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Am i weird?!

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Re: Am i weird?!

I was diagnosed today and have been exactly as many of you - cool and calm about the whole thing. I was sent for a 'lets just dot the i's' mammo last Monday by a consultant who clearly couldn't feel the lump we (me and my husband) could. The scan however did show it and the radiologist was just that little bit too careful trying to make sure I didn't immediately panic so made me feel that he thought there was something to worry about. As a result when I got the results this morning it was just as I'd anticipated and am now quite cheerful about the whole thing - I've got an appontment for a full massectomy on Monday and have sorted the childcare etc out, so all I have to do is enjoy my weekend and take it from here.

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Re: Am i weird?!

well, I don't know how i should be feeling now...............I met the surgeon, who was simply lovely, and who made me feel like a real person, not the 'right breast carcinoma'.He says that he is prepared to do a wide local excision, with reconstruction of the breast immediately and an imediate reduction of my left breast, though he has cautiioned that I may still need a mastectomy, dependent on what he finds during surgery.He has sent me a letter,explaining that i will have a lot of scarring, though hopefully much of this will be on the underside of the breasts.I will start on arimidex too and have radiotherapy, they won't know about chemotherapy until they test removed tissue.I was so excited when he told me all this, it truly felt like i had won the eurolottery, but of course, reality has sunk back in and i have to calm down and realise that a mastectomymay still be on the cards, particularly since he says the tumour feels larger on examination than in the reports.My nipple is also looking worse when i lift my arms up, but i thought it was just the after effects of the core biopsy/Also, he tells me that I have 'almost certainly' had this tumour for some time, almost definately from before my last mammogram.That makes me damned angry, but also very very sad, since it suggests that had somebody read the scan properly, i might not be facing such hard times now.And, as a final upset, we have booked to go away for a long weekend in March and my nurse says it's most probable that I won't be able to go as I will be mid-treatment.S, though i should probably be feeling quite happy, i am experiencing some very mixed emotions now...........though i'm not as scared as i was.

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Re: Am i weird?!

Cancer is never a gift.

It can make us view things differently - it DOES make us do that because we HAVE to, but given the choice, I'd like my old life back please.

My new life however will be good, and I do know that when i look in the mirror now and see a fluid filled, eyelashless, bald taupe version of Mr Blobby with one breast and one not-very-convincing recon that things will improve.

i will be very cross with myself, having been through this year, if I do go straight back to the rat-race.

Td x

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi,

I have just re-read this thread as I posted on it a few weeks ago before my op saying how strangely calm I felt. Thats now changed. I didn't unpack my feelings properly prior to the mastectomy as I guess it was my way of coping. Since I came home from hospital last Sunday I have cried buckets for the loss of my breast (even though I had immediate recon) and what I still have to go through. I cannot speak to friends/family about how I feel about myself and my life/future without dissolving into tears! Even though the path results were good (18mm grade 1 cancer gone in bin along with left breast, 9 lymph nodes taken, 1 with a few micro metasteses in so awaiting Oncologist appt to discuss chemo) and everyone else thinks I should be over the moon I am NOT. I never thought it would be bad news (again, not dealing with it until and if it happened) so was surprised by the tears shed by my nearest and dearest that I wasn't likely to drop dead anytime soon but am REALLY struggling with working out how I will feel like me again. When will I ever feel sexy? Everyone says my new boob is fantastic and the surgeon is chuffed to bits and yes it is firm, self supporting (in fact the kinda boob I would have paid for if only it had a nipple and not part of my back on it) but seeing myself naked for the first time without dressings on Friday was awful and nothing anyone says at the moment will make me feel like it will be okay. I now face losing my hair and I KNOW I will struggle again with my femininity/self-image etc. I want to go back to work and back to my old life but this bast**d cancer has changed me and my life and I am angry not brave, doing really well, looking great etc etc!!!!!

I want to be a year from now, well, with two matching boobs that I have grown to perhaps love, hair, working back on the front line I DONT want to be here in my life right now!

Rant over, sorry. I am sure I will feel better soon and perhaps even be able to say the "my cancer may have been a gift" blurb I spouted before and now makes me want to puke.

What I was trying to say, is whatever you feel can change..............

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Re: Am i weird?!

Thinking especially of you, Narnia, but also all of you who ae about to undergo breast surgery...

