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Recently diagnosed

10 REPLIES 10
Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Recently diagnosed

Hi @purpleworld just wanted to echo what others have said and welcome you to the forum.  It’s a lot to get through mentally, emotionally and physically but it’s all doable, just take it a step at a time.  I was diagnosed stage 3 in March 2017 and had 8 rounds of chemo, mx and radiotherapy.  I’m still here and doing very well.  Sending love 💕 

disneyj
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Purpleworld (Sarah) you’re so right kids are amazing and totally capable of surprising us sometimes in the best possible way. It’s never going to be easy for a parent to discuss this with their kids. Everyone is different, but if it helps at all I started by asking what my two knew about cancer, and picked up on the cues they gave me. A book that your middle son can refer back to sounds like a good idea too. Ultimately they’re your kids and you know them better than anyone else, so perhaps follow your instincts and add lots of hugs - they’re the best bit!

smx - is a single mastectomy, snb - is a sentinel node biopsy. As if the diagnosis isn’t scary enough you also have to learn another language 😉 Take care and be gentle to you too x

purpleworld
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Thank you for your kind words - kids are really resilient and it sounds like you explained really well. My middle son has special needs so not sure how to approach it (have seen a book on Amazon that I may get). It seems like we are in a similar situation and the option for me is mastectomy is the best treatment (sorry what does smx and snb mean) Hope all goes well for your op. Sarah x

disneyj
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Hi purpleworld I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. No wonder it feels like a whirlwind - it is! Thankfully there are some lovely kind people on here who are willing to share their compassion and experiences, and lend a virtual shoulder. I can totally empathise with your situation in having to tell your children about your diagnosis. I’m scheduled to have my surgery smx, snb, and immediate implant reconstruction on Tuesday. I’ve only told my kids aged 10 & 14 this weekend as we have to isolate before surgery. I totally dreaded doing it especially as I have PTSD from previous surgical experiences and was convinced I would crumble telling them. I confess there were tears, mainly mine, but the kids have been amazing. I’ve said that my consultant has a plan, that things will be different and difficult for a bit, but that the message is (atm) the indications are that my type of cancer is treatable if my breast is removed give or take some additional radio or chemotherapy 🤞. My son said well if that’s what needs to be done to save you, that’s fine. I’ve told them that I’ll answer any questions they have at any point, and that I’d rather they didn’t google for answers, as I want to be sure that the information they get is reliable. There are some websites aimed specifically for kids of parents with cancer eg rip rap. I’ve said if I don’t know the answer to their question then I’ll ask the bcn or my consultant. The pastoral leads at their school are also aware of the situation and I've said they can talk to them too if they have concerns.

Only you can know when the best time is to tell your children about your diagnosis and treatment plan. My counsellor said that there is no perfect way to tell your kids, but that they and you need to understand that you are doing your very best to get through really challenging times, and that you love them, and they love you too. Sending virtual hugs x

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: Recently diagnosed

Hi Sarah - you might want to start by talking to your breast care nurse, some hospitals give out bras but others don’t. They will also be able to give you the best advice as to what you should wear immediately after surgery.

My hospital gave me a tight fitting sports bra to wear after surgery. Since then I have tried various places for mastectomy bras. I started with John Lewis and M&S as they have fitting services and are very sensitive to BC ladies. I now use Nicola Jane and Amoena - they are mostly online but do have some real shops/fitters. The size will depend on whether you are having reconstruction too. I did and my bra size changed as my implant settled down, though I am pretty sure my original hospital bra was the same size as I wore pre surgery. Both Nicola Jane and Amoena are very good for returns so that you can try a variety of sizes at home, but sometimes it’s simplest to go into a store where you can get expert advice.

Mastectomy bras will have a pocket in them so you can insert a prosthesis if you aren’t having reconstruction, or a breast form or whatever. Some people I believe have taken the wires out of their regular bras or sewn in their own pockets - I am not clever enough to do either of those!

