It's starting to sink in.

Jo_Ellen20 Member Posts: 3
Hi all, I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago officially and had surgery last Thursday. I have been really positive so far but I haven't really been thinking too much about the diagnosis. I have been putting all my energy into going from appointment to appointment and relaying info to my hubby, family and friends. I have been concerned about how they are taking the news. However I sort of sagged today. I finally looked up this website and some of the reality hit home. My next appointment is next Wed and it will involve the next step of what treatment. I thought I had processed the shock but maybe not quite. I realise everyone feels differently and I have had wonderful support but I feel a bit disconnected. From my support peeps and from the cancer. It feels a bit like a story I'm telling about someone else and not me. Does any of this make sense? 
I was supposed to be going overseas to work in a few weeks which has now been cancelled and I have to finish work at my current job as I have been replaced. It also doesn't feel that real. 
So much going on in the world right now, 2020 not going to be my favourite year I think!!!


  • ddon
    ddon Member Posts: 349
    I am sorry you are here - being on this website does make it more real I know. You are going through totally normal emotions - it just feels like you will wake up from this weird dream/nightmare but you never do. 3 weeks in means you’ve barely processed the diagnosis and everyone else’s shock keeps you busy reassuring them and holding it all together. We all understand your feelings and can only reassure you that while there will be fearful, lonely days and nights, there will come a time when you settle in to this new normal and a plan of attack will help a lot. Let it all out on here to us who have walked this path before. 
    Sending a warm hug and best wishes. 
  • Maudelicious
    Maudelicious Member Posts: 14
    Hey @Jo_Ellen20.. 
    it’s like we think we are dealing with it ok until we are not .. I agree with you 2020 can just move over .. lol 😂 
    good luck with it all it’s all very surreal so yes I get the story bit .. 
    take care sending big hugs your way 😊x
  • Tinks
    Tinks Member Posts: 234
    Welcome to the forum!

    It make it makes total sense to me and I am sure many others that would share the same feelings.

    Such an important appointment coming up, some ideas include definitely taking somebody else with you, if allowed, I took my partner and my daughter, and still rely on them to contribute to what was actually said, compared to what I remember! 

    Worth writing down any questions you have, It is so easy to forget one in the middle of processing all the information that’s coming forward! 

    If you don’t understand anything, it’s important to say so straight away, because those kinds of things are too important to not quite get your head around. 

    big hugs for the next stage, 

    Lots of love Tinks xx

  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 946
    Hi @Jo_Ellen20,  Welcome to the forum.  It really is wonderful to have other people to connect with for advice, tips and friendship.   I have support people around me at home but sometimes I do feel like I am doing this alone.  I think surreal really does describe it as I am perhaps watching from the sidelines.  Cannot wait to see the end of 2020 myself.  Sending you hugs xxx 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
    Hi @Jo_Ellen20  SO sorry to see you here, but pick out brains & ask any question you like, to help you get thru this.   I hope you've recovered well from the surgery & had good pathology results.   The first few months can be incredibly frantic - going from appt to appt (I hope you DO take someone with you, as an extra set of ears really does help, plus the physical support.)

    Whereabouts are you ?  You can edit your profile & add your 'general' town/city - as we may well  have members there who can head you to specific 

    What you are feeling is totally normal and has happened to all of us at one stage or another (my own wheels fell off during my radiation treatment.  I just started bawling & couldn't stop!)   It really IS a roller coaster of emotions & may come in 'waves'.  

    I just tried to keep as busy as I could, doing things I love (and I continue to do that to this day, 2.5 years after my own diagnosis.)  Idle hands allows the brain to go into freefall & can lead to depression.  If you feel really sad about things - make sure you ask your GP about seeing a counsellor, even a psychologist ... to give you coping mechanisms.  The helpline here can also help.

    You can also ring the BCNA Helpline 1800500258 and speak to someone during work hours ..... don't try & do it all yourself.  

    Take care, all the best with your ongoing appointments xx
  • Jo_Ellen20
    Jo_Ellen20 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone, stacks of good practical advice. Because of Covid though I'm not able to take anyone with me to appointments. Not even when I was in hospital after the surgery. That's probably just as well as I was going to see if we could sneak my border collie Jess in!! I do have a ridiculously fluro orange and pink notebook though that I am keeping everything together in and writing down questions prior to appointment. I get my hubby to give me any questions he has too. 
    Thanks for your support it's really helpful and I don't feel so weird being on the website, although I am still working up to reading articles properly. I'm sure they will still be there when I am ready. Xxxx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
    OMG!  @Jo_Ellen20 - I think that is amazing that you weren't allowed to have a support person with you at your appointments even with Covid - they could easily just move chairs!! In that case, record them all on your phone, so you can go back over them later.  It is amazing that as you 'go over what was just said' whilst in the office - you miss the next comment!   :(   
    Sorry - my comment above was cut off - if you edit your city/town in your profile - others who live there may be able  to point you to specific services that are available to you!  xx
    You can also go to the 'Discussion' pages & put any topic in the 'search' area & it will bring up other threads that you can check out too.
    Don't forget to have a laugh every now & then too - humour is good for the soul!!  Mind you - I saw this today, so I reckon I am doomed!   LOL  

