Diagnosed 2 days ago

Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,225
From @Caroline71


Hi Everyone 
I am new to the site, just turned 48 and only diagnosed 2 days ago with stage 3 invasive breast cancer.It has spread to my lymph nodes and the muscles in my chest and I still have to have scans to see if it has gone to other organs.
I am utterly devastated as I only had a scan in December and it was clear but I developed a large lump in my breast out of nowhere 
I put it off for 2 months as I thought it was another cyst as I had one in the left breast which is why the scan was done in December 
I did not realise that breast cancers could appear that large out of nowhere and then to be told it is advanced and spread already has hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have not seen the oncologist yet as I am waiting to be contacted 
i am absolutely terrified and depressed as well.I am worried it has spread to my liver or lungs as I have been having back pain and shortness of breath for months now,I am scared of the chemo and how sick I will be.
i watched my dad die of stage 4 lung cancer last year which came out of nowhere and he only lived 5 months after diagnosis after developing sepsis as a side effect of the chemo.
I am just a absolute mess and have no one I can really talk to.
i have a 25 year old son and the thought of dying and leaving him has me so devastated 
I am feeling hopeless and depressed and like I just do not want to have to go any further 
sorry for such a depressing post and feeling sorry for myself.
just needed to get things off my chest and hope to hear other people’s experiences on how to deal with it all 

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Comments

  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,225
    Hello @Caroline71 sending you a private message

  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,231
    hi Caroline71 it is normal to be scared and upset when we are first diagnosed. 
    there are many great ladies and gents on this forum who will answer questions and guide you as you go through this process. 

    Dont do Dr google he can be deceiving. 

    Ask questions here, have a vent and know we get it... 

    as you go through the process and have a plan things will start to settle a bit. 


    Hugs 
    Soldiercrab

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,186
    edited August 12
    @Caroline71

    It's always scary the thought of chemo. But so many of us are here and got through it and mostly without major issues.
    It's normal to feel scared and worry that all things are bc related. They may not be. I know saying that won't help as until you know for sure you will worry. We get it. We've been there.
    I too had a clear mammogram 5 weeks before I found a lump which in my case was close to the nipple. It would have been much larger before being found in a different location. 
    As to your oncologist. ..if you haven't heard from them by Thursday morning I'd be following up.
    We are here for any questions you have. No question is silly. Remember that. X
    Please let ys know how things go. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,425
    @Caroline71 This time after diagnosis but before heading into treatment is really really hard.  I spent that time veering from fog to absolute despair.  Somehow, once you start treatment, the anxiety while not going away, does tend to calm a bit for most people.  I'm guessing that you know who you have been referred to - give them a call and find out your appointment time - the staff should be used to people who are anxious.

    It sounds to me that you have a lot of trauma to deal with having this come so soon after your father's sudden death.  Do you have a psychologist/counsellor?  If not, I would suggest that you try to get in to see someone who deals with cancer patients & families.  You can get a mental health care plan from your GP to offset some of the costs.  And I know at the moment that probably seems too much to even contemplate but talk to your GP or oncologist - they often know of someone who they can recommend.

    The thought of leaving our kids is an awful one.  It has been my shadow throughout and I don't know if it ever goes away.  On the other hand, my kids have been amazing since my diagnosis 18 months ago.  They still drive me to distraction at times and it certainly has affected them but they have really risen to the occasion when needed.  

    As the others have said - come here when you need information, want to vent or even have a laugh.  We get it.
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 624
    Dear @Caroline71, I can't add to the great words from our network members above, but just want to say that I, and I'm sure many other network members, are thinking of you and sending hugs and best wishes. Please keep in touch


  • Caroline71Caroline71 Member Posts: 17
    Thank you Jennyss x
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,366
    @Caroline71 I cannot add to the above great advice. I walked around on auto pilot for the first two weeks and can’t really remember much. I surprisingly just did as I was told. All the best lovely lady. We are here for you. Big hugs. xxx
  • Di1965Di1965 Member Posts: 19
    This site is amazing. I can feel the love and support. Caroline71 you are not alone. All these wonderful services we have in Australia. You will be loved and supported xxxxxx
  • Caroline71Caroline71 Member Posts: 17
    Thank you so much Blossom1961 xx
    it is just the worst feeling, like your life I see over 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,192
    So sorry to hear of your diagnosis @Caroline71 - it is such a shock - my lump was also found 4 months after an 'all clear' mammogram - I was diagnosed in Jan 18.

