Morning ladies 🙂
Seems as if a few of us have difficult days planned today, but at least things are moving along at last which has got to be better than sitting at home imagining a million different scenarios, each one worse than the last. I've taken Sarah & Rose's early advice to heart - don't look on other bits of the forum until we really need to, it's enough to cope with this stage never mind all the stuff that might or might not happen later! I'm inventing more pleasing fantasies to distract me now when the real stuff gets too difficult. Have managed to convince myself that George Clooney will be knocking on my door any day now to tell me he made a terrible mistake in marrying Amal and it was me he wanted all along. I haven't decided yet whether I'll forgive him instantly or whether to make him suffer for...ohhh...30 seconds or so before I invite him in 😄
Hope everybody gets what they need today and for those who are still waiting for the next step, I hope you have a restful day (and feel free to borrow my George Clooney fantasy if it helps, so long as you give him back to me tonight of course!)
Hugs to all
Hugs to you Blakie, how are you feeling today? its an awful waiting game isnt it? you will find the support on here amazing and it really helps to know your not on your own going through this awful time. x
Hi blakie, that survival phrase is a real kicker... always feels like someone sticking pins in me.
The waiting for the next appointment drives you bonkers, I went in for my plan and got marched out for another biopsy.
Im now in r
ecovery mode from a mastectomy about 3 weeks ago. Got to heal up for chemo. Mine was 5cm grade3 her2+, which I'd been to busy to get looked at for a couple of months. oops
These boards are great and these ladies will listen and care and share, we all come here to let off steam when we wobble and need someone who Knows.
Surgery scared me witless, but in reality its totally ok.
Sucky club, Awesome members .
Much love xxx
How lovely of you to be so concerned about the ones waiting on their own, bless you! xx
I have 2 and they've been a bit miffed at the lack of close cuddles recently. One of them is long-haired and loves being brushed, problem is he gets over-excited and head butts, so grooming has been in very short bursts while he's still calm! Joanne, my daughter, will be going to the rescue centre to get another one soon, but I've been forbidden to go with her by my husband. My mum had 17 (yes, seventeen!) cats when she died and he's afraid I'll go down the same path. However my son and his girlfriend have 3 and i don't think it's fair that he has more than me! xx
Thanks Rose, I'm not due to have the biopsies until 3pm, which means it'll be at least 4.30pm before I get done but at least there is a coffee shop in the hospital close to the Breast Clinic so I don't mind waiting. The worst thing about that is seeing all the other people waiting, especially the ones on their own, because I want to go in with them in case they have to hear bad news. And of course I have to apologise to the Radiologist who I shouted at last week...preferably before she starts jabbing me!
I'm a proud mum to a cat called Dollop and he is the little light of my life My other cat, his brother, died in the Summer and since then Dollop has been super-clingy and I've been wondering how I'll manage him post-surgery as he likes to be picked up and cuddled regularly and always sleeps curled up on my chest. Don't want him to think I've abandoned him but he is enormous, about the size of a pit pony, so cuddles will be off the agenda for a while!
Hi Sharon, it's good to hear you're more upbeat today. Enjoy the good bits of tomorrow, sounds like you plan some fun around the dodgy bit of the day. I hope it's good news, let me know how it goes. What time is your appointment?
I think the timing of my op helped my frame of mind, lots of distractions this time of year. The biggest distraction was the day I came home my daughter's cat was poisoned and had to be put down. I had to put my issues aside and go into full comforting mum mode. It was awful and I cried more over little Maisie-cat than I ever did over stupid cancer.
