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......And, we're back

eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
edited January 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Hi friends,
I was involved in the BCNA online discussion five years ago when I was diagnosed with DCIS. It helped me immeasurably, it was also just helpful to write down my thoughts and fears and have others respond. I was 38 at the time with 2 small boys and one baby girl. A harrowing time post mastectomy and navigating reconstruction with parenthood and work as a clinical psychologist.
In October just gone, I noticed a lump under my mastectomy scar tissue. I worried for a moment and then convinced myself it was just scar tissue. Then in December I had my yearly MRI/US/Mammo and lo and behold, I have cancer again. This time it is invasive. I feel so ripped off. So, I'm back here to say hello, that although I sound a bit cross, I have been relatively calm as I go from one appointment to the next. I am probably catastrophising a lot less this time. My PET scan suggested no evidence of it anywhere else however there was some activity on my ovaries (which have been suggested to be cysts) that are being investigated next week. I have had a lumpectomy last week. My surgeon reported he achieved clear margins however he is discussing with his team today about whether the margins are clear enough to not warrant further surgery. Further surgery means complete deconstruction of that breast again and this time a reconstruction would be complex because I would have no skin left. So, looking forward I am staring into 2020 with potential further surgeries, discussion about whether to remove the other breast, possible oophorectomy, radiation and hormone treatment and whatever else I might require. Hmmm, not what we had in mind for 2020. I'm not sure what I need. Perhaps a reminder that I can do this over again. It feels hard second time around, and scary because we thought we had it sorted. I am not sure if the landscape is even darker through a cancer lens but I look at the state of the world and for the first time in my life I'm really worried for my kids' future. While I am a professional who works in the mental health field and am pretty stable most of the time, I feel low and particularly uncertain about things ahead. Its not a good feeling. If anyone is reading this and has lost a loved one in the fires, or lost their property/business/livelihoods I send love and best wishes for recovery.
Thanks for reading



  • eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
    Thanks AFraser, sound advice. Much appreciated
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    Wish we could magic it away! Take care.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    Bugger!  Sorry to see you here under these circumstances, @eightdays ..... even as a mental health professional - this is still a kick in the guts, so we all feel for you.  

    You CAN do this again .... I am guessing your pathology has not shown anything in your nodes .... just that your surgeon would like bigger margins?  

    Where abouts are you (Town/city) as possibly chatting with other members over a coffee may be helpful?

    It is 2 years today since I had my own surgery for Invasive Lobular - with some of my own margins pretty thin ..... so far, so good. 

    Would you consider not having a recon if it is going to be so tricky?  One less surgery to face both for you and the kids?  You will be no lesser person .... but definitely braver  xx

    Deep breaths, take one day at a time, one hour at a time, if necessary ..... these are things you would have told many patients in the past ..... difficult tho it may be, to take your own advice!  :(  

    Take care, know that we are thinking of you and the best outcome for you  xxx

  • eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
    Hi Arpie,
    Thanks for your lovely reply. Yes, I have thought about not having a recon, I've even thought about just getting the radiation and hoping for the best without further surgery! The good thing is ultimately I have choices and your lovely message reminded me of that. I'm so glad things are going well for you.
  • suburbangirlsuburbangirl Perth, Western AustraliaMember Posts: 122
    Hi @eightdays
    You CAN do this!
    But of course no one in their right mind would put their hand up for it.
    Not even the first time round.
    We are all different now for our experience, a bit like wounded and battered soldiers, but we (try to) show how strong we are to the people around us. Little do they know we often feel scared and anxious.
    I just wanted to say you have a band of supportive women and men out here all saying yes, you can do this and you will do so well!
    Sending you my very best wishes,
  • eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
    Thanks so much suburbangirl, So supportive here on this thread, its much appreciated. Sending my best wishes to you too

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,392
    @melclarity had a recurrence and I'm sure can add some wisdom.

    How annoying and so frustrating ( and devastating)for you and just because you have been through this  already it doesn't mean all the fears are not going to return for your future and children.

    Your advantage of course is you know how to navigate the process. You don't need to decide about your reconstruction immediately if you don't want to. You can just remove what's needed, have treatment then decide. 
    I went through treatment with a Mum very similar to your story. We both are doing well 4 years on.
    Keep talking, blogging helps. Understand your pathology and analyse the risk for and against treatment options. I looked at 15 year survival rates as I plan to be in that group at least. The longer time periods show the significance with different options. 
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    Be aware none of it is your fault. It's not because you didn't eat right. It's not because you carried to much worry. It's not because you didn't get enough sleep. It's just something that sometimes happens and it was unfortunately you it happened with. Be strong, we're all with you. <3

  • youngdogmumyoungdogmum Member Posts: 250
    This sucks ! I hope your ovaries are all okay and the team agree no more surgery.
    curious when you say mastectomy scar you remained flat? Or did you mean scar along where implants were inserted ?
  • eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
    Thanks @Brenda5 and @youngdogmum. I really appreciate your comments. The scar is along the top of my breast from the mastectomy. I also had implants in about 18 months after that. 
  • Annie71Annie71 SydneyMember Posts: 11
    @eightdays, that is just the pits. No doubt you’re giving yourself loads of sensible advice, I hope you’re able to breathe and trust that you can do this by taking each day at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if you have blah days, that seems a very reasonable response. I hope the ovary news is good and you can quickly make your decisions about the way forward. Xx
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,478
    Dear @eightdays

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • eightdayseightdays Member Posts: 27
    Thanks for your lovely message @Annie71
    Cheers for the wishes too @jennyss xx
  • PV123PV123 Member Posts: 202
    Best wishes eighdays, you beat BC once and you can do it again.
     While undergoing chemo, I had a visit from a BC survivor/volunteer who also had BC more than once.  She did all the treatment recommended each time.  She has been cancer free now for over 10 years.  

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