Hi Roast Pork,
Sounds like you have been through the mills with your recent/current treatment and so sorry you have found yourself back here after 20 years. I know you just joined the forum and I really hope it helps you speaking to others who get it.
Re the mindfulness - in case it helps...I've tried various methods...the way which (with time) works well for me is visualisation. Think of a place that you really love, somewhere you feel spiritually at one with the world and nature. Then sit down, sitting upright, hands gently resting on your legs, palms up. Close your eyes and try to recollect and imagine the place you love, try to really see it in your minds eye as though you are there. Then layer on more detail to the image. Add sound (it may be birds whirling or singing, the sound of the sea...) and the sound of a breeze blowing bobbing grass seed heads....rustling away. Then add sun, and imagine it warming the skin on your arms and face between coolness from the breeze. Keep the image and feeling rolling. Try practicing and give it time to see if you can make it work for you.
There's a reason I chose Seabreeze as my online name, I take myself off to the sea-cliffs on a breezy day (any time, any place, any where!)
Even if you thought you were doing ok it's natural to feel upset to the core with your friends diagnosis.
Besides it being your friend its also a reminder of this disease, you were diagnosed so recently, October...it's no wonder you are finding it hard mentally. I think (and from my 6+ years posting and reading various forum posts) it often takes women quite a while to process what has happened to them...there can be a tendency to think ok, that's the end of active treatment (bar any hormone therapy) back to it......when actually we have been so focused on getting through treatment it can take a while for our minds to fully realise and process all that has gone on, what it means and reach our new normal.
I think the expression finding our new normal is really helpful and trying to reach a point of (relative) calmness (which for some might also be acceptance of what has happened)? I can see you've had additional complications along your journey with the recon not working out and associated illness and additional op and that's tough, all the anticipation and then.... another dip on the rollercoaster of bc.
I had lump removed, ended up extremely lop-sided and got loads of back/shoulder pain (I stood like Lurch - I couldn't use a prosthesis due to what I understand was a rare skin reaction, which had me itching so badly I wanted to pull the thing out on the street after leaving the hospital!) so eventually had a reduction the other side, followed by another reduction since the first didn't have a big enough affect. I also had a significant secondary scare where even my oncologist told me to prepare myself...which turned out to be old fractured ribs (which I never realised I had), and which did send me sideways for a bit.
None of this is what any of us would have expected and I really feel for you re your journey.
Give yourself time, the counselling sounds like a good idea too. Your hospital might be able to get you specialised counselling for bc/cancer if you contact your breast care nurse.
Re your friend (and Roast Pork) and stage 4...there's a thread currently running entitled "Stable Scan" on which some women who have stage 4 bc have posted saying the secondaries have not expanded or in some situations have even reduced in size. I appreciate there are no guarantees in this world, but clearly some treatments do work in some women at stage 4, so please have hope.
Do post again if any of this helps. We all get it.
Be kind and compassionate to yourself to re those feelings.
Mine was grade 2 stage 2, my friends is grade 4 stage 4, I'm just upset for her, and obviously I thought I was doing ok, which I am physically but mentally I think it's taken its toll on me, from my initial diagnosis to having 1st surgery of bi lateral mastectomy but with reconstruction, my body didn't take to the implants and I became really poorly, necrotic skin, pain and implant showing, resulting in 2nd major surgery of removing implants, no more reconstructive surgery for me.
I've spoken to my friend and work are referring me for some counselling, I just found it so overwhelming today, but yes your reply made sense and has helped.
I have breast stage 4, no " Treatment ", no cure as such but they are controlling it. Already seen the difference on a scan and can feel it too from just over 1 course of oral chemo daily with hormonal tablets daily.ow just finished my second 21 days feel awful, bloody c**p can't do anything but the meds are doing their work.
My philosophy only one can work at a time and at the moment that is my chemo. When it has a holiday I will start some work ( around ) the house again. I must let the tablets do their job. My body is already having a fight and I do not want to add another sparring partner into the ring.
I have asked for mindfulness guides from my local hospital via the occ therapist. They are available on our local hospital website. Just tried to find the link to send over and can't but the occupational therapist sent it across to me. Being doing 1 week, bloody hard and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but when it doesn't;t I get so cross with myself I fall asleep anyway still thinking but not of cancer. Thunderbirds is also good to watch, quiet amusing, almost non violent as they are all there for the next episode. Please feel free to PM if I can help in anyway.
For the record I had cancer too 20 plus years ago so newbie on here but not to the workings of it.
Sending big hugs
Really sorry to hear about your friend and understandable that it has made you worry about your own diagnosis, hence sending a gentle hug. As I'm sure you are aware there are many different types of breast cancer, different grades (speed by which the cells grow) and stage (a measure of the how far it has spread).
I am wondering if you might be confusing the grade of breast cancer, with the stage of breast cancer, since you mention your friend was diagnosed with grade 4 bc, when there is no grade 4, but there is stage 4.
The grade is a measure of how slow/fast the bc cells grow, graded 1-3, 1 being slow, 3 fast growing (and 2 in the middle).
The stage is a measure of how much the bc has spread, so factors in size of bc lump, if there was any node involvement, if it was found to have spread from the breast elsewhere. Stage is measured as stage 1 -4:
Hence given there is no grade 4 bc, if she had stage 4 bc when diagnosed bc, it would have been quite advanced. You might want to check what stage and grade yours was... if it was grade 2 and stage 2, then your diagnosis was for relatively early stage bc, particularly as compared with anyone diagnosed with stage 4 bc, where it has already spread to some degree.
The earlier bc is found (ie at the earlier stages), the treatment/s tend to be more successful, and chances of recurrence lower. As compared with someone who is diagnosed with stage 4 bc, where the bc has already spread beyond the breast and treatment is generally to try to stop it spreading more, reduce size, or slow the spread down.
I hope that makes sense...do you think you mistook or misheard your friends stage and grade? You might find it helpful to phone one of the nurses at BCN on the telephone number at the top right hand side of the screen and have a chat about your concerns.
Please see links to BCN info explaining the grade and stage (if you want to know a bit more) at the end of this message.
If you want to get more responses your message would probably be seen more if you posted in the being treated for bc section or moving forwards after bc section of the forum.
Really hope the above makes sense and makes you feel a bit less anxious/worried. If I've misunderstood anything you've said do let me know. Likewise if you think any of us can help any further.
X Seabreeze (grade 2, stage 2, 6 years on and doing ok)
For more info about grade of bc, https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/diagnosed-breast-cancer/cancer-...)
For more info about stage of bc, https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/diagnosed-breast-cancer/diagnos...
I'm unsure if it's the right forum, but I'm stressing myself out, I had breast cancer grade 2, diagnosed oct 2020, had bi lateral mastectomy, my friend had breast cancer grade 4 1 year ago, her cancer has come back, no treatment for her, jeez I'm beside myself if mine comes back, I'm stressed to hilt, not sleeping, I'm deep breathing but god that's not helping me in my head, omg I'm feel so sad for my friend but I'm cracking up if mine comes back, HELP