Newly diagnosed - tough day

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Mez_BCNA
Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921
Moderator moved @ruralmum2 comment to own dedicated discussion:


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  • Mez_BCNA
    Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921
    edited April 9
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    Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional Victoria Member Posts: 2,371 ✭

    @Mez_BCNA Can you please put @ruralmum2 on her own discussion so that people can respond to her. I don't want her to get lost in this conversation.
    @ruralmum2 This diagnosis rattles us in a way that no-one else understands. I went into an automatic zombie mode. Holding it together sometimes makes things worse. Try to focus on anything else and do whatever it is you enjoy doing. Once you have a treatment plan it starts to get easier. Sending big hugs
  • ruralmum2
    ruralmum2 Member Posts: 11
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    Thank you @Blossom1961 & @Mez_BCNA
    My story so far is that I noticed a slight indent in my L) breast at the end of Feb, then after a few nights looking at it in the bathroom mirror I checked & felt a deep elongated lump. I live & work in a tiny rural town at our hospital as an RN, so our GP is also my colleague, but he was wonderful & referred me on. 
    I ended up going through Breastscreen (4 hrs from home) & they were just amazing. 
    It’s one week today since I was diagnosed with mixed Lobular & Ductal Ca with the tumour size 6cm x 4cm x 3cm, I got a call this morning that the lymph node that was also biopsied has shown no cancerous cells, so fingers crossed 🤞🏼 
    So much to navigate now. The kids are ok, my husband is supportive, my line managers know. I just started an additional role as a school based youth health nurse 1 month ago & I feel so sad that this will interrupt my new job, where I am still learning the ropes. 
    Anyway, shit happens. 
    One thing that I think has helped is that I’ve recorded voice memos to get everything out. Maybe one day I might turn them into a blog or podcast or something. 
    I’m currently feeling most sad about my kids going through this & also about probably losing a breast. I don’t think I really appreciated how much my breasts formed part of my identity, they nurtured my babies, they make me feel feminine & as much as I’m a tired mum, I do feel sad & weird about how intimacy with my husband will look now. 
    I saw someone else refer to the experience as an adventure. I hope I can reframe it as that eventually. 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
    edited April 10
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    I am sorry to see you here @ruralmum2.  

    Your range of emotions are totally normal xx But if you feel yourself getting very sad or overly worried, give our helpline a call on 1800 50 258 for a chat.  Just talking with someone who KNOWS all the ins & outs, will help.   Also, consider listening to Charlotte Tottman's Podcasts - she is a BC psychologist who was diagnosed in 2018 and had a double mastectomy & stayed flat.  She was surprised that the diagnosis hit her as hard as it did, as she'd been counseling women for YEARS on helping THEM get over the shock ...
    This disease actually mucks more with your BRAIN than your body, I reckon!  So she really 'gets it', more than many others (who haven't experienced a cancer diagnosis themselves.) 
    The podcast link is here:
    https://soundcloud.com/search?q=charlotte tottman

    Make sure you Click on 'view 22 tracks' and start with No 13 (which is the first episode of Series One - weird that they've put Series 2 'first'!)   They are really good as she talks more as a BC survivor, not a Psychologist - and she is very easy to listen to!

    Take care, maybe start cooking up some meals to freeze, so you have a good stock up for when you come out of hospital xx. 

    Have you heard about the Isolated Patients Fuel & Accommodation scheme that Qld has?  You will be reimbursed for for both, which helps the hip pocket xx  Feel free to join the Rural, Regional & Remote group to find links & tips on it xx. Lots of paperwork initially - but once you are up & running & online, it should be easier.

    Take care, be kind to yourself and keep yourself as busy as you can in the meantime, leading up to your surgery (which it sounds like you'll have no difficulty doing!  xx)

    Wishing you all the best
  • ruralmum2
    ruralmum2 Member Posts: 11
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    Thank you @Afraser & @arpie I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your kind & supportive words. 

    Today was a better day. I started cooking to load up my freezer & then got my first appointment for the initial consultation with my surgeon, so I’ll see him next week. 

    I have had so much love & support from my friends & family. I posted to fb about my diagnosis yesterday, as I’m hoping that by getting it out there, next week when the kids go back to school, it will be ‘last week’s news’ & hopefully the kids won’t get too many curly questions & comments from their classmates.  Got to love small towns, their school Is a hotbed of gossip some days!

    I listened to Charlotte’s first podcast - it was so relatable. How wonderful that she has shared them, I look forward to listening to the others as I go forward. 

     I think of the countless people I have nursed at all stages of their cancer journey, so this will certainly make me a better nurse, having firsthand experience. Maybe a breast care nurse role might be something to aim towards in a year or two when I’m through the other side of this. 

    Thank you lovelies for your warm & caring responses, I certainly appreciate it. xoxo 



  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
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    Well done, you, @ruralmum2 ....  I'm glad you're listening to Charlotte - she really is an amazing lady. xx

    Is there a BC Nurse in your area that you can hook up with?   They can be an amazing support, too 

    Check out the rest of the forum too ... we have lots of 'off topic' threads, where you can show us your gardens, your furkids, art & craft ..... and  even check out the 'funny bits' as well, as we all need a laugh now & then! xx.   
    At the bottom of the post are some downloadable docs on self assessing yourself, both physically and mentally .... print them off & keep a copy for your team to check out as well!   (Sometimes it is easier to give it to them to read, than to talk about it with them. xx)
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-our-new-members#latest 

    take care - and remember that even tho you come from a nursing background, this is still very new to you, being 'the patient' and can be confronting. xx

  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,159
    edited April 12
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    Hi @ruralmum2
    You will find that on this journey some friends and relatives may not be there the way you expected, but others will step up to the plate and even surprise you.
    Apart from my husband who has been an absolute rock, I have a friend who is a retired  nurse has been my saviour - she is born to care and provides emotional and practical support .
    I have also met some great buddies on this forum .
    On another front , I was saying to my McGrath Breast care nurse that I could never be a medical professional as I hated needles and blood and couldn’t handle smells of bodily waste  fluids etc.
    She said that was a huge bonus in  her role!
    Take care 🌺