I have always been happy with my breasts - they've been good friends and done a good job - I'm quite sure that without them I wouldn't have had some of my better moments in life. They have attracted lovers ( their primary function, pre babies) and have fed 3 babies for a total of 6 years. They have filled out and been happy to be on show for the past few years. My husband likes them and they provide much physical enjoyment for both of us.

However, when I had to have a Mx for widespread high grade DCIS and grade 3 tumour, my only question to myself was wether or not I was going to bother with immediate reconstruction. i knew that it would make my chemotherapy harder - the wounds ache and pain after each session - and that the potentials for problems with healing would be much bigger if I did have recon at the same time.

I felt that my breasts were part of not just my femininity, but also of ME, my personality and my love life with my husband.

But, when a colleague became tearful ( which I haven't been) and said 'don't worry Td -you'll still be beautiful and sexy' my immediate retort was 'hey! I'm having my tit off, not my fanny sewn up!' (it was ok to use these words with her - I wasn't going for shock or crude) - and that came straight from my heart, and immediate response to her worries.

I did have the recon. It;s still a work in progress as I need an implant to equalize it. I still don't know if I did the right thing - I could've waited, I'm not keen on the round scar where my nipple was, and it has shrunk and creased a lot in the last 6 weeks. I'm hoping it'll be better when all is done and I have a 'new' nipple.

Mostly, I want you to know that my femininity is from within me, it isn't my breasts. It's the way I act, carry myself, dress and believe in myself.

there is hope!

Big love and strength to those of you having to contemplate this now

Td xxx

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Re: Am i weird?!

I am getting close to my lumpectomy and sentnel node biopsy now, next Friday, and although I'm scared of the unknown I think I'm coping really well. I've kept myself really busy and I've been catching up with old friends. Strangely I have been laughing more lately than for a long time. I think it has been easier for friends and family to cope because I've been so jolly. I have breast cancer and will just have to make the best of it and do my best to beat it.
Although I don't post on this forum very often, I read it everyday and have found it a great source of strength. Thanks ladies

Helen

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Re: Am i weird?!

I'm the same really, pretty calm most of the time, though I did tell the doctor to f*** off when he gave me the diagnosis, and I've had some terrible moments,nightmares etc, but am able to tell people quite calmly and rationally about this.And yes, most of them seem to expect me to howl the place down. I DO cry, mostly for the furure loss of my breast, which is something i just can't get my head round right now............and all because the b*****d thing has attached itself to my nipple.Seeing the reconstruction surgeon on Tuesday, so I presume i will then get some idea of when they plan to operate.I think my real problem is that it still feels like they are talking about somebody else when i go to the hospital and yes, I guess I am scared..........hubby doesn't really say much either, so it's hard to know what he's thinking.I went to get my hair cut shorter today, so it won't seeem so bad when i lose it.All this for a grade 1,borderline 2, and less than 2cm lump.Thing is, I can't see another option right now..........I DO want to live, I have children, hubby and grandchildren who I love dearly and don't want to leave, so I guess I have to see this through and I have been told it won't kill me,but I do have to have a mastectomy and that's the bit I'm really bothered about.It's my femininity, my sexuality, my womanhood, and the lover in me that is crying out for this not to be happening,and it's hard.Not so much a journey, but a darned hard road to be on

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Tashasmum.
I was diagnosed with "the b*****d blip" (my name for the cancer) on Monday, and like you, I haven't stopped talking about it. I am more than happy to do so and have told people no pity and definately no tears! Of course I am scared but also feeling positive but also feel weird as I am so calm!
Would love to hear your further thoughts.
Love from
Melanie

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi everyone.
Just read through this post and can identify with many of the experiences here. I too have been quite calm and generally fairly positive in many respects throughout the diagnosis and start of treatment. Found lump early June, BC 24th June to be told not a cyst and would probably need surgery of some form. Very anxious for a few days waiting for results of FNA and mammogram to find that results inconclusive and needed core biopsies. Final diagnosis end of July, denfinitely BC and needed mastectomy. MX Sept 8th. Results 17th, 2 lumps of invasive cancer of 1cm (grade 3 and grade 2) and large area of DCIS of intermediate to high grade. 1 lymph node affected. ER+. See oncologist on 1st Oct to find out chemo and rad involved. I have wanted to talk about it and have been very open with friends and my colleagues at work since my definite diagnosis. Felt inside on one or two occasions that it would be good to cry and wished I could but can't. My attitude I think is that the only way to tackle this is to go through it and hopefully come out the other side. My friends are amazed how good I am taking all that is involved. I am also a Christian as one other person who replied was and I know that is helping me to get through. But it doesn't mean you don't get anxious, nervous and worry. I'm in my 50's and have 2 sons at home who are in their 20's (I am a widow). I am grateful for these forums to learn more about living with BC and its treatment. Hope I can also help and encourage others too.

Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Helen

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums.You may find BCC's resource pack helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed, if you would like a copy just follow the link below:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk//content.php?page_id=7514

If you would like to talk about your diagnosis and feel you need to talk to someone in confidence then please give the helpline a call, the staff here are all either breast care nurses or people who have personal experience of breast care issues and are happy to just lend a listening ear and can offer valuable advice and support if neeeded. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 the lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Best wishes
Lucy

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi all

I was dx 9/7/08 Lumpectomy23/07/08.Grade 1 6mm insize,clear lymphs.
Had 3wks radiotherapy,5yrs on arimidex.

Did not shed a tear till today when I finished my last radiotherapy.then cried like a baby,think it was relief
this b-----y disease has gone.

Hope everything goes ok for you all

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Helen

Your dx sounds very similar to mine- felt a lump in July- went in BC in August- 19mm lump, invasive, had a Lumpectomy and senitel node biopsy on 4th Sep. By now I am recoverying very well from my op- could even drive now ( donot tell my BCN) hehe.

The Raioactive and blue dye were not too bad - a bit of stingy feeling for the radioactive injection. Boob turned a bit blue but back to normal now 🙂

I found the worst part is unknown and the uncertainty. Now I know I will be having chemo and radio stuff and know the time frame now - it is eaiser- just a project need to manage now , that is sometimes i look at it.

Meet my chemo nurse today- she 's having an attitude like- this is a treatment, you are not going to be labeled as sick person kind of attitude, which i liked!!

good luck to you operation and hope everything going well..

xxx

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Re: Am i weird?!

I found a lump 3 weeks ago, 1 week ago had appointment at Breast Clinic, had mammogram, ultra-sound and core biopsy, told it looked like cancer. I went back today for results. I have a 2cm invasive ductal carcinoma, got my op on 10th October, lumpectomy and about 4 nodes. I'm taking part in the sentinal node thing where they make me radioactive and inject me with blue dye. I hope I don't turn into a "glow in the dark" Smurf lol.
The past few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, I have sometimes felt scared and other times up for the fight. Reading this forum has helped a lot and I'd like to say thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and making me feel less alone. I am 53 with 2 sons aged 17 and 19, the older one has Autism and other problems. Last year I married the man of my dreams and have at last found happiness. Suddenly finding out I have cancer has been a shock and I have good and bad days. I have always lived each day as if it is my last which has helped and I don't have time for regrets. I will carry on living, loving and fighting, I will laugh when I can and cry when I have to, and like the rest of us here will do what needs to be done.
Best Wishes to you all!

Helen

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasum and everone
I too took my dx well, no tears just 'what now'. It all moved really quickly from then dx 28/8 op 4/9 results 11/9 1st appt with onc tomorrow. Most people have been shocked by my attitude but hey that's just me. Have also been told to watch out for 'dip in my emotions' but I know most people mean well. I think a lot of people just don't know what to say and if I'm honest I think before I had cancer I probably fell into that category too, so I try hard not to judge people too much. My hubbie knows if I need to cry I will but at the mment I don't. I might if I have to have chemo tho as that scares me!
Also reading differant threads in differant forums has been a huge help. Can't believe how many other women out there are just like me! and it really does help to know that I'm not alone.
Keep Smiling cazzb x

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Re: Am i weird?!

I've been "out" since Day 1 and, after collapsing in tears all over a trusted colleague (surprised me as much as him), made a point of getting used to hearing my own voice say THOSE WORDS. By the end of the day I could say "I have cancer" without a tremor. There was a moment the following morning when I broke the news to my co-manager and she wanted to give me a hug. So I legged it round the garden shouting "Gerroff, I'll cry, and if I do I'll be upset all day", while said co-manager pursued with widespread arms.

