Hiding in plain sight

BowerBird11 Member Posts: 4
edited January 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone, just a ‘newbie’ here.  
My name is Julie & I was diagnosed with ILC on the 11th Dec 2019 & so far it’s been full on, appointments....appointments & one more scan, biopsy after another.

Truth was, I was at the end of a very long work year & getting ready for a month long holiday mode & then my world was turned around with the diagnosis of Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.  

I didn’t have time for that little gem to drop it’s bomb on me.  I had Christmas planned, not to mention a very long awaited trip all organised.....

But now I’ve entered into the world of Dr’s, scans, MRI’s, biopsies....biopsies & then even more scans & even more biopsies.

Meanwhile I’m sitting here, in plain sight hiding from the world & nobody can see the raging mess my head has become.  

I’ve found myself going to bed so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open, and then lying down, totally wide awake, as the words rattle in my head...........   You’ve got Breast Cancer.   You’ve got Breast Cancer.  You’ve got Breast Cancer. 
I’m having a dye injected into my right breast this afternoon, then a hook wire inserted first thing tomorrow, then surgery tomorrow sometime.  I guess I’m lucky things are happening so fast.  

Family & friends have been great, it’s just difficult to be totally honest with them & voicing all my fears - I can’t frighten them any more than they already are, so I’m here, writing down my thoughts and trying to get my head clearer.

Thanks for the platform to do so.  
It’s helped.  



  • Carissa_BCNA
    Carissa_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 252
    edited January 2020
    Hi @BowerBird11. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis but glad you have found this community. I'm sure our wonderful members will be able to provide insight and support. I hope your surgery goes well. Don't hesitate to contact our BCNA Helpline if you need to on 1800 500 258 or access information via our My Journey Online Tool https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/resources/my-journey-online-tool/. Take care.
  • Nefertari
    Nefertari Member Posts: 288
    @BowerBird11, everything you said I felt as I'm sure most people feel when they receive the news. 
    I was diagnosed Dec 4th 2018.  When I look back, I'm glad the days were so full as it was distracting and like you I was exhausted. Once treatment starts, it will at least feel like you are moving in the right direction and you may feel better then.

    You can be honest here, we all understand and can relate. 

     A year down the track with my active treatment finished, I feel closer to the old me but I am different.  Don't hesitate to get some counselling if you feel you need it, it has been a godsend for me.

    Just know that we are all here for you if you need some moral support, have a question or just want to vent <3
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    Using this website instead of talking out your fears with family and friends is a good idea - the reassurances you get here are based on experience, not hope (although that’s a good thing to have too!) and many people in your situation find that more time than is entirely sane is taken up with comforting others (who don’t have cancer). Your treatment has started which is good. Your next stages will soon be clearer too. Knowing what you have to do short term is usually really helpful - it occupies your mind and keeps you busy. But as @Nefertari says, don’t discount the value of some counselling later on. The mental impact of cancer (society’s bogeyman), its treatments and what it may mean long term can be significant - intelligent people find it hard to deal with. The more you dwell on it by yourself, the more problems you can envisage  - including all those that won’t happen! Try to take one day at a time, catch your breath and remember that the devil you know, understand and can come to terms with is not so scary. Best wishes. 
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    You are probably feeling pretty seedy today after the surgery. I hope it all went well and they can send you home today. The lab results do take a week or two so it will be a little more waiting. Hopefully they got it all with no node involvement and you are a step closer to being done with being a cancer patient.
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,394
    @BowerBird11 Sending Big but gentle hugs. I too can remember the two weeks after diagnosis being a blur of tests and appointments. Once Chemo started things settled down but as the other ladies have said, don’t be slow in seeking help when required. Getting diagnosed with cancer throws us into PTSD so ask for help before things spiral.
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,970
    Dear @BowerBird11,

    from jennyss in Westen NSW
  • lrb_03
    lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,268
    Hi @BowerBird11 and welcome, though none of us wanted to join in the first instance. I don't have ILC, I had IDC
    Please be aware that there is a separeate, closed group within the forum for those with ILC. If you look under Groups, you should find it, and be able to ask to join. That will then depend on one of the group admin being online to accept you to the group.
    ILC does have it's own quite separate issues to IDC, so I was pleased to see that group formed.
    Please feel comfortable to come and ask questions,  vent, whatever you need. You'll find a very supportive group of predominantly women, with some men, and increasing numbers of partners. 
    Take care
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,668
    Hi @BowerBird11 - SO sorry to see you here & glad that you've had your surgery today, as the waiting time between discovery, diagnosis & surgery is usually totally horrible.   Feel free to throw up any question or rant re your experiences ..... as we've seen or done most of them ourselves & know how it feels.  It is such a whirlwind when it happens - and it really does muck with your brain.  Falling asleep is often a casualty!  :(   Maybe ask your Dr for some Temase to take occasionally, if needed .....   All the best for your pathology results xx

