Wish you all the best lovely. It's good to know you have a buddy to keep lifting each other up. I am still waiting on diagnosis....but each of the ladies stories I read, gives me hope and strength and am learning how to stay calm in this storm!!
Hi @boffj, very happy to read you made contact with our nursing team.
We are always here to help - please get in touch any time you need to.
@boffj - I’m really glad you managed to speak to a nurse today and that she’s going to match you up with someone. Very best wishes to you, Evie xx
Hiya I rang the number above and had a long chat with the nurse, she says she can match me up with someone that has it had what I have, so that’s good.
Hiya I’m a size 38f, I just would like to know how much there going to take away.
This diagnosis turns your world upside down and removes almost all sense of safety so it’s no wonder you feel ‘lost’, which was the impression I got from your post. You may already have a breast care nurse assigned to you (this is standard practice) who can answer any questions or address any fears you have. Personally, I would ring the nurses at the number above - they are so reassuring and comforting without patronising you or forcing the issue - just to talk.
It’s important to remember that we all react differently. Some people need to know every single detail and check everything for themselves; others just leave it to the experts and get on with the minimum information they can handle (me!). There’s no right or wrong. You’ve made a good start, finding this site and posting, which couldn’t have been easy. It was months before I found it. Just please don’t Google anything about breast cancer. There is so much out there but there’s no filter. It can be outdated, outright wrong, not applicable to your particular diagnosis and, most important, it cannot respond to emotions - and you will probably be a complete mess right now.
I found it helpful to give my husband specific tasks to support me. I say give, I mean I asked him! It certainly reduced his anxiety because imaginations go into overdrive in the early stages. What’s important to remember is that virtually everyone who uses the site has been through some if not all the treatments so you can be assured by this wimp that, unpleasant as it is, it’s all manageable. You’ll learn to trust your team and relax into it once the uncertainties have gone.
This is now about YOU. You need support so you will need to get help for your daughter immediately - you can’t be dealing with her anxieties too. Ask the hospital if there’s a support service for families . Some have closed because of the pandemic, some have gone online, including Zoom, some like Maggie’s Centres remain open - I can strongly recommend Maggie’s for your daughter if you’re lucky enough to have one you can access. Maybe you can learn together. I know when I visited the chemo suites prior to treatment, I was expecting to see people vomiting and lying back distraught. What I saw was people tucking into NHS sandwiches with NHS cups of tea and having a good natter - and not a bald head in sight. A lot of anxiety is based on preconceptions and we all know what cancer preconceptions are - they need to be changed. I speak as someone with multiple lifelong phobias so I do understand her condition. If there are no support services, I’d strongly advise her to see her GP at least (you didn’t indicate her age).
I wish you all the best. You can post here as often as you like and you’ll get a friendly response. Good luck,
Hi Boffj, sorry you find yourself here but glad you found us. With four options available, you may need to ask more questions like have they established the size of the tumour and the likelihood of clear margins after a nipple-saving lumpectomy? Do you have confirmation of lymph node involvement from a biopsy sample? There are waiting list delays due to COVID so your reconstruction follow-up surgery may be delayed after the cancer removing surgery. I was diagnosed in 2017 and had to have full mastectomy due to size, spread and lymph node involvement. I’m still in the waiting list for corrective surgery but grateful to still be alive. Have you checked out the Breast Advocate app? It’s USA based but good for giving a recommendation with known variables/parameters. Sorry, that all got a bit technical but being practical can help with decisions when emotions are high. Sending hugs and hope all goes well. Feel free to ask any questions. X
@boffj - it’s really tough isn’t it when doctors give us options, when we aren’t medical (I’m not at least!). I would imagine that if they are giving you options it should mean that the outcomes are much the same - in my case I wasn’t given the option of a lumpectomy, only a mastectomy. Otherwise they should tell you which would be the best/safest.
It looks like you have the option of one operation that would leave you a bit uneven, or two that would leave you more balanced - or a mastectomy. I don’t know what size bra you usually have, but you might be able to use something in your bra to even things out. I had a reconstruction that doesn’t match my real one - I am quite small breasted and I use a small breast form inside my bra over my real one to even things up. That option works for me, but it’s a very personal decision.
It might be a good idea to give the lovely nurses on here a call as they will be able to explain medical things to you. Get together a list of questions to ask them, or your own team - have they given you a breast care nurse at your hospital to call with any questions?
But if I can help by listening or chatting through options I am more than happy to do that. You will reach the right decision for you, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to as many people as you can. It’s your body and it’s important that you are happy with your decision. Evie xx
they have given me 4 options, the 4th being a mastectomy, the others are different lumpectomys, I can have a lumpectomy where it leaves me with a smaller uneven boob, another where they may take part of nipple up to my under arm but then in a year or so I can have my other boob done to match, I really don’t know what to do.
@boffj - what options have they offered you? At the start it feels as if you are learning a whole new language with loads of new terminology. If I can I’ll try to help. I had to have a mastectomy for mine. Evie xx
thanks for replying, I’m also confused as to what kind of lumpectomy to have.
Hi @boffj - welcome to this lovely forum, although obviously I am very sorry to read about your diagnosis and that you find yourself on here. If you have any questions about using the forum please ask. You may also be interested in the Someone Like Me service where you can be paired with someone who has/had the same diagnosis. Also there are the lovely nurses you can always call for medical information or for help.
Of course you may prefer just to chat on the forum as there will be lots of other members out there with a similar diagnosis. I had my treatment about 4 years ago, same as you but with lymph node involvement so I am also happy to chat with you if I can help, or listen.
I’m sure you feel as if you have just been hit by a truck that came out of nowhere, it really is such a shock isn’t it. Also even well meaning family and friends don’t totally understand what it’s like, that’s why I found this forum such a life saver while going through treatment as everyone on here just “get’s it” without any explanation needed.
I have a book called the Cancer Survivor’s Companion by Frances Goodhart and Lucy Atkins and they tell us that “fears are NOT facts”, that we should focus on what we know rather than let our minds run away or worse still use Dr Google. So if you can try to take one day at a time. The waiting times are always hardest, once you get a treatment plan in place bizarrely it feels a bit better in that you are taking steps to get rid of it.
Sending you big hugs and strength, Evie xx
Hi all I’m new here, I was diagnosed last week with invasive and non invasive stage 2 breast cancer, I am in shock and don’t really have any family near to where I live or many friends to call in on to chat to, I have my husband, my daughter has bad health anxiety of cancer so I’m not sure how I can tell her, I would love to chat to someone who has the same as me.