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And so the battle begins.

10 REPLIES 10
BerthaB
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi Britbox,

 

I found the initial diagnosis the most worrying and stressfull time.

I had invasive cancer and lump in lymph nodes, my husband has been very supportive and we have a step by step approach !  Don't worry about the next treatment just step through the one you have now.

Had Chemo, 2 lumpectomies and then Mx . Just had delayed reconstruction Tummy op on just over a week ago.  So I now have 2 boobs again...

 

Can not say I am a size 8 and I eat when I am worried , add steroids during Chemo and you can guess I but on a few stone but....... I have  just used my Baby / Chemo belly to reconsruct my breast. If Ihad not put on the weight I am not have had enough for my larger breast.

 

Hope all goes well with treatment and keep taking it step by step.

Berthab

 

 

 

 

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi Britbox

 

I know exactly how you feel about your squatter .. I had his brother 'Jason' !! 

 

I was diagnosed with Grade 2 Stage 1 IDC with no lymph node involvement.  I had it removed on 19 August and starting chemo on Monday ... aaarrghh !!, as like you there was some invasion into breast tissue and its better to be safe than sorry.  I found out my results before my appointment with breast surgeon as working for the nhs I looked at my results.  By the time my appointment came around I had dealt with the fact of what it was and just wanted to get on with getting rid of it.  Initially I was supposed to just have surgery, radiotherapy and tamoxifen as on ultrasound the lump only looked about 1cm but on removal it was 2.2cm hence chemo.  I have been dreading the day this starts since they told me it was an option.  I'm not looking forward to having any side effects but for me, and I'm not usually a vain person, was the thought of losing my hair.  But ... its only 4 months worth and I can do this.  There is a big world out there that I have yet to see so if I have to take a year out to kick 'Jason's' a**e then so be it. 

 

You are not being a coward.  The feelings you are experiencing are perfectly natural.  We have all felt them, and that mountain... , each day is a step closer to the top.  You'll get there.

Thinking of you and sending virtual encouragement every day xx

applestreet
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi..just thought I would add a little post to you Britbox..I've just posted on the Inspiration thread..it's 2 yrs ago today for me that my journey began..I was dx with grade 3 IDC..had right Mx..11 nodes removed..2 pos..had chemo..and am now on Tam...I just want to pass onto you what  I was told that day..every journey starts with a single step...I thought what is she on about?????...but...I soon found out..it does seem a mountain when you start out..imagine a set of steps on the side and then take them one at a time...soon you will be near the top and on the other side is another set of steps on the way down..just take it one day at a time..one appt at a time  and it will all fall into place...be kind to yourself....best wishes..apple

Dogmad84
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hello, Britbox.  I thought I would reply to your thread as, like you, I had Stage 1 invasive Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.  Mine had also gone to three of my lymph nodes.

My treatment is now eighteen months behind me, but the terror of that initial diagnosis is something which will be always embedded in my memory.  Waiting for the results of the various scans, to see if it had spread, was the worst trauma of the lot, and the dread that I had secondaries was a worry I went to sleep with, and awoke with each day.  Family and friends can say the usual words of reassurance, but it hung over me like Damacles sword.  The best advice of the lot at the time, was from my Consultant Surgeon, who told me not to look up anything on the Internet, but to ask him, or my BCN, if I had any questions.

Thankfully, the scans were  all clear, so my next worry was then whether the full lymph node clearance would leave me with lymphoedema of the arm.  However, like you, I am a size 8, and I was told that keeping a healthy weight, and scrupulously doing the exercises on the chart I was given [published by BCC],  really reduces the chance of this happening

 I think the fear is far worse than the reality, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well my arm was post surgery, and apart from the loss of feeling in the armpit, and pins and needles in the fingers [mainly at night, when I had been sleeping on that side], it all settled down after a few months, and fingers crossed,  I have not so far had any lymphoedema.  The lumpectomy, also was very straight forward, even though I had got myself very worked up about it, and after the surgery in November, 2011, I now only get occasional twinges along the site of the scar- the surgery really was so straight forward, and again, the fear of the unknown caused me much more trauma than the reality.

