73.4K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

86 REPLIES 86
Charys
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Sue, 

 

how are you getting on, was just reading your last post from October and wondering how things were going for you ?

 

X

suebond88
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

 Hi everyone,  had my meeting with Oncologist on Wednesday - liked her, and am due to start FEC within the next 2 weeks, am having ecg this coming Wednesday.  Just about getting my head around everything, but again sometimes feel like I'm in a bubble praying it will burst and I can get out to the normal world again.  But I know this will not happen 😳Everyone is being supportive - my son is shaving his head in 'support'!!  And my daughter who lives in Australia is planning on coming to see me (I was supposedly going to see them next month).  My husband is amazing 😍😍 just want the first treatment now so that I can start the count down to the finish - apparently I need 6 😒 then further surgery and radio.

I have found it helps to talk to the professionals in my life - i.e.  My hairdresser, the guys at the gym and beauty therapist - it's incredible just how many people's lives are affected by Cancer, not just personally but family members too.  We are not alone.  Be strong everyone.  We can do it. 💪🤕👍

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hiyer Angie,

 

Im not surprised you are struggling to find positivity, you have been dealt a number of blows in a short space of time and they are going to be hard to bounce back from. You must be terrified and be showing the strength of 1000 people to be keeping things private from the children. I think you will find more positivity, as your plan of treatment is put in place. You don't know yet if there are secondaries, but even if there was then there are ladies on here with a wealth of knowledge to get you through the next stages. 

 

You don't say how old your children are.....just that they don't know.....are they old enough to hear any of the details at an age appropriate level? The thing is, you will be having a treatment plan that will need them to know something about why you are going to the hospital. I think it will become increasingly hard to keep things to yourself, and I think it will make you even more stressed and anxious in the long term. Are there other family members who can help support you and them in the coming months?

 

like others who've replied to you, I don't really know what I can say to make things easier, but I just wanted you to know that there are people here who will listen and help as they can x

 

Lily59
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hello Angywd, 

I'm sorry you are going through this worrying time, and completely sympathise with your feelings. The shock and disbelief of it all is hard to bear, but your feelings are quite natural and have been felt by many others. I too seemed to have worse news every time I went to the hospital for folllow up appointments. My tumour was also a lot bigger than the mammogram and ultrasound indicated, and I also had lymph node involvement where none was detected. I have had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, followed by a full node clearance as one node was affected. It happens to so many women. 

It's very hard to get your head around at first, but the shock does give way to acceptance and the determination to get through it.  I also understand about your worries for your children. Mine are adults now but I haven't felt able to tell them about my cancer for several reasons which I won't go into here. I have only told two close friends and so I feel very lonely at times, though I know this is my own choice. I understand you when you say that you feel you are pushing people away, I feel the same but somehow it feels easier than letting go and revealing the fear and upsetting others. We have to put our trust in the doctors who want the best for us and are fully committed to give us the best possible outcome. It is not easy and sometimes we will feel hopeless and helpless but we have to get through it.  Please call the BCC helpline to talk over your fears and they will give you great advice. Don't try to go through this alone, even if the only help you ask for is here on the forum.  Wishing you love and strength. x Lily

Steph J
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Angie 

so sorry to hear your news . No words can make anything better. Sending you big hugs xxx

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angywd,

I am so sorry to hear - you must be devastated and it must all be so very hard and very scary for you.

Nothing I could say, would make things any easier for you at this time. We have to keep our fingers crossed for your CT scan.

I certainly know what it means, when a tumour turns out to be larger than initially thought. Mine, even after MRI, was thought to be 3cm. As I have relatiely small breasts I wanted a mastectomy with a relacement implant. Just as well I made that decision, as when the pathology result came back  - although the actual lump turned out to be 2cm - the 'tentalcles' of the invasive cancer made the whole thing 11 cm in size - it had invaded the whole breast. No one understands why I was so immensly lucky that none of my nodes were involved. They removed the first 3, they were all clear. It truly was a miracle. Due to the size I also had a CT scan, which thankfully came back clear. But chemo now done and currently doing radiotherapy.

I am really glad to hear your chemo is starting so quickly now. They will throw everthing at you that they have got! It may be challenging for you, but it will give you the best possible outcome.

May I suggest that you urgently talk to your breast cancer care nurse and ask her to refer you to some relevant counselling. It will be of great help to you. It may also be an idea to discuss your domestic situation with her in depth, so she can find relevant support for you, as you go through your active treatment.

About telling your children - as I do not know their ages - here are some links to publications, which may be of help to tell them

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/talking-your-children-about-brea...

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/mummys-lump-bcc164

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/medikidz-explain-breast-cancer-b...

Tips for chemo - 

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Vein-Care/m-p/1036347#U10363...

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Preparation-for-Chemo/m-p/10...

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Chemotherapy-Tips-and-Tricks...

October chemo starters thread

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/October-2016-starters/m-p/1052...

We are all here for you - to support you through whatever it may be, even if it may only be virtually.

Lets tackle your horrid challenge together - one day at a time - one step at a time.

If you get no joy from yor breast care nurse - it may be an idea to ring the help line on this forum 0808 800 6000 - the ladies on the other end of the phone are really brilliant and they may also be in a position to point you in the right direction to get support on a local basis.

My thoughts are with you.