All I know about getting my results is that it will be a Tuesday morning cos that's when my consultant holds her clinic. The results go firstly to a Multi-disciplinary team for discussion on a Friday, and I will go in the following Tuesday. The timeframe given was 4-6 weeks, but it may be sooner. Unofficially it's 3 weeks after surgery, but i expect the Xmas break may hold things up.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow! xx
Glad you're OK Rose, it is reassuring to know that normal life sort of resumes but I also know what you mean about it being a bit unreal. Hope it stays that way forever actually because that's bad enough! You seem to have had to wait an age for the various stages of your treatment/results. I don't really understand why it takes so long to get the pathology results back as I'm sure they must do the work quickly and it seems a bit cruel to make us wait a single moment longer than is necessary 😞 Have they given you a date for the results yet or just 4-6 weeks?
I'm having a good day today in that I've managed hours & hours without getting upset; it's amazing how quickly we adapt isn't it! I'm going back in tomorrow for the next set of biopsies on the lump that showed on the MRI. A good friend is coming with me though, and we're going to an exhibition first and to do a bit of retail therapy so it should be a good day (other than the jabby bit of course!)
I'm much much better than I thought I'd be. A bit apprehensive about pathology, it'll be good to get those results. I think I'm almost back to normal energy levels, though I'm sleeping more than I normally do. Bit of catching up to do, maybe? To be honest I'm a bit bored and frustrated. I see things that need doing but I'm wary of pushing myself hard physically, cos I know I've still got a lot of healing to do. I'm going to catch a bus into town later this week, and pop into work to see everyone.Two reasons: I miss them, and I also want to deflect any "home visits" cos I feel like the house is a tip! I'm not at all houseproud, and I know they would be coming to see me not check on the house, but still...! And I do miss driving! Today my daughter and I took her twins for a romp round the local playground, and it was good to run around in the fresh air. They're only 4 and don't make allowances for my "poorly arm". (That was how I explained why they couldn't snuggle in too close at story time.) New Year's day was spent paddling in the sea at Bridlington with them. Bracing is the best word for that! I earned my fish and chips that day.
So all good. It still feels a bit unreal though, like it's all happening to someone else.
Thanks for asking- hope this is reassuring for you?
Love, Rose xx
How are you doing Rose, aside from the physical bits?
The ony restrictions I have are due to the soreness in my left underarm where they took out the sentinel nodes. It's swollen and sore, I've taken to sleeping with a pillow tucked between my arm and body to relieve pressure round there. Plus of course, no driving for the time being. No heavy lifting either.
Gill, I can relate to that crazy feeling of euphoria once the results are in and a plan gets put into place. A reaction to the awfulness of waiting and not knowing, I guess. Best of luck for Wednesday, I'll be thinking of you. By the way, how did you feel during radiotherapy? I know everyone is different, but some say they had the treatment with no ill effects and went straight into work, others seem to suffer extreme tiredness and soreness. First time round,your hospital seemed to have whisked you through from diagnosis to surgery to pathology results very quickly compared to mine.
Beryl, I got some of those all in ones bras but at first I didn't have enough movement in the arm on my operated side to get them over my head, so I plumped for front fasteners. Maternity ones are good. What with buying those and the breast-feeding pads, it was like turning the clock back 30 years. I'd better get used to living in the past as I understand the hormone treatment will put me back to menopause symptoms. Fab!
Love to all, Rose xx
Having had to be led out of a shop a sobbing wreck when supposed to be buying a bra I have found these stretchy all in one seemless ones are fine and stretch to your shape.
I bought mine, in the end, from Sainsbury (£6) I have no intention of wearing them when this is all over/ They seem to offer support as well.
Yes I thought using breast feeding pads was a good idea as well. thanks for that
Mine is one of the nicer sounding stories and yours maybe too. I wish people talked about things more; I never realised that this whole adventure could be like mine was. I thought it was always absolutely awful and drawn out.