Chemotherapy, of course is no picnic, but I remained focused and determined throughout that I would be fine, and following the advice they gave me at the time, ensured that it was more bearable.  I have to confess that during the last cycle of TAX, I was hankering after a McDonalds burger- the steroids I was on made me want to eat the wrong foods all the time.  In fact, I put on over a stone in weight, as they made me want to kill for food if I did not get it very regularly, and in far larger amounts than I would normally dream of!!

Anyway, I am mentioning this fast food incident as a word of caution.  They warn you not to have any takeaway food during chemo, and I certainly paid for not obeying the rules, by having the most dreadful stomach upset I have ever experienced, and which landed me in hospital for 48 hours.  This bout of sickness and diarrea was far worse than any of the normal side effects the chemo caused, and was self-imposed!!

You do get through it, and I found by taking it in small stages, rather than looking too far ahead, it made the whole treatment thing more do-able.  By the way, the Radio was a complete breeze compared to going through chemo, but although the whole treatment plan at the beginning seems like a mountain to climb, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you do get through it with focus and determination.

I also used the scalp cooler very sucessfully during chemo, and I could tell you something about my experience with it, if this is something you are considering.

Good luck on your treatment journey! 

Britbox
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Thanks Poemsgalore What a brave lady you are. I know you have all been through these dark days, and it's fabulous to have such support with women who have trod this road before.
I myself am trying to help in some small way by cheering up women who are at the scary stage of not knowing how their results will turn out. It's great we can all be here for each other..Me, I'm hoping to kill Clive, and come out a better person at the end of it all, with a magnificent pair of bosoms, and a full head of hair.!!!!!!.....Well, Eventually!!! PMSL
Bless you all, and thank you so much for the support when it's badly needed. Xxx
poemsgalore
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi Britbox

 

Please don't be afraid to join our community. We might seem brave to you, but in the beginning we were all s**t scared, just as you are. When I found out I was to undergo chemo, I wasn't bothered about losing my hair - just my marbles. But I too have a funny shaped head. You should go to my profile and have a laugh at my mugshots!! Woman Frustrated

 

By being here to help others, we are - sort of - paying our dues to all those who helped us in the beginning. I too hope you get your reconstruction. I had a mastectomy (my choice) and as I hate bras and always have I don't bother with my prosthesis very often. 

 

Sending hugs and best wishes

 

Poemsgalore xx

Britbox
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Thank you Lucy..Im sure I will pluck up courage to talk soon. I suffer with verbal diarrhoea, so I hope the ladies on the end of the line have a lot of patience.!

Bless you all for the wonderful work you do. Xx
Britbox
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Thank you RevCat. It's always uplifting to hear how all you brave ladies have overcome this demon with such braveness and dignity. Im so pleased you are free of this vile disease, have conqured the mountain, and hope that you continue to do so well. I thank you for being here to help others who find themselves in the same position.
I feel like you are all in a special club, and I am hovering on the periphery , and am afraid to come in. At the moment, Clive seems to be beating me mentally as well as physically. He is always there tormenting me in my thoughts, and in the dark hours of early morning, when I feel as if I am suffocating with abject fear and terror of what will become of me. He seems to have robbed me already of my slightly offbeat quirky personality, and is determined to turn me into a boring shadow of my former self.
Everyone tells me because of my humour and upbeat ways, Im the one person they know that can beat Clive, I put on a face for all them, laugh, crack jokes and abuse Clive, but they don't see when , in the early hours I'm drowning in sorrow...What a Drama queen!!! 😉
I do have first hand knowledge of Breast Cancer. I nursed my beloved Nan till the end of her days. Hers was diagnosed at 97, and she fought the beast like the strong brave woman she was, and died aged 101, not from the beast ironically, but from pneumonia following a fall. She was an enigma, my absolute hero, and I loved her with all my heart. Her last words to me were, 'I'll always be there for you, and I will never leave you'.I've I found such comfort in these last few days in listening to Leona Lewis singing 'Footsteps in the sand'. It's like my Nan is talking to me, and saying she is going to be with me all the way through this. I hope I can do this with as much defiance and courage as she did, receiving all that traumatic treatment at her age.
I'm hoping my surgeon will consider me suitable for some kind of reconstruction. afterwards ..I can't afford to lose any bits in that area. I'm only 4' 10 ' tall, and a small size 8..My boobs have never been anything other than small 34b's (except when I was pregnant or breast feeding, and they grew into the most magnificent bosoms! ;). ) . Even the biopsy has left me with a big dent in that area. I know some women cope marvellously with a prosthesis, but I know how I will feel, if I'm left with nothing.. :(..OMG, sorry if that sounds vain, I don't mean to, I need to kill Clive first, and worry about the other stuff afterwards!!.
I was also thinking on how beautiful some women look when they lose their hair with chemo, and how brave to face the world like that. me, I'm not brave, and am dreading it happening to me..Besides, the hairdresser always tells me I've got 'a funny shaped' head..Very flattering of her to tell me, I'm sure, so I don't think me and a hairless head should be seen in public..I'm sure I'd end up looking like E.T!
I've changed hospitals from the one where I was diagnosed, to be nearer to my home, so my first chance to see the Surgeon to discuss everything will be Friday..I'm worried because I don't know what that appointment will entail, and if I will have to have other tests..I don't think Im ready to have X-rays or MRI 's to the rest of my body yet, Im petrified they'll find Clive has spread elsewhere. I feel I can only cope with one problem at a time. I really hope that's not what I have to have done yet. 😞
Bless you all for being here.
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi Britbox

