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Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Essjay on Dec 3, 2019 7:19 am

Charper‍ your feelings are totally justified given what you are going through. Have you made contact with he social worker or psychologist at your cancer centre? I found ours really helpful to talk to. I recall that most of our discussions we're about how to make life easier for my husband, because I had real worries about being a burden or him struggling as a carer. And as I dealt with some of the side effects of treatment she helped me with mindfulness training and coming to terms with what was happening to me.

You will get through this. One. Day. At.a. Time.

I hope your son feels better soon, and you stay well. Take care of yourself....

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 3, 2019 10:24 am

Hi Essjay‍ I have spoken with my Dr at the breast support place but I feel better because I cry my eyes out and then yicky again. I have been trying meditations at night and some during the day it seems to keep some of the feelings at bay. Yesterday was tough with my son being sick and he is home today also. I have started taking the antidepressent she prescribed. I know this will not make it all go away but if it helps keep me level it is worth a try.  I have been taking melatonin at night but I still wake up at 5am struggle to go back to sleep, I listen to sleep meditations and sometimes I do fall back to sleep sometimes not. I have this pit in my stomach I hate it.

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Essjay on Dec 3, 2019 11:59 am

Charper‍ Im glad you saw your doctor. It will take a while for the medication to work - perhaps a week or two.
meanwhile - distraction, distraction, distraction! And get outside every day!

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 3, 2019 2:34 pm

Thank you Essjay‍ I received my dates for the "magseed" placement and "mapping".  Did you have either one of these?  I am sure you have already told me...I thought I would be ok with the surgery but I am a little nervous.  My son's last day is the 19th and I go into surgery on the 20th.  I am not sure how to work this, I do not want him by himself and I do not want him at the hospital.  My girlfriend said that we would figure something out.  I love my son so so much, he is the light of my life.  There are times that I ask WHY?  but I know there is no answer for that and I need to be filled with hope instead of doom.

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Essjay on Dec 3, 2019 4:25 pm

Charper‍ i didn’t have mapping or a magseed because my tumour was obvious, but I’ve heard it’s over pretty quick.

im glad to hear you have someone who can care for your son while you are in the hospital. These are the kinds of logistics we have to rely on friends and family for. Have you a ride to and from the hospital, and someone to be with you overnight?

Time to get the house clean and stock the cupboards and freezer - you’ve got this 💪

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 3, 2019 6:50 pm

Hi Essjay‍ yes I have a ride, and they have told me that it will be a day no overnight.  I do not want to spend the night...I went to a support group today and it was emotional and helpful.  I met a lady there and she gave me her phone number and told me to call if I had any questions.  It is really amazing how this is all so helpful and how many people are willing to listen.  I still have to put my christmas tree up and christmas shop...I really do love christmas...but it (there is that but again). It is all so exhausting right now, I know one day at a time.  Thank you again for listening.

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 3, 2019 6:55 pm

Just a shout out to BonnieC Wendy TeaMammabearmc2Runner Girl‍ and all that have had so many good things...thank you for your support.

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by BonnieC on Dec 3, 2019 8:17 pm

Hi Charper‍ 
I returned to work yesterday and boy I’m exhausted. I think the combo of having to clean my vehicle off from a huge dump of snow and Ice and then just moving around more - well it did me in. I left work at midday. Today I was better but I tried a more supportive sports bra and that helped.  Being large chested is never been a blessing for me but it’s been even worse after my lumpectomy. The weight and pulling on my incision was brutal. I didn’t need a lot of pain meds through this all as I was resting mostly but yesterday I pulled them out to help ease the achy pain I was experiencing. 
I had a wire inserted into my lump on the day of surgery and I also Had a small amount of radioactive stuff inserted near the site. All was done pre/op. Both procedures were pretty easy and not painful at all. The biopsy was more painful. It was a long day for me as I had to be at hospital for 7am and I was there until 7:30 pm. I had just my husband with me as most hospitals only allow one person with you. I would suggest you take your friend up on her offer to keep your son. I would suggest he stay there overnight too as it took awhile for the anesthesia to wear off for me. I came home and went to bed within 1/2 hour then proceeded to sleep 12 hours. Maybe she can bring him by for a visit with you before you rest? It would be a very long day for him and he would be more comfortable staying preoccupied with your friend. I was feeling better the next day .... so he could be home with you then. Maybe your friend can help him shop for items that will help you recover ie a fav book, blanket, treats, supper etc. Things that keep him busy focusing on your recovery. 
As for the emotional roller coaster .... I cry every day .... different triggers but still. I was never a cryer before but i think it’s all normal. Just pick one thing to accomplish every day .... don’t try to do it all at once. You don’t need to climb the mountain in just one day!! It’s a marathon not a sprint!! You got this. We are your cheerleaders and definitely keep busy and yes def get outside!!! When people offer help .... take it! This is the time to rely on others!!! Anyway - it’s bedtime for me as I am also having trouble sleeping. I am tired so I go to bed early but then I get woken up at 3/4 am and then struggle to go back to sleep!! I have suggested afternoon naps at work ... but the idea has yet been approved!!! ;) have a good night!!  

