how you doing with side effects from your recent chemo? Had first RT today, it let surreal and odd, especially when they left the room and I was under the machine alone. So far so good, day one, only 18 more to go. I will just write a brief message today, but feel free to PM me if you'd like rather than use the forum threads to talk. If your PM isn't yet enabled you can email the moderators and ask for it to be activated.
im not sure about the massage issue to be honest, I know that sometimes massage is a form of therapy offered for Bc sufferers......but I have also seem a bit of controversy about it too reading here and there.....why not ask your BC Nurse what she thinks? So, you have your chemo this coming Thursday, I think you are being incredibly brave and I'm glad you've made your list of questions ready. We need to remember that we aren't just passive recipients of treatment, we also have a right and need to know the details we want to know.
My rads do indeed start 1 st June. I am having 19 sessions in total, 15 whole breast and 4 targeted boosters to the area of the removal of the tumour. I went today to buy a few different creams as recommended by the ladies on the May rads forum...I want to be ready for any skin eventuality lol
Time does feel slow doesn't it.....I know what you mean.....it seems endless, but I was only thinking it was 3 rd March I went for my first visit to the GP for a check and the ball started rolling.
i don't know if you have joined a chemo thread yet, if not, then yes just add a new post on the relevant thread introduce yourself and say hi and I know they will welcome you with open arms.
Let me know how you get on Thursday, will think of you.
im so sorry I didn't see your earlier message, somehow I missed it. It's perfectly natural to be afraid, I think you are very brave having it and I would be MUCH worse than you if I was facing it! I think it would really help you to join the monthly chemotherapy thread......the ladies on there really understand what you will go through and how you are currently feeling. You can share experiences with them as you go alone. I have nt need to have chemo, so I definitely think they would be happy to provide you more support.
Have you made the list for your oncologist Silvia? Write down all those things worrying you, like the breast bone pain, the bad stomach and so on. Once you have made the list, put it out of your mind as best you can as there is nothing else you can do until you see the oncologist next ( remind me of the day again?) , the stress and anxiety will do you more harm than anything. I'm sure they will be able to check you or reassure you.
Did you go to the support group the lady rang about?
Im so glad you are getting out and about, that's great...and I know it takes a lot of courage and will power to do that when you feel so low. YES, it will be possible to get back to normal, you are so early in the process right now Silvia, don't be hard on yourself and take things in small steps as you have quite a bit to get through first. Break things up into little bits, think of the first chemo session next, no further ahead at the moment.
Well done for going into work....that was REALLY brave of you! Really... facing everyone when you are feeling so anxious and low is no mean feat, you did well girl! Dont be so self depricating, and imagine others are braver, you have taken some really big steps the last few days and weeks...be proud of yourself. Also do you know how many people find a lump and dont go get it checked because they are scared? let alone have chemo? Ill answer that for you....more than you would think according to my surgeon! So, see you have already been very strong indeed.
I've been out in the garden doing major work all day, and it has basically rained for most of the day, so I look incredibly muddy and moth-eaten right now.
I think you should mentioned the burning sensation to the team when you visit on 26th (I think you said 26th). If you suffer from anxiety, and are having chemo, then the combination of the two could give you quite nasty indigestion....maybe they can give you something to ease it after your next treatment?
I really do think you need to ask your breast cancer nurse about counselling, I am currently have it via a referral and its really helping.
Good afternoon Silvia,
or or maybe you will read this late tonight, or even tomorrow morning, so change the greeting as appropriate.
Today I have had an interesting day, I visited the hospital for my BC counselling and then radiotherapy pre assessement......I have been scanned, drawn on, photographed, and tattooed as necessary. It took about 40 minutes in all, and was both fascinating and surreal lying there with various people doing various things on me with my arms up above my head. Anyhow, all done now and ready to start the rad sessions on 1 st June. After that I went for a late lunch and shopping to a few out of town large stores, no sense in my time driving to the nearest hospital , about 25 minutes there, without using the time wisely to do shopping 😏 I didn't tell OH that I would be spending a couple of hours shopping afterwards and thought I'd see how long it took before he realised I wasn't home...the answer is after 2 hours of me not appearing home he messaged me lol it was just a little female test, as he never seems to notice when I'm late back from things.....
so, you asked quite a few questions, I'll try and answer them, but I might have to go back and read it again as I can't see your post directly below me on the page. The first thing- the morning shock- oh yes!!!!! I can entirely relate to that. That was the worst part for me in the first few days, for a fleeting moment you feel 'normal' as your mind has been able to relax overnight, then the fact that your worst nightmare is real hits you like a sledgehammer.....I remember in the early days sitting bolt upright, crying and feeling deeply panicky with a few seconds of waking up. I remember saying to OH that I just wanted to be asleep as that was the only time I felt alright, it felt like the only escape. It was as if nightmares and terrors had moved from the night to the day, as if things were back to front. Does that make sense? I woke up and in that few seconds of waking thought that the cancer must have been a nightmare, and it isn't. Then you have to go through the shock again daily, as it happens the next morning and the next. Does it get better? Yes, absolutely, yet again time and acceptance helps you move on. That doesn't happen to me now, I feel sad sometimes when I wake up , but not the same horrendous WHACK of feeling despair. It will go, I promise you.
