Feeling Lost

Felicia29Felicia29 Member Posts: 23

I'm not sure how this network works yet so I'm hoping I can connect with some support, but really I want to let out what is inside. I therefore doubt this will make much sense.

I went in for a follow up mammogram on Tuesday and inside I knew the results weren't going to be good. Not because I felt anything but because of the comments the radiographer had made. All beside the point now. They found a lump and calcifications. The lump is 2.2cm but even on the day they couldn't feel it. So I've had my biopsy and I will go back for my meeting with the doctors on Monday morning. I don't know grades or markers yet. I know there will be surgery but the rest is to be determined.

I am feeling everything everyone talks about on the videos here, and on a couple of the posts I've read.

Mainly for me at this time it is guilt. And that somehow I brought this on myself. That whole manifestation thing. If you think it you will get it. I had 3 weeks off work and decided to get all my health checks done. Started sorting out my will too - did I jinx myself? My daughter asked why I was having a mammogram. I told her I needed to because of my age and family history. She told me those things are dumb they find things that would never have bothered you if you didn't look. She doesn't know about the results yet. 

All I have seen since my mammogram are breast cancer posters, TV shows about alternative treatments, and the news covering the lady who enacted the end of life law in Victoria (all power to her). I even saw a lady who was on the breast screen bus with me, and I so desperately wanted to know if she had a call back too. 

I get up every morning and watch the sun rise, have done for years. I'm always telling people life is short, don't focus on material things. Love your family, embrace what's around you. Celebrate people whilst they are alive. For the last 12 months I've been a funeral arranger.  I have seen the anguish families go through when plans and wills aren't in place. The regrets they have of unsaid things when people die suddenly. I kept saying to my partner that life is short, pay your respects to your loved ones whilst they are alive. I have had an interest in palliative care since my dad died of bowel cancer 5 years ago. Actively researching how people can be better supported at end of life, thinking of my step mum who is 81. I am now torn as to whether I'm psychic, I self manifested, or I am bloody lucky to have come to this realisation and regardless of anything the cancer would have been there. 

Guilt issue number 2. I've had swollen tissue under my arm for years that they did an ultrasound on and said it was nothing but they never checked my breast. I put off my mammogram for a year. Someone said to me why haven't you had it done sooner? Doesn't help now does it. And now I am here. Worried about what I could have done better, worried about every itch and pain I have. Is the cancer everywhere? Looking at my bowel cancer test sitting on the table, which I rang up and requested because I didn't get the first one.  May as well get every test I can done.

I have a friend who has breast cancer and she has been fighting it for over two years. She is overseas but she has been really helpful. My brother has just come through lymphoma. He said just keep doing life and stay positive. 

Other than that I'm laughing, crying, up, down, accepting, in disbelief, angry, sad, I want my results, I want this out of me and over with, don't want to hear the word cancer again, and feeling very alone. 


  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,003

    Hi!  It's a so and so however it has been detected and you are on your way to sorting it out.  Once you have that appointment on Monday and treatment is explained it will become clearer.  There's a wealth of information and help from fellow forum users here.  This link here will become clearer to you once you know what type you have and gives you the opportunity to explore the BCNA website.


    In the meantime deep breaths and distraction.  A walk, sitting out on the verandah with a cuppa, a book, silly movie, time with the kids, something as a distraction 

    Take care

  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,443
    @Felicia29 Never feel alone sweetheart. You have a whole band of sisters here to support you and give you virtual hugs. Stop the guilting. Nothing you did or didn’t do caused it. The thing is, it has been found and can now be dealt with. Once a plan is put into place by your medical team you will feel so much better. In the meantime, don’t google, ask all the questions you want to here, and try to focus on other things. Huge hugs. 
  • Felicia29Felicia29 Member Posts: 23
    Thank you. I rang the BCNA line and spoke to a nurse after an argument with my partner shattered me. I've been for a walk around my property and I feel much better now.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,729
    It’s all a lot to take in, but may I suggest the following? Give up
    guilt. It doesn’t help, is possibly misplaced and uses up
    your energy. Your daughter means well, but the later cancer is discovered the fewer options you have about getting rid of it. Preparing for the end of life is a useful and life affirming thing, at any age. It doesn’t bring on anything other than perhaps a more relaxed approach to something that will affect us all, and mainly at an unknown time. You are not alone which is both unfortunate as many people are in your position, but also good as people who have been through this best understand how you feel but also about what to do, how to cope, how to express yourself. You will find the network a practical help. Try to take things one step at a time at first. Breathe. Best wishes. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,793
    Hi Felicia. Welcome to the forum. Sucks to be here but you've found the right place.

    Please try to put guilt out of your mind. It serves no useful purpose. We are animal organisms with cells that constantly divide, live and die. One in two humans on this planet will have some sort of cancer at sometime. 5% of breast cancers are attributable in some part to genetic mutations. To the best of our current knowledge the rest are random. Sure, there are risk factors, but none are causative. We all know the people who are overweight drinkers and smokers who never have a sick day in their life, and the fit, non-smoking vegetarians who die young.

    So put the what ifs out of your head, tell your daughter she doesn't know what she's talking about, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting that mammogram and hopefully catching it early. The past is done and gone, the only thing you can influence is the now, and never mind about the future, it's unwritten.

    A big mantra for BC is to take things one day at a time, one hour at a time of necessary. You're in the worst bit now, the waiting for results. Once they're in a treatment plan will emerge and you'll start to feel a bit better.

