just wanted to say it’s of some weird comfort to know that other people are finding things difficult at times……sometimes it can feel like everyone else is feeling positive and dealing with whatever treatment is needed and I am the only one having angry, negative thoughts and shouting at my husband every time he’s says ‘ it’ll all be fine, you’re clear of cancer’…….I had mastectomy 4weeks ago, lymph nodes and margins clear thought only hormone meds would follow and I could deal with that……. but now maybe chemo needed so unfortunately the rollercoaster continues, when really I want to get off now!
Sending good wishes to all xx
Thank you Mai7. Just getting stuff out on here makes it easier x
it is a very stressful times so allow yourself to ride the myriad of emotions. Just try and take it one step at a time and prepare for each step. I found that was all I could cope with, to focus on the imminent treatment step and then read up on the next when it gets closer. I was stage 3 ER/PR+ including lymph nodes back in 2017 and doing well now. It’s a big upheaval which you really could do without and the whole COVID thing makes it more stressful for you but it’s all doable and thankfully you have been diagnosed and are in the system and the alternative to not having that would be much worse. I know it seems easy for me to say this now. Wishing you all the best with your treatment plan. X
Thank you. Good to know I'm not alone. It feels like I am going mad and I know I'm not coping. People do mean well when they say 'be positive' or 'you've got this' but it doesn't help - I am not positive, and I don't bloody want what I have got!
My son (he’s 18) said, you’re well but the chemo is going to make you ill, so you’ll be low and eventually you’ll just climb back up mum!
He’s right! That’s why it’s so weird, the cancer isn’t making me ill (yet) but the chemo will do!
We can do this. If we start off well and strong it will keep us going!
Hi Calendula. I was diagnosed in late June and just had surgery to remove lump and sentinel node biopsy. I think it is completely natural to feel the way you do. The diagnosis came as a huge shock as I am a healthy 45 year old and do not meet the obvious usual risk factors for breast cancer. The only one was drinking a couple of glasses of wine a week which I stopped doing after I saw my GP on discovering the lump. It makes me wonder what I could have done differently and what I need to do (other than go through treatment) to prevent it or another cancer happening again. It's easy for people to say (as they did around me) to think positive etc but you still have to deal with the mix of emotions you will be feeling, including feeling angry at times. We are on a rollercoaster we didn't ask for. It helped me to write a poem 4 days after diagnosis to try and process my feelings. I also saw a staff counsellor (I work in a hospice by day) which helped. Whatever your creative outlet is, try to harness it and take things a day at a time. xx
Thanks for your words - I know the alternative is worse, but what I am struggling with is becoming far more ill than I currently am to defeat this thing. It's hard to bear - like I am counting down the days of normality. I have always looked after myself but it still got me - I might as well have smoked, drank and ate cakes for all the good it's done!
Like you, I got organised, with things as well as info. Found a lot of useful sites, with great resources. Made myself some arm cushions, bought bio-oil, pjs etc, but it's all so depressing.
I've joined the lobular ladies too, but looking next at rads I think - although I guess it depends what they find when they get in there with the dremel and the melon baller......
Im 52 and have lobular bc. I’m having a lumpectomy on 10th Aug and then chemo approx 6 weeks after.
My way of coping is to find as much information as I can and go into organised mode. I’ve bought shirts to wear after my op and have booked hair and nail appointments pre chemo.
Im having my ears re-pierced and am going wig shopping with my mum and making a day off it with lunch out.
Im making lists of things to make chemo more manageable from suggestions people have made and am meeting up with friends as much as I can.
I’m trying to enjoy everyday life as much as I can. I’m just so grateful that things are moving relatively fast.
