Hi Andrea Yingy here Andrea - I too live on my own - I am due to have my surgery tomorrow - wide local excision followed by radio and then hormone tabs. My BC lump is small 7mm but it doesn't stop you from being frightened. My specialist said to me - just pretend your on a motorway and you have to leave it for a while - then get back onto it - you then get on with your life - and you will as we all will on this forum. I have said before how humbled I feel when I read some of the other girls stories - my god I am 60 but some of these girls are only on their 30's and they have come throught it. Keep smilin Kidda. Love Yingy xxx
for jester - I am in Maidstone !!! Hi Andrea, I have only just seen your message posted last month.
I am in Maidstone and was diagnosed last October. I am 37yrs old and was married for only 6 x weeks when diagnosed.
I have had chemo, operation and radiotherapy and am nearing completion of it all. It would be good to perhaps chat or even meet up as I am in Maidstone also. I am being treated at the Somerfield by Sue Jones.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Maidstone Thanks to Mole I realise you come from Maidstone - I'm from Sevenoaks - not far away. I was treated in Tunbridge Wells and I was just going to say that I have firsthand experience of Maidstone Hospital but perhaps secondhand would be more appropriate!
As Mole says, there is a husband and wife team at Maidstone and they have an extremely good reputation. My sister-in-law works with them (she's a radiographer) in the breast screening department. She has sat in on ops and they genuinely do take the utmost care to do the neatest job possible. She desperately tried to persuade me to swtich to them at the 11th hour but I was happy and confident (and still am) with my consultant in TW and couldn't see the point.
Recently I have been taking a friend (also with breast cancer) to radiotherapy at Maidstone and then for her Herceptin treatment. She had chemo before surgery to shrink the tumour. She has her Herceptin treatment in the chemotherapy department and all the staff there are really lovely. They have recently opened a second chemo unit so it's not quite so crowded as it used to be. There was a good atmosphere there and everyone is really friendly. There seems to be a bit of hanging around waiting for the chemo/herceptin etc to be ready at the pharmacy so be prepared for that. My friend said that she wished she had known that before her first treatment.
Maidstone Hospital also issue car parking permits (disabled stickers) to people undergoing cancer treatment. It might sound trivial but believe me not to have to worry about parking is great - silly how things like that can become so irritating.
My friend is under the same oncologist as I am - Dr Rema Jyothirmayi (pronounced JoeDeMy) and she is really nice - you may well have her. At first she was just telling me what I needed to know but I explained to her that I am the kind of person who wants to know everything (good or bad) and then even more and she treats me quite differently now and has even been kind enough to phone me after she has been to conferences on breast cancer.
Your cat will be a great comfort. I've only got 5 and I love them all to bits. The other day I was laid up with a bad headache and they all positioned themselves in the bedroom with me and just dozed with me.
Hope this helps you a bit. I found the waiting to "get started" the worst part. Once treatment starts happening, it's strange, but it is somehow easier to deal with.
cats are very comforting Dear Andrea
I wished my cat was still around when I was diagnosed. I'm on my own as well apart from a man I see in Ireland from time to time. I also know Maidstone. the hospital has some very forward thinking people - I think they are a husband and wife team who try to do the minimum of surgery if possible and aim for the best cosmetic effect as well as the best outcome in terms of cancer.
Good luck - I'm flying to the US next week nearly four years after finding my lump
Support Hi Andrea,
I live on my own too, and it can be scarey without someone right there to support you (I, like you, have animals at home - 5 housebunnies, and I find them amazingly 'supportive', always ready to love me no matter what - does help!!)
I found the first part of diagnosis the hardest to deal with. I was also told I was having chemo, but when the results returned, I didn't need it and am on hormone therapy instead. There are always bad days, but there are good days too.
I have also joined another breast cancer forum called Breast Cancer Pals which, like this one, is full of supportive people which is so helpful when you live alone and need someone to 'talk' to - day or night.
The helpline here is also a great source of support.
You're not alone, promise!
For Jester finding it all overwhelming Dear Andrea,
Please don't feel guilty about how you feel about your situation- we all have different ways of coping, no-one can tell you how to deal with it, we can only say what helped us- if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't mean you're not strong or you have a wrong attitude, you just need a bit more time and help to sort out what will work for you. I have felt exactly how you are feeling at some point or other since my diagnosis, no matter how brave and positive I might sound in the posts. And for some people "moaning" as you call it can be the way! I wouldn't call it moaning, I'd call it "talking through" your fears and anxieties. I say it again- don't feel guilty about anything, it's not your fault. And if you do live alone, maybe finding a support group that meets regularly might help.
Finding this all overwhelming Hi
Firstly let me say how touched I am by your kind words and thoughts. I have to say that all the people touched by this awful illness seem to be the most loveliest people there are. I am also in awe of how brave you all seem to be and how positive. I am truly find that hard to be. Maybe if I had a partner or parents life wouldnt seem so bad. Dont get me wrong I have some lovely friends and my work colleagues and my boss - Ive only been at my job 18 months - have been exemplorary - but at the end of the day when I go home and shut my front door its me - Oh apart from a very large, very beautiful Persian called Teddie. I am trying to be strong but the closer it gets the more I just want it all to go away. I am worried about how I will look and who will ever want me after all this. I know that that may seem a wrong attitude but I cant bear the thought of being on my own forever. God what a moaner I am. Im sorry you all have been through so much you must feel that I am feeling sorry for myself. Im not Im not that type Im just scared and lonely.
