Early BC young woman

MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
Hi there everyone, my name is Melissa & I was diagnosed in May with very early stage BC HER2+, I just turned 30 in March. I know it may not be so recent, but I wanted to reach out & share my story & hope to seek comfort that I am obviously not alone out there. It has been somewhat quite confronting to say the least. My first thought was, how is that possible. No family history, overall C is rare in the family, I am 30, surely they have got it wrong. Surgery was a success, a tiny lump removed & on June 1st I was cleared of all cancer, after undergoing all their routine tests. However my oncologists said I would still need Chemotherapy and Raditation + the wonder drug Herceptin as a preventative, as much as I technically didn't have cancer anymore. 1st round of chemo was abit rough, I ended up in hospital, being neautropentic, however recovered well within a few days. I guess the Chemo basically did it's job. I had my 2nd round of chemo last Friday & doing much better than the 1st. I have a great support network in my family, but it can be so mentally challenging :(, some days I feel lost, so overwhelmed and anxious. Is it normal to feel the anxiety of it all, feeling like I don't want to do this. I know the mind is a powerful thing, but it gets lost in all the worrying and sometimes I feel like I am worrying for no reason even though my body may feel okay.  I feel even though it's a few months in and already half way through Chemo, I still haven't accepted that his is happening xo
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Comments

  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 508
    Hi @MelissaD, welcome and sorry you find yourself here. Everything your feeling is normal. It's a whirlwind from start to finish and often we don't even get time to process it all as everything happens so fast. I'm 43 so not your age group but we all share the one thing in common. Chemo is rough and we all hate doing it. Glad you have a good support around you too, but all the ladies here get it. There is heaps of support here as we are all at different stages in treatment, so lots of advice from others. Hang in there and hopefully you will find comfort here.
    Big hug
    Lisa
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    Hi Lisa, thank you for your post & assurance. Yes it has been a whirlwind journey & everything has come by so fast since been diagnosed, sometimes it doesn't feel real & yes it feels like I haven't had enough time to process it all. Though I am glad I am half way through treatment & on the road to recovery. I know I'll have to take it one day at a time, but just losing routine everyday, going to work etc has been different & can sometimes go stir crazy bored at home but managed to change the way I am 2nd round & it has been much better, as first didn't know what to expect, how cautious I should be, what I should be doing with my body. - thanks very much :)
  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 508
    @MelissaD, I was terrified starting chemo wondering how sick I might be and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Definitely not fun and as we speak I'm in bed the last three days with such fatigue I can barely get off the bed. I've just finished my six  months of chemo on Tuesday. Only now i'm booked in for mastectomy in August it's starting to feel very real. I get the stir crazy boredom feeling too. I'm so sick of the inside of my house lol. One day at a time.
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    @LMK74 - you are right, it is nowhere as bad as what I thought it would be, though the first time did leave me abit anxious thinking it was going to happen again, I got the temperature on day 7 after chemo. But this time around I was able to get a needle to boost my immune system thankfully & today is day 7 on 2nd round and I am all ok. Oh are you, I hope all goes well, I can't imagine how that would feel, best wishes with it all. 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,425
    @MelissaD A big welcome to you, I'm sorry you are here and so young, I'm 49, so a bit older, I was 43 at my 1st diagnosis. 

    Melissa everything you said is absolutely true, because it does happen so incredibly fast, there's just too much to sift through, it is completely overwhelming. It's also very normal to feel lost, angry and unsure if you can even do it. I found Chemo very hard, I was very ill and ended up having to stop work which is tough as Im a single parent. I'm so glad you have a great support network around you, it's so important. I think even now I try to make sense of it all, and there just isn't, acceptance I'm not sure it really ever comes. For me it's because I was healthy, not a thing wrong with me, the treatment made me ill, so that's the hard part getting your head around how you look and feel and then hearing you have BC...crazy really. So I say, do a day at a time, don't look too far ahead and most importantly put you first, nurture you take the time, its so incredibly important.  You will get through it, absolutely and you'll move on. I'm 20 months post chemo now, its been a long road back but feeling better than ever! Hugs Melinda xo
  • Cynth6Cynth6 Member Posts: 131
    Hi Melissa,
    i absolutely feel your pain, just like every other woman here. It is horrible to have cancer at any age but when you're younger...it surely does suck. You think. Why me ?! Why now ?! And your life is put on hold. 
    I'm 30 too. My mum had BC when she was 44 and battled it for 6 yrs. She passed away at 50 3 years ago now. So because of my family history I did feel I would get BC but never did I think I'd get it at 30! I thought I'd get it around her age but nope. I'm also brca1 positive so a double mastectomy and reconstruction is coming up in a few months for me. So now I have to lose my boobs too. 
    I would recommend seeing a psychologist. I'm sure the hospital can help you with finding one too and that hopefully is free. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it is worse now but seeing my psychologist really helps me stay positive and stay sane.