Sometimes it's important for others to express their emotion at our diagnoses by being touchy-feely, and sometimes I'd rather they just didn't. I was incandescently furious at the out-of-the-blue dx, angry at the hospital and angry with myself for not spotting the prob earlier whilst complacently thinking I was "breast-aware". Big bust-up with onc right at the beginning, which actually got a lot of stuff out of the way. I now trust her knowledge, big time.

But agree very much with Tashasmum and others: just because I'm rational (and fairly cheerful) most of the time doesn't mean I'm in some kind of denial. There are people out there who would love to wallow in vicarious emotion, and I won't be turned into a victim...yet!

L.

Re: Am i weird?!

I didnt cry at dx I was expecting it from before the mammo!Even when radiographer said it looked ok I 'knew'.When he old me he started by saying my right breast which had worried them,was fine.He paused and i said,'And the left?'he said 'I am afraid we have found cancer in that breast.'I just looked at the table and said,'right whats next?'my first tears were at pre-op assessment when i panicked about the chest xray.I have shed a few since then mind!Love Vx

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi

I did cry but mostly for feeling sorry for my parents- as I am still young and they are expecting me to find a nice guy to have a family, just not any horrible diseases. But , he, things happens. Shit happens sometimes. My dx was completely due to my own effords- felt a lump and told my GP who refused to refer me to the hosipltal as he thought I was making a fuss and he did not even examine me!! I insisted on being checked up and he agreed unrelectuntly in the end ( well, I know I could be a tough bitch in business, ha, it helps here!)

So there I am - dx on 21st Aug, Op on 4th Sep. Was davasted and scared to bites when I first got the news. But I am learning how to focus on one things at a step. It really helped!! Never been the best person to manage my emotions so envy any ladies here could be calm. But i guess it is the confident that trust yourself and know you will make the best our of any situation give you the courage to stay calm.

In terms how to deal with other people's reation- my thoughts are- you are the only one has to deal with the disease 100%- and no matter how close your friends / colleagues to you- they donot need to deal with that much, you are just part of their life. So yourself should get the right to decide how do you like to deal with things. If you tell people, their reactions are something that you could not control nor responsible for. Therefore, that should not be attached to you either.

Having said that, I told only people by far I knew what their reation would be. Did not bother to tell anyone I know they would be ' overreacting' . Maybe i will - later when I learn a bit more to how to detach myself to other people's reactions!!

take care

xxx

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Adoch

Hope all goes well for you on the 23rd - i will be thinking of you (your surgery is 2 days before mine) and keeping everything crossed. Let me/us know how it goes and keep us all informed.

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hello tashasmum

I too have always been able to talk rationally about my cancer and even make jokes about it - generally to make other people feel better. My diagnosis took a long time, and during the process it went from 'well, there is, suprisingly, something not quite right there, which may entail a little operation' to 'you have wide spread DCIS high grade which will require a mastectomy' to 'you also have a grade 3 tumour and will need chemotherapy' to ' we haven't got clear margins on the skin so will need extensive radiotherapy' to 'oh - and when we said you had no lymph node involvement, that was a mistake. You do, and so will need tougher chemo thatn originally explained' .... I;m waiting for the next twist as I'm now waiting for more results re herceptin status and I was border line on the last one..... and I'm ER- & PR- too....

So, with a prognosis that is less then brilliant, I suppose there is a lot to deal with, but its just a health problem and I'm not going to die tomorrow and I'll do my best to be around for a lot longer. The worst thing is thinking about your kids - mine are 13, 16 & 4 and I do angst sometimes about my littleone especially. So I cry sometimes, but not often.

The other thing about having cancer is that it changes peoples roles. You go from being carer to cared for in other peoples minds, even people who don't know you well feel they have to try to help and come out with banal platitudes like 'my boss had bc and a recon and you'd never know and she's fine' and 'I'm sure you'll be ok' ... because people don't know how they'd cope without you , or want the subject changed because it's too uncomfortable for them to think that you may suffer or cry. I spend a lot of time saying 'I have BC and I'm fine and I'll let you know if I need anything'.

Mind you, the amount of help that I've had has been fantastic. And I've had fresh flowers in the house for 4 months now! I'm also great at saying Thank you to those who are caring for me, in whatever way.

Good luck with the surgery, keep us informed!!

Big love, Td xxx

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Tashasmum,

I am in the same position as you, my op is on the 23rd September and I have not cried, though was extremely shocked at the news that it was cancer as all my friends and family had convinced me it was a cyst. Good luck with your op.

