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Scared that I’m not strong enough for this

rebeccamarierebeccamarie Member Posts: 25
edited July 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone,
I’m not very good at online forums but I’m going to have a go. 
I found out I have a 2.5cm infiltrating duct carcinoma (?) on Thursday and I see a surgeon this afternoon. I was sort of expecting it to be cancer - my anxiety levels have always been larger than any breast lump could aspire to be - but it’s still a bit of a bummer. My GP and sonographer were both expecting (or at least led me to expect) the biopsy results would show a fibroadenoma and obviously that’s what we were all hoping for. 
I only found the lump a month ago, but it felt hard and huge and scared the lights out of me. I can’t fathom how I didn’t notice it growing before. That’s the thing that’s freaking me out the most. I don’t want to stress anyone else out, but seriously? How long has this thing been inside me? That’s terrifying.

Mostly I’m feeling offended, though. I’m 33 and I try to be healthy. I eat vegetarian which means loads of fruit and veg and grains (also some junk food lol but what’s the fun in being perfect all the time). I don’t smoke, I barely drink alcohol, I avoid as much unnecessary medication as possible, I drink loads of water, I always walk 10000 stupid steps a day. I even go to the dentist every six months like clockwork, which I feel like nobody actually does lol. So I’m just feeling kind of ripped off. I could not have been better if I tried. (I 100% could by the way lol. This is just self-righteous anger. I could exercise more, I could get more sun, I could have more regular checkups, I could take up yoga, I could drink less coffee...)

I just feel annoyed that I had so few risk factors and it didn’t stop cancer anyway. And I guess I’m scared that somehow it is my fault - like I talked myself into it or I’m being punished for not doing more with my life so far. And those feelings are valid, but also stupid and unhelpful, and it’s just making me mad. So I’m sorry to vent.

I am actually coping okay so far. It doesn’t feel like the worst thing that’s ever happened to me (even though it probably is). But knowing I’m seeing the surgeon this afternoon makes things feel a bit real. I’m so scared that he’s going to say it’s worse than I think it is. Rationally, I’m sure he won’t, but I’m not always the most rational of people. It’s hard having no real information, but I also know the minute I have the information, there’ll be no going back. 

And it’s childish, but I want to go back. If I could start over, I’d do something different - be better. Or I’d be more ready for this, you know. 
What if I’m not tough enough to handle it? 

Sorry. I shouldn’t thought regurgitate my fears all over you. If you can all do it, I can do it. I believe in us and everything will be okay. 


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,521
    Hi @rebeccamarie

    Welcome! We know you don’t really want to be here either, none of us do, but it’s a good place to ask questions and let off steam! 
    You haven’t done anything wrong. What you have done is ensure a healthy body that’s in fighting form to deal with what has happened. While some cancers may be partly attributable to clear triggers or even causes, recent research shows that up to 60% are just bad luck, as far as we know. It’s not fair, but cancer has little to do with fairness.
    Once you get your diagnosis clear, you can focus your energy on what needs to be done. You know you can’t go back, and even if you had done yoga, and drank less coffee, chances are it would make no difference. The way forward is forward. As you say, all too many have faced this before you and have won through. So deep breaths and thank your well-cared-for body for what it’s going to help you do, get better. 
    Best wishes for this afternoon, in some ways it’s the hardest part - accepting that it’s happened and a whole lot of other stuff is going to happen too. But also be thankful that you found the lump, I didn’t and might have sailed on blithely unknowing if not for some good luck. Nearly eight years on, it all seems a long time ago. 
    We’ll be thinking of you. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,521
    Being scared is completely normal and logical - big thing is not to let it stop you from doing things (like treatment) which are long term good but short term unpleasant. And many of us got through without some of the more common side effects, cancer is a very variable condition and treatment is too. A plan helps immensely, so does some good support. We all need different things but one or two people we can count on, when we need a shoulder or a boot on the backside, are invaluable. Best wishes. 
  • M_elM_el HobartMember Posts: 4
    @rebeccamarie apart from the fact I'm a bit over a decade older than you it's like to read my brain!  I was diagnosed last Wednesday, IDC, off to the surgeon this afternoon.  I've been reading a bit in the forums, but this is the first time I have written anything here as your post really resonated with me.  I can't offer you much other than I get where you are at and wish the best of luck for this afternoon.  If you want to connect more given we might be going through similar things at similar times then please do so.
  • rebeccamarierebeccamarie Member Posts: 25
    Hi @M_el,
    thanks for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis!
    I’d definitely like to connect and have someone to share the journey with. Good luck with your appointment this afternoon, too, and let me know how you get on :)
  • JwrennJwrenn Mornington PeninsulaMember Posts: 106
    Hi @rebeccamarie & @M_el I hope you both are able to take a family member or friend to your appointment with the breast surgeon as it is so easy to forget all the information that is discussed. Best wishes xx
  • rebeccamarierebeccamarie Member Posts: 25
    Thanks @Jwrenn,
    that’s good advice. My GP said the same thing, so I’ve asked my mum to come along with me. Not sure if I feel more comforted or stressed about that at the moment lol (we’re both as bad as each other in the stressing out department) but I’m sure I’ll be grateful for it when I’m there! It’s a bit intimidating not knowing what to expect. 

    Do you have someone for support, @M_el? I hope so.

    How have you been since your diagnosis and surgery, @Jwrenn? I hope things are going well for you. xx
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,170
    Hello @rebeccamarie, I sent you a private message, pls check your inbox 🙂
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,179
    Dear @rebeccamarie and @M_el,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
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