Hugs

Sue xxx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi everyone

I had my surgery just over 2 weeks ago, lumpectomy and full clearance of lymph nodes.  I have now had my results and I am reeling....  My tumour was twice the size they expected, the surgeon also took 7 biopsies of breast tissue and they are all positive.  There were also 9 positive lymph nodes.  I have already been booked for a ct scan and chemo to start next week. After chemo I will need a mastectomy.

i actually don't know what to say anymore, every time I go to the hospital it just gets worse.  I try so hard to be positive for each appt but I have completely run out of steam now.  I feel that I know the ct scan will show secondary cancer and all I want to do is hide myself away.   I can't sleep or eat and I'm pushing everyone away cos I don't know what to say to anyone anymore..   I'm a single mum and my kids don't know but I don't know how much longer I can hide it from them and I know they will devastated.  They have no contact with their dad so they have no one to turn to.

ive lost all of my fight and need to find a way back to it...

Angie

x

Joandthetribe
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Thank you for asking 7oanne 🙂 I had a positive meeting with the registrar (apparently they do the initial info giving meeting and I will see the actual oncologist next week to sign consents and get all the technical info)

I need only 4 sessions of FEC and will be starting on 7th Oct. I will also be having zoladex injections to suppress my ovaries and injections of zoledronic acid to protect against osteoporosis. This also has the added benefit of helping to prevent secondary bone cancer and is a new treatment they are offering to early stage bc women. I was like 'yes please, give me all the drugs'!!

Feeling quite positive about everything and just want to get started now. Will be heading over to the October thread shortly.

Jo x
PeggyCat
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angie,

 

Yes, join the October 2016 thread as you can start plotting your way through with others who are going through it at the same time and pick up useful tips. I'm from October 2015 so feel some responsibility for the October 2016 folks Smiley Happy I found it hugely helpful going through it all with others - it helps you feel less isolated I think and I'm grateful I went through my treatment in the internet age.

 

Ruth xx

Nikki49
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi ladies,
I just wanted to tell you of my experience - I had 6 rounds of fec-t all of which were delivered via a portacath.

I have private health insurance with my job so luckily was treated privately & they offer a portacath as standard (one of the girls in my monthly chemo thread lives in France, she was not a private patient but in France a portacath is standard practise - makes me cross our NHS doesn't do it)

A picc line is certainly better than a cannula however if you can get one then a portacath is better than a picc line.
Ok it's a bit more involved fitting the portacath I had it done with a local anaesthetic but some people opt for a general - once it heals it's easier to look after, there's no infection risk & no weekly flushing required.

With regards to supplements you shouldn't take anything without speaking to your oncologist first as there are some things you shouldn't take when on chemo.
Best of luck x
Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi all, thank you so much for the chats about pic lines as I hadn't even thought about that yet.  I will be due to start chemo in the 1st or 2nd week of October, presuming all of my results are ok.   I always have problems with blood tests or having cannula's fitted so I'm thinking I would want the pic line to stop all of the inevitable 'jabbing around' trying to find my veins!  

I still have the drain in 4 days post surgery and am starting to get frustrated not being able to do much at home.. Otherwise Im doing very well.  Only on painkillers when I need them through the day and at night. 

Does anyone have any advice on taking any kind of health supplement whilst on chemo? Also is it ok to take Swiss hair nail and skin supplement or something similar?  I am intending on trying the cold cap.  

Can I join the October chemo thread although I haven't actually started it yet?

Big hugs to all

angie

x

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi 7oanne,

You are on exactly the same treatment regime I had. Hence I would like to encourage you to take up the offer of the PICC line straight away. I started without one, same reasoning as you, however the E in the FEC burns out your veins. My fourth FEC treatment was very painful, as the veins had burnt and I had the PICC intalled then, and because the veins had already burnt it was not pleasant at that time. I wish I had it from the outset - as my veins will take a long time to heal now. It really does make a difference and the risks are minimal. It will need flushing once a week. Blood is also taken that way, so no more needles and cannulations for quite a while.

I have just set up the October 2016 starters thread, so you may wish to pop over to it to have a look at some links for preparation. The thread will become much more busy over the next few weeks with others finding it, too.  https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/October-2016-starters/m-p/1049...

Hugs

Sue xx

 

Sarah04
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Jo

Personally I am very glad I had the Picc line. I hardly notice it's there really apart from having it flushed every week. I've only had one round of chemo so far but absolutely no problems with the Picc. I know that I would have dreaded the cannula every time, and all the ladies I have spoken too have said they are glad they opted for one.
Hope this puts some of your fears aside.
Sounds like our regimen is similar. I'm having 6 EC.
Love Sarah x
7oanne
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Sue H-S, Joandthetribe, Sarah04 and Angywd,

Thank you for all your responses.

I had my appointment with the Oncologist the other day (albeit an hour and a half late so enough time to start feeling anxious!).

It seems that I will need 6 cycles of FEC type chemo followed by three weeks of radio as well as the hormone tablets. They said that they want me to start the chemo on 13th October (only three weeks away now!)

They made an automatic appointment for me to have a PICC line fitted just beforehand but I'm quite worried about this as I've heard about blood clots and Thrombosis etc. Do the majority of people opt for the PICC line and if so do you have any problems with it? Is it a good thing to have? (thanks for your advice on this Sarah04).  I can decide not to have it fitted by cancelling the appointment, but then I will have to have injections each time instead.