Adoch

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasmum

I think you raise two separate issues: a) the difficulty some people have in talking about breast cancer in a rational way and b) the isuue of whether it is OK not to cry.

For myself...I cried buckets when I was diagnosed...tears of grief and loss and fear and realisation that I would probably die of breast cancer. (poor prognosis from word go and done rather well to still be here) I still, 5 years on, and incurable recurrence later, often cry those same tears of anger, grief and loss because I was rather looking forward to a ripe old age which I won't now get. I loathe having cancer, I hate the treatments and have no problem saying it sucks stinks and the rest.

But crying doesn't mean I can't and don't also talk rationally and openly about breast cancer. I do. And that often frightens people more than the tears.

I don't think breast cancer is a gift, a jounrey or a lesson.

We are each different in our repsonses. And in any case breast cancer is a diverse disease and its impact on each of us is different.

best wishes

Jane

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Everyone

Thanks so much for all your very positive comments - its really great to find out that i am quite normal after all!! I have been finding that, although some people really want me to talk about it, they really can't understand how i can! (is it me or is that REALLY messed up??!!) So, on the one hand they wanna quiz me about it and have the latest 'installment' as to whats going on, on the other they are not sure why i'm not blubbing whilst i'm telling them. Apart from anything else, if i didn't cry when i had the truly horrific task of telling my husband (and having to tell my mum over the phone because i live too far away from her) and the realisation that my two year old daughter is going to have a horrible time of it not understanding why mummy won't let her crawl all over her like she usually does (which will be happening very soon), then i'm certainly not going to cry telling anyone else!!!

Sorry for the mini outburst there - but feels GREAT to get it out (cos you're not allowed to get p**sed off at anyone cos they all "mean well" - grrrrrrrrrr!!!!)

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Re: Am i weird?!

I just wanted to add my experience to date to this valuable thread.

I was dx on the 18th August and am due for my mastectomy and recon on the 22nd September. I shed one or two silent tears when told and cried big time once for the future loss of my breast and its impact on my sexuality during an intimate moment with my hubby but other than that "life goes on". I feel very calm, this is a journey I need to take and, as a christian, feel that there may well be some valuable lesson God has for me from this. I am beginning to think God is telling me to slow down and appreciate the here and now and not spend my life planning and looking to the next achievement/event/change as I am taking this a day at a time in bite sized chunks. For now its getting through the op, after that I will deal with whatever the path reports say and any treatment. I have moments of thinking I am odd for feeling fine and yes I too find that I am very open with people and that it surprises them (I am the only female pc on a team of 7 males and was calmly talking to one of the few blokes who has asked questions the other day and found it quite amusing when he looked shocked when I said that I wouldn't have a nipple for sometime).

Perhaps its the thought of cancer that is more scary than the reality for some of us. I know that I had always thought I wouldn't cope, particularly having lost someone in a very short time to advanced bowel cancer a few years ago but on reflection the hardest part of that for me was seeing my mum suffer trying to make her partner of 20 years fight when he no longer wanted to. Cancer is maybe hardest on those who care for those who suffer from it. I am certainly more worried for my hubby and kids as I think its easier for me - I am the one getting the attention and mentally wrapped up in it (I do think about it every hour of evey day) and they are the ones who have to cope with me.

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi Everyone

I too am one of the calm responders. I have always thought that my response was attributed to a bit of proffessional insite and to the example set for me by two friends who were diagnosed with bc and lung cancer just a few months before me. They were both calm, cheerful, pragmatic and optomistic.

My proffessional insite: I am a biomedical scientist working in histopathology. It is my job to carry out the technical work on tissue samples that alow the pathologists to view tissue under the microscope and issue their reports. As a consequence I am familiar with what a breast core biopsy looks like, and what a wlx or mastectomy looks like. I understand about the disease and what it takes to make a diagnosis. But in particular I see lots of other surgical excisions and I have long been of the opinion that there are many bits of my body infinitly more precious to me than my breasts.

When I was going through the first breast clinic appointment i saw my x-ray films displayed on the light box in the room where I had an ultra sound done. I knew at once what it was. There was absolutly know doubt in my mind and I said to the radiographer "Well that's not a fibroadenoma!" She did not respond and barely spoke to me at all, she didn't even introduce herself to me, which I thought was a bit rude. I think my consultant was a bit taken aback when I asked him to take good meaty biopsies as I didn't want to have to go through the biopsy again! (It does occassionally happen that a second biopsy is needed to be sure of a diagnosis.) They both must have thought "We have a right know-it-all here"!!!

