Getting my head in the right space
I thought it was about time I created a new blog since I was first diagnosed with secondary BC just over 2 weeks ago and just share my rollar coaster of a ride over the last 2 weeks.
Getting the news was an absolute shock. The oncologist and I got the results together. I had the scans and the report to give to her and I remember praying that all the anxiety would be for nothing and I would be able to go off on my merry way booking an appointment for 6 months later,on my way out. Not so....
Since getting the news the first week was the hardest. I think every emotion, I experienced. Part of me had that "I can get through this" attitiude whilst at other times I was just in despair scared of what is to come but not knowing when and how.
As always my Doctor GP wanted to see me urgently. As if hearing the news the first time round wasnt bad enough. So off I trotted feeling fairly positive. His first words were "so how can I help you", I told him "I am here for you tell me I have stage 4 breast cancer" not a good start. God love him he tries his best but he ended up giving me the end of life chat and a total feeling of hopelessness and despair. Unlike my oncologist who gave me hope and told me that whilst not curable was very treatable and gave me examples of her patients who had gone on to live for another 18 years. I only have it in my bones and have no pain at this point. I then decided to go and meet a friend to try and boost my energies back up. She was also trying to do her best but brought me down emotionally as the conversation led to discussion on "what I was to do with the time I have left" I was at my lowest point feeling scared, confused and impending doom.
The next morning I rang the NSW Cancer Council hot line. They were saviours. They brought me back up, gave me some advice and numbers to call and I finally started to think I had some control over how I was going to handle this. And I think that is one of the key things for me in terms of how I emotionally process and live with this illness.
I contacted the breast care nurse who put my mind at ease with regards to my diagnosis and where I am in the grand scheme of things. I came off that call feeling grateful and lucky that I am actually not in a bad place at the moment. She referred me for counselling to help deal with all of this.
I am someone normally who does not ask for help, who battles on and is stornchly independent. I now know that I need to reach out to those in the profession or whoever else helps lift me to help get me through this.
So where am I today - 2 weeks on
I am in a good place. I feel hopeful and confident, I believe I can live with this and can deal with whatever is thrown at me. I was scared before of what is/was to come but I know am getting an attitude of "no pain no gain" and I know there are numerous treatment plans to help me. I have learned as well that I can't expect others to understand what I am going through and I have to learn to try not to give them a complete medical/science lesson every time they ask me a question about my illness. I do get frustrated that people have regularly commented on "you have to keep positive" "you can fight this" "your strong and can beat this" "Can't they just operate and take it out? - No I need my spine LOL "I could get run over by a car tomorrow its the same thing"- no it is not. They don't know that this is bigger than me. I have to learn to let that go but at the same time have the self belief that I can deal with this. I certainly believe that outlook can help you cope.
Don't get me wrong I still have "wobblers" as I call them but it is no longer several times a day but once or twice a week and only for short bursts.
So today what am I going to go off and do - snorkelling at Towoon Bay with friends. Today is going to be a normal day - love it!