Feeling like a failure

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Karma03
Karma03 Member Posts: 17
edited January 2020 in General discussion
Hi.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts, two weeks ago and am heading in for surgery on the 13 February.  I am having a bilateral mastectomy.  To be honest l am not overly concerned.  I am very over weight and have very big heavy breasts.  I have absolutely no self esteem when it comes to my body anyway so it is not a major thing physically.  It probably sounds ridiculous but it will probably be an improvement as l do suffer with bad neck and shoulder pain with the heaviness of my chest.  I am a Christian and have a strong trust in God but I am feeling a bit lonely and like a bit of a failure.  After a big day of diagnosing or meeting with surgeons it is hard coming home to an empty house and having no one to share it with.  Thank you for letting me pour my heart out as l don't feel like l can do that with my friends.  

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  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,668
    edited January 2020
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    So sorry to see you here @Karma03 - but you are in the right spot for support and information.  

    Please don’t feel a failure .... this is not of your making.  

    I would recommend you reading the story of A UK Breast Cancer surgeon here .... she was amazed at how she was affected herself after bone diagnosed, in comparison to what she’d told her patients before she was diagnosed.  It is a very honest look at her own experience. She HAS had a very hard time of it, but also acknowledges the psychological effect it has on us as well as the physical effects.
    http://liz.oriordan.co.uk/

    All the best best for your surgery and pathology results .... we all know how frightening the diagnosis is ... you have breast cancer ... It really does your brain in.  Try and keep as busy as you can between now and the surgery ... even pre-cooking some meals for the freezer etc.

    whereabouts do you live?  City/town ... we may have members nearby who can help the you with services available to you in the town.

    Do you have a buddy to go to your meetings with you?  An extra set of ears can be valuable, as is the actual physical support as well.  Failing that, I usually record my meetings. 

    I set up a bulk email to advise my friends and relatives .... I let them know I wouldn’t necessarily reply to all emails, but I would keep them updated with my progress .... it was easier than telling everyone separately.  You may be surprised how many of your friends may already have been thru it themselves  and may actually be very supportive of you xx

    Take care, you can do this xx
  • Michele B
    Michele B Member Posts: 136
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    Hi@Karma03,
    You are in no way a failure!! Please don't be so hard on yourself. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and no matter what our body looks like, being diagnosed with cancer is a huge shock to us all.
    This forum is full of people from all walks of life who have at least this one thing in common. Here, you will find all of the care, compassion and advice you could hope for. Please try and let your friends help if they can. I understand you don't want to burden them, but real friends will want to be there to support you as you would them.
    Try to be extra kind to yourself at the moment.
    Wishing you all the very best for your surgery. Make sure to check in here whenever you need someone to listen to, or support you.
    Big hugs 
    Michele xx
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,563
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    There's a group within here that you may find some comfort

    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/3-christians-diagnosed-with-breast-cancer

    Best wishes for your upcoming surgery 
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    Hi @Karma03. A diagnosis of BC is very complex. It brings up many different feelings. So while you may 'feel' like a failure, it's only a feeling and in no way reflects the reality. You are a complex magnificent human being in your own right. No one is perfect, we all have things about our lives that we consider successes and failures.  But having breast cancer is considered neither!

    Good on you for seeing an upside in having a double mastectomy. And if you are inclined, you can tattoo those badass scars. Pop onto Instagram and do a search on the hashtag #mastectomytattoo. Fascinating and often very beautiful.

    For many of us, joining the club we never wanted to join brings us some extraordinary new friendships. For me, feeling very lonely despite coming home to a house full of people, the first friendships I made were here on this forum. You're never alone here so lean on us. We've got you. Big hug, K xox
  • strongtogether
    strongtogether Member Posts: 167
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    Hi @Karma03
     There is not a lot I can add to what the lovely sisters have said. Lool after yourself and love yourself, and allow the world to love you too. I know it can be ugly, and you are going through a bad patch of it right now.
    Oh - and I think you are beautiful.
    Take care.
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
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    Hi @Karma03
    There is nothing like a potentially life threatening illness to destabilize us and make us pour over what went wrong. In the last 14 years I've given myself a fair hiding at times over what I could have, should have, shouldn't have done that might have made a difference. In the end, I've realised that you can't diet, detox, exercise, threaten, cajole, promise or buy your way out of this situation. No one can. 
    Some of us get angry, some crawl under a rock or get the guilts, others try to change their lives. What ever you feel is relevant because it's your body, your life and your disease. 
    I know it is very naughty of me to say this, but I can assure you that getting rid of very large heavy breasts has a number of advantages, even though none of us wants to be put in the position of having to make the choice.  
    You sound like a fairly pragmatic person, that will be a help to you in the next few months.
    Good luck and hang in there. Mxx
  • Silba
    Silba Member Posts: 115
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    Hi Karma03

    You are not a failure , this disease is pretty crappy and bring on lots of different emotions, but going through all the treatments is an achievement and you have to be fearless and pragmatic to be able to live.

    I didn't have massive boobs but I had a tear on my shoulder after  bilateral surgery the shoulder and neck pain got better, so focus on the positive and one day at the time.

    Good luck :)
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    My neck and shoulder issues improved dramatically following bilateral mastectomy even with reconstruction as much lighter than before. It is relief to have the surgery as hard as tbat day is.
    Emotions can be many things through this journey and most us blame ourselves for cancer. Thoughts like.... We didn't eat right. We didn't exercise enough. We deserved it.... But the reality is people can do all those things and still get breast cancer. 
    So lovely be kind to you. You're embarking on a difficult journey and being your own best friend is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. And we are here to listen...cause we get it.... whenever you need to connect. X