It is now coming up to three years and all is well (to the best of my knowledge).
I have never had any trouble coming to terms with the loss of my breast. I have no intention of recon as it simply doesn't bother me and I dont want to go through any more surgery.

Like the previous commentor I have lost friends to cancer and have friends and family members who are living with the cycle of disease- treatment - periods of remission. For them i feel so much sympathy and concern. But rather than living in fear that I might be in a similar position one day, I live in hope that I won't.

I have often wondered why I have been able to remain calm and optomistic through this episode in my life and I can only conclude that we are all different and I am one of the lucky ones for whome it has been a challenge but not a devestating ordeal.

All that said, I still think about my disease and am very aware of my body and am more inclined to be concerned if I feel unwell that I used to. And I still occassionaly visit this site. I think this site has information, advice and shared experiences to suit everyone.

Keep smiling,
Gentle

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Re: Am i weird?!

I was dx in Jan of this year and was also very calm at the time of my DX. I was slightly unsettled at the 1st appointment when the consultant ruled out 'cyst'. I was sent the next day for mammo and US and back to the original consultant for the results of them the following week ... I think in the meantime I had resigned myself to the fact that it was cancer ... the radiologist did not exactly say so but neither did she tell me it was something other than cancer.... so I was not exactly shocked to hear the word cancer.

I think also the fact that mine was early stage and I did not face mx and I avoided chemo helped ... I generally refer to mine as a 'little cancer, not a big scary one'

8 months down the line I have shed tears over cancer - but it's been other ppl's cancer I've cried for, the friend who's funeral I attended in May after he lost his fight with cancer - the woman I used to work with who has just had her 1st chemo and suffered to hell and back..... I've never cried about my own cancer, and like you I found it easy to speak to ppl and not get upset.

good luck with the op and the treatment plan.

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasmum

What a relief to read about other people who haven't fallen apart when they've been diagnosed - I think it's quite easy to feel you're a bit of a freak and that somewhere deep down you must be in denial.

I had almost pre-empted my diagnosis and had read as much as I could about things before I went to see the consultant to get the biopsy results. So when he said I had grade 3 DCIS, it wasn't a surprise and neither was the treatment he suggested.

Like you, I really don't think I was ever in denial - I knew I had a potentially life-limiting disease, but throughout my attitude has stayed incredibly positive (and I haven't had to make myself feel positive - it's just how I've been). It was a 'shit happens and let's get on with dealing with it' kind of response.

So, a mastectomy and reconstruction and now 6 months down the line, it feels like an almost surreal episode. I know I've been incredibly lucky and you read posts on here about far worse experiences and, of course, many are facing a terminal condition.

Again, like you, I hardly cried (only a couple of times....once at the thought of having to tell my elderly dad and another time when my boss wrote me a very sweet and lovely letter). And I was also very open in telling everyone what was going on as I felt that by not talking about it I would perpetuate the cancer taboo. I haven't regretted this at all and it's made returning to work far easier as most people aren't awkward about asking how things are.

I do think people expect you to fall apart and when a colleague read the diary of my experiences of diagnosis and subsequent op, she said she found it really difficult that I seemed to have dealt with everything so rationally and dispassionately. Perhaps it's our way of coping...but it made me wonder if I'm really cold and emotionally distant - but I don't think so.

Even if you're not in pieces, I think you'll still end up finding that this changes your perspective on life and about knowing the things which really matter - sounds such a cliche, but I think it's inevitable.

Let us know how you get on and lots of luck for the op etc

Lizzie xx

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Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasmum

I've been very much as you are. Calm, dealing with each thing as it comes along, and talking about my diagnosis and experiences with my friends. Some people are shocked and horrified and very uncomfortable that I can talk about breast cancer because they find it frightening and almost obscene but that's theirproblem. I've also been told I'm in denial; in fact my MIL spent a week after my mastectomy shouting at me and reminding me what a sick woman I am (but that's her opinion, I see it that I have a disease which I'm dealing with and can overcome). I find that speaking frankly about my experiences with my friends is cathartic for them and me. The ones who can't handle it are afraid for themselves, I figure, and the ones that speak as openly as I do help me find humour and strength to get on with life as normally as possible for me, my husband, and our nearly-three-year-old son.

