xx

Hi ladies
Now in more positive mood as have plan of attack. Its amazing how different each day is emotionally.
Thursday i spent the morning in tears. Fainted at the hospital having a candula put in - has this happened to any one else?
Learned that the cancer hasn’t spread. Having a mastectomy and lymph node clearance on 17th then chemo. Now focusing on op - had plenty of those before, including breast reduction 25 yearsago! Know it’ll be hard but reading your posts helps.
Thanks x
Sandy- how did it go? xx