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 3, 2019 8:52 pm

Hi, all, I’ve been reading your posts this evening, and have noted a few things.

Crying is a very normal part of the cancer journey - so much is changing in our lives (and in your case, your bodies) that a whole range of emotions can pop up at any time in any day.

For those who may be interested, there is a discussion elsewhere on Cancer Connection about depression and anti-depressants. If you haven’t already tried the search function on the site, you might want to delve in with this one.

Wendy Tea‍ Has nailed it again - allow yourself some time to emote, but do your best to set it aside after a time. It is possible to get “stuck.”

Charper‍ , I agree with the advice about having someone care for your son the night after your surgery. Even after a heavy sedation (for my colonoscopy) they wanted me to have someone responsible with me for 24 hours. They also advise you not to sign any contracts or drive, so I’m inclined to lump parenting in with that, if you can avoid it!

If I can assist with any help for your caregivers, tag me or PM me!

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Livelife on Dec 4, 2019 1:25 am

Hi Everyone, 
I'm sorry I disappeared after my first post concerning my BC diagnosis. I had so much to come to terms with. Thanks to everyone that has contributed from their wealth of experience to the post Kims1961‍  ashconLPPK‍  Runner Girl‍  Essjay‍.
To my fellow newbies BonnieC‍ ‍  and Charper‍ welcome to the forum. We can learn a lot from each others experiences seeing that our diagnoses are around the same time. I have already learnt so much catching up on the discussions generated from both of your postings so far. Thank you!

I discovered my lump during self examination and biopsy revealed it is a low grade invasive ductal carcinoma. This is the only information I have on my cancer for now. 
I had my surgery (lumpectomy and sentinel nodes)  on Nov 21, for some reasons much of the fears  I had before surgery is all gone. It appears I was more scared of the procedure, being that I have never had a  surgery and the only anesthesia I have ever had is epidural for child birth. I was also worried sick on how my husband will joggle school drop off/pick up for the kids and be with me on the day of surgery. Thankfully, as the date drew closer and I got more information on what to expect on the day of surgery, we were able to plan and it helped eased my worries.

I am not working at the moment as I was exploring career change options and going back to school before being hit with the BC diagnosis. So for me, there is not much distraction in terms of work. My husband has been my greatest and only support. Even though he is very scared of the many uncertainties that lay ahead as much as I am. I have not met with an oncologist, I assume this may follow after my post surgery follow up with my surgeon. Hopefully, all the results will be ready and I will know what the treatment for my cancer will be. 

BonnieC‍  ‍ so sorry about pulling on your incision, that can be very painful. I have experimented with wearing a wireless bra & a sport bra on top for maximum support ( I had to go shopping for wireless bras, all my bras before surgery have underwire. I find I could not stand the underwire digging in my rib cage and rubbing on the incisions from wearing them 24/7). The discomfort from my lymph nodes incisions are the worse and I have to find comfortable clothing that will not rub or make it worse. I also find that my nipple is still quite tender perhaps from the radioactive injection to prep for the sentinel nodes. All the best with recovery, sending you hugs. 

I am taking it one day at a time, my kids do not really understand the full implications of cancer (they are 7 & 10 years). However, they have been so helpful in their little ways. My husband brought them to the hospital when I was discharged after surgery and they have seen my incisions. They think once the incisions heal, I'll be as good as new and can put this behind me. They have been helping with my arm exercises and cheering me to lift the arm as high as possible. I am not sure how much details to share with them for their age. Any information in this regard will be appreciated. 

The waiting for results and accompanying anxiety sucks! I'm usually one that likes to plan and have all details at hand to plan as far ahead as possible. This journey so far, as taught me to slow down and appreciate whatever I have at the moment. I'm not able to plan or take concrete decisions on how to proceed with my career change or school at the moment until I know what my treatment plan will be. But I have resolved to take it a day at a time and enjoy this "break-time" as my husband calls it. 

