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.
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
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
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!
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!!
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
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)
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.