Newly Diagnosed & Over Thinking it all!

Shelley_H Member Posts: 11
edited September 2023 in Newly diagnosed
I'm a 54 year old women of 3 gorgeous grown up sons living with my partner of 5 years & loving life after a few years of turbulence both personally & professionally. I am newly diagnosed with invasive NST, + for both ER & PgR apparently that's good, yesterday was a week after right boobie lumpectomy & 3 x axillary lymph nodes removed and results show its travelled to the lymph nodes so pet scan booked for next Tuesday. Its been a roller-coaster, which I know many of us have experienced and my positivity since surgery is now replaced with a sick to the core feeling of dread. Which is unusual for me as a normally face everything head on but this has got me. Radiotherapy has been mentioned and then yesterday chemo was mentioned for the first time as a most likely scenario not all results were back & the rest awaits me next Tuesday. My head space at the moment is like a magpie flitting from shiny wtf-ness to omg-ness!! The cherry on the top is I'm 2 months into a new career and on LWOP from a 34 year career wondering what my new employer who has been very supportive will wonder & yes I am over thinking it :)


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,565
    SO sorry to see you here, joining our exclusive little club (that none of us wanted to join!) @Shelley_H .... but you are in the right spot for support & answers to questions from those who've gone before you.  

    As you say at the end .... try not to overthink it - as your medical team will be meeting to discuss your treatment options, once all your results are in.  'Guessing' will just cause unnecessary 'angst' ... 

    Try & keep busy doing stuff you LOVE doing in the mean time .... be it art & craft, cooking, other hobbies ... or even trying something new, to keep your brain busy & stop it going off on a tangent!  This diagnosis mucks with your BRAIN even more than your body - so be kind to yourself & wishing you all the best.

    Check out this post, for a bit of info on the forum & 'other things' you may like to check out (and even have a bit of a laugh, as we ALL need a laugh now & then!)

    Take care & thinking of you 
  • Daina-BCNA
    Daina-BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 30
    edited September 2023

    Hi Shelley,

    I’m glad you found BCNA and the Online Network - it looks like @arpie has already warmly welcomed you and hopefully you will get a lot from everyone, who will know exactly how you’re feeling!

    In the meantime, I thought I would share some links that may help you ‘right now’ and help focus on what you can control:

    Work and breast cancer – It sounds like you have already told your employer, which for some can be the hardest part but here you might find some helpful information -

    Managing that stress – Is this article there are some good tips for managing stress and practicing some mindfulness, especially while you wait for your results -

    Upfront about Breast Cancer with Dr Charlotte Tottman:- I also found these podcasts a great resource (when you are sick of reading) and you can hear real stories and take away tips from those who have had their own breast cancer experience -

    I hope these links help is some way! 

    PS - I now have a visual of that Magpie going up and down and all over the place but I hope it will settle on a branch and take a moment for you shortly!

    x Daina

  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,111
    Hi there.
    My GP said to me when delivering my BC diagnosis - “it’s the loss of control that will be the worst thing for you” and she was correct!
    We are very much in the hands  of our medical team and it is indeed an emotional roller coaster.
    I had a mastectomy and wren I came to in my hospital bed and was in intense pain I actually thought “ at least I’ve now going some physical pain to push aside the emotional pain / anxiety”.
    Try and keep busy , don’t use Dr Google and feel comforted by the fact we have  one of the best medical systems in the world.
  • Tarma
    Tarma Member Posts: 73
    @  Shelley_H

    Welcome 💌🤗
  • Shelley_H
    Shelley_H Member Posts: 11
    Thank you these links are most helpful as are your words of support. @arpie I started decorating my bedrooms that I have been procrastinating over these & I will return to work on Thursday until my next surgery. @Daina_BCNA the links are very helpful & the podcasts has been good so far. @Julez1958 the loss of control is the worst I am such a control freak & I do trust my team & not Dr Google I guess one day/step at a time with the knowledge of what is best for our own journeys. I always felt so lucky and invincible in my life which I cherish  <3  
  • nicmaree
    nicmaree Member Posts: 25
    Hi, I’m sorry to add on here but I can’t work out how to post a new discussion. I’ve been all over the website but think my brain has gone to mush! I’m just newly diagnosed. I’m shell shocked and very anxious about …. Everything! I’ve gone from a routine mammogram and ultrasound to biopsy to mapping then op next Wednesday!  All within 2 1/2 weeks.  I am a white coat and hospital phobic. I’m recently divorced and overwhelmed by everything involved with this. Mapping scares me. Let alone the surgery. I love to hear some advice on how to navigate all of this . Help would be truly appreciated.  thank you 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,369

    Taking one thing at a time, one day at a time is hard but it’s also the most sensible way. You can spend a lot of time thinking about things that never happen. 

    We all respond to treatment differently but after a mastectomy I worked through 6 months of chemo quite easily - chemo can be rough but not for everyone. I took on a new challenge 12 months after diagnosis. A supportive employer makes everything easier. 


    It’s all nightmare territory to begin with, same advice, one day at a time! Much as we may all prefer never to know, early detection is good. 

    Most of what preoccupies your medical team will be about your body, right and proper. But a cancer scare or diagnosis sets off all sorts of emotional reactions too. There is enormous sense in getting some professional help
    in how you respond emotionally, your GP can assist. 

    Best wishes to you both. 
  • nicmaree
    nicmaree Member Posts: 25
    @Afraser thank you.  
    I keep busy with work but when I stop, or at the end of the day when all is quiet, it very scary and difficult to deal with . 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,369
    Yes it is. Dealing with the scary part is not something that can be done quickly. A big unplanned change, even if it will pass, is difficult. We tend to think the worst. Try concentrating on the best - your best times, things that make you happy. During the day, make sure you get outdoors for at least 20 minutes. Sit in the sun, listen to birds. Walk. Listen to music you enjoy. Imagine you are filling your mental tank with energy for the next day. If ice cream does it, eat ice cream!
    Treat yourself kindly every day to build the inner resources to deal with this.  
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,274
    Sending you lots of love ❤️ 
  • Shelley_H
    Shelley_H Member Posts: 11
    Morning ladies,

    @Fraser thank you & it's true you need to process, think & make sense of it for yourself. I've commenced chemo which hasn't been too bad so far now that I know what to expect. I'm taking my 1st cocktail (my chemo name 😄) round of 4 cycles off work so I can concentrate on me facing it head on 2 of 4 down before the 12 weekly starts 🥴

    @nicmaree Welcome to the club we really don't want to be in but where you will find enormous support! It is a fast whirlwind of a journey but that is actually the best way, which is something I realised. I had 2 surgeries within 3 weeks of each other & chemo started 4 weeks after. Your treating team are a source of amazing info, take a friend to your appointments as they can help with the info over load, write questions down before you go, call them back after if you don't understand anything. Exercise helps as already mentioned walking outside is more therapeutic than we realise. 
    I also started prepping my body & mind for the journey which is a very personal thing & learn to be a little selfish purely to get you through this!! 
    Please reach out & take care x