They have also suggested that I have the Flu jab before I start as well as a dental check-up.

The Oncologist said that the margins were clear around the tumour and that the node that had the trace in was a micro mattise.

 

I hope your results with the Oncologist were good (joandthetribe - let me know) and I hope your surgery is healing well (Angywd) and that there are no more affected nodes.

 

Lots of love and hugs to all

Jo xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Jo

im not in exactly the same position as you but quite similar.  I had my surgery on Tuesday this week.  I had the tumour and all of my lymph nodes removed.  They had biopsied 2 lymphs and one was positive.  I now have an anxious 2 weeks waiting to see if anymore were positive.  My tumour is not hormone receptive but it is HER2 positive so I will need 12 months of Herceptin injections on top of 6 months chemo and 2 months radiotherapy.

im feeling a whole range of emotions which I know is normal but at the moment my priority is getting myself over the surgery as I still have a drain in.  I've woken up at 5 this morning and it's the first night for over 3 weeks that I've actually slept for a decent 7 hours!!!

i really hope you had good news when you saw the oncologist, it's a nerve wracking time waiting for the results.... I've had a lot of neck pain on the same side as the breast lump and my mind is running riot thinking that this means the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in my neck too 😰

Sending you a big hug 

angie

xx

 

Sarah04
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Jo
My diagnosis was similar. Er+ but grade 2. One SNB node affected so then went through full node clearance. Right side mx with temporary expander which will be swapped for implant. No radio. Still not slept on my right side as very uncomfortable.
I had first chemo last week which I was dreading. Cold capped so was there for longer. Felt nauseous from about 2 hours after treatment and I was sick the first night. Nausea feeling lasted about 6 days in total. By day 7 I felt fine. Back to normal near enough. I went back to work yesterday. Everyone is different though so you may find completely different or very few side effects.
I've had a Picc line fitted as my veins were too small to even get blood from let alone try and get the chemo in! Best thing I've done. The nurse who popped it in said if she were to have chemo it would be the first thing she would ask for. One of the ladies I met insisted before treatment she wanted a line, so maybe that's a question for the ONC. Also anti sickness meds. They are changing mine for next time as original ones were not that effective. Emend is apparently the gold standard, a lot of people ask for this from the start. I didn't know anything about it but have asked for it next time on advice.
As sue said, they can give you the 10 year prognosis. My ONC gave me it without asking but to be honest I'd already looked at the Predict tool anyway!
Hope all how well tomorrow
Sarah x
Joandthetribe
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Jo

Great name 🙂

I thought I would introduce myself as I am also due to meet an oncologist tomorrow for the 1st time after being diagnosed with grade 3 er/pr+ cancer back in July. 10.5.mm, No nodes involved but terrifying none the less. I opted for a double mastectomy (which I had on 25th Aug) as I have a family history of bc and wanted to do everything I could to minimise future risks.

My boobs still feel tender and a bit lumpy where I can feel stitches, etc. I also have a bit of swelling on the side of one that my surgeon assures me is perfectly normal. I am still sleeping on my back propped up by several pillows!

The thought of chemo makes me nervous as I have a busy life with 4 children and can't bear the thought of being incapacitated for days on end, but they way I am looking at it is a few rubbish weeks in exchange for a (hopefully) long life after. I have a friend going through chemo now and she has assured me it is nowhere near as bad as she was expecting and has managed to work throughout most of it. However, I accept that everyone is different and I may not fayre so well.

I am planning to join the monthly chemo thread once I know when I will be starting and think it will probably be October for me too. It would be good to go through this together.

Good luck tomorrow and let's share stories after

Jo xxx
Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi 7oanne,

As you know my diagnosis is the same - apart from a larger tumor and no node involvement.

The suggested treatment plan sounds about right. At a guess he shall tell you what the exact regime will be - write it down, so you can ask us and/or research possible side effects.

If you are brave enough - and the information is not volunteered - you may wish to ask what your future 5 and/or 10 year prognosis is and how your treatment improves the odds. But of course, that is totally up to you. 

As the affected lymph node is out - the chemo should ensure there is nothing left to 'float' around and cause any further troubles. Radiotherapy - will ensure there is nothing left, where the tumour and the node were - sort of 'cauterize'  the wound sites. The hormone tablets are there to stop your body producing the hormones, which 'feed' any rouge cells - so will do a lot to prevent it from coming back.

When you are given your initial chemo appointment there tends to be an information session explaing much about how chemo is given, etc. - so that will be the time to ask questions re your chemo treatment.

The questions tend to arise by themselves - following the information you are being given.

When you finally get onto the relevant monthly chemo starters thread - it is very likely you will find someone with the same diagnosis as you and perhaps even on the same treatment regime. At a guess it may be the October thread, which, as yet, is not up - but it will be soon.

The bruising and swelling can happen - it does take a long time for the wound to heal properly inside.

I still have swelling and some tenderness under my arm- and my op was in March.

However, you should check this with your oncologist, too.

I shall be thinking of you tomorrow.

Hugs

Sue xx

 

7oanne
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

I could do with some advice.

I'm due to see the oncologist tomorrow and my mind is scrambled in the antisapation of it all!