THe surgery.......oh.......my.......word. I'm not squeamish but had serious issues with the surgery. Anita could tell you what I was like about that. I was a MESS, and that's an understatement, I will see if if I can find a link for you to my thread at the time. However, if you search for 'phobia of GAs' , 'terrified of surgery' it should come up, amongst those from the loads of other people who have a fear of surgery. I had never had a GA and have a phobia of anything being injected into me, and of medications in general. So, as you can imagine, this pushed me to my limits. It took a very understanding anaethetist who spent individual time with me answering all my questions, and being incredibly supportive to make it even vaguely possible. I was certain I would die in surgery, and at one point even wrote letters to my Daughter and OH in case I wasn't ok! The breast cancer nurse arranged this meeting for me with the anaethetist. How did I cope? I reminded myself that I simply wanted to have the cancer gone and there was no other way to do it. I spent a lot of time self talking , building up my state of mind by repeating positive statements and trying to change my attitude towards the surgery and address my (often paranoid and ungrounded ) fears of it. I read a lot about what to expect from the surgery, and I read a lot from people who had been through it. I basically did some cognitive behavioural therapy on myself, retraining my thought processes and targeting some specific problems I had. It was so HARd, and took a bit of lorazepam to get me through at times lol.....but it's done and I tell you what if it as necessary I would do it again!
Your interest in others will return, you are in a vulnerable, instrospective and self focused state right now, because you are feeling 'threatened'. As your heightened feelings about the threat reduce over time, you will start to reach out to others again. It will return.
i have two doggies, 2 bunnies, 2 tortoises and one snake at the moment. :0)))))
My beautiful young cat, who was my baby, was killed on the road last year . Cats are the funniest creatures, I d love another but to one cared to get one after losing my boy.
Silvia if my few words have helped you I can't tell you how happy that has made me. When I was new to this & I still am really, a few words of support from others on this forum were enough to help me through my dark times & you will have them but you'll also have 'normal' days, too when you'll just go about yr life. I don't have a large family- just a brother who is very supportive but I have fantastic friends who've been with me every step of the way. Like Charys I have only told a few people as I too feel this is private & I want to be treated as I always have been not differently. So tell people you trust & who you know will be there for you. And of course us lot here going through what you are & having the same fears & worries but we'll get there. Have a lovely day whatever you're doing xx
i will needed to be fairly brief now, ( doggies to sort out) but will reply to your long post more fully later. I am so glad you went out yesterday, it won't be easy, but little by little as time goes on you will find the times you feel normal and better becoming longer. Nobody judges you here....you can say what you like......the ladies on the phone line don't judge either. I know you are a loner by nature and find it hard to engage with people, but I do urge you to speak with them , they are all women who have been treated for BC a long time ago.
Sadly no, I don't have a large supportive family. All my husbands family are the other side of the world and I don't know them well enough to really find comfort from them, my own family consists of my parents (who are entirely tied up with my Dads MND) and my two siblings who have some serious problems going of their own with their children having long term health problems. There are no other family...apart from.... My husband and one 18 year old daughter who are simply THE BEST and they are my support and reason to fight this. You don't need many people around you in order to find strength, don't concern yourself if you don't have that yourself...I've noticed people are often very Robust when they don't have a huge support network....maybe it allows them to rely on their own resources and find quicker coping strategies as they are used to doing it. There was a lady I talked to on here who had had the most terrible few years, with more loss in her family than I could imagine anyone could deal with, yet she approached her diagnosis with fortitude and such resolve that I was in awe of her. I have actually told very few people about my diagnosis,.....only my family and a couple of friends.....that was a deliberate choice as it gives me a feeling of total normality when engaging with people without having to discuss medical things, and also it felt quite private to me. I didn't want to be defined by 'she's got breast cancer' and wanted to just be me. Different people feel differently about this and some are happy and find it better to share with everyone.
Anita and I have yet to get to our 'silver lining' we are both post surgery and pre radiation therapy, we are in early days ourselves, but I believe we will get there back to the 'new normal'. Jobey however was one of the people who I first had reply to my posts on here it was seeing her and her being a year ahead of me and still alive and kicking that made me feel comforted. Yea, breast cancer is common, they say one in 8 women will have it as some point in their lives, but do you know what, out of any cancer ( even the word makes me cringe, I wish I could apply a better word !) this really does have such a good success rate for treatment for the majority of people. stand in a supermarket queue and some of the women in that queue have had/currently have or will have the same as you! (Sadly)
Dont be scared of your thoughts, they are only a symptom of fear and shock. This will all get easier. The first couple of weeks when I went back into the world , every single time I was away from the eyes of others I dissolved into crying. Actually I cried behind sunglasses too when surrounded by people. It's fine, let it happen, it will pass.
