My First Blog

PamelaPamela Member Posts: 11
edited October 2010 in General discussion

It's been 8 weeks since life was turned upside down with the diagnosis of DCIS which was to lead eventually to mastectomy. 

In that time I've told family & friends, taken leave from work, had 2 surgeries, joined a support group, had countless appointments with osteopaths, naturopaths, physiotherapists etc, learnt new exercises,  received flowers, cards, phonecalls & text messages, had visitors, some for 1/2 hour, some for the day, some who stayed.

And now, for the first time, I have a whole day to myself & I feel really exhilarated AND flat at the same time - is this normal?  This was not supposed to happen to me & I'm struggling with the feelings that accompany such a life-changing happening - how do I put myself first over my family; how do I go back to work, knowing my colleagues are aware of what's been happening; how do I take care of myself enough to make sure this won't happen again?

If there is anyone out there who has been able to get a handle on all these things & can offer some advice, please reply - I'd love some input.

Cheers,

Pamela

Comments

  • moira1moira1 Member Posts: 476
    edited March 2015

    Hi Pamela,

    Well at least you got here, we have a great community of ladies, who can support you through your journey, From newly diagnosed, to long term survivors, so first of all please keep comming back, The first few weeks of diagnoses for me, went in a whirlwind, also, but hopefully you have your BCNA "my journey kit", this is a great information pack, and also has leaflets for friends and family that you can either give to friends or just leave lying around your workplace, it lets them know how to help you. Have you got any further follow up treatment to go? please feel free to add me to your contacts, and feel free to come on and vent your feelings, or just have a chat. either way there is alwasy someone on here to support you. WELCOME Moira

  • moira1moira1 Member Posts: 476
    edited March 2015

    Hi Pamela,

    Well at least you got here, we have a great community of ladies, who can support you through your journey, From newly diagnosed, to long term survivors, so first of all please keep comming back, The first few weeks of diagnoses for me, went in a whirlwind, also, but hopefully you have your BCNA "my journey kit", this is a great information pack, and also has leaflets for friends and family that you can either give to friends or just leave lying around your workplace, it lets them know how to help you. Have you got any further follow up treatment to go? please feel free to add me to your contacts, and feel free to come on and vent your feelings, or just have a chat. either way there is alwasy someone on here to support you. WELCOME Moira

  • PamelaPamela Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2015

    Thanks Sara for taking the time to reply.  Am learning how to navigate my way around this web-site, so hope I can stay in touch !!

    I work for a GP, so telling my workmates wasn't that hard, it was them knowing exactly the in's & out's of what I was going through that was unsettling - not sure why as they have been most supportive; guess it's just me !!  My family have been amazing - from an incredible husband to 3 amazing kids, 3 fabulous sisters & array of wonderful friends BUT none of them knew exactly what I was going through.  Sometimes, just sometimes I find it hard to verbalise just how I'm feeling & they feel a little left out, but I can't worry too much about that.

    I have always walked & am really enjoying the freedom this gives me.  I'm also doing Pilates & want to start aqua-aerobics when I get the go-ahead from my physio (& I have the correct bathers & prosthesis!!).

    You're right - small steps will help this journey.  Thanks again for listening, I appreciate it.

    Cheers, Pamela

  • Kate GaleKate Gale Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2015

    Hi Pamela,

    I know exactly where you are coming from. My world was turned upside down mid 2008 when I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2 Her2 positive and I also had 4 nodes involved. At the time I was 27 and had 2 daughters who were 3 and 1.

    At first I was scared but then that fear turned to anger and I used that anger to get me to where I needed to be. Yeah some friends and family and especially doctors copped it along the way but they all understood that I was scared. I too went through the why did this happen to me and what have I done to warrant this but trust me when I say when you get to the other side you will know exactly why it happened to you!

    I tried to put myself before everything but my life was revolving around doctors, hospitals and countless tests and the only thing I could think was that I have to keep on going and fighting for my girls. I didn't care what they did to me, or how much pain I was going through I focused on them and made every second count.

    Once I got through the treatment which took 18 months I threw myself a "Thank God It's Over Party" and thanked everyone in my life for helping me through the toughest hurdle I have had to jump yet. I also wrote every single day about how I was feeling and what I needed to get off my chest. I know you have a support network but none of them understand how you are feeling?? I needed to speak to someone completely out of the scene and someone I didn't know just to hear that I wasn't going mad and that all these feelings were normal. Being on here you can do that!!

    My heart aches for you knowing that you are in the first stages. I call that the "Oh Shit!!" stage because it is all still unknown. Just remember that treatment doesn't last forever and keep positive thoughts. It is the key to getting through.

