Feeling very stressed and worried

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Milly65
Milly65 Member Posts: 3 New Member
edited April 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Hello everyone, I have just been diagnosed with DCIS in three areas of one breast.  I feel sick to the stomach and extremely worried.  Have an appointment with surgeon on 8/4 to discuss mastectomy and breast reconstruction.  Don't really know much at all other than what I have been reading.  Trying extremely hard not to think about things but you know how it is, your mind wonders and thinks about the future and what is to come. Any help will be extremely appreciated.   :(
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  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
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    Your reactions are completely normal, you have just had to face something you were probably not at all prepared for and feeling stressed and worried is a pretty sane reaction. That said, worry doesn't help much so deep
    breaths and keep your energy for beating this.
    Your appointment with the surgeon will probably clarify matters and give you something more definite to focus on. Curiously most people find having more, professional, information helpful. Otherwise stay away from Dr Google or unmoderated sites. There's a lot of misinformation out there and a stressed and unhappy mind can imagine all sorts, including things you haven't got and that may never happen. Come here for advice or to let off steam, it helps! Not a group you want to be part of, for sure, but many have found it very helpful.
    If you can, take someone with you to your first appointments, there's often an awful lot to take in and you are nor in the best situation to absorb it all or accurately. 
    There is an entire group here on reconstruction and I am sure you will find that helpful (I stayed unreconstructed!). A mastectomy is usually very straightforward and remarkably pain free. 
    Keep breathing, think positive, best wishes for the 8th. 
  • Milly65
    Milly65 Member Posts: 3 New Member
    edited April 2019
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    Nice to meet you Afraser, although not a nice place to meet.  Thanks for your kind words.  I did start to look at the reconstruction group but it looks like there are many decisions to be made.  The thought of surgery frightens the hell out of me.   Everything seems so rushed.  Appointment with surgeon on Monday and wants to operate on Wednesday doing both mastectomy and reconstruction at once.  I feel very confused.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
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    I know the feeling, I was diagnosed on a Tuesday and in surgery by Friday. Only excuse I have for going out and buying pyjamas for hospital with a hood and little pink ears!  
    I can't advise on reconstruction but maybe @primek or others who can will do so. I was never all that keen and my surgeon preferred to wait so that suited both of us. I decided not to at all. But many have had both procedures at once and are happy with the outcome. But always remember, it's your decision and if you feel you need a bit longer to think about it, it's most unlikely that anything dire will happen in a week or so. One of the hard things about a bc diagnosis is feeling on one hand entirely in the hands of medical specialists, who of course know a great deal more about bc than you do and being your own top specialist in how you feel and what matters to you. The latter is important too. This is a big steep learning curve about a whole lot of stuff, but there are lots who have slogged through it before you. And keep your eyes on the goal - cancer free, well and getting on with your life. 
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,415
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    @Milly65 Take deep breaths first. Recon can be delayed, they do not have to do it at the same time but there is a longer wait if you decide to have it done later, approx six months I think. I stayed flat one sided. I had two weeks of appointments and tests everyday as soon as I was diagnosed which was overwhelming. The problem is, being diagnosed in the first place is overwhelming so making decisions is a challenge. Go out for dinner, have a massage, then try to think things through. Big hugs
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
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    Sorry to see you here, @Milly65  - but we are here to help you thru.  Try not to google too much stuff - everyone's case is so individual - you may be worrying yourself unessecarily.   Everyone is stressed & worried at the start - believe it or not, once you've had your surgery, you will be amazed at the load taken off your chest (so to speak!)

    It is just horrible - but we've all been there.   First the diagnosis, then the waiting between the diagnosis & the surgery, then the results etc .....  Just try & take one day at a time - try & keep yourself busy - doing things you love doing, to keep yourself active.  Otherwise, your mind can play tricks on you.

    If you can't take someone with you to appointments, ask the surgeon/radiation people if you can record the meeting on your phone.  Then you can go back to it afterwards, as it is very difficult o remember everything that was said.  Write down any questions that you already have in your mind - and tick them off as you raise them with the surgeon.

     Ask your surgeon if he will go Public for you - it is often a lot less out of pocket expenses than going Private (even if you have the highest cover, there may be up to $5,000+ out of pocket expenses over time.)  Also contact your health fund as they don't always pay for 'all' hospitals - just some!