I found the lump 4th June; went to one stop clinic 11th June where they did biopsies and mammogram but were almost positive it was cancer even without results; 18th June results day (Really scary day) Grade 2 Invasive Ductal, oestrogen positive, Her2 negative, about 2cm; 30th June lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy; 10th July results from op day (another hideous one) Still grade 2, clear margins, no node involvement and no vascular intrusion. Treatment plan was 4 weeks of radiotherapy and 10 years of tamoxifen. Yes it has gone up to 10 years now so it must be a fantastic drug! The benefit of chemo was minimal so I chose not to have it. Radiotherapy cannot start until you have healed and that was a drag but not upsetting. Radiotherapy is a walk in the park! The sessions took 36 seconds each week day. Yes, 36 SECONDS. I counted every single day. So there you have it, hideous but it really isn't always as bad as we all think. I'm still waiting for my head to catch up but once I decided to let the hospital take over it was much easier. Like you I am a bit of a control nut, and plan everything. Well, let someone else take care of you for a bit. Friends and neighbours really rally and love being asked to help.
I recently found another lump very close to the original site so I had another biopsy done on Christmas Eve. I can't pretend I'm not scared but the radiographer and doctor both said they think it is repair tissue. Actually when they took the third sample they took out a clip with it, left in after surgery. They had never seen that before and felt quite chuffed with themselves! I'm hoping that may have been why I was feeling lumpy tissue because my body was building a defence around a foreign body! Have I given that too much thought?! Anyway the results are on Wednesday and my husband is away. I have never felt ill with all this, never looked unwell and there were never any signs of anything wrong. It's almost like it never happened. I worry that if I think positive about the future that I will tempt fate. Isn't that ridiculous? As you see the problem is all in my head now and I am going to see a 'moving forward' therapist on Wednesday morning - half an hour before my results!!!
How are you doing today? After we had our results and treatment plan my husband and I walked around town like we had won the lottery. Weird, considering we'd just had it confirmed that it was cancer. The 'not knowing' is the worst so just think, after tomorrow you won't be there any more! I'll be thinking of you.
Mine was picked up on a routine mammogram. I'm 60 so have had a few. When I got the recall I assumed there had been a smudge on the slide or something, I was in total shock to find that there was a problem. The lady who did the follow up mammo and ultrasound was very honest and told me there and then that the ultrasound indicated a high probability of cancer so I was prepared for the biopsy result. They identified it from tissue changes between the last mammo and the most recent one so I was lucky. They found two separate areas of cancer so the MRI was done to establish if there were any microscopic links between the two which wouldn't show on ultrasound.
As for the delay due to the missing appointment, who knows? When i first saw the consultant she told me I'd have surgery before 23rd Dec, and it took place on the 22nd. I feel that if I'd had the results a week earlier I'd have had surgery earlier, but I don't honestly know.
I have to wait 4-6 weeks for pathology on what they removed (Xmas break may slow that down). Providing they got all the cancers out during the op, and also that the lymph nodes are clear, I will find out when I go back then if/when radiotherapy is the next step.The other possibilities are further surgery to remove any leftovers, then back into the wait cycle, or if there is something in the lymph nodes, then chemo will be a probability.
Make sure your daughter takes a notebook. I took a friend with me and she frantically scribbled down all that was said which was really useful when we reviewed it afterwards.
You will be appointed a named breast cancer nurse, who will be your point of reference for any questions which occur to you later. Admittedly, I have never felt the need to contact mine. I use this forum to raise any queries I have!
Hope this is useful to you. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.Please update us with how it went.
Welcome to a family you never expected or wanted to have to join. We are all here for you.
Hi Lynda, like you I'm a planner and oh, it's so very hard to hand over control of your life to the medical machine and wait for direction from them. One of my darkest moments was getting in from work to an answerphone message asking why I'd not turned up to an appointment for the MRI results. I still haven't had the appointment letter for that a whole month later!