Do you know if you’ve got to have further treatment after your operation
You are in the right place for support as everyone here knows what you are going through. Yes, it’s a massive shock. Yes, the treatments are harsh. Yes, life is on hold for the moment. Have you stopped to think of the alternative? Medical research is such that we are privileged to receive outstanding treatments and care from our medical teams which enable us to survive this disease and continue to lead happy and fulfilling lives. I was diagnosed 4 years ago at the age of 70 with ER+, HR- B C. I had a lumpectomy and full LN removal, followed by chemo and rads. Unfortunately 4 mets were discovered in my lungs, which don’t affect me at all….so far! I was then on Letrozole and Palbociclib.Im not saying the journey was easy, but it’s doable . I’ve just had a week with my family doing wild and wonderful things and enjoying my four grandchildren. When they left I went and did my aqua aerobics….which I certainly wasn’t into pre diagnosis. Reach out for help to the various organisations such as Cancer Research, Marie Curie, Penny Brohn, Maggies centres. There are a wealth of mechanisms out there to help you on your way, journaling and mindfulness amongst them. From experience I would say not to Google . The info is out of date, and is frightening. Rely on CR for excellent advice. Best wishes. Ann. X
As if it hasn't been tough enough for the past 18 months for holiday's etc that must feel like such a sting in the tail. I'm sorry you've had to cancel your holiday.
It sounds like you are really happy with your life, pre diagnosis of course, get jotting on that pad all the things you're gonna do when this is over! Not having things on the calendar to look forward to is hard, remember it won't be forever 🙂 I've got a few small things on mine, having a pedicure, quiet lunch with friends next week - it's something at least.
What date is your lumpectomy?
A good tip - I'll try, maybe when running, as that helps. Won't even be able to do that soon! Gah! there it goes again.
I started a notebook when this began, more as a way of keeping track of appointments etc and what was said. Intended to put symptoms in later. It's turned into a good outlet for emotions, esp as I'm trying to keep this whole thing under wraps a bit, apart from close family and good friends. Want to try to just slot back into things at some point without a whole heap of pity. Didn't stop me crying uncontrollably earlier today when I had to cross everything out of my planner, including my holiday.
I can really relate to the catastrophising element, I do this too. I find that even a few minutes of really focused mindfulness can help just to turn the notch down a bit. The more I practice, the more effective it becomes. It's worth persevering and perhaps try the practice in a part of the day when you are not at your worst, to give you a chance of getting there 🙂
I like your analogy of a glass jar, it really does feel like that doesn't it, or like a bubble. It's so, so hard to get your head round, just let it sink in. Your body will be protecting you and allowing only a certain amount through, no-one can cope with the full force of this reality all at once. I'm pleased you have good friends.
I'm sorry to hear about your Mum too 😞 I'm glad the blog helped. Maybe try writing some feelings down yourself? I have found it really helpful to offload. R x
Hi Lemonsqueezy - just read your blog, it was really helpful. It really does feel like limbo (how the **** can I have cancer?!!) - everything is normal, but my life is upside down. I have practiced mindfulness myself, but find it's ok for low-level stress but useless for this as I cannot turn the catastrophising part of my brain off. I have some lovely friends who have tried to help but I still feel very alone, like I am in a glass jar and everything else is going on around me.
I'm sad to hear about your 'double whammy'. My mum went through this about 12 years ago and became very frail and ill as a result. Remembering that does nothing to help me now.
Hi Calendula 🙂
Oh it absolutely sucks doesn't it. I was also diagnosed mid June and had my lumpectomy last week.
Sometimes I have to stop myself from reading as it gives me more anxiety and I find things to worry about that I may never need to worry about.
I found at the beginning that the whole thing felt so out of my control and I find that concept generally scary. For me surgery has helped me a little more to accept what is happening as it's like the first thing ticked off the list. Up until that point it can feel like such limbo because nothing is happening, you know you have cancer and you're just sitting around waiting for treatment to begin. Does it feel like that for you?
Hello..... diagnosed in mid-June after routine mammogram; up for lumpectomy surgery in a week. No lump, no pain, no nothing, so a massive and dreadful shock which hit me like a truck. I am 56, relatively fit, relatively healthy, enjoy my life and have lots going on - now I feel it's all about to go down the toilet and there is nothing I can do. I've tried to prepare by finding out about the treatments and how to mitigate the side effects, but it just gets worse and worse and more frightening the more you discover (hormone treatment? lymphodema? they don't tell you about that). I'm a wreck and I feel so trapped.