Only joined this site today...

Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,164
edited June 14 in Newly diagnosed
Posted on behalf of @Eggbert



  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,002
    Gosh, you've certainly had a hard time of it, @Eggbert ; - I hope you can get the help you need re the depression/anxiety.   

    Where abouts do you live (State/town) as forum members may be able to steer you to specific facilities local to you.

    I hope your husband made a good recovery from his cancer. 
    Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy doing - or would like to try?  I find that keeping busy helps me a lot.   

    Are you able to get together with like minded people, to discuss anything & everything over a cup of tea or coffee?  Just getting out of the house can give you a lift.

    Are your sons aware of your depression & supportive of you and your husband?   

    Are you being treated for your depression & anxiety, or are you trying to do it on your own?   

    BCNA has some info on it is here:

    You can also call BCNA and have a chat with BCNA's Helpline, which is a free and confidential telephone service for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer, and their family and friends.

    The Helpline provides information on a range of issues such as fatigue, sexual wellbeing, financial challenges, returning to work and physical activity.

    The Helpline staff includes experienced cancer nurses. Though the Helpline can’t provide personalised medical advice, the team can talk to you about concerns you may be experiencing and refer you to supports available to assist you.

    Anyone who has been affected by breast cancer can call BCNA's Helpline on 1800 500 258 between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm (AEST) Monday to Thursday and 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on a Friday.

    If you need an interpreter, please phone 13 14 50.

    You can also contact the Helpline via email at [email protected].

    Take care xxx

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,340
    You, and your story, are received with open arms.  We all have different stories but many are depressingly similar in certain aspects.

    One of the things that has struck me @Eggbert is your description of your surgery in the 80s.  People look incredulous when I say that my sister went in for a biopsy on a cyst and came out of surgery with a mastectomy.  The only person who hasn't looked disbelieving is my surgeon who assured me that things aren't like the bad old days.  She was 32 with 2 little boys at the time.

    You've been left to shoulder a burden of trauma for so many years.  Have you tried to connect with a psychologist?  We're not supposed to recommend particular businesses on this site but if you include your general area on your profile, someone may know of a good psych with experience in cancer and PTSD to suggest by PM.  And if you don't connect with the first one, then try a second.  If finances are a bit tough, you may not realise that you can access a number of treatments by getting a plan (can't remember what it's called) from your GP.

    @arpie has made some good suggestions about other avenues and, of course, we are here as well.

    Take care - the first step can be the hardest.
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,303
    I had a mental health care plan so that I could choose my own psych for a much reduced price. I only needed one visit, she was so good. You are entitled to ten? Visits.
  • EggbertEggbert Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your reflections. I have been receiving assistance for my mental health over the last number of years. 
    I'm pleased and relieved to see how much support there is today for anyone with breast cancer, as I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone. Unfortunately there were no support groups in the 1980s for young women. 
    Today I'd like to meet a woman who was under 30 in the  early/mid 1980s who like me had breast cancer. To see how she is today. 

  • EggbertEggbert Member Posts: 4
    Sister how is your sister today? In what year was her surgery? My sons were 3 and 5 when I had my operation. I was not told before my initial operation that there was a chance that the lump could be malignant, because psychologist said it was so rare for a woman to have breast cancer under the age of 30 that it was best not to upset all those young women.
    i'm glad there are networks such as this today, to help people come to terms with that is and has happened.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,129
    Wow wow what a difficult journey you have had and it is both physically and emotionally scarring.

    Your story though does give hope for young women with cancer as you are living proof you can get to see your children grow up.

    I was wondering with all that urgency if reconstruction was ever discussed with you. Although it doesn't replace a real breast it certainly can help one feel comfortable in your own skin and can help with the mental healing process.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,340
    @eggbert It was a cyst that my sister found - very early breast cancer beneath it.  Surgery in 1982 - radical mastectomy as the surgeon was concerned about messing about (this was the time that they were beginning to do lumpectomies).  She was also told that there was nothing to worry about prior to the op.  (I can remember her saying that her GP had referred both her and another young woman that week and both of them ended up with a bc diagnosis.)  From memory, her boys were about 4 & 6 at the time (or close to if not that).  Unfortunately, although she made the 5 year all clear mark, it came back aggressively around 8 years and she died in 1999.  It was identified as oestrogen positive and she was one of the early ones on Tamoxifen but I think that it was too little, too late, by then.  I've missed her since then but recently there have been so many things that I wish that I could talk to her about.  

    I know that she would have appreciated the support on this network, as I have.  I'm glad that you have found your way here.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,516
    My mother had breast cancer in 1986. There was a lump which the doctors thought was a cyst but when they went to drain it, it wouldn't. She was given a mastectomy and not offered reconstruction. This was before hormone blocking therapy so that wasn't on the table either. She was 51, and put into menopause by chemotherapy. Still alive and well at 84.
  • EggbertEggbert Member Posts: 4
    Dear Sister, my thoughts are with you. I am glad I have this site though I should have joined earlier. I had the misconception that these site were only for recently diagnosed.

    hi Primel, I saw a plastic surgeon back in 1984 and last year each time the doctor responded that because I scar poorly they didn't feel they could do a reconstruction that i would be happy with.
    Today i can be fitted for a free breast Prothese plus a new bra. 
    I have many stories some very funny thanks to the existence of my prothese, the original was named Eggbert by my young sons and I'm currently writing a memoir.
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