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This Is So Sureal

Amanda_StKildaAmanda_StKilda Member Posts: 10
Hi everyone - this seems a very lovely place to hang out.

I had a CT scan to check out my ovaries and it picked up a “thickening” on my left breast. That was 17 Dec. A mammogram and US on 21 Dec, breast surgeon 22 Dec, core biopsy 28 Dec, oncologist 31 Dec. I start chemo next Monday. I can’t get my head around it - everything has happened so fast.

Life has turned upside down - Medicare, blood tests, chemo education session. Scared and anxious.


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,035
    Welcome! Not really the place you want to be but many have found it very helpful. The first few days/weeks are very confusing - whole new language, procedures you know next to nothing about, and people automatically get scared about chemo. It's a lot to take in.  Most find it easier once they have started, you have something more specific to concentrate on. 

    Others on on this site will
    kindly direct you to lots of resources and useful information. Try not to get too alarmed about chemo  - reactions vary a lot, and there is virtually no way to prepare yourself until you start so best to try not to overthink it. Once you start, you will get an idea of what each treatment will be like, a cycle, which will help you to work around good days and bad days. Some people like me were pretty lucky and didn't really have bad days (no nausea or fatigue) but many get a bit of both. 

    The main aim is to treat you quickly and effectively. Ask questions, from your medical team or here, don't waste your energy worrying about things that may be easily answered. I hope you have family or friends to support you, it can take them a bit of time to get used to the new situation too! Deep breaths, you can do this, best wishes.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,907
    edited January 2019
    Hi Amanda. Welcome to the forum. Yes, though none of us want to be here, it is indeed a lovely place to hang out at a really tough time. I hope you find it as warm and supportive as I have.

    It is often a whirlwind when we get diagnosed, particularly for those of us in the big cities (our country sisters and brothers can struggle with the opposite problem). I was diagnosed on a Monday and had my tumour removed the next day.

    So you are still in shock, your plans for the next few months are in disarray, and you are wondering what on earth your life has become. It's bloody scary. I was very very angry for a few weeks, and then I started to cry and didn't stop for a month. If crying was an Olympic event I would have won gold!

    You are starting chemo on the same Monday as I did last year. I was petrified about it, had a massive panic attack two nights before, and a massive sobbing meltdown during my first infusion (a funny story for another time). I have a particular back story (you can click on my @ to read a brief outline) so it was all a bit loaded, but the reality of chemotherapy these days is that the bulk of us fall in the middle when it comes to side effects. Some have a really difficult time, others are able to keep working and have few side effects. We all react differently, so as hard as it is, try not to cross any bridges until you get to them.

    If you'd like to, tell us a little about yourself, and what sort of cancer you have, and what sort of chemo you're having. Isn't the learning curve insane? Just about vertical for many of us...

    Important at this time is to be really kind to yourself. Try to stay in the moment as best you can. Take everything one day at a time, one hour at a time if needs be. Distract yourself, exercise, hang out with friends or family, do whatever works for you to get through this difficult time. Once treatment gets underway things should get easier. It's remarkable how quickly it all becomes routine.

    It's doable Amanda, and we're here for you. Hit us up with any question, rant, vent or worry. Biggest of hugs, K xox
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,612
    The important stuff has been said but just wanted to add my welcome.  Come back to us for any info, support or ranting you need or just to hang out for a giggle.
  • DoodooDoodoo Member Posts: 375
    Ditto to all above @Amanda_StKilda. Sending a big hug
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,479
    Hi @Amanda_StKilda,

    Welcome lovely.  The ladies have already given you some fantastic advice as usual.  This is where the cool kids hang out.  Chemo is the big bad boogeyman of the trip.  Once the first one is done you will get into a bit of a routine and know when your not so fantastic days are and then you can work around it all.

    Some of us get through quite ok.  It's no picnic but life goes on right?  I managed to work, do all my usual things, run the farm, ride my horse etc and had quite a lot of fun in amongst it.  I found trying to keep my daily routine as normal as possible was very helpful.  

    I always recommend to take photos and videos of everything normal and fun you do along the way.  That way when this is all over and you look back on this part of your life it's not all about the treatment.

    All the best lovely.  We are here for you.  We all get it.

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,951
    So Sorry to see you here @Amanda_StKilda .... but you are in the right spot for support & info from those who've been there before you.

    WOW! What a whirlwind!   Scared and anxious is totally normal ... tears, fears - even the odd meltdown - as your brain is in overload just now.  A good cry can be quite cathartic, too .... 

    You don't have to tell 'EVERYBODY' at this point in time if you don't want to as it can all be rather overwhelming, just adding to your anxiety - initially, just your close family & best friends - your workplace boss (if you must.)  I told everyone initially by email (cos I knew I would just blub if I tried to talk!)  Then I just kept everyone up to date with an email as events unfolded.  In the original email, I indicated that I may not get back to all of their replies .... 

    Take lots of Deep breaths, take one day at a time -  keep doing what you love doing to help pass the time (for me that is running my ukulele group & going kayak fishing!)  My uke group was such a terrific support for me over the last 12 months (I was diagnosed on Jan 5, 2018.)

    All the best for next week - take care xx

  • Shellshocked2018_Shellshocked2018_ Fleurieu Peninsula , SAMember Posts: 271
    Welcome to this forum full of support , understanding and knowledge.
    Sorry to see you here but Welcome.
    What you’re feeling is so normal, the first few weeks I just cried and cried, couldn’t stop. As time goes on it will become less and less, especially once you have a plan in place.

    I was the same as Arpie, couldn’t speak to anyone, basically told people via messenger about my diagnosis as the tears could flow whilst I was writing, I didn’t want to deal with their emotions at that time aswell.

    Hang in there , you can do this! We are all here for you 

    Sending cyber hugs ❤️
  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 882
    @Amanda_StKilda As others have said, you'll always find support here. Never hesitate to come here and write what you feel.

    The thing I was most afraid with chemo of was vomiting, and I had none of it; just a bit of nausea, and on advice of the chemo nurses I took the anti-nausea medication preventatively. So no problems with that. The good thing is that after your first cycle of chemo, you get an idea of what the pattern will be each time - the challenging days and the better ones.

    Get plenty of rest and be kind to yourself.

    Hugs, Fran
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