Just diagnosed this week

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AnnieMichelle_123
AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
Hi Everyone
I am so relieved to have a place to go for support that is real as my world is turned upside down.  It has been a whirlwind. I was diagnosed on Wednesday 28th of June. Since seeing my GP ten days ago, life has been turned upside down, shaken, spun and swirled. I am 62 years old and after my best friend was diagnosed and treated earlier this year, I was prompted to do some self checking and went to my GP to have a lump checked out.
  
Initially, she thought it was benign and told me to have an ultrasound and a diagnostic mammogram and book to see her in a few weeks. Therefore, I figured it was not urgent and followed her advice and did the testing and saw her one month later. The results showed a suspicious lump and I was totally floored as the wheels began to move quickly and I was referred to Epworth Melbourne Breast Clinic as well as the Womens Hospital in Melbourne. I took the earliest appointment I could and met with a caring breast surgeon one week later. I had a biopsy this Monday and was diagnosed with early breast cancer on Wednesday. The lump is graded at one and the rate of growth is very slow. No chemotherapy is indicated. 
I will be having a lumpectomy in two weeks and then, radiotherapy daily for one month. Hormone blockers have also been advised as I have too much oestrogen and progesterone post menopause. 
I am shifting in and out of reality with this diagnosis. With no family history or risk factors.....it has truly thrown me for six. I am very grateful to my beautiful family and two loving close friends. I can't thank the BCNA hotline and fabulous community enough. I am popping in every day to steady myself and come to a sense of reality that this is truly happening. 
I would really appreciate your support and encouragement. 
AnnieMich

Comments

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
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    So sorry to see you here, @AnnieMichelle_123... but you are in the right place to get info on your condition, surgery & treatment, from those who've gone before you. xx  Your diagnosis is almost identical to my own, 5 years ago, lumpectomy followed by 4 weeks of Rads & then Hormone Blockers ..... and I am still going strong xx. (If you like, click on my name to read my basic story ....)

    Same - no family history of cancer at all (ours all had heart attacks!) so it absolutely shook me to the core too - but that 'WTF' moment is totally acceptable too xx. We've all 'been there' xx

    Make sure you have someone with you at your meetings - record them on your phone too, in case you want to go back over them later on, as it is truly difficult to remember everything that is said, as you ponder something they said 5 mins before ..... 

    Check out this post for info on what to do in the lead up to your surgery & and afterwards ... what to take to hospital with you etc ..... also some other areas that you may like to check out too, some serious, some less serious, some downright funny (god knows we all need a laugh!)    There are also some 'tick sheets' to 'self assess' yourself too, to take with you to your post op meetings ..... cos there will be 'ups & downs' ...
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-our-new-members#latest

    It IS a bit of a roller coaster - you could check out the Podcasts by Charlotte Tottman too, (a Breast Cancer Psychologist who got cancer ....) so she KNOWS what we go thru now ... she has 2 series ... this is the first episode of the first series. ....
    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/bcna-resources/podcasts/charlotte-tottman-podcast-series-season-1-episode-1/

    take care, and all the best as you continue thru your surgery & ongoing treatment .... whack up any questions that you may have here, as it may well become your 'diary' of emotions & treatment xx


  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Thanks so much Arpie for your understanding, kindness and pointing me in a very good direction to be connected and learn from yours and others experiences. 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,864
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    Hi @AnnieMichelle_123.  Congratulations on finding this supportive site.  No question is too big, too small or too personal so ask away rather than sit, overthink and "get your knickers in a knot".  You are fortunate that this has been caught early - it is good that you did follow your friend's advice.
    The Epworth and the Women's are good services so you are well taken care of.
    Like you, I was diagnosed at 62 with no family history.  It is a shock and your feelings are quite 'normal'.  It is a whirlwind as things can (fortunately) move quickly with appointments so we have less time to be stressed 😀 
    All the best as you go through treatment.  Come on here anytime for support or just someone to vent to. 
  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Hi June
    Your gentle, clear and encouraging words mean a lot to me and bringing reassurance. Thank you validating the these shock and swinging feelings are totally normal. I need to know that I am not alone. 
    Thank you 
    Annie Mich
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
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    Hi @AnnieMichelle_123, you are definitely in the ‘shock’stage,a deer caught in the headlights. We can all relate to that. Not many of us have a family history,infact only about 5% of breast cancers are genetic.It really baffled me as to why I got it at 47yrs of age (and then again at 54!) but 20yrs later I’m still here,cancer free🤞and doing well. If you catch it early then the odds are in your favour.
     Keep busy in the coming weeks and store some frozen meals for yourself. Take button up pjs and slip on shoes to hospital. Ask your breast care nurse for the special bc cushion- you’ll need it for the drive home!The op itself isn’t too bad just painful for those first 3 days. Take it easy for 2wks while everything heals. Even lifting the kettle might be an’ouch’ moment.By 3wks I could drive and was much better.All the best for the coming weeks and come back here for support.xx
  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Thank you so much Tonya. Your empathy,  optimism and practical tips are reassuring to me at this tumultuous time. Thank you. 
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,973
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    Dear @AnnieMichelle_123,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Thank you for your the encouragement and beautiful sticker. Much appreciated
    Annie Mich
  • Rowey
    Rowey Member Posts: 37
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    Hi AnnieMichelle_123
    I was diagnosed last year, and like you, my diagnosis was early breast cancer and subsequent surgery and testing revealed no spread to lymph nodes. I had to have a mastectomy and am on hormone blockers but otherwise no other treatment.

    Sometimes when reading of the stories of others who are worse off than me in this forum, I have found myself feeling guilty about being stressed, sad and overwhelmed when my prognosis is so positive. However I have learnt to be kind to myself and to know that my feelings are quite legitimate. Just thought I would share this thought with you. 

    Very best wishes for your surgery and treatment.
  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Hi Rowey, I wish to thank you for sharing so openly about your experience and also your reactions and emotions in the context of how it touches other womens' lives. In the last week, my eyes have opened to how breast cancer has affected so many lives and the profound experiences formerly invisible to me. I feel deeply humbled by this lesson alone. 
    Thanks Rowey. I am glad to hear you are doing well on the hormone blockers. Thanks for writing to me. 
    Annie Mich x
  • cje99
    cje99 Member Posts: 6
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    @AnnieMichelle_123 I recently had a similar experience. No one expects a cancer diagnosis, and it will take you a little while to come to grips with it. And everything moves so fast once there is even a suspicion of cancer it makes your head spin. You'll go through all the emotions - sadness, anger, denial, grief. Give yourself time to go through it - don't try to predict what will happen, just take each bit of information as it comes and work with your medical team to take it step by step. However you're in great hands with Epworth Melbourne Breast Clinic - they have looked after me since my diagnosis in January. An amazing and caring surgeon and oncologists. Best of luck with your treatment.
  • AnnieMichelle_123
    AnnieMichelle_123 Member Posts: 15
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    Hi cjee99 
    Thank you so much for your empathic and very reassuring message. It is helpful to know what I am experiencing is normal and that I am not alone. Being out of comfort zone these past many weeks has been very challenging and at times, very distressing. Thank you so much for the reassurance re MBC. I have been so comfortable and reassured by the professionals thus far. I am relieved to hear you found them to be amazing and caring. So grateful.