    I am here anytime you may want to vent and I will do my best to keep your morale up!!

    Keep Smiling Pamela, and just remember you don't get a choice in the hand you are dealt but you get a choice in the way you play it!

    Kate xx

  • GraceGrace Member Posts: 9
    edited March 2015

    Hi Beautiful Lady

    Welcome to this weird and wonderful rollercoaster ride that many many of us are on. I'm glad to hear that you are a member of a support group.

    I was diagnosed three years ago, and like you, have had countless appointments and surgeries. It all happens so quickly that it can be quite daunting ... and now, it all seems such a blur.

    Feeling exhilerated and flat, was a normal day for me! Just accept each feeling and don't over-think "why" you're feeling like that.

    I also took time off from work (one year), and only returned when I felt like I was ready. This was about my life and I felt like I owed it to myself to just focus on me and give my body time to recuperate.

    I don't understand your statement: "how do I go back to work, knowing my colleagues are aware of what's been happening."?? Pam, you haven't been out murdering people or running a drug ring .... you have something that affects 1 in 9 women. What's "been happening" to you, is happening to many many women!  Speak out about your breast cancer, don't hide it ... in doing so you will be raising breast cancer awareness. Who knows, maybe someone listening to your story may get diagnosed in their lifetime, and they can then say "It's ok, I remember Pamela talking about her experience...."

    Do you have the BCNA 'My Journey Kit'? It has a journal for you, helpful information guides, as well as information for your family and friends.

    I wish you all the very best in your journey ....

    ~*~In life when you stumble, just make it part of your dance~*~

    Grace

  • w.a. kazw.a. kaz Member Posts: 82
    edited March 2015

    Just wanted to say hello. Not much I can add but how wonderful it is we have this site.  Girlfriends are wonderful arn't they? You have been given some great advice so all i will add is take your time, work can wait, it's often harder post treatment doing the moving forward bit so for now go pour yourself a bubbly and enjoy life, you deserve it. all the best and hope to "chat" soon

  • PamelaPamela Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2015

    Hello Kate,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my Blog - am so new to this, I'm not sure if I'm navigating the web site correctly !!

    My "Oh Shit!" stage seems unrelenting but I do know I won't have to have further treatments as the cancer was totally removed with the mastectomy - there was no involvement with Lymph nodes, blood stream or tissue.  I guess that's why I feel a bit of a fraud when I attend my support group & listen to the women around me talking about their treatments knowing I won't have to go through all that they do or suffer the side-effects BUT then I go home, have a shower & see the scar on my chest where my breast used to be & realise I'm not a fraud - just extremely lucky !!

    My husband, children (3 aged between 29 & 19) & 3 sisters along with an army of friends have been absolutely fabulous throughout the last couple of months & I think going back to work (I work 3 1/2 days per week) will be good for the brain - get me thinking about other people, not just myself.  But I will be very aware of myself & make allowances now where before I probably wouldn't have.

    Kate, I hope your journey has gone the way you hoped & that you're well now to be with your beautiful family.  I will keep smiling knowing that many, many wonderful women such as yourself have fought the battle & won before me.

    Cheers, Pamela

  • PamelaPamela Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2015

    Hello Grace,

    Thanks for your wonderful reply.  I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to read & respond to my musings!!  This journey was not on my adjenda but I will take it in full stride & cope with it as best I can.

    Grace, I work for a GP so I guess it was them knowing more than most other people about what I have been going through that made me feel a little unnerved - not warranted, I know, as my work colleagues have been so supportive & caring but I still feel it!!  I guess when I get back to work & slot back into the swing of things I will feel better about it!!

    Yes, I found the "My Journey" kit invaluable when I was first diagnosed & it has been read from front to back by most of the family - we truly are well looked after, aren't we as far as resources, aren't we?

    Hope to keep in contact,

    Cheers, Pamela

  • PamelaPamela Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2015

    Hello Kaz,

    Thanks for your wonderful message - women really do look after each other, don't they? I have had so much help & support from family, friends & of course this web-site, I can't help but feel better, can I?

    I'm very much taking every day as it come & dealing with whatever comes my way as best I can - it's all I can do.  I am looking forward to going back to work as it will represent "normal" & that's what I'm aiming for.  I'm extremely lucky as I won't have to have any post-surgery treatment - the cancer was removed with the breast & for that I feel blessed.  So I'm going to take your wonderful advice & pour myself a tipple & enjoy life !!!

    Feel free to add me as a contact as I would like to stay in touch.

    Cheers, Pamela  

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