Posted by MCoaster on Nov 7, 2020 9:14 am
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer nothing had prepared me for the emotional stress. It seemed like there was nothing else. When I had a bilateral mastectomy last November the virus had not yet made its presence felt but I still remember how scared I felt. I found that mindfulness helped a lot before and during the day of the procedure and diverting my mind was also very important. Concentrating on what was happening now stopped my mind from running away with me. My IPad and playing Scrabble and talking to the nurses who were so kind were what saw me through. My doctor also gave me a prescription for Ativan. After I came home I was tired but so very relieved that the cancer was no longer there. What happened has certainly changed me both physically and mentally but I am still here.
Looking after your emotional and physical needs during the roller coaster are both important.
When is your surgery? I will be thinking about you and send lots of healing hugs.
We are always here for you.
Posted by Yuliya on Nov 7, 2020 10:23 am
Posted by cancertakesflight on Nov 7, 2020 10:28 am
I remember what this is like and that was in 2011. I actually felt relatively calm and slept well the night before my surgery. As MCoaster said, I thought of my surgery as one step closer to ridding myself of cancer. The advice to distract yourself is also great.
It is amazing how your life can change so quickly. Please keep in mind that the cancer experience will change you in many ways but please remember that you are a great person first who happens to haver cancer. For me, I thought of my breasts as just objects. I was still me whether or not I had them.
The unknown is what drove me crazy. I felt better once I started treatments. You are not alone in being nervous. Most people have a fear of the unknown even if it doesn't include cancer.
Please know that there are many of us on this site who have been through this and have come out the other side and still able to smile and laugh again.
You are not alone. We understand and support you.
Please keep us posted. Please let us know how we can help even if you just want to vent. There are no wrong reactions to what's going on.
Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 7, 2020 11:14 am
Posted by Littlebeth on Nov 8, 2020 8:42 am
Posted by MCoaster on Nov 8, 2020 9:16 am
When I was diagnosed it was so comforting to know that I was not alone and that others were, and had been, where I was and really related to how I felt. COVID has made everything so much more stressful but has brought out the kindness and caring which we feel for each other.
I wish you speedy healing and please, if you wish, keep in touch.
Thinking of you.
Posted by cinderella1 on Nov 8, 2020 11:43 am
Posted by JayRay on Nov 8, 2020 12:12 pm
I got anxiety meds shortly after my diagnosis which has helped immensely.
Hang in there! You got this!
Posted by Yoursrtrulyasurvivor on Nov 9, 2020 10:09 am
You have to give yourself time to feel how you feel and not be apologetic for it. Life is fleeting and as we know now it can change in a moment.
I recently did a bilateral Mesectomy and it was an overnight stay in the hospital with no visitors/family.
The nurses were angels. I ended up staying two extra days because of my blood pressure and I didn’t mind at all. Well except for the food.
Posted by JiKL on Nov 9, 2020 12:17 pm
Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 10, 2020 9:05 am
If you can manage it, I recommend it, too (but I know from experience how hard it can be). There is an author in the US named Jon Kabat-Zinn who has written two books about mindfulness and meditation: Wherever You Go, There You Are, and Full Catastrophe Living. These books are available in hard copy and audio formats, and he’s written other books as well.
You can find lots of guided meditations on-line. The breathing ones are particularly recommended when starting out, and there are some by JK-Z as well.
Another technique we often recommend to people here on this site is to ask yourself (often) what you know for sure. When a frightening thought comes to mind, try to stop yourself with the question, “Do I know this for sure?” (Hint: a lot of the time, we don’t.)
Not having visitors in the hospital has to be hard, and you’ve already had some good suggestions for dealing with that. For future appointments, you might ask your health team if someone can be in the room virtually, either by video call or speakerphone. That might help you feel like you’ve got some company in the room with you, or at least that you’ll have someone to “compare notes” with after the appointment.
My experience with my Dad’s cancer during Covid, when I couldn’t come in with him was that the oncologist offered for me to call in and talk with him after Dad’s appointments, and that the nurses were really extra helpful on the floor when he couldn’t have visitors with him. I hope you’ll find that you have a similar experience.
Posted by TT53 on Nov 10, 2020 10:56 am
Take care and think positive thoughts.
Posted by KEA44 on Nov 11, 2020 11:54 am
Thank you for posting this thread. I'm one week behind you (right side mastectomy with lymph node biopsy) and my anxiety is definitely ratcheting up. I haven't been sleeping even with sleeping meds and my exhaustion is overwhelming today. Reading all the lovely and supportive responses to your post is helping.
Posted by Whitelilies on Nov 11, 2020 2:48 pm
You shared that you have surgery next week.....wishing you the very best......stay strong and positive and focused.....and rest when possible.....use this time "now" to prep.....clean the house....stock the pantry.....get laundry up to date......get outdoors if you can.......next week will be here, before you know it. All good!
Posted by Littlebeth on Nov 18, 2020 3:49 pm
JAS I hope everything went well with your surgery and you are healing comfortably.
Posted by MCoaster on Nov 18, 2020 6:15 pm
The drains are a pain and after trying different ways of dealing with them I tied a dressing gown belt round my waist and used safety pins to keep them in place. They should not be in place for too long. Just make sure that they don’t get blocked. I cleared any blockages myself after being shown how to.
My major post op. and still ongoing problems, a year after surgery, have been disruption my lymph drainage and adhesions of my scar to my ribs. Because of where I live I had very little post op. care or information and was very glad to find this site. I thought that as my range of motion was good that was it. Only after joining this community did I learn general lymph drainage could be a problem although lymphedema was often mentioned. I hope that you have been better informed than I was and I should also mention that not everyone has these problems but I strongly suggest that you do all of your exercise and perhaps even talk to your nurse or doctor about doing other exercises which are available on the web. I’m here if you have any questions.
Lots of rest and good food. You too have a very good husband I think and I am sure he will cosset you. My husband and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary next year and joke that we will either celebrate or commiserate about that!
Take care and I am always here for you.
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