Anyhow this is my timeline, hope it's useful for you:
When I summarise the dates it doesn't seem that bad, but at the time it felt like an eternity. I had my routine mammogram on 10th Oct, and recall for follow up was on 29th Oct when they did biopsies. First meeting with my consultant was on 18th Nov, confirmed 2 cancerous areas. MRI on 26th Nov, and saw the consultant again on 9th Dec. Pre-op assessment was 11th Dec and had surgery to remove both lumps plus Sentinel Node biopsy and therapeutic mammoplasty on 22nd Dec.Then I have 4 weeks wait for Pathology, followed by radiotherapy and 5 years hormone treatment, providing lymph nodes and margins are clear. My version is Invasive Ductal, fortunately Grade 1. Hopefully no chemo. I know I'm very lucky - or less unlucky, whichever you want to look at it. Almost two weeks after surgery and I'm feeling really well, very little pain in the breast, main soreness in the underarm area where they took the lymph nodes. I've got by on a few paracetamol from day 1.
Believe me, things will start to happen very quickly very soon. In the meantime get as much rest as you can, and have some fun too!
Love, Rose xx
Thank you for your support. I guess its the "out of my control" that I really struggle with, I am a planner and like to know what I am doing and when so not having those answers is hard. I have an appointment on Monday and I have what feels like a 100 questions to ask. I am hoping that my mind might be more focused to take things in to what it was a week ago. My daughter will be with me and she will take everything in I know which is a blessing. I know I am lucky for this to be picked up on a routine mammogram so I have to be grateful for that. Did you have to have chemo Gill? I have no idea whether that is on the agenda for me but am hoping not. How long did you wait from being told to when things started happening i.e. surgery etc. and how is your recovery going now?
Hi Gazzlyn. I'm fairly new to this forum too but 6 months down the line from you. The one word my nurses used over and over was 'rollercoaster'. It started to annoy me in the end, but it is so descriptive of the way your emotions are going to go. So, bearing that in mind the rollercoaster can only go down because at some point it goes up. You will not always feel this way, guaranteed! I still hit lows now, but I know that it is not forever so I just wallow for a bit and eventually come out the other side. I didn't go to work immediately after diagnosis but after about 5 days I really had to - I am a pianist and teacher and I was in the middle of a show. My husband made me go to a rehearsal on day 5 and I'm so glad he did. For about 3 hours I wasn't thinking about BC. Ok when I came home I went straight back to where I really was but I realised I can control it a little. The hospitals are fantastic with BC now. I wanted it all done and dusted within 2 months so when they said that was wishful thinking I was quite down. But actually the time it took went SO quickly. They can take over your problem for you, so let them. They know what they are doing so let them sort it out. I found that I dwelled on little things they would say and I then twisted and contorted them beyond recognition. So now if I don't want to hear an answer I don't ask the question and I don't read statistics!!
Good luck with your treatment plan. That can be a scary day too, but knowing is so much better than waiting.
Thanks Freda that's so helpful, I'm definitely going to ask if that's an option for me when I get to speak to the surgeon. How are you coping now that you are a year down the line?
Hi Gerbera, with regard to your final size, I would ask your breast surgeon or bcn. I had a reduction on my good side at the same time as they removed my lump. I went from a G cup to a D. My cancer side has shrunk slightly due to radiotherapy, but my good size is spot on. Post surgery I was advised to get a sports bra one cup size bigger than the finished size - and had to wear a bra day & night for 6 weeks after surgery. I would never have chosen to have a reduction before, but feel so lucky that my breast team offered it and did it all as one operation because I didn't have to cope with being lopsided. With clothes on you can't tell they are different.
If you want a reduction why not ask if it's possible? My surgeon said I could choose whether I wanted the reduction which she recommended, or a single masectomy with either implant or LD flap. Good luck!
Sharron, Sandie, Rosemaryanne & Sarah, thankyou all for your kind supportive replies it has helped already Tonight I am not going to have my "normal bedtime meltdown" I am going to read a few more posts on the forum and hopefully go to bed feeling more positive. Thankyou for including me in what seems to be a great supportive group. Hope you all have a good positive weekend xx
Oh Sharon- my mind is boggling at what you thought the chapstick might be for!!!
