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Diagnosed 2 Days Ago

RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
Hi Everyone,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on Wednesday. I found the lump 3 weeks ago and saw my doctor straight away so it’s been stressful waiting for the results. 
My Auntie made a full recovery from dcis 17 years ago so I am not scared or worried. 
I have my CT scan in 3 days (Monday) and will get my results On Wednesday. 
I’m waiting on an appointment at the Breast Cancer clinic which will entail an 800km round trip. 
Also waiting to see how to manage time off work (I’m a teacher).  Currently having a couple of weeks off while I process this curveball and find out my plan. 
I’m so impressed already with the support from my doctor and the McGrath Nurses in just the past 3 days.


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Comments

  • ddonddon Member Posts: 284
    Welcome. It’s a difficult and uncertain time, even if you are feeling positive, which it seems you are. Wishing you the best with your CT and treatment plan xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,382
    Hi and welcome.  Yes the waiting is so hard and I felt much better with a plan. I really hoped I could work but between illness on chemo and my mental health I really couldn't.  My recovery from chemo took time but I'm back full time and forging on. We really don't know how we will be. So have a plan with a back up in case things are different than expected.  X
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,077
    Welcome! I am sure you really don’t want to be here but we’ll all be pleased to support you in whatever way we can. 
    You sound as if you have got your priorities and thinking pretty straight and organised, well done. I didn’t have a breast care nurse but all the staff I dealt with were supportive and helpful, it makes things a lot easier. 
    As does a plan, once you’ve got that in place it helps planning and timing, especially as you may have some lengthy travel to fit in! Please use the network to chat, seek advice if you need it, vent (everyone needs to some time or another) or share news. Best wishes. 
  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Thank you 😊
    I’m erring on the side of not telling everyone at work. Admin and a few close colleagues know but I’ve found it exhausting already letting close family and friends know. The idea of dealing with the same conversations at work is stressful. I have an EA in my room who is very caring but to the point of suffocatingly so. I don’t want to have to cope with her (and others’ stress on top of mine. At the moment, as I’m sure you understand, I look and feel fine so I don’t need to explain anything. As far as they’re concerned I’m taking well deserved long service leave. Quite happy to keep it that way 😊😬
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,932
    Hi @Raich. I didn't tell anyone outside my house until I'd had two operations and at least part of a plan had emerged. I did it by WhatsApp and sent my husband to to my parents and sister. My other sister had died from BC and I couldn't bear the thought of seeing their faces.

    This is your experience so you get to say how it goes to a great extent. Many people here have had others try to co-opt the experience in some way. It's an odd thing, so trust your instincts. You'll know when the right time is to let people in.

    There are all sorts of services available when you get BC. If you let us know what state you're in, others may be able to suggest some of them. Best wishes. K xox
  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Thank you . I’m in regional WA. There is a McGrath Breastcare centre here, and I have access to PATS for my appointments. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,932
    @Annie C is a WA member who had an enormous 'commute'. She may be able to give you some pointers.
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 12
    edited August 7
    Hi @Raich,

    I remember this all very well. I was diagnosed in late June. The telling was difficult. At work since I'm a manager I felt burdened by the telling because my absence would be noticeable. I couldn't do telling everyone individually. Its hard enough with the whole family friends thing. In the end I sent an email explaining . I was at a point where I knew I had cancer but I didn't know the detail and like you didn't know everything yet. And I said so. I said that at the moment it looks like this but it could be worse or better and that I felt vulnerable that I didn't want gossip. I asked for latitude and sensitivity. I was inundated with well wishing. I can see i have a support network at work. And this has been amazing. My boss texted me every few days right through my mastectomy. 

    There has been a strange need to protect my work mates which at times I've thought why? But I guess I'm also managing how I want to be treated and people have been hugely helpful and respectful. Many of my female colleagues have expressed that it was a wakeup call for them and they have actually done things to get tested for various female things. Generally its prompted a whole host of conversations about the importance of balance and looking after your health. Ive also had people who i didnt know had breast cancer come out and offer me support and how to manage changing leave needs. 

    I suppose im telling you this because it is a stressful and sometimes lonely journey through the diagnostic period and throughout it all (and im starting to understand that this may be a longish journey for me) ive been reminded of the kindness of people. 

    Everyone is different and you need to look after you first. 