Are there any important questions that I should be asking as I've gone blank at the moment?? (I'm bound to forget if I don't write them down).

Just to recap - I had a 60mm, grade 3, hormone + invasive tumour with one node showing cancer cells in. I'm 45 and had a mx three weeks ago. The surgeon has already said that I will need chemo, radio and hormone tablets 🙁.

I'm also beginning to feel a wierd bruising like pain on my mx side and I still have a swelling under my arm pit, I can't sleep on that side as it feels so uncomfortable. Is this normal?

I haven't had reconstruction as I wanted the treatment out the way first.

If anyone could help me?

Also if there is ANYONE with the same DIAGNOSIS as me I would love to hear how you are doing ? (as my mind is going over and over bad scenario's again,😟)

Thanks jo xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Steph, will be keeping my fingers x'd that you receive good news at your next appt.  I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a brain that has turned into mush!  Memory and concentration were an issue for me once I hit the menopause, which was fairly early, I'm 48.  I was given the hrt gel which of course I've  now had to stop so all of the symptoms are back.  

Ive already found this site a wonderful place to be... I'm quite a private person so being able to talk on here is perfect for me.  I think at the moment the biggest hurdle for me is feeling so out of control.  The Macmillan nurse I have is wonderful and keeps on telling me it's time to put myself first, this doesn't come easily after being a single parent for 12 years.  We all put our children first, it's what you do as a parent naturally.   But mine are old enough to understand, my son is 16, daughter 15.  They are both handling it very differently... My son is very angry and seems to be deflecting that anger at other people whereas my daughter has just withdrawn completely.  I've taken a few days off work in the run up to the op next week, to be honest I feel a little embarrassed about going into work as I know I'm not my usual 'on the ball, super organised' self.  I was at work last week and it was clear I was struggling.  

I think that being kind to yourself now and accepting you now have this issue which you need to beat above everything else is key.  

Take care, 

Angie

x ❤️ x

Steph J
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hello Angie I'm not surprised you feel out of control. What a shock for you and all in 3 weeks . My problem was picked up on my routine mammogram. I have no pain or lumps that I have noticed . I feel so grateful that it has been picked up and I am on the pathway. That is something I have not managed to get any information on yet . So I don't know what the guidelines say. Because I now know the second biopsy can tell a different story I don't really know what my definate diagnosis is . I have DCIS and it is widespread in my right breast . That's all I know other than its probably a mastectomy. I'm not frightened at the moment but I am very stressed with the wait . Iv had a few weeks to absorb things unlike you who has had so much thrown at you in a short space of time . Big hugs for you and thank you for sharing your journey with me x
Steph J
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Thank you for reply . Iv just read it and two seconds has passed and I can't remember much of what you said ...how bad is that ! I can't retain much at all at present . I will write the questions down and ask what you have suggested although much of it makes no sense . I'm guessing the terminology will start making sense soon . I'm probably a week behind getting my appointment with surgeon as machine broke the day I went for 2nd biopsy and it was end of following week before I had it . This resulted in missing the MDT meeting . I'm hoping to get at least a date to see surgeon and hear final results and options by the end of this week . First biopsy was so positive and I felt deflated when I realised the second one can change the picture of the diagnosis. Hopefully not long to wait . I will revisit your advice and pop it down in my writing pad . Thank you and very much appreciated x
Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Steph J

Welcome - you are doing this right - btw - there is never a right or wrong. We are here to support you, as well as we can - even if it is virtual. This is a great place for support - to laugh and cry, to rant and rave and to ask questions and read about others experiences. And of course for many warm virtual hugs.

Anyone, who has been diagnosed needs support, no matter what the diagnosis is. Some are luckier than others, but still need just as much support.

It is natural that you feel overwhelmed o there is a lot going on and the process of the various steps to full diagnosis can be worrying and frightening. It is very much like sitting on a horrible roller coaster, with no chance of getting off.

Asking questions, whatever they may be - is a very good thing to do. It may be an idea to write some down on a piece of paper, so you have all at hand in your appointment. It helps to make sure you get them all answered and perhaps make notes of some of the ansers, too.

What to ask - is a little challenging to answer, as much depends on how much and what you wish to know.

In my case I I saw my oncoplasti surgeon and I wanted to know the exact details of he biopsy diagnosis, such as stage, grade and receptors of the cancer.

It helped me to understand what my likely options were going to be. I then asked for his opinion of what he thought the best way forward was, which helped me to get my head round having my operation and make decisions right for me.

It is a very scary time. Treatments, whatever they may be for you - have advanced so much ofer the past few years. More and more beat this thing and live a long happy life - just with a nasty 'blip' in it for a while.

We are here for you. Feel free to ask questions and share - we'll do the best we can to support you.

Hugs

Sue xx 

 

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Steph, it is just over 3 weeks since I found my lump.  I had a lot of great pain which is unusual, but at least it made me check my breasts and actually find the lump.  I already have a treatment plan and have met with the breast surgeon and the oncologist.  It's all still very new and frightening and I'm having to learn to change from being so in control and organised, to now just taking things a day at a time.  To accept that I'm struggling with this and that breaking down is all perfectly normal when it all feels so alien.  

