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New to the group

LolaLola Posts: 10

Hi, my name is Tracey and I’ve just discovered this Group. I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery to remove the cancer last Thursday. I’ve been surprised by how I’ve been affected by the surgery - I rather natively thought I’d be up and about almost straight away. I can see this group being very helpful to me as one who really has been quite naïeve about this whole thing.

Comments

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2019

    @Lola

    Hi Tracey

    I am so glad you have joined us, welcome to the community. I hope you will find it a place of support, encouragement, and friendship.

    I am so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, but also glad to hear you have had surgery already to remove the cancer. I too was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, my treatment was chemo, then a mastectomy, followed by radiotherapy.

    It is still very early days for you post-surgery, plus also the recent diagnosis.

    It is a massive shock to be told you have cancer, there is nothing to prepare you for that day. There is just so much to take in, and everything begins to move at break-neck speed. You may feel your feet haven't touched the ground since with various appointments, scans, mri's, pre-assessments etc. It may take a long time before it really sinks in, I found it wasn't until after all my treatment had finished that I was able to take stock of what had happened. Before then I was just living in it, day by day.

    If you had a mastectomy you are likely to have limited mobility in the affected side and have a lot of pain. Even with a lumpectomy, I would imagine there is time needed to recover and rest.

    I don't want to bombard you with information, thoughts etc, but please feel free to ask any questions you may have. You are welcome to chat about anything on your mind, there are many here, all of whom are friendly and supportive. Even if the cancer is different, many of the feelings and associated impact of cancer is the same.

    I hope to chat with you soon,

    Lou x

  • Ref8Ref8 Posts: 2

    Hi i am also new to the group. I have had a lumpectomy and then more surgery to remove more lymphnodes. 2 out of 11 had cells so i have been told today that i will need chemo. Totally scared and shocked. Had a ct scan that was clear. What recommendations has anyone got to help me get through the chemotherapy please xx

    w

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ref8

    Hello, lovely to ‘meet’ you, I am glad you have joined our community. I hope that as you go forward with treatment you will find it of great help to you.

    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but it is really good the cancer was found. The earlier the better.

    It is completely understandable to feel shocked and scared for the future. Was your ct scan before or after diagnosis? My position was every test came back clear until the path lab got hold of the biopsy of my lymph nodes (the biopsy looked clear at first). So I was not expecting a cancer diagnosis when I went for the results. Complete shock and disbelief! I even asked them to check they had the right persons’ results, haha. They had to redo every test and scan. Eventually they found the tumours in my breast. My ct scan was clear which was good, meaning it hadn’t spread to the rest of my body.

    Firstly, here you will have support and encouragement to stay strong, positive with the expectation that you will come through this with good results.

    You will have an appointment with a specialist cancer nurse who will explain all the chemo info. Most of it might go in one ear and out the other though, my husband took some notes, but to be honest, we were both in shock still. I basically said at the diagnosis appointment ‘ right, let’s just get on with it, I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, I am going on holiday...it has to be done by then’. It was also good to know that the MDT had already planned out my treatment before I found out.

    With chemo, my worst fear was being sick, as I just don’t do it! But the nurse said they had really good anti sickness meds. I made sure I took all of them and more. They worked, I wasn’t sick once!

    I did lose my hair, I got upset at that thought, but when it happened I just got it shaved off. I wore scarves and hats as it was winter. I didn’t wear a wig, I didn’t fancy that and my youngest daughter struggled with that too.

    The plus side of losing hair was no more hairy legs etc haha, and no periods as it put me into the menopause which I didn’t emerge from. But I had had my family so I was more than happy for that! 😀

    Chemo is not easy, but you might not suffer from all the possible side effects, everyone is different. I also decided to see the chemo as my heat-seeking missile seeking out the cancer to destroy it. There are many variations of chemo too, I had FEC-T.

    Whether you work, rest or play is individual to you and your circumstances, you will need to rest though at times. Your body needs that.

    When you are about to start chemo, let us know, I and many others here can talk you through it. It is tough, there is no doubt about that, but it can be done. Determination and gritted teeth sometimes, take it one day at a time, knowing each day brings you closer to the end of it.

    Please come and chat here often, everyone is very friendly, hope to chat soon.

    Lou xx

  • LolaLola Posts: 10

    Hi Lou

    its lovely to read your posts. Informative, caring and obviously very understanding and sympathetic. I’m still struggling with zero energy since my surgery last week but I am now at least starting to want to do things even if I can only do my pottering in short bursts. I go back to see my surgeon next week when he will hopefully have the results from the lympth node biopsies taken during surgery. It’s all still very surreal.... x

  • Ref8Ref8 Posts: 2

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. Im pretty much in shock atm but just want to get on with it now, as the waiting is worse.

    ive had surgery and ct scan was afterwards so that is a positive.

    i will definitely keep in touch and ask plenty of questions about it all.

    many thanks again .... onwards and upwards 😘

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Lola

    Hi Tracey,

    Just keep taking things day by day, don’t put pressure on yourself to do stuff. Pottering is good. 😊 Your strength will return gradually, and hopefully the sunshine will help to make things a little brighter. Do you have anything to occupy you while you are resting? I found after surgery if I got fed up of TV, that colouring was really relaxing. I got a few of those nice colouring books that are available, and some good pencils. Took me back to my art days, haha!

    Yes, I hope your surgeon will have those results too.

    Yes, it was very surreal for me too. Sometimes like looking in on another’s persons life and not mine! I tried hard not to dwell too much on the cancer, as it’s so scary I really wanted to avoid the fear taking hold. I knew that would be worse for me.

    I hope you will have a peaceful weekend, let’s hope the sunshine stays a little longer.

    Lou xx

  • LolaLola Posts: 10

    Thanks Lou - you too! Xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi,

    It is an enormous shock to the system when we get told we have cancer. Nothing can prepare you for how that feels. I understand how you are feeling as does everyone else here. Processing everything from here on in may happen over time, and even perhaps after you have finished treatment. Our minds are funny things, the ability to file away ‘until further notice’ , just getting on with the ‘every day’ sometimes is all we can do for now.

    They will give you a few weeks to recover from surgery before starting chemo to give your body the best chance of tolerating the treatment.

    Have a restful weekend, here anytime you want to chat.

    Lou x

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