PS.....I wasn't brief after all was I !!! :0))) it was sunny here, somewhat colder but bright and it gave me a chance to do some much needed weeding. I have a bit of menagerie going on and so the animals took some sorting out too.
Hi Silvia, I had Tubular cancer,it's quite rare and fortunately a low grade type so was small and I had no spread to my nodes so my treatment once it had been removed was 3 weeks of Radiotheraphy and I'm now taking Tamoxifen for 5 years, it's a tablet to block eastrogen as this is what fed my breast cancer.
it was very hard to cope in the early days of diagnosis and I was in a real state of fear and panic, I'm lucky to have a wonderful husband who looked after me so well and got me through the worst of times as I just couldn't function, you hear the word cancer and fear the worst but for breast cancer it isn't like that,it's so treatable in the huge majority of us and you will learn this as you go along and this is what gives you the strength to get through it, I've recently had my 1st year all clear and fingers crossed look forward to many more! Xx
Hi Silvia - just read your thread & picked up on the bit about the pain your feeling. When I was first diagnosed I mentioned to my BC nurse that I had pain in the other breast & lower back, too & she told me this is so common with recently diagnosed people. It's not that the pains not real, as such but you start imagining all sorts of things & if your stressed & anxious pain can manifest itself in other parts of the body. If you've been told everything else is fine, believe it, relax, do something nice & hopefully the other pains will go away xx
Oh and........stop the guilt......'how can anyone like you with your selfish thoughts'? I don't think you are selfish person at all, I can tell from what you write, that you think of others and care deeply for them. A diagnosis like this can make you very introspective for a time, that is all that is happening. 🙂
I'm so glad my words have made a difference to you.
have you found your breast cancer nurse number yet? They will talk to you more about the natural feelings you are having.....the anger, the pity, the misery at seeing 'healthy people'....all the things you describe won't be a surprise to someone used to dealing with people in this field. They won't be a surprise to many on here either! I spent a whole week watching others getting on with their lives and seeming to be happy, and having no concerns, then I reminded myself that for all I knew they could have awful things going on ...they could even have cancer themselves. Just as others can't physically see your diagnosis, you do not see those of other people.
Im a firm believer in positive coming out of negative, that proverbial silver lining. You learn a lot about yourself and others from a life changing event like this, and come out the other side with different priorities and personality strengths.
Im not sure about your pain in your back and stomach, if you have acid reflux and indigestion then that could be a cause? I presume you have mentioned these symptoms to a medic?
Let me know how you get on today,
gotta dash for now.....but will be back later x
Hi Silvia, everything you are feeling is completely normal and you are not a selfish person for wishing it was someone else and not you, we all feel like that, I know I certainly did! I couldn't stand to be around people going about their happy lives, made me sick to my stomach and I had plenty of why me moments too, the good news is these feeling will pass in time, it's a process you have to let your self work though but you will come through it and begin to feel happy again, I'm a year on from diagnosis now and feel great, don't be so hard on Yourself, just try and deal with how you feel on a day to day basis and time will pass by and you will find yourself feeling brighter 😊 Xx Jo
Oh you are so welcome. I recognised the pain in the few words you wrote. 🙁 I doesn't burden me, it helps me reinforce and clarify my own thoughts. 😊
Silvia, I presume they ve done a biopsy, have they given you some details about your cancer type? Every person seems to have slightly different variables and such individual breast cancers. Of course there are some shared features for some people, but numbers sometimes differ this way and that. Some people do have chemo first before surgery to shrink the malignant area or reduce the possibility of any spread during surgery. I'll be honest, I have very little knowledge about that as I've not experienced it, I had surgery first and now awaiting radiotherapy and hormone treatment.
Obviously you have been told you are having a mastectomy, is there a date planned for this ? What chemo are you having ? Anything you could want to know from other people is here on this forum.....do a search or visit the different areas as you have been already....and you will see others have been before you or are going through it now. It's a lonely place being told you have any type of cancer, but remember ( and I'm so sorry to hear your parents also had cancer and passed away, but I am presuming they were different kinds than yours?) BC is one of the most treatable and there are (unfortunately) many others who are sharing your plight right now, so don't feel alone.