Angie 

xx

Steph J
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Not sure if Im doing this right . Im awaiting the results of my second biopsy to tell me if the DCIS is contained or whether there is other cells present aswell . Looking at other threads with ladies with tumours I feel perhaps I shouldnt feel as in need ..if that makes sense . But never the less Im feeling bit spaced out and overwhelmed . Ill be going to see surgeon in next couple of weeks . I believe he /she will tell me final results and discuss options . Am I supposed to ask questions at this point ? dont even know what to ask ? Im so sorry 7oanne for what you are going through , I think Im experiencing similar anxiety that you have . Hope you have sorted your management plan now and it is clear , goodluck x

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Janey, thank you so much for your reply.  I did have the option of having the chemo first then surgery but have opted for surgery first which is now booked for 20th Sept.  I just have the overwhelming feeling of wanting the cancer out of my body....

Angie

xx

Janey2
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Doh! I suddenly see loads of replies, which weren't there when I first looked - maybe BT was doing me and my addled brain a favour keeping me offline! Xx
Janey2
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angywd
Hopefully meeting with your oncologist was able to allay some of your fears. I've been offline a couple of days (thanks BT!), so you may have posted elsewhere or had other feedback. However, if not, then a huge hug and welcome to a friendly place to safely offload a lot of the fears we all share and know that your anxieties are understood. It sounds like you've been dealt multiple rubbish to deal with. When is your surgery? Hopefully you will have a good BC nurse who can advise on support available both of you and your children locally. I did go and see a counsellor after I was diagnosed, which helped hugely and you maybe able to access this via GP, if not your BC nurse. big hugs xx
marydan
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Thank you guys again, your wisdom and understanding is nothing short of amaing. I feel as though you all really know each other. xxxx

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hello again Angie, 

 

and others rosebud, Sue and MaryDan ( sorry if I've missed anyone who has just replied)

 

Angie, lymph nodes are filters for the body, their design is such that they keep toxins (like cancer) if they are working effectively. Now, of course this doesn't mean that some haven't escaped of course, but as you've been told they will take lymph nodes until they reach a 'clear' status which minimises the possibility that cancer cells can spread from those nodes to other parts of the body. When nodes are affected it is good practice to do some further scans 'just to be sure' that none have escaped....after all you'd want and need to know so treatment could be tailored accordingly. I know it's a scary thought, but don't panic even if various nodes are affected, there are so many people who have had just that scenario and had effective treatment. I'm not much help with advice on the whole lymph node thing, as I was fortunate enough to have clear sentinel nodes, but I've seen it talked about on here so often.

 

Marydan, you are right to take it easy and follow advice to do so! Best to not rush things as healing and recovery will take longer, especially with your MS. We all want to get back to normal ASAP, but some care needs to be taken to listen to your mind and body.

 

hugs to rosebud and Sue x

 

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

                                   Slide19.JPG

 

marydan - your colours are just so beautiful!

Hugs

Sue xx

 

marydan
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Rosebud. I like yourself am thinking I should be ready for work but gp has said no way as I start my radiotherapy on the 19th Sept until 13th Oct and he says I will be very tired. I have m.s also and just getting over my first ever relapse which left me unable to use my right side. Thankfully I am slowly but surely getting over the relapse but really have to slow down as I cannot put my poor family through all again so have promised them I wil take it easy. Its so hard though, as I just want to be me again. Hopefully now I am much improved I will drive for my rads daily but promise if I find it too much I will stop. I truly hope everyone is doing as well as they can and hope all results/treatment comes and goes as gently as it can and you all can begin to enjoy your normal life again. This time next year we will say 2016, what a year so now onwards and upwards. Take care. Mary.xxx

Rosebud6
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angie. I was lucky in that it wasn't in my lymph nodes so I didn't need treatment. The waiting is never pleasant but for me the wait after surgery was better than the wait for individual test results before the surgery. I think that is probably because I was recovering from the operation whereas before it I felt physically well and could still do most of my normal activities. I just wanted definite answers and a plan of action but it is not always as easy as that.
I am struggling a bit now as I am usually on the go all of the time and have been forced into doing very little. I thought I would be ready to return to work but I am not.
Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi, so good to hear you are over all of this and back to your normal self.  I'm already finding I'm wishing the time away to move forwards with it all.  I, not too worried about the op itself, more about the results regarding my lymph nodes and then the chemo 😰.

Angie

xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Sue

i asked the oncologist yesterday I'd there was any chance it had already traveled as they did 2 lymph biopsies and it was positive in one of them.  They have said that all of the lymphs under that arm will be removed along with the breast lump.  Then I will wait 2/3 weeks for the results telling me if/how many other lymphs were positive and if it's more than 3 they will do the ct scan.  As you can imagine that has really scared me...  Again I am back to the waiting game 😰

Angie

 x

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angie,

you do not have to reply to each and every one of us, although it is nice, lol. As and when you go through your treatment, I guess, you may be on other threads, too - with women, who are at the same stage of treatment as you or because you seek answers to specific questions. 

Post as and when you want to - perhaps letting us know how you get on through your journey on the various threads, as we shall be looking out for you, so we can support you. Ask any questions you wish, if something troubles you - we shall do our best to answer them or point you in the right direction.

We use this forum annd relevant threads to rant and rave, cry and laugh, hug and share and support each other.

