Due to have a biopsy

Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
edited January 2022 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone my name is Denise and Ive just received the news that I most likely have breast cancer. Seeing Belinda Brown this week to organise a biopsy. She was my mums doctor when she was diagnosed with cancer at 80. Thankfully mum is still going at 99. Im so blessed to have her still. My grandmother passed from breast cancer so for me to now be told 99% my two lumps are breast cancer is devastating. Im so scared - cant stop crying at the moment. Just need to support from ladies who have gone thru the same thing. I am a full time carer for my husband who has had a stroke and prostate cancer. I nursed my dad thru cancer too and both my brothers. Life just doesnt seem fair at the moment. How do you learn to cope?  Im a fairly strong person but my heart is breaking at the moment and I am so scared and dont know what type of questions I should be asking



  • Afraser
    Afraser MelbourneMember Posts: 4,075
    Dear @Samalex

    Oh dear, you have had such a bad run. Life is often not fair. Difficult and scary as it is however, your mother has survived bc and so can you. I hope some of the others on this site, which is an excellent place to seek advice and a great deal of understanding, can advise you on how to access some family support as you have a great deal on your plate. Your doctor is aware of at least some of your circumstances so think about what you need to ask about most of all - what treatment is likely, how you can apply for assistance (a breast care nurse would be a good start) and what emotional support may be available - this is not just a physical disease, it can be difficult to deal with mentally particularly when you have many responsibilities.  Take every bit of assistance you can, it will help you cope. Most people find that their reservoirs of strength and determination are much deeper than they ever thought. Best wishes. 
  • Samalex
    Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
    Thank you so much for your lovely kind words Afraser! I will try to gain some strength from your positive vibes xx
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 372
    Dea Samalex,
    It may not be as bad as you are expecting. Fingers crossed it is at least early.
    You may feel better when you actually know more details. And possibly a plan too.
    You do seem to have had a lot thrown at you, caring and helping others.
    I was 61 on diagnosis, in Feb 2020. I had the Mastectomy, Chemo, R/T and daily medications for 5-10 yrs.
    I managed the treatments quite well. The response people have is very variable.
    My Breast surgeon and Oncologist, were excellent letting me know all I needed.
    After your biopsy result, if it is cancerous. You will be most likely ordered a whole body bone scan and Abdominal and Chest 
    CT scan, to see if there has been spread to other areas. And of course if you have the lumps removed, you will have more information. One step at a time. I'm sure you will have questions. Keep paper and pen handy, and write them down as they occur to you.
    I wish you all the best.
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 SydneyMember Posts: 708
    Hi @Samalex
    Its normal to cry and to grieve the end
     of your “ bulletproof self” after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.
    And once I learnt that 1 in 8 women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer I went from “ why me” to “ why not me”? Life’s not fair but we have to deal with the cards we are given .
    Later on when things have settled down you may want to listen  to the podcasts by Dr Charlotte Tottman referred to in the “announcement “ further up this page .
    She was a psychologist specialising in treating cancer patients who got breast cancer herself.
    Because the psychological impacts of the diagnosis are important too .
    The fact that your mum survived the diagnosis and has gone on to have such a good innings should be grounds for looking at the glass as half full.
    You will feel a lot more settled once you have a treatment plan.
    And don’t be shy to post any questions on here, it is a place where we have all done the journey in one way or another.
    Take care .
  • Samalex
    Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
    edited January 2022
    Thank you both - @Abbydog and @Julez1958 for your replies.
  • arpie
    arpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,507
    So sorry to see you here, @Samalex - Gosh - you've been dealt a nasty set of cards over the years.   All your emotions are 100% totally normal, as the girls have said ....  tho it might be an idea to chat with your GP about getting some counselling - or ring the Helpline (the phone number is at the top of the page) tomorrow & chat with them ...  

    Whereabouts are you? State/Town?  If you add it to your Profile, we may have members in the area who can point you to specific services in your area.  Also, if you live in a regional/rural area, you can claim on travel costs & some accomodation costs if you have to travel for your surgery and/or appointments.

    I am also the sole carer of my husband who also cancer & dementia .... After caring for him thru his first diagnosis 11 years ago - I thought I 'knew it all' about cancer - but when I was diagnosed 4 years ago, only then did I realise how the diagnosis truly affected me!  He was diagnosed again 12 months ago.   Are you & your husband signed up with My Aged Care (I am guessing that you may be both over 65?)  Have either of you been assessed for a Home Care Package?  My husband was finally given a Level 4 Home Care package late last year & we've been able to get help around the home and get aircon and other 'niceties' taken care of out of the package as well, as the funds allow.  