    Sending you positive vibes and hugs  
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    @melclarity - Thank you for reaching out! I think at any age all these feelings would be so common & I think I just have to tell myself that for reassurance, so I don't think I am going crazy! & I think why me. I was the same, fit and healthy, and my lump was so tiny & the doctors actually praised me for finding & funny that my lump was so moveable and rubbery, where they called it a breast mouse, So at my first specialist appointment, it was just a 10 minute examination like at my normal GP & they mentioned the whole fibroadenoma due to my age & having no history in the family at all, so it's just so random and everyone was just in shock when it reported back what it was . I'm lucky enough to be still living at home, waiting for my house to be built, so yes I'm glad I have everyone around me everyday. I hope one day there eventually comes an acceptance or at least be at ease during it. I mean it's still so fresh I think it's just so confronting and it scared me and feeling of being left alone, even though I'm not, makes me anxious. I know that's what everyone has said don't look to far ahead, that's possibly a reason why I can get so anxious. Oh wow that is really good to hear & know & glad you are feeling better than ever. Thanks Melinda, it's comforting to read part of your story xo
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    @Cynth6 - oh wow, thank you for reaching out to me. That is exactly how I feel. I know cancer doesn't discriminate age, but my thoughts especially when there is no history at all & overall cancer is rare in my family, how on earth do I get BC at 30. I have never had issues with my breasts ever & fortunately for me I always checked them so when I found it late at night in bed, I started stressing thinking what could it be, never did I imagine BC. I am really sorry to hear that, I can't imagine how that must be or how you would feel. That is quite big news compared to myself and what I'm going through, so I also send you all the positive vibes & hugs & best wishes for your upcoming surgery and hope everything goes to plan. I have seen a physiologist which is free, I haven't been back since my first chemo treatment as my first round was bit rough, it did help. I usually don't suffer with bad anxiety, but now that this has happened it has scared me & my emotions have been all over the place as it's so overwhelming. - thank you @Cynth6
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,461
    Hi @MelissaD, Sorry to have to say Welcome to the site. I cannot imagine how devastating it must be to be diagnosed at such a young age. There is a group on the site that is specifically for young women who are diagnosed -
    http://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/join/10-young-women - this is the link. Sounds like you are coping really well but being able to relate age wise in circumstances like this is extremely important.
    Sending you a big hug and wishing you all the best. Xx Cath
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    Thanks @socoda, I think I may have come across that one earlier on. I will have to take another look. Considering the circumstances I am doing ok, though I really do have my days as I worry and stress & as much as I am half way through Chemo I still think I don't want to do this, why should I have to put my body through this and my thoughts get so overwhelming, again feeling like it's a bad dream but I have to think to myself I was cleared and as I'm so young they are hitting me strong with all treatments as I have a great prognosis & advise its preventative. Still scary
  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 508
    @MelissaD, I too had the fibrodoemas/ breast mice since my early twenties. Unfortunately when I noticed this latest lump, I ignored it as I was caring for my mum,she had terminal cancer and I was a mess and just didn't care. Mine was stage3 grade 2 and very large. I'm only b cup and lump hasn't shrunk enough with chemo so mastectomy only choice. Good on you for being vigilant and getting it checked. 
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,461
    @MelissaD don't forget you can also phone the cancer council 131120 if you're feeling a bit down, overwhelmed or just need to chat to someone who gets it - you don't have to be feeling well enough to see any one :) - worrying and stressing  unfortunately comes with the diagnosis but talking about it does help. I don't think any of us make it through without feeling emotional so don't think you should be holding it all in, or dealing with it. Release your emotions - it helps and is good for you. Xx 
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 884
    It sucks what ever age you are but sucks even worse when you are young. Keep going, Melissa. Good luck. Marg xxx
  • MelissaDMelissaD MelbourneMember Posts: 28
    @Zoffiel - thanks Marg I will keep going, determined to get through it all of course day by day xxx
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,425
    Melissa, well we are all here for you to talk to or bounce off, it helps so much when we all get it! I do think you'd benefit from some counseling too, it helps more than you know. The other thing I wanted to say to you was, majority of Breast Cancer is not hereditary, it's like 5% so 95% of Breast Cancer is completely random. I'd been getting mammos since I was 38 only because my Mum had BC at 40, there is nobody else in the family. I got it at 43 but was well ahead of it. I don't have the BRCA Gene and the good news is my daughter who is nearly 20 risk is only about 2% higher than the normal population. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it absolutely rips your world apart, so its important to keep talking and get some help to get through. Hugs Melinda xo
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