Hi Jester I too know how you feel it seems like a nightmare but trust me it passes quickly - I was diagnosed in November and a couple of weeks ago I had a consultation which was basically the last one other than the 3 monthly check ups. I was elated and relieved and surprised how quickly it went. I was also surprised at finding the strength to cope with it all.
Some of my friends and family also distanced themselves - from which I have learned - with a couple of the the real close ones I spoke to them and was honest and told them that I felt let down and unsupported by them and they told me they were only avoiding me due to being too upset and out of a fear of upsetting me. The word cancer makes people uncomfortable it is everyone's worst fear and when someone they know has it people sometimes freak out a little and protect themselves by keeping away. The ones you really care about may be worth talking to - when you feel up to it.
When I was first diagnosed and when I used to get upset my husband used to always remind me remember this is a temporary state - the feeling ill loss of hair etc is temporary and then when you are rid of this illness you can get back to normal. I know I am simplifying things as there are some permanent consequences of the treatment (I have had a mastectomy for eg) but you can recover from this awful disease and get back to living.
Best of luck with your treatment, Chloe x
For Jester Hi jester- sorry to hear you have to have chemo- it's one of my big fears as well but I'm trying not to worry about it yet- next step is my results consult on Tuesday and preparing for radiotherapy. Yes, some of my acquaintances have stopped ringing but I have a very few dear friends who are still around- you just get to realise quite quickly who your real real close friends are at this time. Also, one of my friends didn't ring me and I felt really annoyed so I rang her- turns out it was just that she wasn't sure what to say and once we started chatting everything got that bit easier. Some people just don't want to do or say the wrong thing- it's not that they don't care about you.
If you read some of the other threads on the forum you find that people who have been through the whole caboodle, mastectomy, rads and loads of chemo come out the other side and say, Ok it's not easy all the time but they say it's definitely doable and worth it once it's all over. In the end, it's up to you but make sure you talk to people who have been through it, get all the information you need- you're worth it!
Thank you Jane Hi Jane
Thank you for your reply.
Yes the wait for 4 weeks has been awful. I didnt worry about it at the beginning buried my head in the sand but now its getting all too close. I have already been told that I do need chemo but it wont happen until the operation scars have healed.
Its the uncertainty of it all. All I keep thinking is that would I be better to just let it take its course and have as much as a normal life that I can until then. People are already avoiding me because they dont know what to say or to. Friends Ive known for years have stopped ringing and I understand that of course I do but how do they think I feel I have it.
Its so difficult.
Hi Jester Hi Jester,
One thing my breast cancer nurse said to me which helped me when I was first diagnosed was to take everything one step at a time- don't start worrying about chemo yet (it may never happen, let's be positive) deal with the surgery decision, make sure you get as much info about that as you can. I was a bit luckier than you in that I didn't have as long a wait between diagnosis and op, just a fortnight, which meant I didn't have as much time to worry. there might be a support group that meets locally you could go to- your breast clinic should know. Don't let those worries get bigger and bigger without letting someone else help you with them.
Best of luck- let me know how you get on, will be thinking of you
It gets better Hi Jester I was dx last Oct and I know that cold sinking feeling immediately after dx.But once treatment starts u feel so much better as if you are on the road to beating it.The op wont be as bad as u fear and even the nastiest chemos r doable you may not even need chemo but if u do and if u lose your hair it will grow again.You will be given a wig take what they offer honey.You will find lots of support on this site.Let us know how you get n.Luv horace
hi jester! hi jester sorry you have joined us i know exactly how you are feeling i had my op last july and i cant belive where the time as gone, i was diagnosed in june last year and i was absoultly terrified and scared as what was going to happen as it was so hard to take everything in, the first thing i did was go on the internet and find out as much as possible about bc and join this web site as you have. believe me you have come to the right place as we are all going through the same thing and your not alone. the first step is surgery i had a mascectomy which wasn't as bad as i thought it would be the op was over in no time i was in hospital for 2 days then back home, i didnt have no pain as the area was numb and they give you really good pain relief i found the lymph node removal op which was done at the same time as the mascectomy was more uncomfortable as your arm movement is restricted for a while and you have drains in making it awkward to sleep but other than that its bearable. what operation are you having? after youv;e had your op they do a pathology report and you will get your results usually a few weeks after this will tell you if you need further treatment ie; chemo,rads etc. you have to take in one thing at a time but you will get there its the not knowing thats the hardest. ive had chemo and radio and im now having herceptin for a year and i feel fine and im getting back on with life, if theres anything you need to know we are here for you to help you and to give support so try not worry to much. take care and let us know how you are getting on xxx suzee
For Jester Hello Jester,
Welcome to the forums. I am sorry you are having such a difficult time, please feel free to contact our free phone helpline on 0808 800 6000 if you would like to talk to someone in confidence about how you are feeling at the moment.
Everyone on our helpline either has experience of breast cancer or is a breast care nurse.
The team comes from a variety of backgrounds, so callers get to talk to someone who has an understanding of the issues they’re facing.
The team is able to talk about both technical and emotional issues surrounding breast cancer and breast health.
Terrified and dont know what to do Hello
I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 weeks ago and should be going in for my op on 1st May but I dont know if its what I want to do. I am so so scared especially of having chemo and I dont want to lose my hair.
Any thoughts would be welcome