"You have breast cancer"
Its so nice to see/find this online group. My world has literally been turned upside down in the past week. Ive been diagnosed with grade 1 invasive ductal carcinoma ER positive in my left breast. Im having a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node surgery on December 1st and I was given my diagnosis on Friday November 13. Im only just 38, have no children and there is no history of BC in my family.
I found my lump completely by accident- in the shower shaving under my armpits and felt a lump, but as I had my period, I just thought it was somewhat hormonal and thankfully I was booked in for a very overdue pap smear 10 days later (which also came back with minor abnormalities, but that can wait) and I had the lump checked out by my GP who referred me on for an ultrasound the following Monday and it was then that I started to get nervous. The radiologist was called in and he told me that I had to get this biopsied the next day and his urgency got me very scared and the following day I had the core needle biopsy and then had to wait- that wait was horrible and then on Friday I heard those above words, the words you think you are never going to hear being said to yourself, especially not at 38!
I met with my surgeon yesterday and have an incredibly lovely woman who will be treating me. I feel somewhat relieved that my diagnosis is good- well, as good as it can be in a shitty situation. The main thing I am really having trouble dealing with is the thought of being thrown into menopause or pre-menopause. Ive been told that the tamoxifin will give me some menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and dry vagina- yay! Im lucky that I have never really wanted children, but the idea of going into menopause so early is daunting.
I have great friends, family and boyfriend, but I know that there is nothing like the support of other women who have been through this or are going through this that will help the most. I really believe in the power of mind and healthy eating and am trying to stay positive. I live on the Sunshine Coast and have the beach right near where I live and am using my daily walks with my beautiful dog who looks like Lassie to calm my mind. I have waves that come over me where the tears are uncontrollable and I think about all of the 'pink washing' of everything and I think, "gee, I'm now one of those women!" I feel like I have now joined a very exclusive club that too many women are actually members of!
Im a freelance journalist and really want to try and use my 'voice' at some stage to bring more information about breast cancer and how it affects younger women out there in the public domain. So much of the information is directed at older women and there are very specific issues that are really hard hitting for younger women like early menopause/fertility for example.
Thanks for listening ladies and I look forward to being here and supporting, loving and caring for you all.