Tulgeywood, sorry I didn't respond, I did read your post, thank you! I look at all my strechmarks as honourable war wounds, so viewing any surgery reminders the same way makes a lot of sense! Wear them with pride, girls!!
I have just phoned the co-ordinator at the hospital, and I have my pre-op appointment on 10th at 10am (better than the 11th at 11 - not planning on needing my own remembrance day, thank you very much - and 11/11/11 has far more worthy people to think about!!). Surgery date tbc - hopefully at that appointment? I never thought to ask, I was so relieved to hear that I finally have another appt. date. I spent all day yesterday stressing cos I'd left a msg and no one had come back to me - now turns out that the co-ordinator doesn't work on Wednesdays.. which might have been a useful bit of info!
So, strangely, feeling more upbeat now I know I'm due back in a fortnight (!) - at least I know how many days I can switch off about it for - and might at least get most of this next pay month worked through and into the bank..gulp.
Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now! This is never a fun time and you will probably find you get caught up in the whirlwind of consultants/appointments/meetings and it all gets a bit crazy for a time.
I had a lumpectomy and then a re-excision so have quite a scar, but wanted to say that rather than looking at it as something ugly (which some people might think it is.....) I look at it as a map of my journey! It's a lifeline rather than a scar.
For what it's worth, try and relax which I know sounds stupid, but getting out and about for walkies is probably the best thing you can do, take some deep breaths of fresh air and throw some sticks! Sometimes I felt like being around other people was more difficult than allowing myself some time to think because I felt like I had to try and reassure other people that I was fine and ended up putting on a front, you do feel like you're creating chaos but it settles down quickly I promise.
Don't worry about feeling a lack of emotion, you're probably still a bit numb to it all but I've now finished my chemo and radiotherapy and started my long course of drugs, and am still waiting for the "I can do anything now" flash of inspiration to hit me. It doesn't happen overnight, but all you can do is take one day at a time and plod on at your own pace. Don't worry about days when you have to process things at a snail's pace, that's your right.
Rest up, wrap up and drink nice hot tea. You need to look after yourself. Am sure your kids will be a big help and inspiration to you.
x x x
Thanks again guys! lostinfrance - I'm going to have to look up what a mammoplasty is! The options I were given were lumpectomy or mastectomy - if the tumour were any bigger it would be a mastectomy (is that the mx that you all refer to?), and the lumpectomy carries the risk that I may have to go back in for a mastectomy anyhow - so I think the mastectomy is the better option, to be honest - both for peace of mind and also for reconstruction down the line. My consultant said I should wait for recon - until treatment is over, she wasn't in favour of an immediate 'fix', and that's fine with me.
I'm getting really antsy about not hearing from the hospital now - think I'd better go walk the dogs and de-stress! I think I'm prob. focusing on all the external niggles overmuch, but there you go! It's how we cope, I suppose. I'm off work on half term (work in a school during the day) and just started four days leave from my evening job, and I'm not sure that was the best thing I could have done! I've had the leave booked for weeks and weeks though, and couldn't bear to cancel it - knowing I'd only use it up instead of sick leave, and that seems wrong somehow! Hey ho, maybe the house will finally get the cleaning it's crying out for!
I know exactly what you mean....everyone panics and you are left consoling them when its you thats got it....lol
Actually I think many people push the c word to the back of their minds and hope t stays there, also many folks know someone who had some form of cancer and died....so they immediately think it will happen to you. I have found that most folks with breast cancer are otherwise healthy individuals and people get confused because they think you should be/look ill.
I have had various comments such as 'why are you still working' 'you must take it easy' 'you mustn't do that' and all sorts of stuff which is more their confusion than reality.
I am a very keep calm and carry on sort of person and although the initial shock was terrible and the waiting for results the worst, now I have started treatment I know it will soon be over and that the future is bright!
Oh and have you asked your surgeon re a mammoplasty rather than a disfiguring lumpectomy? My lump was a 1.9cm grade 3 in a very awkward place and my fab surgeon removed it whilst giving me a boob lift (they were not big or really saggy to start with yet he still did it) which is amazing and looks really fab....better than the original shape. If he had just removed the lump the result would have been very ugly.
Good luck, there is a lot of us pragmatists out there!
Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, I am sure you will find them a great source of support and information.
As well as the supportive replies you have received from the other users you may find it helpful to order the BCC resources pack. It has been specifically designed for those newly diagnosed and has information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available. If you would like a copy just follow this link:-
Best wishes Sam, Facilitator
I'm sure lots of women on here will tell you the waiting around is truly awful try and keep busy, that helped me. I had a lumpectomy 2weeks ago, the op/pain, not as bad as I had imagined, just waiting now for referral to onc.
I found myself a bit like you, when telling people, I apologised for upsetting them! - but once I had told everyone I wanted, I felt like I could 'get on' with it.
Wishing you all the best, hope your appointment comes soon 🙂
and to SM422 - keep smiling - and I hope your post op infection clears fast - thrush is hell at anytime, so unfair that we have to deal with stuff like that on top of everything else too 😞 Keeping everything crossed for your oncologist appt. xx
Thank you all! Feeling much less 'weird' now for dealing with it this way - I'll have to find something else to worry about now
A bit further down the line, have had the lumpectomy and lymph node removal, just waiting for the appointment with the oncologist for the decision on where we go from here.