    Do you have someone to attend your appointments with you - both as support and a 2nd set of ears?  Maybe record the meetings on your phone as well, as it is easy to miss bit as there is a lot going on.  I did.  I hope you DO have some good family and friends as support. 

    That is Terrific to see how well your Mum went after her diagnosis - always good to see!  Try & keep yourself busy in between appointments & the lead up to your surgery, doing things you love doing, to keep your mind busy.  Tho this covid thing is wrecking a lot of our outdoor activities ..... I hope you DO get time for yourself, as looking after your husband takes a lot out of every day xx. We have a 'Carers Corner' where we chat about Carers Stuff, if you'd like to join it .... 

    You are still very much in shock - but WELL DONE YOU, for reaching out, early, as you have.  We will do our best to offer you support and information as you need it ... and once your surgery is done & you know your 'game plan' - things really do 'settle down' a bit.

    take care, and all the best for your ongoing appointments xx
  • Samalex
    Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
    edited January 2022
    Hi @June1952
    Thanks so much for reaching out.  I will certainly look into joining the Carers group on here. Thanks for the info  <3
  • Samalex
    Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
    edited January 2022
    Hi @arpie thanks for the reply. I can see you are certainly doing the hard yards too! I'm in regional Victoria. Moved here 2 years ago 1 week prior to the start of Victoria's various lockdowns. No support or friends here unfortunately as thanks to covid getting out virtually impossible plus caring for hubbie too. 
  • arpie
    arpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,507
    Oh that's a bugger that you don't have close family & friends nearby @Samalex.....  I hope you've been able to keep face to face contact on Zoom or messenger .... Messenger is easy - we keep in touch with family in NZ using it.

    Ask your GP about being signed up to VPTAS re travel & accommodation reimbursement - as the GP will need to fill in the 'initial form', along with the initial specialist, and then every new specialist fills in a new form too .... most form lodging can be done online.  I just have a heap of forms printed off & take one with me whenever we see a new specialist ...

    The day you turn 65, contact My Aged Care & get signed up yourself - they will send out an assessor to interview you ... There may also be subsidised local communal support that may be able to help you in the mean time (with driving services, lawn mowing, cleaning services & getting safety handles installed in the bathrooms etc) and then the Home Care Packages are designed to allow you to stay in your home, with help coming to you both .... you BOTH may qualify for the home care package - so start with your hubby now.  It can take months for it to come 'thru' - so the sooner you kick it off, the better!  ;) 

    I am So glad to see you have joined the carers group xx. There are some topics there re my own struggle to get onto a home care package .... that hopefully will help your trip be smoother.

    Is there a Breast Cancer support group in your area?  Sometimes they can help with arranging drivers or visitors when you are in recovery (covid willing.)

    Have you been assigned a Breast Care Nurse yet?  Your surgeon may have his 'own' or you may be assigned a McGrath Nurse.  They are a great 'first point of call' for info on your appts and treatment/side effects - as is the helpline above.

    The fear of not 'being there' for your husband is very real - as, when you have your surgery, unless he is able to stay with trustworthy family or friends (or have someone stay with him 24/7) - you will have to arrange Respite for him for about a week .... depending on what surgery you have.   I haven't had to do that yet with my hubby, but there may come a time when I will.  :( 

    take care xx
  • Samalex
    Samalex Regional Victoria - InverlochMember Posts: 8
    edited January 2022
    Thanks for the reply. I have already looked into contacting a breast care nurse locally. will phone her once I see surgeon on Thursday. 
    You take care too xx
  • jennyss
    jennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,710
    Dear @Samalex,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • CRM
    CRM MelbourneMember Posts: 91
    Hi @Samalex hold on to the fact that your mum is still here almost 20 years post diagnosis. That's a great story! The unknown is really scary so my advice is just to push for the biopsy to be over and done with as soon as possible - when you know what you are facing it might settle your nerves a bit. Take care x 
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 1,000
    Sending you a really big hug and lots of love. You will get through this. Reading the post above you are a strong lady. You can do this. One day at a time. 💐
  • Locksley
    Locksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 858
    @Samalex wishing all the best.