    Some great advice has been given from those above - take lots of deep breaths, and try to keep yourself as busy as you can doing things you love as you head towards surgery/treatment.  After the surgery & you get your pathology results, your medical team will give you a clear 'plan of attack' - and it somehow becomes a bit easier then.  

    Try not to overthink it as your brain just goes into overdrive!   Being upset and angry and  fearful for the future is all a part of it, I am afraid.  Let the tears fall - it can be quite cathartic.

    Do you have a close friend to attend your appointments with you?  Two sets of ears are always better than one - plus the physical & emotional support and being driven there & back.  I also recorded most of my appts, so I could go back afterwards to listen again, as it can be difficult taking it all in at the time.

    Write down any questions you have to put to the Medical Team

    Whereabouts are you (state/city/town?)   Members may well know of specific services available to you there.

    You are not alone in this - we've all been there & know exactly what you are going thru.   Put up any questions that you may have & you'll get an honest answer here.

    Take care, we are all thinking of you & all the best for your scans xx
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,652
    Hi @Caroline71. You say you have no one to talk to, so I think it's really important that you find someone. It can be a bit of a process but there are lots of people out there who can help.

    You should be given access to a breast care nurse. If not, ask your breast surgeon or oncologist for one. Or you can call the McGrath Foundation. A good breast care nurse is invaluable.

    I knew I'd need counselling immediately (complicated family situation) and was put onto a breast care nurse counsellor. I only saw her twice (I was diagnosed in December when everyone goes away) but it was helpful. I was unable to let it out at home, so basically I just sat in her office and howled. She gave me some good breathing and calming practices for when feel overwhelmed. Her services were free.

    During chemo I saw a community funded breast cancer psychologist who cost $12 a session.

    Talking to these people, crying on them, is cathartic, but they also gave me coping strategies, wisdom and at times, some much needed sympathy. Ask ask ask until you get access to someone. Your GP may be able to help you find someone as well.

    In the meantime you can ring the BCNA helpline on 1800 500 258, or the Cancer Council helpline on 13 11 20. Both these phone services have trained staff.

    And there's us. You are never alone here. We've got you. K xox
  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 312
    Hi @Caroline71.
    Just reading your post has brought back all the feelings I felt on diagnosis nearly 3 years.You nailed it. And my heart goes out to you. You've been through a lot!
    Some great advice above as always .
    There is a lot of help out there for you if you don't have anyone you can turn to. Talk to your son about your fears and have a cry together. My kids were a similar age and it helped me so much to know how much they loved me and cared about what I was going through. 
    All the best xox

  • Caroline71Caroline71 Member Posts: 17
    Hi Poodlejules
    thank you so much for your message.It really helps to know other people have been through what I am going through
    just waiting at the moment for my appointment with the surgeon and to go for a pet scan etc so it’s the unknown that is the worst I think
    thank you for your kind words xx 

  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 312
    Good luck, deep breaths, I know you probably won't believe me :D , but once you find out your results and you get your treatment plan, things will be clearer and you will get on with it.
    You'll need support so do take advantage of our health system . I had health insurance but was diagnosed through Breast Screen so went through the public system and its been fine. Not that I want to sadden you further by talking about $$$$$ but out of pocket and gap payments do add up.
    You're now eligible too for 5 Medicare funded allied health appointments per year. So if you need to visit a physio , podiatrist, nutritionist,exercise physiologist you can organise the plan with your GP with small or no out of pocket expenses.
    And of course there's now the 6 visit mental health plan where you can see a psychologist ,funded by Medicare with around $60 or less out of pocket. If you need more, your GP can then organise another 4 visits.
    Thinking of you !

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