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Diagnosed breast cancer today - can someone hold my hand?

(119 Posts)
elportodelgato Tue 08-Jul-14 17:42:55

Diagnosed today, after what I thought was a fairly routine check last week. Biopsy and CT scan show cancer in one breast and has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but not anywhere else. Looking at surgery within a few weeks and then chemo etc.

I have literally no experience of this, no one in my family has gone through this. DH and I are both in bits and need to find a way to a) rearrange the holiday of a lifetime which we were due to go on in a fortnight and b) somehow tell the DC who are 3 and 6 sad

I am veering between crying uncontrollably and being strangely calm, just need someone to talk to who has been through this, anyone please?

No experience but so sorry this has happened to you. My dc are 6 and 2 - the thought of telling them that is hard. All the best for your treatment.

Bump

elportodelgato Tue 08-Jul-14 17:49:04

Thanks for posting, I am feeling very alone right now, even though lots of people are there for me, it's a strange thing to be facing. I started today as normal and now I don't think anything will ever be normal again

It will. This is going to be your lowest point, the day of diagnosis. So many people go through this and come out the other side.

Tillylils Tue 08-Jul-14 17:52:00

Sorry to hear your news, you must be going through an awful time. What you've described, sounds exactly like my mum 4 years ago-she's still here and as fit and healthy as ever. My mums was picked up on a routine mammogram, it was in one breast and a few lymph nodes. She had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiotherapy, and is now on tablets. They also removed all the lymph nodes in the one armpit so she has to wear a sleeve for a few hours a day to prevent lymphodema, but other than that she is fine.
I remember what an awful time that was for all of us, and no matter what anyone says, you will still worry. Have they given you a breast nurse? My mum had one that she could contact any time about anything at all, I know she found her a great help x

Elysianfields Tue 08-Jul-14 17:56:51

I was diagnosed in 2009, and I am still here, and having cancer is not my only waking thought any more! There are lots of survivors, loads on here too.

For me the stage you are at now was the very worst time, I felt powerless, at least once treatment started I felt I was doing something. The consultant would never tell me what was going to happen either, he would only tell me e next step, because everything depended on what the next step revealed but it was so frustrating.

The kids will be hard, you need age appropriate words to say mummy is poorly but that's all they really need to know, then you can drip feed as it happens, mum has a poorly boob, she's going to hospital etc etc.

Sending a hug and a bottle of wine

elportodelgato Tue 08-Jul-14 17:56:51

Thanks Tillylils, this is so helpful. I have been given a nurse, she is bloody awesome, I nearly kidnapped her and took her home with me tbh!

FestiveRoad Tue 08-Jul-14 17:59:49

So sorry to hear that you have had this news today. You must be in total shock. I have no personal experience of this, but I did find an article about speaking to children.
www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Livingwithandaftercancer/Relationshipscommunication/Talkingtochildren/Understandingandreactions.aspx

KurriKurri Tue 08-Jul-14 18:00:17

I'm sos soryy you are going through this my dear - I have had BC and unedrstand how shocked and utterly knocked for six you must feel.

Do post on the tamoxifen thread here there are women on there who are going through and have been through the same thing - they are a wonderful friendlky bunch and will be able to help you through every stage of your treatment with info and support.

Be very gentle with yourself and give yourself a few days to absorb the news. This is the worse part IME - just after DX, once you get into your treatment plan it gets a little easier to deal with becase you know where you stand and you are moving forward.

I would keep it very simple when you talk to your children - they will notice the changes that treatment brings obviously, but at their age telling them mummy is poorly and she's having special medicine to make her better which will make her very tired - that sort of level of info. they will probably take it far more in their stride than you imagine -children are often far more resilient than we give them credit for.

Crying is fine - it helps, really it does, and you need to do it, and remember if you are finding it hard to cope talk to your GP they can give you things to help your through the initial shock. See if there is a cancer support centre in your area - they are usually great - qualified people who will talk to you and understand you worries and fears, that you may not want to talk about with your family.

I wish you all the very very best in your treatment and recovery, and please do ask anything you like, and as I say the ladies on the tamoxifen thread are brilliant and will support you xx

Tillylils Tue 08-Jul-14 18:01:40

Aw that's good, don't forget no question is too silly, no worry is too daft x

Cocolepew Tue 08-Jul-14 18:02:07

This thread may help you, flowers
here

Cocolepew Tue 08-Jul-14 18:02:41

Xpost with Kurri smile

KillmeNow Tue 08-Jul-14 18:05:30

I do unfortunately have experience of this - as have so many others on this site . You are not alone.