    Getting BC is a bit like being pregnant in that suddenly you see pregnant women everywhere! One in seven women in Australia will have BC, it's the most common female cancer. You are definitely not alone. There are lots of support services available for you and your family. Find the one that works for you and lean on it.

    We are in the best country in the world to get BC (and Finland). You will be in excellent medical hands. And we are always here for you. Biggest hug lovely, K xox
  • Felicia29Felicia29 Member Posts: 23
    Thank you @Sister and @kmakm. One hour at a time is the best I can do today. Coming here has normalised things a bit - I don't feel so alone and my behaviour and rambling post may be quite normal after all.
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 616
    Hi there @Felicia29,....totally normal, you're in good company here, we all get it. Nothing about this is normal. Your previously predictable body has gone feral on you (and all of us here). All sorts of emotions, in every possible combination and sequence of emotions will most probably spill out in the future. Here is a safe place to vent. We have your back. It will get easier as your treatment plan comes together and is underway. At least then, you will feel that you have some clear direction. The early days are rough, but, yes one step at a time, one breath at a time. Big hugs. Ally.
  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 131
    Hey Felicia,
    Sorry you have to be here, but glad you have found it.
    None of this is your fault. It's just a horrible thing that has happened to you. Take one step at a time. Be kind to yourself. Never give up. 
  • Anne65Anne65 Member Posts: 346
    @Felicia29 You will never be alone now that you have found us!! Any time of the day or night there seems to be someone logged in to speak to so you can ask any silly question or just vent...no judgment!!
    My advice is to get a breast care nurse. She will be your new best friend. I have only met mine once as I live in a small country town but we speak for ages on the phone or i can email or ring at anytime. I ask her anything & she answers me with what she thinks is best for me & she hasnt been wrong yet. She is medically trained so I trust her. Some doctors will guide you without telling you what you should do but sometimes you want a black & white answer. Ultimately decisions are up to you but it is nice to have someone you can trust that you can turn to anytime of day.
    Get lots of info/brochures from BCNA & Cancer Council websites & also the doctors waiting room once you know what you are dealing with. Info is power!!
    I know it's not easy but try not to focus on the "What if's". It wont get you anywhere but make you miserable. You havent made this happen to you. You have just been "picked" like the rest of us. Yes, family history & how you look after yourself does play a part but sometimes, your next in the queue! You cant change what has happened but you can change what is going to happen moving forward by looking after yourself & trying not to stress too much. I worried about every kind of treatment/surgery & sooo many options & decisions to make. I ended up not having to even worry about half of them because I didnt need that particular treatment/surgery so energy wasted on nothing. Goal posts change all the time so focus on what you do know & not what you think may happen as it may not even apply to you.
    I went to a wonderful BCNA conference the other weekend & learnt a lot from the medical professionals that spoke. I will give you some of their advice & some the best treatment they recommend is free!
    Firstly, exercise is one of the best things you can do to help yourself through this, emotionally, physically & medically. Anything you can do will help providing you are well enough to put sandshoes on & go for a short walk. Eat well. There are no miracle foods but we all know what we should be eating!
    Also, stress & cancer dont mix but stress doesnt cause the cancer. So every time you worry about something, you are not doing your body any good. Easier said than done!
    Before your appt Monday, write down all the questions you have & there are no silly questions.Take someone with you to all your appts as another set of ears are great. You can also record the appts or just take notes. 
    try to stay strong & positive & be kind to yourself. Accept help from friends/family with food/cleaning etc. One step at a time & fingers crossed things arent as bad as you think. Thinking of you & sending positive thoughts for Monday. love & hugs xx

  • Felicia29Felicia29 Member Posts: 23
    Thank you @Anne65  Appreciate your words so much. How do I get a breast care nurse?

  • Patti JPatti J Member Posts: 587
    How do you get a breast care nurse?
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,443
    Ring McGrath Foundation 1800183338 or check on their website
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,384
    Hi @Felicia29,

    Welcome lovely.  I think most of us, when we are first diagnosed, go to that place of "what did I do to cause this".  You will see it time and time and again on here.  It's pretty natural to think that, otherwise  the fact that our body can turn against us at any tick of the clock becomes quite an unexpected shock of mortality.
    BC can affect any one.  I work in a surgical ward and have seen 16 year old girls to a 92 year old man. 
    It's also a sneaky sucker.  Not once could anyone ever feel my breast lump either.  Nor could all the wizbang machines see it.
    The start is just awful, all those unknowns running around in your head and undoubtedly your brain will conjure up every worst case scenario it can think of. 
    As the lovely ladies have said, once there is a plan and things get moving you feel a bit more in control.  Your hospital should allocate you a breast care nurse once they receive the referral.  if not, you can ring the McGrath foundation and talk to them.
     I found keeping flat out busy helped somewhat at the beginning.  Anything to distract my brain from itself.
    One day at a time, one step at a time, sometimes its one breath at a time. 

    All the best with everything.
  • Felicia29Felicia29 Member Posts: 23
    Thank you @Blossom1961 & @kezmusc. I've sent an email off to the McGrath Foundation. I agree about keeping busy. Oddly enough I have just come off 3 weeks leave and was planning on looking for another job because I sit in an office on my own, and on most days do nothing and don't interact with people. I didn't think this was good use of my time and you can only read so many books. It was making me very anxious really. And to top it off I am a funeral arranger (oh the irony) so my interactions aren't always happy but I did love the work and it really reinforced in me the fragility of life. So I take that as a blessing. The organisation is very good so once I have more of an idea about what lies ahead I am going to see if they can give me some other work I can do from home.
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