Your medications and pre existing conditions will be taken into account with all decisions, which will be made moving forwards. I take my hat off to you coping so well as a single mum supporting your kids and to make a good decision in concentrating on you and yours to ensure you get through your treatment well. YOu are one brave lady!

And yes, as long as you are physically able to - you might just be able to carry on working most of the time through your treatment. There should be plenty of opportunities to make 'reasonable' adjustments at your place of work to enable you to work as much as possible to minimise financial distress.

It would be unrealistic to say that you may not face some real challenges with your likely treatment plan, but you can manage those and your cancer is treatable. You will come out of the other end and you will be there for your children. 

Have they discussed a CT scan with you yet? When there is node involvement, I think this is often done to see whether it might have 'travelled' somewhere else.

Hugs

Sue xxx

Jobey68
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hiya, I was diagnosed in March last year , had lumpectomy and Radiotherapy which finished in June and am on annual mammograms now, had 1st all clear in April this year 😊 I'm taking Tamoxifen for at least 5 yrs . I'm fully fit and emotionally pretty much back to normal although I don't think we can ever be as we were after a diagnosis like this! We certainly make the most of every day now, spend lots more time together and don't sweat the small things in life now, it rocks you to the core and as the strong one in our family I had to lean on others for once which wasn't easy and knowing how scared my husband and sons were made me feel so guilty for doing this too them but we got through and life is great again!! Xx 

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Jobey

Thank you so much for your reply.  Thank you also for making me not feel so bad for having days when I cannot be bothered and do not have the energy to get dressed.  I feel guilty when I have these days as I feel that technically I'm not ill,  but I do have a lot of pain which is what alerted me to the lump in the first place.

and yes all the nurses keep telling me to put myself first, as a mum that doesn't come easily! 

I am a strong person and have been fighting to stay afloat financially and emotionally for so long that I sometimes think it's so bloody unfair that I now have this to deal with as well. Then I feel guilty for having that thought almost as if I am being really selfish thinking that I should be excluded for some reason when thousands of other women are going through the same thing! So many emotions! 

Can I ask what stage of treatment you are at or are you fully recovered?

Hugs

Angie

xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Charys, thanks so much for your reply.  I'm not sure if I'm doing this thread correctly but I feel the need to reply to everyone who has replied to me and given support.  I love the idea of turning the negatives around and I have to learn to be easier on myself for sure.  For so long I've been fighting and had to be strong that this felt like the final straw.  I know I have the inner strength to get through this and to be frank, what's the alternative! It's just very scary.  The reason I found my lump was because I have a lot of pain, which is still there.  It's a real throbbing pain and goes right through to my back.  I have painkillers for it  but it's like a constant taunting me that I can't forget it's there.  So therefore I think I will feel better after surgery knowing it is 'out' .  

I have written different msgs to each reply so I'm not sure if they will all show up on the same thread? If so I'm sorry for hogging the thread! 

Hugs

Angie

xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Stacey, thank you so much for replying to me.  My heart goes out to you, to have to deal with bereavement on top of a cancer diagnosis must be so so hard.

for me I'm trying to change my mindset from that of a strong in control independant woman to just taking one day at a time and not thinking too far ahead, not easy for someone like me! 

You have made me realise that I am lucky in the sense of a quick diagnosis and treatment plan whilst you are still in the world of the unknown.

Look after yourself Stacey and please keep in touch 💞

Thinking of you

Angie

xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi, thank you so much for replying to me.  I'm quite a private person so didn't think support groups would be for me.   Love that I am not the only one sat in my car in tears, just embarrassing when a work colleague knocks on the window to see if I'm ok! 

Will you be having chemo?   Also did you struggle with the 2 weeks after the op waiting for your results? 

Thank you again

Angie

xx

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Sue, thank you so much for your reply.   I will look into your suggestions, I am on a lot of other medication including for diabetes which I was diagnosed with 4 months ago. That was a shock as I'm only slightly overweight although being a busy mum my diet is not the best and I'm prone to skipping breakfast and lunch and choosing to work straight through! All of these things I can see now have not helped my overall wellbeing but as a mum you tend to put yourself last in the pecking order.  I've been in and out of a dysfunctional relationship for the last year and have found the strength in the last couple of days to end it as I know it will have a negative effect on how I get through the treatment.  

I am an assistant manager at a large medical centre and I know they are looking after themselves as regards risk management.  But I am going to suggest that I confine myself to my office rather than being down on the 'shop floor'  and any possible infection risk.  

I saw my oncologist for the first time yesterday and felt that the discussion was a positive one.  My only concern is that they did 2 biopsies from lymphs and one of them was positive.  So until the op when they are going to remove them all and I get the results I won't know whether it has travelled anywhere else.  My tumour is HER2 positive, 28mm and stage 2.

Im trying to go with the one day at a time thought, but struggling as this is completely at odds with how I normally am...

Again thank you so so much for replying to me and all of your positivity 💐

Angie

xx

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angywd,

I can only echo the thoughts that have been shared by others in response to your post - so I shall turn to some more practical things.

It goes without saying that I am sending you a HUGE virtual hug. 

As you hopefully will find a way of dealing with your fears and distress - one little step at a time - I hope you can deal with the following 'practical' bits - one step at a time, too. Perhaps they may even help to manage your emotional stress....

I, too had to stop HRT - and moving forward - we can never utilise any of the standard help and alternatives to help with menopausal symptoms in the future, if our cancer has Estrogen or Progesterone positive receptors.