    Take care, altho it seems 'rushed' - that is better than sitting around waiting for an appointment!  That REALLY does your head in!  All the best ..... xx
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
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    Hi @Milly65.

    Welcome to the forum lovely.

    We all remember only too well those first horrible weeks.  The confusion, the tears, the huge mortality check and the endless waiting for results and a plan. Our brains plus Dr Google tends to create a worst case scenario so if you can avoid it (which is almost impossible, I know) try to do so.  

    About the only thing you can do to get through this part is keep yourself as distracted as you can. Easier said than done for sure. Once you've spoken to your surgeon you'll have clearer idea of the plan of action.  

    Have you been allocated a breast care nurse?  It can be good to have them at your appointments as a back up for all the things you will undoubtedly forget to ask. They can clarify a lot of the medico language for you as well.  Don't be scared to ask as many questions as you need to no matter how small you think they may be.  This is your gig and one thing you learn along the way is that you are your own best advocate.

    Keep talking to us, there is no one else that can quite understand exactly how you feel like someone whose been there.

    Best wishes.

    xoxoxoxo

  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
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    You're in one of the hardest parts of treatment now - waiting to find out what is going to happen.  You're probably swinging between despair, fear and numbness but if you can distract yourself, you'll find things a bit easier.  While you will no doubt want to get ahead with things, discuss with your surgeon whether there is a need to rush decisions.  I started with a wide excision and then had to go back in for a mastectomy.  Radiation was always on the cards so the surgeon refused to consider a reconstruction before 12 months post-surgery to allow everything to settle down.  I'm now up to that time and still am undecided about it as the thought of more treatment is too hard.  So don't feel pressured but do ask what the options are and what the pros and cons will be.  If money is an issue, talk to your surgeon about it - he/she will be the one co-ordinating your treatment.  And be aware that radiotherapy is not covered by private health cover.  Take care.
  • Milly65
    Milly65 Member Posts: 3 New Member
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    Thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughts.  Yes you are right I am swinging between despair and fear and these bloody menopause symptoms do not help at all.  I am trying to keep my mind distracted.  I suppose the hardest part of all of this is that my Mum passed away recently and is not here with me.  I have my sister and we are catching up tomorrow and going out for lunch, which will be nice.  I am trying very hard to stay positive for my daughter as well.

    I am waiting to speak to the surgeon on Monday about a breast care nurse, hopefully there will be one at the hospital I am going in to.  You are right in saying the waiting around does your head in, but everyone has been lovely so far.  I have had a mammogram, ultrasounds, MRI and 2 biopsy's and waiting to hear from the doctor each time is terrible.

    I hope you are all doing well and on the road to recovery.  I don't know anything about your journey's but hopefully will get to know you all over time. xx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
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    I am so sorry to hear of your Mum's recent passing, @Milly65 .... that makes it extra tough for you.  Enjoy your time with your sister tomorrow.  Does she live close to you?   Extra hugs coming your way xxx

    You'll have good days & bad days, even in these early weeks - some days you'll just want to stay in bed!   Do what is right for you!  Staying positive is good - but also let your daughter know of your fears.  She will be one of your best supporters.  You can scream & shout & get it out of your system that way ..... anything that works for you  xx

    If you click on our 'names' - you'll be able to read our own story ..... this time last year, I was finishing radiation, after surgery in Jan. xx
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    Hi Milly. The 65, is that the year of your birth? I'm a 66er. I ended up have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. While it was hard I have no regrets. I had the recon that used my own flesh, and it's good to have warm foobs on my chest.

    I'm sorry you've had to join us, but console yourself with the knowledge that your cancer has been caught at the earliest possible stage, and that the treatment options here in Australia are excellent.

    Come here with any questions and concerns. There's always someone round to help. Big hug, K xox
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    Hi there. I chose a bilatetal mastectomy and reconstruction for invasive breast cancer.

    Have you joined the reconstruction group? My photo journey is available on this site. 

    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/1-choosing-breast-reconstruction

    Then their is good info on
    https://www.reclaimyourcurves.org.au/

    This site has some info on dcis which you may have read already but link is below 

    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/types-of-breast-cancer/ductal-carcinoma-in-situ/

    Once you know what type of reconstruction you are having we can possibly answer your many questions which will be sure to come. Ask away. No question to silly.

    The wait is very hard and the beginning is terrifying but us men and women here are proof you can get through this and we are all stronger than you would believe.

    Kath x