Whirlwind of everything

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kdeey
kdeey Member Posts: 2
I noticed a lump in my right breast around the 27/4/23. I wasn’t sure and therefore not overly worried. I went to my GP on the 13/5 and had a mammogram and ultrasound done on the 17/5. A few hours after being home my GP rang and said the radiologist had contacted her, it’s cancer! My world started spinning out of control as I heard her words rattling on about survival rates and prognosis. 
I was booked in to see a surgeon on the 19/5. Next I had a biopsy/bloods/ECG. I was told that I had Stage 2, no special type, grade 2 ER+ cancer that was around 3.5cm. 
After much discussion it was decided I would have a lumpectomy, PET scan (because of the size of it) and sentinel node biopsy. 
I had the surgery on the 9/6 and was told the pathology results on the 16/6. In summary I was told that margins were clear, nodes ok and no complications. I assumed that was what we had been hoping for but the surgeon seemed like there was a but.. I asked was this the best case and why he seemed like it wasn’t a good result. He said that I am young and it was a serious high grade cancer and I have a difficult path ahead, but it was a successful surgery. I felt upset and worried after leaving. My next appointment was yesterday 21/6 with an oncologist where I was told that things were different than first thought. It was stage 2, Grade 3 Triple negative bc. I recalled reading about ER+ etc and immediately thought that’s not good! I cried and felt the most emotional and scared I have felt so far. My oncologist was great, I just am overwhelmed and don’t want to answer all my texts and calls etc. Chemo will start on the 3/7 or 9/7 and I will be having BRCIA testing due to the diagnosis and being adopted with little history available. That’s my story to date. 🙄🥹💭🥵🌏💪
Kathy xo

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  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,959
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    Others are better than me with words, so I will just say

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,584
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    I am so sorry to read of your diagnosis & distress  ....I am sure that others with knowledge of Triple Negative treatments will jump on with their own experiences ,,...

    In the meantime, if you are feeling stressed & concerned, make sure you ask your team to put you onto a psychologist to help you wth strategies to help you control it xx. 

    You could also watch/listen to Charlotte Tottman's podcasts (a psychologist who then got breast cancer) so KNOWS what everyone goes thru ..... Series One (and continue watching/listening to, the whole series)
    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/bcna-resources/podcasts/charlotte-tottman-podcast-series-season-1-episode-1/

    And Season 2 ..... as it can take quite a long time to come to terms with it .....
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/25505/season-2-podcast-series-what-you-don-t-know-until-you-do-with-dr-charlotte-tottman#latest

    Feel free to check out this post, to see how 'the forum works' .... and in addition to information, you can also check out some amusing bits, as well as informative, even funny  ... There are also 'tick sheets' down the bottom that you can print off & take with you to your team meetings .... 
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-our-new-members#latest

    Take care & all the best xx
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,279
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    Hi @kdeey, what a ride. It is so overwhelming at the start. So many terms and things to get your head around. All the emotions and fear normal with this diagnosis.

     I remember crying for 2 weeks when I was diagnosed. I had surgery, chemo and other treatment for different pathology to you. That was 2020. I got through it. 

    So you have a treatment plan now and chemo after your surgery. This is good to be treated and treatment is pretty good these days. Any side effects can be treated so tell your dr or the nurses if you have any issues.

    Do you have family and friends to support you? Take any help you can get. Try a little exercise too if you can. Even a walk. It's good for you in so many ways. This is a time to put yourself first. It's all a bit to go through but so many of us have got through the treatment. 

    Best wishes to you. 
  • kdeey
    kdeey Member Posts: 2
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    Thnx all  for the support and suggestions offered .

    Thanx @Cath62. Today was my worst day full of tears.. I pulled myself together and rang my breast cancer nurse who was amazing and she went through everything I had fears or questions about and let my cry some more.
    I have two daughters who will support me but the impact on them concerns me too. They are 27 and 20. I have a great network of friends too. Thank you for your msg, it’s amazing how just hearing from someone else who has some understanding from their own experience can help calm some of the anxiety.

  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,279
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    @kdeey, we all understand here. That's why this online group is so great. You can ask anything and say anything. There's no judgement. 

    Good on you phoning the breast care nurse. They are amazing. The main thing is to reach out when you are overwhelmed and stressed. Who wouldn't feel stressed out when facing all this. 

    You daughters will get through ok. They will be stronger than you think. My son was about almost 30 when I was diagnosed and he was so amazing. He said he knew I'd get through because I never give up on anything. He came to chemo with me when he could. Some of my chemo was in lockdown so when that happened I had to go it alone. I shaved my head just as chemo started and he came to hair salon with me when I did that. 

    This is a bit of a roller-coaster ride and you still have the chemo to do so don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. 

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,584
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    Well done @kdeey for contacting your BC Nurse ... sounds like you have a really good one - so keep her number handy as your 'first port of call' when you need support (other than us, of course!  xx)

    Your daughters will be a great support to them .... if you want them (or your friends) to feel useful & keeping busy, get them to cook up some meals for you to put in the freezer, so it is one less thing you need to think of during & after your treatment xx

    Re keeping your buddies 'in the loop' - to keep it less stressful, maybe just send out a monthly email to them - so that you don't have to keep answering the same questions from many people who make contact.  Let them know that you may or may not respond to their replies, depending on how you are at the time .... and for them not to worry as that is totally normal.  

    Agree with @Cath62 - it is a real roller coaster ride & we aren't always in control of our feelings .... I was able to sit with my husband thru ALL his chemo, even in lockdown & it helped him get thru it. xx. 

    Have you had one of your daughters with you at your appts?  A 2nd set of ears (and the physical presence/support) really helps.  It is easy to miss bits when you are stressed - so consider recording your appointments as well. xx

    take care & all the best with your ongoing treatments xx
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,123
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    Hi @kdeey
    All advice above spot on!
    Having a breast care nurse is great to help you navigate the system - try and stay away from "Dr Google" - there is a wealth of info on this site and I tended to look at it in chunks to avoid being overwhelmed.
    I saw a psychologist who specialized in cancer related distress for a couple of sessions when I was first diagnosed and one of the best pieces of advice was "its ok to cry". I found myself crying in the most random of places for the first few weeks and then it settled down to mainly at night just before I went to sleep.
    Its a cliche but take it one step/day at a time, don't try and overthink things and we are all here to help you with questions and virtual hugs.
    Take care .