Gazzlyn, I don't think there is a single person on here who hasn't at some point, been absolutely terrified at being in this situation.The terror will subside, and you will develop the determination to help you through. Personally I'm sick of being told how strong/brave/amazing I am. I'm not. I'm just dealing with a shocking situation where I felt perfectly fine (and still do fundamentally) until I was told I had this awful disease. Sandie spoke a lot of sense. Get yourself on here and rant whenever you feel the need. It's so much easier to discuss these things with people outside your immediate circle and between us we all will have experienced what you are going through and will help where we can.
Sandie, keep dreaming of that bath! And if you want to bathe with hippos go for it. Me, I'd rather swim with dolphins, but that's off the agenda for the time being.
Been out for a few ciders with a colleague this evening, first time in a while so probably not making much sense, but hey ho. I'm a cancer patient and if I fancy a drink, who's going to stop me!
Love to you all xx
Thanks Sandy, my shopping list is getting quite long now 😄
Not scary, very dry lips. Surgery they get dry, and you get a sore throat too because of the tube in your throat..which you dont know about because you're asleep. Air con in warm hospital, mine were a mess. Xxx
OK, another strange question that I've been burning to ask, but have been a bit frightened about hearing the answer, having seen several people mention it and now you too Sarah:
Ummm, why do we need a chapstick?
Ooooo and hospital, best thing other than super soft knit front opening pjs.....
Its the little things xxx
Hi rose, not sure im allowed a bath yet... still looks a bit weepy under the steri strips. But might ring my district nurse and ask..ooooo soaking how delicious. maybe a hip (lol, auto came up rather appropriately with hippo ) bath! Pahahaha.
Still chugging along though, had a weird nerve thingy where my 11year old epesiotomy (sp) scar has been jangling like a 5 alarm fire bell.. talk about tap dancing...figure it goes with digestive issues and too much sitting on my behind lately. !
Amazing what they can do to us and here we are, walking and talking and almost brushing our hair.
Hugs to you all
Rose, thank you for your lovely post, you truly are an inspiration and I feel like you're my guardian angel already! Wish I was being brave but mostly I'm just muddling through. Love the sound of your son-in-law, a wicked sense of humour is so much easier to deal with than horrified sympathy!
Hope your own third boob is gradually disappearing, and brilliant idea on the pads, I'll add that to my shopping list too (although I still haven't managed to find a bra in my size so might have to just use the pads and some masking tape )
Hi lovely, I'm jumping in here..gazzlyn. .it is appalling and devastating, being one of the wonderful super hero nurses we love doesnt make it less hideous. We are totally (ok..mostly) in complete control of our lives till this comes along and kicks over the teapot, breaks the biscuits and ruins the tablecloth.
This is your life its messing with and if you weren't upset it would probably be more odd.
The sad, angry, scared feelings sneak up on me too.. and people telling you that you're brave, amazing, strong, a fighter doesnt change how you feel.
We are here because of we all feel like this at times, and it frightens our families if we wobble or we dont want to seem ungrateful for things people have done for us. The 'I'm ok face' is exhausting, here you can vent.
I know for myself that my doctors made me calm and that calm lasted about 3 days...then the crazy kicked back in ..However. ..post surgery and pre chemo I feel remarkably upbeat. Still having wobbles but now the plan is in motion it feels less out of control.
You will feel better once things get planned out, I didnt believe it, but its true. Its your experience on this path and you are not me, but if you look through the many stories we all feel better once we have our plan.
Much love xxx and stretchy arm hugs too
Hi Gazzlyn and so sorry you are here
It's extraordinary to discover just how emotional this whole journey is isn't it, I've been horrified at the way I've reacted so far particularly since I've some experience of the journey through friends and colleagues. I hadn't understood just how difficult it is to feel so overwhelmed and out of control.
The members here are just wonderful though; kind, hugely supportive and a source of brilliant information on everything you can think of (plus a few things you sort of wish you'd never had to think about!). Ask any question, weep and or rant on here and a wise person will pop up to help you. I love them all already and I've only been here for a week or so.