I am sorry to read that you are feeling low, don't forget our helpliners are on hand if you feel like talking things over

0808 800 6000 (9-5 Mon-Fri 10-2 Sat)

 

Take care

Lucy BCC

RevCat
Member

Re: And so the battle begins.

Hi Britbox, reading your post took me back just over three years when I was in a similar place to you and it did all seem like a HUGE mountain to climb.  My cancer was IDC, grade 3 stage 3 with known node involvement,  so a bit different from yours, and I was utterly  terrified.

 

The mountain analogy is a good one (I used it specifically for my chemo which I had first) and as a hill walker transferred some of my strategies from real hills to the metaphorical one.  There's only one way to climb a mountain - and that's one step at a time.  Try not to look too far ahead, just deal with each stage as it comes.  It sounds like you have a great surgeon - and it's not at all vain to want a result that looks good; someone said to me right at the start that the NHS would not offer reconstructive surgery etc just because of appearances - there have to be  medical justifiable reasons, and well-being is part of that.

 

So here I am, three years down the track, a resident of the Land of NED (No Evidence of Disease) not just alive, but alive, well and enjoying life.  Of course there ares till odd shadows that cross my path, and probably always will be, but as time passes they are not so often and not so dark.

 

Be kind to yourself and I hope your treatment goes well.

Britbox
Member

And so the battle begins.

On Monday, I went back for the much dreaded biopsy results. I already knew in my heart , but was hoping as we all do that there was a minuscule chance that the mammograms, scans, and the doctors were wrong. I had already named my squatter as 'Clive', but on Monday, I found out he has a surname too..'invasive'. I have been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma stage 1. Early, so that's good, but am worried because now I will have some lymph nodes removed to see if Clive has been spreading elsewhere. There is no evidence of any masses on the scan, in the lymph area but because Clive has started to invade into my breast tissue, there is a chance that there will be malignant cells in my nodes too 😞 I know I will have a fabulous surgeon, who I meet on Friday. She is a firm believer in getting the best cosmetic results, even after lumpectomy, so that made me feel better..Not in a vain way, I just want to feel and look 'normal' afterwards.
For my follow up treatment, I will be treated in a specialist oncology centre, so again, I know I will be in good hands..Just that I feel so low, and can't seem to dig myself out of this black pit of despair at the moment. I feel overwhelmed with the implications of Clive on my life and of course my finances..Losing all this time from work is going to have a huge impact financially. ..
I'm worrying too that I may have to face Chemo at some point..Initially it wasn't mentioned, because we were all hoping that the best diagnosis would be Ductal Carcinoma In situ, and surgery, radiotherapy, and Tamoxifen would have been the care route.
Oooh, where is this brave , strong person everyone thinks I am? At the moment, I seem to be the worlds biggest coward, facing a mountain I'm too small to climb 😞
Hugs to all who are climbing that mountain, and cheers to all that reached the top, and are on the other side.