Charper‍ I am glad you joined the forum and I hope you feel  all the love and support from that the members in response to your posts. You're stronger than you think, and although we are the cancer patients, sometimes we overburden ourselves with how our love ones (your son in this case) are faring or handling the situation. Seek and take help from your support system both for yourself and your son. For me, I was overwhelmed before my surgery because I was not sure how my husband will cater for the kids on a school day and be with me at the hospital. But once we figured out a way around it, I was less stressed. My nesting instinct kicked in, I cooked a big batch of my kids favorite meat balls sauce to freeze and cleaned the house. 😃 Big hugs and all the best as you prepare for your surgery.
 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by BonnieC on Dec 4, 2019 5:26 pm

Thanks Livelife‍ 
That was fantastic advice to double up on the bra!!! ;) I can’t believe I didn’t think of it when I was struggling. I bought a new bra (with wire) but took my old one and removed the underwire and then added my sports bra and VOILA - it was the perfect amount of support for a large chested girl like me!!! ;) 
I am happy to have you back online as I did wonder if we scared you off!! We are like surgery twins with mine the day after yours.  Just wondering - Have you experienced any numbness in your arm and armpit? That is actually what is most bothersome for me other than the bra cutting into the same location as my incisions.  I didn’t know about this side effect.  Also - I didn’t have any drains with my incisions but there is a lovely “sloshing” sound that I have now in the location of my lump. It was very alarming at first.  The rest I was expecting ... blue dye coming out when I went pee post-op, and the blue nipple. Any odd things in your recovery experience?? 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Livelife on Dec 4, 2019 8:00 pm

Hi BonnieC‍ , 
I'm glad to hear doubling on the bra is helpful.
I have only started to experience the numbness in my lower arm 2 days ago.  I thought perhaps I may be putting too much weight a bit too early in the healing process because I started carry heavy grocery etc this week. I have had pains in my armpit from day 1 after surgery, but it has improved considerably. I think the arm exercises may have helped, the pain is still there but is not as bad. I'll try to be more consistent with the arm exercises and hope the numbness will go away. Keep an eye on yours too and follow up with your surgeon if it does not improve. My next appointment is on Dec 9.
I did not have the drains either, I was taken aback with the sloshing sound at first until I read about it. It  lasted for like 4 days post surgery, I have not experienced it since then.
My kids had a laugh over the blue dye, we joked that the surgery has given my magical powers....

 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 5, 2019 11:19 am

Hi all BonnieCLivelifeEssjayRunner GirlLPPKashconWendy Tea‍ I am so grateful for all of you.  I am pretty overwhelmed with the surgery date coming up...this is really tough.  I have good days and bad days...I am trying to allow myself to feel my feelings and move towards the next step.  I am a planner too, and i think that is the hardest part...no control.  I am trying to stay with the positives, the things I know to be true and keep the "what ifs" at bay.  I believe my incision will be at 6 o'clock - around the same location of my biopsy.  Anyone have any hints on keeping positive..meditations? mantras? I know everyone is different but if anyone has any suggestions.  I keep wanting to call my mom but she is not here anymore, my friend has been as supportive as she can and hubby has been pretty good.  I do have a lady from the cancer connection calling me on Friday and I have that lady's phone number from that support also.  It is just so hard opening yourself to new people and it is pretty hard not to get emotional - which I know is normal.  Hope you all have a good day.

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Dec 5, 2019 12:07 pm

Hi Charper‍ ,

My mom wasn't here any longer either, she passed just months before I was diagnosed.  That didn't stop me from talking to her.  Asking her to be there while I had surgery, keeping me safe.  It gave me a measure of peace to be able to do that.

I did a lot of long runs before surgery as well, as I was training for my 11th half marathon, which I ran 3 weeks after my lumpectomy.  Running helps me clear the clutter out of my head.

I've recently completed a mindfullness course and found the loving kindness meditations really good and helped me alot.  If you search on Youtube you can find several.  I would highly recommend this for you at this time.

Know that we're here for you, we've been there and know your fears, feelings, etc.  Also know that you are strong and you can do this.

Sending you a great big hug,

Runner Girl

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Essjay on Dec 5, 2019 12:21 pm

Charper‍ youve hit the nail on the head - you are not in control! That was my feeling too.

I focused on getting work done, stocking the freezer, loading books onto my kindle, podcasts onto my phone, getting library books, and being busy really helped. Lots of exercise too. I still panicked and slept badly, didn't eat etc!