So I think it is entirely normal to veer between being calm and rational and a total wreck over it all, that's certainly been my own experience and I doubt there are many people who could be in this position and not feel that way.
Sending you huge but gentle hugs
I have spent the last couple of nights reading posts on here and built up the courage to register. I had a recall from a routine mammogram. When I went to my hospital appointment the consultant was positive I had a small cyst but when he tried to drain it, nothing. They took a biopsy and I returned last week for the results (with my daughter) I didnt really think anything about going back as I was expecting them to say it was a cyst but no....small tumour (they say, cant be felt) but grade 3. Surgery and radiotherapy to come, with next appointment on Monday. I am a nurse and have nursed lots of people with breast cancer and was sure I would be (like always) positive and just face it. So why have I become this weak, scared, sad person :-(. Everyone keeps telling me what a strong person I am, but I feel rubbish. I dont feel strong and feel so out of control of my emotions I hate it. I am scared and feel like I am existing in my own little bubble right now. My daughter is amazing, so supportive and I know she will be with me every step of the way, just like all my family. Please tell me these feelings will improve as I hate the way I feel. I havent gone back to work because emotionally I dont feel able to which is making me feel so guilty. I just dont think I could concentrate on my job and that just wouldnt be right for my patients. Sorry to sound so negative.
That's a great idea! I was surprised at how nice the button-up Rosie nightgowns were in M&S! Picked up quite a few lovely things - thanks for the advice ladies xx
I have aslo been shopping and bought cardigans - easy to put open and put on and off, and daughter persuaded me to get some lovely scarves to brighten up cardigans.
Bought in sales and cheap as I hope next winter will have no need for them!!
Do you realise how amazing you are? Take a look at your first post- how scared you were. Now look at you, all bold and humorous! I'm proud of you!
You want some dark humour- think I posted this before, so forgive the repetition.
My son-in-law is full of "wit", but my current favourite is: "So just to keep abreast of the situation, when you start radiology, you'll have to change the bird calls from blue tit to robin redbreast" He's actually a caring human being, but buries it well in smart-alec remarks.
If you find a job market for us 3-boobers, let me know. I daren't google that, heaven knows what smut would fill my screen!
Love, Rose xx
Rose your 3-boob line has me in hysterics! I was saying to a friend that I had a haematoma from a biopsy that looks a lot like a 3rd boob and he looked at me thoughtfully for a while and said 'well that might solve your jobless problem, there's bound to be a niche market for 3-boobers, you need to go for quantity over quality' Really love a bit of dark humour!
I hate my big boobs & even considered a reduction a couple of times but got scared off by the thought of surgery (oh the irony!). I'm having a lovely fantasy that the surgeon will be able to do what Rose's did and remove the cancer and give me smaller boobs too. Failing that, I want a double mastectomy to get rid of the traitorous things!
Sarah, is this your pre-op assessment? Makes it all very real and close, doesn't it? Had fun at mine. my arm refused to give enough blood for all the tests, had to go back next day. Also BP off the scale, but that settled down by the 2nd appt. We don't have a John Lewis here in the badlands of East Yorkshire, wish we did. I looked at them online though and they do have an extensive range.Plus they knock off the VAT.
Helen, I have found it easier throughout to talk to people on here, also friends rather than family. I said earlier on that I found it too difficult to talk openly to my kids. They are brilliant, but I hated making them cry. And my husband was definitely suffering far more than me!!!
Sharon, Sarah is right.This is a safe place to ask absolutely anything, also to rant, whinge and moan. And every bit of shared experience may help someone who is too shy to ask.
Sandie, how are you? Had a bath yet?! I'm loving the soaking but still very wary of disturbing the remaining tape. I've been given a roll of tape to replace it when it gets grubby but since it appears to be holding the nip in place, I really am not happy at the thought of peeling it off!
Best get off and do my physio exercises. Hopefully this swelling in my armpit will start reducing soon, or I'll be searching out a very specialist bra- one with a 3rd, underarm cup.