Hi again and just an opportunity to say thanks.

EastmumEastmum SydneyMember Posts: 487
It’s been many months since I last visited this forum. It’s great to see so many familiar names, and catch up on stories.

In January last year I was standing on board a sinking ship - literally!

When my breast surgeon phoned to tell me my biopsies were positive for lobular Breast Cancer, I was standing on the replica deck of The Titanic. It was a school holiday activity with my youngest son and his friend. 

It couldn’t have been a more appropriate place to get the news. 

Fast forward to today, and it’s been a tumultuous year and a half to say the least, with many highs and many lows. 

We celebrated my brother’s wedding, my youngest son’s bar mitzvah, my eldest son’s graduation and his successful application for a graduate program with an incredible international company. We welcomed my eldest daughter back from an overseas exchange program and enjoyed a fabulous two-week family holiday in Japan. We also welcomed a beautiful new puppy into our family. 

We struggled with my elderly dad being in and out of hospital, and mourned his passing in January this year as well as the passing of three other elderly members of our family. My father-in-law fell and broke his hip. Our community felt the terrible loss of three young women - two who were friends of mine, to cancer, and one who I knew as a colleague, who lost her long battle with depression. My place of work recruited a new executive manager who made my life at work (after 17 years of loving my job every day) a misery for the nine months it took until she left and we returned to normal. 

And alongside all of that, I endured a double mastectomy, six months of chemo, seven weeks of radiation, and failed air-expanders. 

But in all honesty, my journey so far has been incredibly fortunate. I was so so lucky to sail through surgery and treatment, being able to work and function normally throughout it all. This forum was an absolute godsend in so many ways and I will never take for granted all the patient, supportive advice I gained from the many generous contributors and the friends I’ve gained along the way. 

Now I’m finding it a little more challenging as I struggle to lose the weight I put on, wait impatiently for my hair to grow, deal with the effects of letrozole, and contemplate recovery from DIEP reconstruction, which is coming up in just five days. 

So I’m really just taking an opportunity to say a huge thank you. I honestly couldn’t have made it through, without this forum and I’m now in a much better place to be able to give back. I’m looking forward to sharing this next journey in the ‘choosing breast reconstruction group’ in the hope that I can help others contemplating the same thing.

Bring on the FOOBS!! Truthfully after a year and a half of being flat-chested I’m wondering if I’ll have to adjust my balance! 😂😂

And about that Titanic story? Well, when you walk into the exhibition you get a ticket on which there’s the story of one of the passengers, written on the back. When you get to the end of the exhibition you can look on a board to discover the ‘fate’ of your passenger. 

Mine survived ❤️
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Comments

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,133
    Welcome to survivorship and I hope your diep flat surgery is smooth sailing ahead. It's an exhausting year to get through and  it's astonishing what we can get through when there is no choice other than to just lay down and let it beat us. You now know you are stronger than you ever thought you could be. Giving back is most certainly the way many of us have paid it forward. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,355
    Welcome back @Eastmum ; Good to hear from you again.  Survivorship is not the easy ride that we expect but at least we're here!
  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 3,924

    Welcome back @Eastmum, what a year you have  had.  Well done you to just be here to tell the tale.

    All the best for your upcoming surgery.  We have a lovely lady in our choosing breast reconstruction group who has just had your surgery and has posted about it.

    hugs

    Paula xxx

  • EastmumEastmum SydneyMember Posts: 487
    Thanks @primek - yep, we find resilience in the most extraordinary circumstances sometimes. You’ve definitely paid it forward for an eternity! Your advice is always so generously given - thank you xx

    Thanks @Sister - I’ve thought of you so often as we’re the same age, both lobular girls and were diagnosed around the same time. I’ve caught up a little bit with some of your posts. I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for the recent info about lobular. I’ve really found it fascinating reading. You’re so right about survivorship. I’m finding it much much tougher than I did during treatment. Have you made any decisions about reconstruction yet? 

    Hi Paula @mum2jj - thanks for the tip. I’ve just read her whole story and it’s really helped a lot! I hope you’re well 

    xxxxxx
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,355
    Nah, still on the fence.  I suspect that I'm going to stay that way.  At my last surgeon's appointment the skin was still too tight, anyway.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,022
    Hi @Eastmum - great to see you back again!!  Wow - you HAVE had a tumultuous time of it!   Great to tick off all the family milestones,  - and condolences on your losses.  SO glad to read the witch had left the job so you could get back to normal again!!

    There is a dedicated Lobular group now - if you'd like to join?  @Giovanna_BCNA ; should be able to send you an invite!!

    Yes, as a fellow Lobbie .... I was lucky to miss out on the chemo, having the surgery & rads & tabs ..... and not doing too badly just now, coming up to my 2nd anniversary of finding the lump (scans etc next month.)

    Take care, all the best with your recon decision making!  xxx


  • EastmumEastmum SydneyMember Posts: 487
    Thanks @arpie I’ve joined the lobular group - there’s fantastic info on there!

    Brilliant two-year milestone coming up for you - we just have to take one step at a time, right?

    I’ve chosen DIEP and having it done on Friday. I’m a bit apprehensive about it all but there are fabulous case histories on here that are incredibly inspiring and very helpful. 

    Xxxx
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,022
    All the best for your recon xxxx. 
  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 3,924
    Glad the story helped. I’m doing well :)
    Paula xxx
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 49
    Hi Eastmum, what a year! It’s inspiring to hear all that you did ,as I am right at the start of my journey. :)
    I am very interested in knowing how you went with the new puppy. We are getting one too in about a month at the end of my AC chemo. Visited today. It was so good for my soul.
    Ive been waiting for ages for this pup....but I’m a little worried inside about how tired I’m going to be. Please tell me it’s going to be ok!
  • Anne65Anne65 Member Posts: 262
    @Eastmum Firstly, wishing you love & strength for your surgery in a couple of days.
    I loved reading your story. All that you have endured over the past year & you have come through smiling & positive. Thats what we like to hear. It is hard sometimes but things can always be worse & we just have to try to stay strong & get some sort of perspective in all of this.I believe you will continue to go from strength to strength as you have a great outlook & so much support from all of us. Keep in touch 7 let us know how the surgery goes. Love & hugs xx
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 49
    Hi Eastmum!
    thanks so much for that.  :) My 3 kids are all 20+ also.  They know how much I want this so I’m hoping they just melt and get on board once pup arrives. My onco, our other dogs vet, my breast nurses , husband and friends totally think I should go ahead with it,so this gives me hope I can do it. I know puppies can be hard work but they also give a lot of joy and love, and I’m thinking this will be just what the doctor ordered for us all.... ;)

    Harley is divine.  What a gorgeous schmoozy little face!!!!! <3

    BTW totally agree this forum is a bloody godsend!

    ps how do I post a photo?!
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,519
    Tap the far right icon above the box you're writing in, and then choose a file (photo) from your library. Can't wait to see this pup! K xox
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