You will get through it. You will surprise yourself. And don't worry about the tears. I was wailing quite loudly and uncontrollably on the operating table as they put the monitor pads on me and put the mask on my face. The nurse was stroking my arm to try and calm me but I could hear things rattling as I shook! They are used to it and it's normal. When it was all over, I was much calmer - the cancer was out of my body!

 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Wendy Tea on Dec 5, 2019 5:21 pm

‍‍Charper‍ , ‍ Essjay‍ , isn't it weird how we all face challenges in our own way. I was resigned to surgery. While I waited for my turn I was put in a space suit filled with warm air. Oh heaven. Then on the operating table they attached to each leg a wrap that filled with warm air then released and refilled again. This was to help keep the blood pumping. It felt so good. They were trying to put me under and I was like chatty cathy! I was safe in their hands, so I decided to enjoy the ride.

Whatever you are imagining, it won't be that bad. It is like childbirth . Millions of women get through it. I did too.

Best wishes, you can do this too.
Wendy Tea 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 5, 2019 8:17 pm

Again thank you all Wendy TeaEssjayBonnieCRunner GirlLivelife‍ and everyone else.  Today was a better day for me alittle less anxious, kept busy most of the day, my husband and I own our own business so that does keep me busy.  I am going to look into loving kindness meditations also I have a bunch of others also but a new one could be nice. I think alot of my crappines comes from before this diagnosis. I was struggling to kinda find my way then. I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years and self employed with hubby for longer. I felt like I needed my "own" thing, like yoga or something, I am not sure if anyone knows what I mean.  After my sister passed away 3 years ago, I started making gemstone bracelets and took alot of time and effort into finding the meanings for all the gems, but most people who looked at them they really didn't find the meaning very important..if that makes any sense.  I found this one podcast  called breastfriends and there is one episode that talks about find your twinkle? Do you guys have a twinkle?

As for surgery I am alittle apprehensive about it all, I really do not remember my first surgery, the 2nd surgery I was in emergency for 12 hours before they could do the operation and do remember being absolutely terrified since I only had one ovary left and I hadn't had my son yet, and the 3rd was a scheduled csection so it was a happy ending.

I also have a question for anyone who knows...before all this I was in perimenopause no period since April, hot flashes all that nice stuff, and after the bc I got my period and it is light but it's been 10 days...anyone experience anything like this?

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Wendy Tea on Dec 5, 2019 9:15 pm

Charper‍ , another great post! It is always a good idea to let the doc know what is going on. Sometimes it is caused by drugs, or hormones. Ask the doc. 

Sparkles? Twinkles? Hmm. I am happy when I wake up to face another day. I am happy I have plans for the day. I am happy if I dont have plans. I am never happy if plans involve housework! 

I am the happiest when I get to chat with my wonderful new friends on this site.  Finally, if I can pat a dog or a cat, well then I am in heaven.

Stay with us. We are listening. 
Wendy Tea 
 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by BonnieC on Dec 6, 2019 11:37 am

Hi all 
So just got the call regarding my next steps. I meet with the medical oncologist and the radiation oncologist next Friday. I can’t help but think Friday 13th?? I was having a good morning and boom this knocks me down .... instant tears. I knew this was coming but it’s just the reality that my results are in and the now worry sets in. I’m sure I’ll get out of this headspace but it’s that shock of next steps hitting me right now. Unlike some my other newbies ... I have zero info on the type of cancer I have. I keep thinking that question .... what if the treatment plan is that I need chemo too?? I have tried to tell myself that it’s just an extra step in my cancer journey .... no big deal. But my heart doesn’t seem to be listening to my positive thinking brain...... 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Dec 6, 2019 12:49 pm

Hi BonnieC‍ ,

I'm sorry you got hit with the call this morning.  But look it as a good thing, rather than continuing to wait and wonder now you have a timeline and a goal ahead.  Perhaps Friday the 13th will turn out to be good for you, doesn't always have to be bad.  And if you find out you need chemo, well, then you need chemo and you will deal with that.  I know I was terrified going into chemo and afterwards I wondered why I'd stressed myself so much.  They give some pretty good drugs to help combat the side effects so they are kept to a minimum.   Yes, I lost my hair, but now it's come back this cool silver color and I'm using a purple shampoo/conditioner to give it a slight hue of silvery purple.  I think it's really cool.  I'm trying to make the best out of my breast cancer situation because "I didn't survive cancer to die from stress!"

We are going to be here with you to walk you thru all of the steps, fears, whatever may come.