So Black Cohosh/Soya/Red Clover, etc is out. Anything, which mimics our natural hormones becomes, unfortunately a 'no no'.

Your hot flushes may be controlled by sage tea and or a sage tablet supplement, such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sage-Leaf-500mg-100-Tablets/dp/B00GO73708/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=14734...

You may also wish to look at a supplement called Acetyl Carnite, as it is a dietry supplement for cognitive support.

100% Pure Ribose may be something to consider to help with your energy levels.

Should you consider these, please do make sure they are ok with current medication you may be taking. Buying on line will be cheaper than going to health food shops and do ensure you purchase from a reputable source, even if it may be a little more expensive. Also let your chemo team know - I was on 6 x FEC chemo - and they were thankfully not contraindicative in my case.

Courts and court hearings - It may be a very good idea to let your solicitor know about your diagnosis and your impending treatmets. The courts have to take this into account with respect to setting dates and expected response times. As challenging as it may be - being open about your health status could be very helpful in this process, as not to exert too much stress on you, which may have a negative effect on your way of managing the treatment process, etc.

Work - since you have been diagnosed you now fall under the Equalities Act 2010 (Disability Discrimination Act) for the rest of your life. You do not have to disclose this to your employer, however it may be in your interest to do so, as it does offer you certain protection, etc. As you have not shared what kind of work you do, it is difficult to comment on whether you should need to give up work, or whether reasonable adjustments could be made.

However, you may wish to explore the information under this link in much detail - and set the relevant wheels in motion sooner, rather than later. There is a lot of information to work through and I hope it helps.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/organising

You should have a Breast Care Nurse assigned to you. It could be a good idea to talk to her about your more practical issues, too, such as your children. He/she should know what local support may be available for you and advise you accordingly.

You are not alone - and the feeling of losing control is so natural, as in the early stages of diagnosis so much seems to be rushing in on us, all at the same time. Once you are through your operation, your final pathology results are in and the detailed discussion with your oncologist at that time, with regards to your final treatment plan, has been had - you are very likely to feel in much more control.

We are all here to support you. When the time for chemotherapy comes, there will be a monthly thread appearing, which you can join. Again there will be much sharing, caring, rants, raves, tears and laughter.

And it is invaluable to help us through all of this.

If it is ok with you - keep us updated, so we can support you, as much as we can - evenn if it is only virtually.

Huge Hugs

Sue xxx

 

 

 

 

Rosebud6
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

I cannot add much to what has already been said but can agree with it. This is hard to go through on top of everything else but you will get through it.
The diagnosis is scary but as has been said move in small steps and try not to overwhelm yourself with trying to see the whole picture. That picture can change.
Counselling may be useful for you. I am going to see an oncopsychologist who is Macmillan trained. It can help to unburden your worries onto someone impartial but has the knowledge of what you are facing.
I had my surgery 5 weeks ago and still have the odd wobble but am mostly ok but I was the same as you emotionally when I was diagnosed. I spent a lot of time crying in the car. Sending you hugs x
7oanne
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Just thought I'd update, I got my results the other day unfortunately not as good as I was hoping for, the tumour was 60 mm instead of 56 ( which I thought was big enough,considering I'm quite small up top) and the grade has gone up from 2 to 3 🙁, oh and out of the two nodes they took one has traces of cancer in it.  So feel very up and down again.  They say the next step is to have a CT and bone scan.  Then the treatment plan is chemo ( which fills me with dread) then radio and hormone therapy. Having a bit of a wobble today again 😭😭😭 .  I'm almost two weeks post op (mx) and my armpit is swealing again after being aspirated last Friday. 

Could really do with some cheering up.

Stacey
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hi Angy,

 

My situation is different than yours in that my husband died two days after I was diagnosed in the beginning of August.  I'm still going through tests and hope some day soon I'll have a date for surgery and a treatment plan.  

 

My exact situation is different, but not with respect to unavoidable stress coming from directions other than a cancer diagnosis.  At the moment I'm swinging between mourning and anxiety/fear ... interspersed with moments of relative calm.  No normal calm, if you know what I mean, but where my mind is not racing.  

 

I don't have a solution, other than for me I try to think about and address each source of stress seperately.  Until I could do that I spent every hour of the day so filled with anxiety my heart was racing and I felt as if I was shaking out of my own skin.  Now, that level of anxiety is confined to smaller and smaller bits of time.

 

As to divorce, I went through a horrible one years ago too that ended with my going into counseling.  The latter was really beneficial.  I used to imagine my X as a speed bump that I could drive over repeatedly!   Put your X in a separate box (with no or few airholes) and if you can leave the issue of back child maintence to solicitors.  

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hello Angy,

 

Life has really thrown you some sh***y cards hasn't it recently, so this ontop of everything else, this bc diagnosis will feel like a push too far. It won't be a push too far, trust me, (hopefully I don't repeat too much of the same things as Jobey ;o) the early days of fear and shock subside and strength will come out in you that you didn't think you would find. You asked about coping strategies; you have taken a positive step in reaching out to people on here, although this is a 'virtual world place' to write your thoughts, ask questions and get support, there are real people at the other end of their computers reply to you who have felt and are feeling just as you are now. Make no mistake, you are most definitely not alone though it feels it in the real world, thousands of women on here will understand your emotions right now.