Don't struggle either or think you HAVE to try hard, infact don't try too hard, give yourself time to feel the things you are feeling now....gradually...bit by bit things will fall into place. Be kind to yourself, look after yourself, especially during chemo when you are physically affected ontop of the emotional issues. My sister in law said to me when I told her I was trying so hard to be strong but failing....'don't try too hard, let others take the strain and help you for a while'. That is what this forum is about, and the 'someone like me service', and the breast cancer nurse, and the helpline on this site, and the lady at the group who rang you. Use the support offered and allow yourself to feel weak if you need to. This is a 'life changer' being told something like this, for everyone, and your responses are natural.
I am surprised your breast cancer nurse has nt already been in touch with you and is talking with you. Do you have a number on your pack of information ? Often they are present when a diagnosis is given, or a discussion takes place with an oncologist, it seems this hasnt happened for you.
ive asked you loads of question , sorry lol. You will be braver than you think my friend, you already have been by starting chemo, and you will come to the end of this and be amazed at your strength.
I don't feel brave either.....I was diagnosed now some weeks ago and have had my surgery and about to start radiotherapy.....so in many ways I am probably a few weeks ahead of you in terms or 'processing time'. I have cried for weeks, and sat not wanting to do anything, and been hard work for those around me....that is all understandable and part of the stages you need to go through. I remember saying to myself ' I wish I could be brave like the other people I see around me', but the fact is that courage only comes from the pain and despair you are feeling now. Shock, grieving, fear and distress....and every shade of human emotions comes into those early weeks, and they are early weeks for you right now. There is no guilt that should be attached to how any of us are feeling right now, please don't feel that way.
Yes, people say that you do get back to 'normal' but it is a new normal. The lady who spoke to me on 'someone like me' said that she was 2 years post diagnosis and there was a 'new normal' that entered her life. That new normal wasn't necessarily negative, as she saw things with fresh eyes and felt joy in things she never did before.
I do think it's important that before you enter being depressed that you try to start doing a few small things .....very small steps.....sit outside in the fresh air and listen to the birds, engage with nature....the rain the breeze and the sun ( if you are lucky enough to have some !!!) .
i would recommend also that you ask your breaSt cancer nurse to refer you for counselling, this is a service most hospitals offer and it sounds like you really need it right now.
I will be back later to check in on you, ok,
Hi Silvia, me again.....
I so so feel for you right now, and could give you a massive hug if I was there. We could cry together and then make a nice cup of tea and find some things to smile and laugh about. Those things are still there Silvia, all the reason to be glad and happy, it's just right now you are under a blanket of despair.
Something that helped me a few weeks ago, related to this whole 'diagnosis' thing. We hear the 'C' word and that terrifies us, and then people start talking graphs and expectancies of being free of 'C' in the coming years. This is a really nasty situation to be in, and is an affront to the natural human spirit of survival. So, I started thinking about it......my surgeon was saying things similar to yours that they would 'sort it' and 'it'd be fine'......if I made up a survival graph for anyone else who didn't have a diagnosis then what would that be like. My neighbour, or the woman in the supermarket who had diabetes and was obese with asthma....or even the postman or the cyclist going through town or the old man on the corner who keeps going up that ladder!...what would those be like, their expectancies? It could be that any one of them had a much worse chance of being struck with an illness or having an accident ( not that I wish it on anyone you understand) in the near future. None of us know what is around the corner? what I am saying is that it is having a diagnosis that causes the anguish....it starts you focusing on things you really don't want to. However, those without a diagnosis are obvious to the risks to their health and therefore feel 'safe'.
Another example......my Dad in his 70s was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He had a dreaded diagnosis, and lots of people asked about his prognosis and asked directly 'how long he had'. It was deeply distressing. 9 years later and he is still alive and some of those who asked about his prognosis have passed on.
YOU have every chance of having a long and happy life, especially as your cancer was noticed and treated! You went to get checked, and now they will keep a very good eye on you in the future. Look on this board Silvia, there are many women here who haven't just got primary BC, but have been living with secondaries for years and years . Treatments have changed, things are better than ever before for those who are diagnosed.
Hi Silvia so sorry you're feeling like this at the moment. Have you got family or friends around. I've found particularly close friends very helpful while going through this. But if you haven't we are all here for you. You will get through this, you're just having a tough time of it at the moment. Anita xx
I am the same age as you exactly, and was also diagnosed recently. You sound so unhappy, and I wanted to reply to you and let you there are others feeling the same way as you and who understand. You've not mentioned much about your actual diagnosis, so I don't know if you have had chemo after surgery or not? I really think it might help to call the helpline number at the top of this website, or even sign up for the 'someone like me' service.....you can email them from a link also somewhere on the front page of the website....and they find someone to call you to talk through your current feelings.
Not feeling hungry and just sitting around is part of the shock, you can and will come through it....and feeling unwell from the chemo can't help either. I lost nearly a stone in the few weeks leading up to and after diagnosis. Read on here, and use this as a safe place where you can tell people about your feelings and share them. There are also 'chemo threads' where you can relate to others in a similar position.
take care and stick with us here, so many understand