Runner Girl - Gayle

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by ashcon on Dec 6, 2019 12:56 pm

Hi BonnieC‍ 
​​​​​​I totally get where you're coming from regarding fear of next steps. You know (have always known) that these next steps were going to happen, but it has been kinda nice just recovering from surgery and not being faced with it, yes? 
I remember feeling so good 3 weeks after my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy  It was summer...I was off work and riding my bike every day... Going to the market and making yummy fresh meals... Then BOOM. The meetings with the medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. REALITY STRIKES. 

Please make sure you take someone with you to these meetings. It is oh-so-helpful to have someone ask any questions that you forget to ask, or hear the doctors responses to your questions, when your thoughts are distracted and fearful. 
On the day I met my MO and RO, I had my good friend with me for the whole day. We went out for an early lunch where we brainstormed on the questions I wanted to ask. I had her write them down and promise to ask any that I forgot to ask. 
After the appointments, we went for a walk and a tea and debriefed.  
With this approach, it ended up being a very tolerable day and I went home feeling like "ok, I can do this"  even though I was told I would be starting chemo the following week, and radiation afterwards. 

I do hope they are able to clearly identify the type of cancer you are dealing with, answer all your questions, and share with you the plan of attack. 
It seems very frightful now because of the unknowns, but things really do settle down when things become known.  ​​​​​​
Good luck next week! 

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Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Kims1961 on Dec 6, 2019 7:46 pm

Hello All!  I've been following the posts and its so wonderful to see how everyone has connected and helped each other.

This is connections at their finest - loving the slogans:  I didn't survive cancer to die of stress, Keep Calm, Friday the 13th is Just Another Day, another I liked was on a t-shirt " You bet these are fakes, my real ones tried to kill me"...

The waiting is so hard - some great ideas to keep us distracted.  This time of year some extra xmas baking, cleaning can be a great distractor.  If you have a local indoor pool, I found swimming so helpful.  Helps with my anxiety but slowing down and concentrating on my breathing. I also started some knitting projects - anything to keep my hands busy and a little distracted.

Great sharing...kim


 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Charper on Dec 6, 2019 8:35 pm

BonnieC‍  I am sorry that you received that call today.  You are strong and powerful, look what you have already conquered. I am sending you hugs and love.  I have been concentrating on the things I do know for sure and trying to keep the unknown at bay, I know it is difficult but you can do this.  I tried the peer match support today, and I spoke with a nice warm lady today on the phone and it helped. We are all here for you, if you need to chat message me. Take care hugs hugs hugs

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by BonnieC on Dec 6, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks everyone! Your support is so helpful. I keep telling my sister that I have found a great circle of support on here and it brings me so much info that I have been looking for.  I spent the day keeping my mind busy at work and then I went Christmas shopping tonight - all this to take my mind off it how I was feeling.   I think it was just the rush of the reality that affected me this morning. I looked up the doctors I’m meeting with .. not sure if that was helpful! Lol but I wanted to do it. I started a new thread to get some advice on the questions I should be asking. My husband is coming with me and he’s so calm and he will remember everything when I can’t think straight. So if I arm myself with all the questions - it helps me to prepare for the news. 

Re: Hi Everyone - Newly diagnosed breast cancer

Posted by Essjay on Dec 7, 2019 9:36 am

Hi Bonnie‍ I can see you have the best advice from these ladies, I just wanted to wish you well with your appointments next week.

Prep your questions for sure - my husband couldn't make it to my appointments but we wrote the questions down together and some of them were his specifically. My appointments we're recorded for me (something Manitoba does), and it would be perfectly reasonable for you to use your phone to record, just ask the docs first.

Once you have these appointments things will move fast. If you are having chemo, you will have a MUGA scan of your heart function, and if you opt for a port you'll have that fitted. You may need a bone scan or a CT or MRI. And they will arrange your chemo to start. There are usually sessions where you can go and hear what will happen, and how to manage side effects. Some cancer centres give you a tour. If you are not having chemo then you will be prepped for radiation with scans and tattoos etc. These things will keep you busy and you'll not have time for much else. If you are not to 

So, in this week before things go a bit crazy, you have some time to plan for being too fatigued for some stuff at home. If you've not had your flu shot, now is the time, and get those family members to do it too. Fill the freezer and cupboards, clean the house thoroughly (you won't feel like it for a while), stock up on books, audios, podcasts, make your watchlist on Netflix, line up friends willing to help you out, register for click and collect or home delivery for groceries...and have some fun. Go for a manicure, pedicure, massage, meet friends, get outside etc...

These are just suggestions, many of which I did, and they helped...