I totally understand where you are coming from with this. I too was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I feel like it’s someone else’s life I am watching through a window instead of it being my own. I think the advice is pretty much the same just take it one step one day at a time one treatment etc at a time. It’s only been a week since you were diagnosed and you will have terrifying moments of clarity as the reality slowly hits you. I found that I felt that way too when it was that amount of time. I find writing a journal helps when I feel those terrifying moments of clarity. I find it’s a coping mechanism. I hope all goes well with your surgery and don’t worry about the being naive part. I think it’s how we all cope with what’s going on. Just roll with the different emotions you feel and if you find it difficult to talk to anyone maybe write a day to day journal of your journey. I find it therapeutic writing down my thoughts feelings and concerns. Sending you hugs and positive thoughts 🙂🙂
I was diagnosed with breast cancer last week and I am worried that I am not taking it seriously enough........ I appreciate the seriousness but prefer to take it one step at a time, I am scheduled to have surgery on the 1st of October and until then I want to try and live my life without thinking about what is going to happen after.....am I being naive? Part of the time I feel like I am reading someone else's story in 'take a break' , will I suddenly have a terrifying moment of clarity when it all becomes real?
Thank you for your kind words. I gave having my hair shaved off quite a lot of thought and I have called upon my most trusted hairdresser to do it for me. I’m not getting it completely shaved so I have no hair more so that it’s just really short and I don’t have to deal with lots of it falling out. I guess it’s just trying to control as much as possible. I lack confidence in my appearance and my hair has always been something that made me feel good about myself that’s my main reason for my decision regarding my hair
I’m so sorry you’ve joined this horrid treadmill - but you’ll find lots of people with common ground as you definitely are not alone in this.
What you describe as your emotional reaction is exactly how I got through the whole thing (11 months and 13 days to be precise). I’m a very anxious person with a history of panic attacks and I just numbed out. I was diagnosed last September, surgery October, chemo late December, radiotherapy May/June... and I’ve just emerged, allowed off the treadmill (more like a rollercoaster). Not a single panic attack! I rarely asked any questions (apart from can you make sure I’m not sick? My lifelong phobia), not even what my actual diagnosis was. I only skim-read copies of consultant/GP letters and I didn’t google anything. I just trusted they’d do the right things for me. Dissociation from painful emotions is not unusual. Obviously at some time in the future the feelings will have to be dealt with (I’m still waiting) but if feeling disconnected gets you through and minimises your fears, then I say go with it. My husband was literally sick with anxiety but I just took it all in my stride.
As regards the ‘hair-business,’ I’d suggest you don’t jump the gun with a head shave till you know you want one. Losing strands daily (which started as early as 2 weeks into the initial EC treatments) is demoralising so I opted for a very fetching buzzcut (number 6) which lasted throughout 4 more months of chemo. I was told I would definitely lose all my hair by the second Paclitaxel treatment yet I still had head hair at the end of chemo (of course, I lost it everywhere else, which can be an eye-opener, if not downright hilarious learning to adapt to no nasal hair or pubic hair!). I think I wore my wig maybe 5 times but preferred my cashmere beanies for the cold weather.
There’s a lot of good stuff on YouTube that helped me get through the ugh times, particularly at night. I really benefitted from listening to Progressive Hynpnosis - she has a lovely soothing voice - and from Michael Sealey. I’m now giving Good Vibes a go as I still have side effects to manage. They’re all free and I’m sure that repeated listening had a big impact on how I coped, usually drifting off within 10 minutes. Worth a try?
I wish you well as you grapple with what lies ahead. It’s not nice, it can be downright terrifying but your mindset is a powerful factor in how you manage. If ‘denial’ (as one friend so kindly labelled it) works for you, then deny away and just get on with it. Take good care of yourself,
Naomi 👭👭sorry you find yourself on here. Just take one day at a time, it’s like being sucked into a hurricane and you feel out of control, but you are in control 💪💪please join the September 2019 chemo starters thread if you want to, there are already an amazing bunch on there and you’ll get each other through 👭👭 the journey step by step. There is a lot of ❤️And 😁on the bccf and also the ask the nurse facility and the someone like me option which could help you too. Get a look good feel better session booked with your local Macmillan and get your teeth checked at dentist before chemo. Tell them you are starting chemo and they will Get you in. You should get a voucher for wig from your unit if you don’t cold cap, also your local Macmillan have pre-loved wigs for a donation. ❤️❤️Be gentle with yourself, this is your journey you do what’s right for you every step ❤️❤️ 💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Hi when I was diagnosed way back on Jan 3 I thought my world had ended . I also thought I was going to die very soon . Because I did not know if the cancer had spread anywhere and you think the worst . I had surgery first then chemo and now have just four radiotherapy sessions to go .,it is a horrible road to go down no question .
But you will get there . The hard bit is no guarantees there won't be a recurrence -or worse . But your medical team will do their very best . One more thing . I gave my wig back to the hospital last week because thanks to the cold cap I kept my hair ( or most of it) so if that is a huge trauma for you - it doesn't necessarily need to happen . Wishing you all the best for recovery x
On the 23rd of July I went to the doctors because after experiencing a lot of breast pain I noticed a lump and after a mammogram and biopsy just a week after seeing my doctor I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 12th August. I have 2 tumours one of them being hormone receptor positive ( that was the lump I noticed and found out the tablets I was taking for heavy periods is what made it noticeable to me and for that I’m grateful as otherwise it would of gone undetected). It feels like I have known for a long time even though it’s not been a month yet. It feels like everything is moving in slow motion and every day feels like it’s been a week. I can’t fault my local hospital they have not wasted any time in getting things moving forward. Ct scan, bone scan plus starting chemotherapy on the 10th September. It doesn’t feel real. I try not to think about it because it frightens me. I feel like it’s someone else’s life and I’m just observing everything and then I realise it is my life. I feel so disconnected from it all and maybe it hasn’t properly sunk in yet. I find myself worrying about how my diagnosis affects everyone who is close to me instead of how it’s affecting me. I don’t know if it’s because I have always worried about the people close to me or is it just a distraction for me by not thinking how it affects me and that it’s easier to focus on the people close to me and what they are feeling. Maybe once my treatment starts the reality of it all will probably sink in, but at the moment it doesn’t feel real. Maybe when I get my hair shaved off before chemotherapy starts (because watching my hair fall out would be too distressing for me) might make it feel real. Sometimes I feel so calm and yet at night it’s when I struggle, that’s when I’m not busy and I start overthinking and then I can’t sleep.