    Best wishes.
    Michele
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,077
    Who you tell, and how, is entirely up to you. I told my staff the day after my diagnosis - I wanted to work through if I could (and I did) so they needed to know. Immediate family (two!) at once, friends and others when and if. Important factors about telling are a) if it distresses you, then don’t, you have enough to handle right now and b) be prepared for the distress of others. There is no logical reason why you should be the one to comfort a casual friend or work colleague, but it can happen! If you want to keep the whole business private, plan ahead for likely eventualities, such as losing hair. I had no problem with work colleagues knowing but preferred to walk into a public meeting without effectively carrying a sign, so I wore a wig and found it useful and easy. You’ll find what’s best for you, just make sure you choose. Best wishes. 
  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Thank you ❤️
    I guess the hard/tricky thing is That I’ve been at my school for 16 years and, being a regional city, can’t really avoid families and students knowing, particularly as my two boys have been through the school and have close friends who have younger siblings at school (and in my class) . I’m not stopping my boys from talking to their mates. I’ve even spoken to my youngest’s best friend and let him know I’m okay and he can ask me anything. (He spends a lot of time at our place) and I’m loathe to tell their mates not to talk to anyone as these kids need to be able to chat. 
    It’s complicated. At the end of the day I guess it really doesn’t matter. I just don’t want misinformation or rumours flying around. 
    Maybe later down the track I can ask my principal if it would be appropriate to put some information in the school newsletter/ website. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,023
    edited August 8
    Hi @Raich - sorry to see you here, but glad you've found us - the forum no-one really wants to join!

    @Annie C will be able to give you all the info on regional travel - she is up in the Kimberleys.

    @Sister is a teacher & may be able to help you with that aspect.

    Are you aware that all states have an 'isolated patients travel/accomodation scheme', whereby you can claim back petrol/flying & accomodation costs, as it all adds up over time?  Annie will be able to advise you there too.

    All the best for your CT scan & results - the continual waiting for everything really sucks!  I am in regional NSW & went to Sydney for my surgery, and Port Macquarie for my radiation - where I stayed at the Hospital 'hostel' for the month of treatment at very little cost, rather than driving back & forth every day (1.5hrs every day) - which is very minimal compared to YOUR 800k round trip!

    It sounds like you are on top of it - so just keep busy and if you want a laugh, we have a couple of posts here - it is vital to keep your sense of humour thru all this!  https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/19116/friday-funnies#latest

    If you are into art & crafts, we have a wonderful group of crafters - knitters, sewers, artists, patchwork quilters ..... 
    who I see you've found already!  Well done! ;) 

    The first few months are always a bit of a blur as it is a bit like a treadmill that you can't get off as you go from one appt to another ......  I only told close family & friends initially (and my uke group, as they'd notice my absence as I run it! They ended up being my biggest support group!). After my surgery & results, I started a group email to keep others in the loop. Some (even family) I didn't tell for 2 years!  LOL

    Take care, all the best xx

  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Thank you @arpie!
    I play the uke too! 
    I appreciate the advice and help. My doc has already got my PATS form ready. I will be taking full advantage of those services. 
    The Kimberley is even further away from Perth than I am! I taught up there back in the early 2000s. 
    Fortunately we have a Regional hospital here so ‘minor’ stuff ( CT scans etc) can be done in town without the need for long distance travel. 

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,023
    Woohoo!  Another uke player!!  :) We almost have enough now for a bcna uke group, @Raich ! We could do a zoom get-together!   I am currently doing 2 x zooms a week with my group! Let me know if you’d like to join in!! I put the songs on screen so everyone just sings along and also use pre recorded audios of the group to sing along to, as zoom only allows one person singing/playing at a time. ;)  (There are a LOT of terrific youtube live or zooms you can join from home. UkeLenny is one that is awesome! He also puts up the songs on screen to sing/play along.) 

    Good that you are on to PATS already ... most medicos over here have never heard of it and I have to explain it every time!  Grrr

    @JJ70 is another member in WA ... from Fremantle, who is a fierce advocate of making sure ALL Australian women are tested from age 40 (not 50 as in most advertising over here.)  WA is one of the few states that advertise ‘from 40’!

    Take care xx

  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Thanks @arpie! Uke zoom get togethers sound awesome! I’ll let you know 😊. 

  • RaichRaich Member Posts: 72
    Things are happening so quickly. CT scan this morning at the Regional hospital, got a call from the clinic in Perth and my appointment with the doctor is 9am Friday. Booked a bus ticket - not eligible to fly as it’s a consultation and I don’t want to drive. Usually I love a road trip but just want to sit and do nothing this time. Will take my knitting and listen to the rest of Little Women on LibriVox. Hoping to stay with my brother and see if my mum can tag along to the appointments... will cab it to the clinic though,  as her driving terrifies me 😬🥰
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