I wholly concur with everything you have said - I have felt from day one, just get the bad stuff out, have the preventative treatment, and then get on with life, it's just another illness - albeit a serious one. The trail of devastation around me is scary though.
The worse bits have been telling my mum, and dealing with the post-op infection I am dealing with at the moment; the strong anti-biotics have also given me thrush and a very sore mouth, which tbh are getting me down more than anything else atm, plus I am not getting back to "normal" as quickly as I had hoped!
Everyone deals with it in their own way, including those around you, no way is right or wrong, we all have to get on with it the best way we know how!
My mantra at the moment is "keep smiling" and when those darker moments happen - I just try to smile, not always easy but does make it feel better sooner - I think!
Hi, yes I felt the same, I seem to have spent most of this year reassuring friends & family that I'm fine, coping well, and just want to get it all over & done with so I can carry on with my life.
Was diagnosed in January, two ops feb & march, chemo finished August and am currently having radiotherapy. I also had the choice of masectomy or lumpectomy and opted for the latter.
I think it's sometimes easier for the person going through treatment to deal with it than it is for those around you who are probably worried they might lose you...well I know that's what my kids thought initially (they're 18 & 22).
I really haven't felt too emotional through most of this year apart from a couple of times...when I saw my family after the first op I blubbed, and I had a wobbly couple of days at the end of chemo when I was sick of looking at my bald head/no eyebrows and just wanted my old face back! I cried whenever I saw or spoke to anyone, but I knew it would pass and was all part of the process. I'm a pragmatic sort of person and generally just "get on with it" in all areas of my life so maybe that attitude helps. Keep calm and carry on .
Friends & family have been brilliant but I didn't want to talk about me me me everytime I see anyone so I tended to play down the SEs with all but my closest family who of course saw me at my worst.
Good luck with your treatment and take a day at a time. I feel so much better now, have more energy and am enjoying food again, you'll be just the same before you know it.
Hi, sorry you have found yourself here but there is a lot of support to be had from others on this site.
I had the same experience of people getting really emotional and I kept wondering why I wasn't as upset about it as them when I was the one with the cancer. However I have come to the conclusion that that is how I deal with things in a kind of "ok lets get on with it" attitude. Because I have been so matter of fact about chemo and have luckily been spared any bad side effects, my friends and family have been much less stressed about it although of course they are still very supportive.
Obviously there are times when I feel down and thats allowed but its usually when I'm on my own and have time to think. I find that writing things down on here and having the occasional rant really helps! I hope you don't find that you hit the wall too hard and if you do we will all be here to pick you up again.
Good luck with your treatment
Thanks Cathie - it's reassuring to hear that someone else 'didn't' react the same way I'm 'not' reacting! I was starting to worry there was really something wrong with me (apart from the bc, obviously!).
My mum and my best friend were SO hard to break the news too, yet they both handled it so well - I think I was worrying so hard about how they'd react. Even the kids seemed to take it well, though my eldest daughter cried and cried - at least we are able to talk about it day by day, and I hope that continues.
I don't know yet what follow up treatment I'll need - I know if I went for the lumpectomy I'd need radiotherapy and poss chemo - with the mastectomy it's poss. chemo, then tamoxifen as it's oestregen receptive (?I think that's the right term). My bcn did say that at my age (41) I would prob. get the whole belt and braces approach, so I'm steeling myself for chemo.. but just holding on to the thought of a boob job a few months down the line..
Cathie - I'm so glad your story has gone so well - thank you for replying to me, and good luck for the recon! Will it be weird to be properly balanced again?!!
Hi there-and welcome to a brilliant forum which Im sure you will find invaluable.
Your story sounds just like mine-almost a year ago. I was very unemotional and just wanted to get on with the treatment.
My sis whos a mental health nurse thot Id 'hit the wall', but Im still waiting!!I was very aware of others feelings-its more devastating telling people.
I didnt need any chemo/rads and had a mastectomy on 30th Oct and will be having recon in Jan.
The time will pass so quickly and you sound quite well-adjusted to the diagnosis, so keep strong and best wishes for the next lot of treatment.
That was difficult - finding a line to put in the subject matter!
I was 'diagnosed' almost a fortnight ago when I went up to the rapid referral clinic in Salisbury, then went back last Thursday for the biopsy results. I have a 3cm tumour in my left breast - and am apparently borderline for lumpectomy or mastectomy - the choice is mine. Yippee!! I'm leaning towards the mastectomy at the mo - partly to just take it all off, and partly because cosmetically I think down the line I'd be happier having a reconstruction than padding out the dent I'd be left with after a lumpectomy. (My consultant told me it would be a big dent). No sign of cancer in the lymph node biopsies, but obviously some nodes will be removed when I go in for surgery - which I've been told will be in the next three or four weeks. Just waiting now to hear when my pre-op appointment/surgery date etc will be.
I'm doing ok - I've told family/kids (who range from 16 down to 6), work knows, friends etc etc - and though I've been fine, I feel like I'm leaving a swathe of destruction behind me, as people collapse in tears left right and centre. I'm starting to worry that I don't feel more emotional! It's got to hit me sooner or later, doesn't it? Right now, I just want to get on with it, and get this lump OUT, then get my head around the treatment.
Whilst it's easy enough for me to talk to friends, it's not the same as talking to women who are going through this right now - and that's what I'd like from this forum - and hopefully, to be able to give my support to other women once I know what I'm talking about! Right now, it's a bit fumbling in the dark!