Speak as openly and freely as it suits you. You can only react to this as yourself, don't try and fit what other people think you should be like. Best of luck with the surgery, you'll cope and come through it. Everyone who uses this website will be with you.

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Re: Am i weird?!

my reaction to diagnosis was perfectly calm too, I don't think there is a right way to behave but denial is a good way of coping with situations which are difficult to take in, it enables you to deal with one thing at a time. Tears can also be therapeutic but they are not compulsory. I regard breast cancer as a disease for which the medical profession has more or less barbaric kinds of treatment which I would rather not have had. Thus I am keen on research into causes, prevention and better kinds of cure.

It's better to approach all of these from a perspective of clear unemotional thought, but sadly I hate the medical profession so much I found myself constantly angry about their patronising attitudes and their inability to empathise with patients. Actually many people on this site are women who have breast cancer who are nurses so there must be some people in the medical profession who can appreciate what it's like to be a patient, and it must be worse in some ways for them as they know more about treatment than most. So I shouldn't be so mean to the ones I meet.

In conclusion, don't beat yourself up for feeling the way you do.

Mole

Re: Am i weird?!

I haven't really cried either, except just after my op whilst recovering from the anaesthetic, when I was upset about my little girls (4 and 2) and whether I'd live to see them grow up. I was missing them whilst in hospital.

I took my husband to the appointment to get my results and was given someone else's results therefore told I was ok. The next day the bcn rang and asked me to come back in, which I did on my own on the way back from work. I therefore got the bad news alone. The consultant was more concerned with dealing with the mistake that had been made, but all I could think about was what to do about the cancer.

When I saw the consultant to get the full results after surgery and to be told that it was grade 3 and had spread to 5 out of 7 lymph nodes removed therefore needed chemotherapy, he asked me whether that was what I had expected as I was so calm. I was actually just so relieved not to have secondaries.

I guess we are all just different. To me, crying isn't going to make it go away and uses up energy. I know others find it very helpful. I have told most people and find talking about it openly the best way. I live in a small community, so there would only be speculation if I didn't.

Kinden
x

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Re: Am i weird?!

yeah my onc said to me on my first visit with him, " you are very calm" i didn't know what to say, i am still not sure how i was supposed to be behaving

Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasmum,

Yes, yes and yes LOL. You sound very much as I was when first diagnosed 18years ago - I never cried then and never did since. I really got quite annoyed the third time round when a very new breast care nurse asked me and friend to go into quiet room after a diagnosis. She talked for a few minutes and obviously wasn't getting the reaction she expected! So she said 'ah, you are in shock right now, it will probably hit you when you get home!' Said friend promptly put her in her place - I think I was struck dumb. That was a few years ago and strangely I met her in the cafeteria at the hospital and she actually recognised me but couldnt remember where. I was very norty - I told her. Said I forgave her cos she must have been very new. Another anecdote - my husband said to me at first dx - I don't think we should tell everyone! I guess we all handle it differently but I find talking openly about it is my way.

Good luck with the surgery and do let us know how you get on.

dawnhc
xxx

Re: Am i weird?!

Hi tashasmum,

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care chat forums. I'm sure you'll get lots of help and support from the many informed users of this site. Being newly diagnosed I thought BCC's resource pack may be helpful to you, it's an A5 ringbinder full of useful information and advice. To obtain a copy (free of charge) just follow the link below to order one.

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/content.php?page_id=7514

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

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Am i weird?!

Hi Everyone
I am fairly newly diagnosed with BC (found out 3rd Sept - have surgery 25th) and what my question is is this: I have absolutely no problem talking about the fact that i have BC with anyone - is this 'normal'?! I have some friends and colleagues looking at me when they are asking me questions or when i am responding to what they have asked as though i should be bursting into tears every two seconds but i just don't feel like that!! (want to undergo surgery, see what it is we are dealing with and get on with the treatment etc). Some people keep saying to me things like 'have you cried yet?' or 'i think you're in denial' etc - which is SERIOUSLY annoying!!!! because i am not them and how they may react is just not how i would/do! Has anyone else experienced this and how did you deal with it?

Many thanks for your help everyone - have been reading some of the posts since joining a few days ago (and plucking up the courage to post for the first time!!!) and everyone seems so friendly and supportive. Its so great that these forums exist!