    Take care xx
  • Jwrenn
    Jwrenn Member Posts: 144
    @Jo_Ellen20 you might find some appointments are over the phone. I had one this week with the radiation oncologist which was supposed to be on Wednesday but he rang two days early, while I was driving, so I wasn’t prepared for it. And I’ve been out walking my dog and had a couple of calls. I agree about feeling disconnected though. Best wishes  xx
  • Beryl C.
    Beryl C. Member Posts: 270
    It feels a bit like a story I'm telling about someone else and not me. That's exactly how I felt in the first few weeks/months, I described it as feeling 'spacey' and had a session with a psychologist. She explained that this is one way we cope with stress -we're here but we're not here - she suggested that I find something that 'grounded' me so that I was in the moment physically and mentally. I joined the gym and did weights. It worked!  Mindfulness is another one, ie, being present to the moment and action.  Best wishes xxxxxxx
  • ChezaH
    ChezaH Member Posts: 549
    Hi Yes as the girls above said it is like watching from the side line and it is not really you going through it all. I cannot believe that they would not let you have somebody with you!!  My husband comes with me to every chemo and every Doctors visits, If  you ask they will probably say no, but he just comes and we do not have any problems. I am on the gold coast, and even though there are signs saying not allowed, we go in and there are others the same. Have a go at least you tried, and I know that it is important to have a support person there as sometimes your brain does not work. Hugs xx
  • Nefertari
    Nefertari Member Posts: 288
    edited June 2020
    @Jo_Ellen20, I can relate to those feelings.  I kept wondering why I felt that way and wondering what was wrong with me?  It wasn't until after chemo, surgery and radiation ended that I finally processed what I had been through.
    Reach out for professional help if you need it, I had to and it really helped. I cannot imagine how hard it is during this Covid pandemic, big hugs xx
  • Pamella
    Pamella Member Posts: 8
    Hi Jo_Ellen20, It is all a bit of rush sometimes. I was diagnosed, had a lumpectomy, and started chemo, all within 2 months. I was adamant I didn't want to do chemo (having done it 22 years ago for Leukaemia) and I was adamant that I wanted to continue to work.  However I had to bow to pressure from my oncologist, breast nurse, family etc.It was hard, but I am glad I made the decision and started chemo which will be followed with radiation.  My concession was that I would go into work out of hours, as I feel well enough.  This has helped me get through. It gives me something to aim for. My husband has been able to come with me for pretty much all consultations with surgeon and oncologist.  He was able to bring me in and stay for a while with my first treatment, I sent him home  because I was in overnight (as a precaution) and my treatment didn't start until later in the arvo. Some hospitals are very strict on visitors, I guess I was lucky that my hospital is a bit more  flexible. I have found that I write my thoughts, feelings, worries, questions in a daily journal.  Make use of the official cancer websites and forums. Remember that everyone reacts differently to treatment. Just take time for yourself when you can, celebrate the small steps and look past the set backs (they are only temporary), have a goal to aim for (returning to work, sport, hobbies etc.) start a new hobby. 
    Any finally, as the great and wise Rafiki says:  It doesn't matter, it's in the past.
  • Leia
    Leia Member Posts: 39
    Hi everyone. It’s my first time here too, and I so identified with all these comments. I’ve gone through diagnosis, surgery and about to begin radiation, all as if this was everyday routine. Yet there is a part of me that says - this is real, this is major. It is like I am on the outside looking in! It’s reassuring to know it’s a common feeling.
  • LoisLois
    LoisLois Member Posts: 43
    That sense of looking from the outside in and that you feel disconnected is true!  I can truly relate as I was diagnosed in February and it seemed like a whirlwind of surgeries, appointments, making sense of what the specialists were saying and also trying to find a normality in life that didnt endlessly revolve around the Big C.  Luckily, I have been able to take my husband with me - that extra pair of ears and understanding of what has been said when you are sitting there literally trying to make sense of what is being spoken due to being numb has been a positive much needed gift.  I know some hospitals etc are more overtly being cautious however maybe broach the topic of needing a support person or else just defy the orders and take them with you - you have the right for comfort and a hand to hold.  You will find a wealth of wonderful encouragement and support here and most importantly - friendship.  We all wish you well and let loose with the emotions - unleash them in any form or shape....
    Big Hugs Lois.