I hope that gives you a few ideas to start with, but please ask as many questions as come to mind, anytime. Evie xx

purpleworld
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Thank you Diana for your kind words. I found mine in a similar way - getting dressed and moved my hands over my chest!  I think the worst bit is not knowing if it’s spread anywhere else. I’ve got 3 boys who I need to tell so dreading that! Take care Sarah xx

purpleworld
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice - hadn’t even thought about front opening clothing!! Where would be the best place to get mastectomy bras from? And I’m presuming I just get the size I’m wearing currently? Sarah x

gartnaval
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Hi , I too found a lump wiping crumbs off my chest with no bra on .  Was very small but roughly defined so knew not a cyst as round and smooth .  Ignored for 4/6 weeks and then found courage to go to gp.. urgent referral .. 4 consultant visits / biopsy and surgery Thursday for invasive ductal carcinoma .. so shocked but they say it’s their bread n butter type and fixable but all depends on cells once removed re more surgery/ radio / pills and very rarely chemo .. going from size D to A ( fine as they sag ) age 50 , not menopausal yet at all 

be strong / all fixable re breast mostly 

I’m confident all will be well .. good luck re all stages .. I have looked after my 21 year old daughter who got bone cancer in leg at 19 so I can’t believe now me ! 
couldn’t write it .. shit shit time 

Diana 

gartnaval
Member

Re: Recently diagnosed

Hi , I too found a lump wiping crumbs off my chest with no bra on .  Was very small but roughly defined so knew not a cyst as round and smooth .  Ignored for 4/6 weeks and then found courage to go to gp.. urgent referral .. 4 consultant visits / biopsy and surgery Thursday for invasive ductal carcinoma .. so shocked but they say it’s their bread n butter type and fixable but all depends on cells once removed re more surgery/ radio / pills and very rarely chemo .. going from size D to A ( fine as they sag ) age 50 , not menopausal yet at all 

be strong / all fixable re breast mostly 

I’m confident all will be well 

Diana 

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: Recently diagnosed

@purpleworld - I’m really sorry to read about your diagnosis, but I’m very glad you have found this lovely forum and would like to welcome you on behalf of the forum. I hope you will find lots of support and advice, and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions at all, about treatment or about how the forum works.

I had chemo, mastectomy, reconstruction and radiotherapy about 4 years ago, so I am happy to try to answer any questions.

I am quite sure that you are feeling as if a big bus came out of nowhere and just hit you, that’s how I felt - your last 3 words are exactly how I think everyone feels when they hear the diagnosis. Now is the time to look after your mental health as well as physical, so lots of kindness to yourself and try to take one day at a time. 

I would get a notebook so that you can make a list of any questions that you think of, and you can also write down the answers. I needed to write everything down otherwise I would forget the answer by the time I came out of the appointment.

You might want to join one of the monthly surgery groups, I’m not sure if a June one has started yet but have a look at the May one (I hope this link works, let me know if it doesn’t) - https://forum.breastcancernow.org/t5/Surgery/Surgery-May-2021/m-p/1365658/emcs_t/S2h8ZW1haWx8Ym9hcmR...

I don’t want to bombard you with too much information, but in terms of surgery you will need to get yourself some front opening PJs, and shirts to wear during the day as you won’t be able to easily get anything over your head for a while. Try to get a food delivery lined up, or someone to shop for you, and move the essential tea/coffee down to a lower shelf. That is only short term, you will be given arm exercises to get your arm moving again. 

That’s probably enough for the first message! Please keep chatting or ask any questions, whatever helps. Sending hugs and strength, Evie xx

purpleworld
Member

Recently diagnosed

Hi - I found a lump in my right breast over Easter and was referred for checks. On Thursday I met with my consultant who has diagnosed breast cancer and has booked me for a mastectomy in 3 weeks time. Any advice would be appreciated. Feeling numb, shellshocked, scared!!