View everything (I think Jobey said this) as small steps, not the whole overwhelming shebang, but getting to the surgery, having the surgery, recovering from the surgery....each bit of your treatment plan can be sliced up into smaller steps. It is those smaller steps that will gradually get you to the end, don't think too far in advance. 

Another way to cope is to ask support from others like your breast cancer nurse and ask to be referred through her for counselling, it is an option for all those with a cancer diagnosis. I made a post yesterday about the psychological and emotional aspects of bc being as important as the physical treatment, so make time to address that. If you are really struggling and have excessive anxiety, are losing weight and not being able to eat or sleep, then see your GP (I did) they are a good place to go for help with the holistic care you need. There will be I'm sure some people/friends/family around you who will be able to support you through the next few months, you must be prepared to ask for assistance if you need it.

You can also start a bit of cognitive behavioural therapy on yourself, bare with me here lol, when you feel the fear and anxiety and the negative emotions turn it around and repeat out loud to yourself, if necessary, the opposite side of the argument. For example....'I'm scared people die of breast cancer' 'my breast cancer has a treatment for it and for the majority of women, due to modern medicine, this is a very successful treatment'. Another example.....'I am overwhelmed by how this will change my life, there are months and months of treatment, i don't know how I will cope' -  'There are people around me, some of them professionals, who will help me cope and I dont have to do everything in one go, everything will be done bit by bit and so I can deal with things one thing at a time until I reach the end'. Another example - 'I can hardly breathe today with the fear, I feel so alone and out of control' - 'I am a strong woman, and like those before me I will get through this, there are many thousands before me who have come out the other side of this and I will too'. Another example...'I can't stop crying what is wrong with me, I dont think I'll ever stop crying and feeling emotional' - 'I have a reason to cry, it is a scary place to be right now and I will allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel as part of this process in order to heal myself'. You get the idea, it is about trying to sew the seeds in your brain that counteract the fear. This can help to calm the anxiety if you can master being able to do it. Easier said than done I know, and it won't always work!

 

I hope at least some of this helps. Do come back and talk to us about your fears ...we are happy to listen !

 

Charys x

Jobey68
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

Hiya, so sorry you have had to join the most unpopular club ever!! All the emotions you describe are perfectly normal, I know it feels like you may pass out or combust with it all but you won't I promise! It is completely overwhelming at times and you feel like you are on an express train and you can't get off, I would try and talk myself down from the edge of hysteria and just about clung on to my sanity!! One hour at a time is the way to cope, your emotions are going to change every 5 minutes so you just can't deal with the whole picture at once, it's just too much and in all honesty things are not going to be as bad as you will be imagining right now, if I got up and dressed each day then I felt I had achieved something, I may have crawled back in to bed half an hour later but that didn't matter , I would swing from wanting to throw myself under a bus to thinking whatever I really don't give a monkeys! That's how extreme your emotions can be, all a natural reaction to feeling under threat and out of control , you certainly are not alone Hun each and everyone of us here have been right where you are but it gets better , it really does, bit by bit your fight will come back,you will stop feeling so scared and start feeling angry and Face it head on! Don't expect too much from yourself and allow the shock to settle, try and do something each day that makes you smile even if for a few minutes, don't waste today fretting about tomorrow, it won't change what's going to happen and will just drag you down all the more, time to be a bit selfish now and concentrate on getting this dealt with, we are all here for you Xx Jo 

 

Angywd
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

 


Hi everyone, bit nervous about posting as I have never joined any online groups before. I am just about to have surgery which will be followed by 6 rounds of chemo, then radiotherapy and herceptin for 1 year. Most of the time I am coping but at least once a day I am hit by an overwhelming feeling of total fear for what lies ahead. It often happens when I wake up at stupid o clock and then can't get back to sleep. I'm a single mum with 2 young teenagers. I've gone through a horrendous divorce and 10 years battle with my ex husband, 25 court hearings and its all still an ongoing battle for the £27k he owes me in child maintenance. I have struggled to provide and keep my home for them.  My children and my work have always kept me going, even driving to work in tears and driving home in tears. I now feel like my life is spiralling out of control, I cannot work whilst having treatment due to the imuno suppressed issue.  Don't get me wrong they are being very supportive and have assured me that my job will be there for me when I am ready to go back.  My daughter has very unstable diabetes type 1 and I am her rock so she is understandably devastated although I am reassuring her I will be fine and making her laugh with the image of me looking like an egg with no hair!  It's just this overwhelming fear that leaves me feeling like I can't breathe, my heart feels like it's beating out of my chest and I cannot help but cry out loud.  My children are at school now and I'm sat at home as I have an appt with the oncologist later and my mind feels scrambled.  I have had to stop my HRT so my hot sweats, memory problems and tiredness are back with a vengeance.  Does anyone have any coping techniques they can share?  Just to know that I am not alone in feeling like I'm losing control...😥 Sorry if my post is a bit long!  Thank you x

Kiki2
Member

Re: Diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and feeling low and anxious

 I hope your post op results are good. There really is nothing worse than waiting, you can't stop your mind going into overdrive and imagining the worst. Whatever they say, at least when you have a plan in place you will begin to deal with it, but let's hope the results are good and there is no need for that! Xx