    I was diagnosed with ILC this time 2 years ago & had my surgery in mid Jan back then.  I was lucky, it was small, caught early & I had a lumpectomy & then radiation, and now on tablets.   Wishing you all the best for your recovery from surgery.

    Make sure you have a soft cushion to hold onto the first week or so when you are travelling in the car, to stop jarring, as it does hurt a bit (and it comes in handy for when you are sleeping to support your arm too.) Take the pain killers for at least a week - longer if needed. If anyone offers to do the cooking and/or housework, take them up on it.

    That is terrific that you have supportive family & friends .... take care, xxxx
  • Jewellerytragic
    Jewellerytragic Member Posts: 8
    Hi there, lovely Julie @ BowerBird11. I feel for you, and want to reassure you that, with the support of your close friends, family, and your good health care network (namely your breast care nurse at your treatment centre, hopefully you have one there), you will likely feel well supported, more at ease, and better informed as time goes on.  

    Treatment has come a long way, and there are many survivors, who grow stronger, find new direction, interests etc.
    I had the time to teach myself the piano, the chords and melodies helped me express so much emotion that was a great healing force for me.

    Your true grit friends will arrange a cooking roster, which is a godsend when you have treatment, feel low in energy, or when hubby/partner etc need support too. Say yes to any help - don't be shy, but be honest when you're too tired and don't want company.

    I'm a long way on from my IDC & surgery, treatment etc, back in 2010 & happily, out the other side, (having finished Tamoxifen 6 months ago).

    Good luck 
  • Ahnn
    Ahnn Member Posts: 42
    Best of luck with results from surgery @BowerBird11 the timing of a diagnosis will never be right. Use any support offered and take time for yourself. Know that this community is here for you. Gentle hugs
  • ddon
    ddon Member Posts: 349
    Hope all went well with your surgery. Your raging head will gradually settle in time and become less strident thankfully but right now it’s all traumatic. Sending a gentle hug and best wishes. BC is a curse. 
  • Nefertari
    Nefertari Member Posts: 288
    thinking of you and hoping all went well with the surgery xx
  • Dory65
    Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    edited January 2020
    Bowerbird 11,
    I was diagnoses 29 October, second surgery 6 November. Pain medication and an ice pack wrapped in a hand-towel helped a lot. Although very stiff and sore at first, I followed all of the post-surgery daily exercise instructions to keep my arm mobile and the stiffness has completely gone. The incision is now fully closed, flattened and pain-free. It took time, but it's remarkable how the body adjusts and heals. I also took soluble vitamin c with zinc, which I think sped up the healing, as did 
    Giovene Specialised Scar Formula. I hope that's of some help in the meantime.

    The BC nurse in my area must be very busy as I have not met her. I have communicated by email and phone a couple of times, with days going by before I get a response. A bit disappointing. Could have done with the support immediately after surgery and during treatment decision-making.

    The mental stress, sleeplessness, multiple tests and procedures continue - but it's definitely getting a bit easier to manage. This forum has been very helpful. Good luck.
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Hi @BowerBird11

    Sorry you're here. The sisterhood is amazing though :)
    Its a steep learning curve, and really does spin your head at first.
    Hang in there, just take one day at a time. Or one hour. Whatever works! It’s how I get through this...

  • lady_with_green_eyes
    lady_with_green_eyes Member Posts: 18
    Hi @BowerBird11  
    I hope all went well today with your surgery? I found the first couple of months after BC diagnosis (20/6/2019) I was in shock, with lots of scans, tests and the start of treatment etc ..Though there are many ups and downs through the BC journey and treatments, I have settled down to some degree and manage by trying not to predict or anticipate too much well not too much anyway). I'm not sure if others have found this too. 
    With every good wish to you. xx