I had the same -one breast and lymph nodes involved. I had the whole works - surgery ,chemo and radio (or slash ,poison and burn as it is sometimes called).

Its all doable but you will not be taking in much at this stage.You will be focussing quite rightly on you and your family. There are some publications you can use to help tell children bad news but right now I would just tell them mummy has a poorly boob and the doctors will need to make it better. Nothing else really necessary at this stage .

I second using your breast care nurse to help guide you through these bewildering days .She will be your best ally -and if you dont like the one you are allocated you have every right to ask for another .They understand that personalities sometimes dont mesh -especially when under pressure.

MrsMaturin Tue 08-Jul-14 18:06:14

My friend had to tell her dc this news. They were rather older than yours and she went in to quite a lot of detail and it also involved cancelling a family holiday so she had to tell them that too. When she and her dh had given all the info they could then there was a pause. She braced herself for goodness knows what and then one of the dc said 'but you're not going to die are you?' She replied honestly that she was doing her utmost NOT to die and had no plans to do so any time soon. Dc immediately cheered up and said 'oh well as long as you're not going to die, we can go on holiday anytime' and they moved on to the next thing.

It's very tough top have to tell kids this sort of thing. I found it very hard to tell mine that bil was dying - because you know that information changes things. You have to be honest with them and let them know that you feel a bit scared but that you are relying on the doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Bottom line is there has never been a better time for somebody like you to be diagnosed with a cancer like this. Your outlook needs to be positive because that's your reality.

Regarding the holiday - do you have insurance? If not appeal to the relevant companies' better nature.

chockbic Tue 08-Jul-14 18:06:20

Here you go welcome to some choc bics brew

KillmeNow Tue 08-Jul-14 18:06:47

Crossposted - I see you love your BCN (Breast care Nurse) = thats a bonus right from the start .

OneInEight Tue 08-Jul-14 18:13:30

Another one been through this and still here to tell the tale and also recommend the tamoxifen thread. The total shocked phase lasted a couple of weeks ime and I felt better (psychologically anyway) once the treatment was underway. The treatment was not nice but doable. Be kind to yourself and take up any offers of help especially during the chemo.

Rachie1986 Tue 08-Jul-14 18:18:29

Thinking of you xx

malteserzz Tue 08-Jul-14 18:20:47

Sorry to hear your news. I'm another one who has been through it, was diagnosed last May and the ladies on the tamoxifen thread really were my lifeline and still are

Have they given you a date for your op ? I had to wait a month for mine so check before you cancel the holiday.

A year on I'm feeling well, back at work, doing everything I used to and my hair is growing back well. That will be you too smile

Friend had the most aggressive kind - forget what they call it. It was a bumpy ride. Now she looks and feels fabulous -ten years later! Treatment has come on in leaps and bounds. Friend says the experience made her a better snd happier person, although I know you won't believe that at the moment. Hold on in there, and believe!

Spero Tue 08-Jul-14 18:34:58

It is doable. There is lots of good support out there. I was diagnosed in 2012 and was still able to work 3 weeks out of. 4 whilst having chemo. Lean on everyone you can, this time next year I hope it will be just a dim memory.

elportodelgato Tue 08-Jul-14 18:59:01

You are such kind people, reading this has really made me cry but also given me some hope. You are amazing ladies who have been through this and come out the other side. I am in shock, I don't know what to do first, have told my parents who were both amazing. Haven't told the kids yet because until I have a date for surgery etc I don't feel I can answer their questions properly. We were due to be going abroad for the whole school summer hols which will now be delayed in the best case scenario - worst case scenario it will be cancelled and they have SO been looking forward to it sad

I will feel a lot better once I know the full treatment plan next week and can wrap my head around it. I already feel massively supported but I am anxious about telling people and dealing with their reaction. It has been exhausting telling my parents, I can't imagine doing that 20x to tell all my closest friends, but presumably I can't just send an email round can I? It's nice that so many of you say that the day of diagnosis is the worst, it has to get better I hope

KurriKurri Tue 08-Jul-14 19:17:41

elporto - do you have a very close friend who would tell others for you - it is tough to have to deal with telling people and with their reactions when you are still processing it all yourself, I'm sure people will understand if you ask someone to help you out with that bit xx

elportodelgato Tue 08-Jul-14 20:54:25

Thanks Kurri, that is such a great idea, I am going to ring my best friend in the morning x

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