A big welcome to all our New Members .....

arpie Member Posts: 7,267

A warm welcome to all our new members - to the club that no-one really wants to join!  Here, You can raise ANY issue, and get helpful replies from those who’ve gone before you, cos we 'get it'.  Nothing is off limits.  We have ‘private groups’ for some more personal discussions .... so feel free to join any of them, if they suit you.

We are happy that you found us - as we were in the same boat not that long ago. The members here are just wonderful and will provide you with as much support as you need.  Just ask away!

If you put your story in the 'Newly Diagnosed' Thread, we'll have a better understanding of what you are going thru - and don't forget to add your 'town or region' in your Profile info - we may have members nearby who you can meet up with for a chat and a coffee.  https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/categories/newly-diagnosed

We all know the absolute turmoil that comes with a BC diagnosis .... specially after a ‘clear mammogram’ and no family history. This was my story.  My MG was clear just months before my wonderful GP found it, by accident!  I had lumpectomy, Rads and now on AI Tabs.

If you can, take someone with you to your appointments for support - as it can be daunting sitting there alone.  A 2nd set of ears also picks up points raised that you may have missed - and ask relevant questions too (as did my Sister in Law with me.) Also, consider recording your meetings on your mobile phone - so that you can go over it again later, if you have to, to query a statement, or just to have as a record.

Your whole world is turned upside down in a millisecond, as you navigate unknown areas of our health system! It is almost a conveyor belt! First you do this, then this, then go there and do that, then come back here and do this .... and it may take a year or two for your life to settle down.

It is totally 100% ok to skip between anger, denial, sadness - but if you find the sadness is overwhelming you, please seek professional help! Your GP may be able to refer you to a psychologist ... or your local Breast Cancer Centre May have help there .... where you are more likely to find a bc specific psychologist who is more familiar with BC issues.  Just talking about it openly and sharing it with a professional should be able to give you coping mechanisms ... 

You will make new friends who will support you (specially on this forum) and may lose some old ones, who just do not understand what you are going thru. Most of us here, have found wonderful friends within the group and have even met up with them in ‘real life’ before this Covid thing and since - hopefully they'll get on top of it soon & our lives return to a 'new normal'! 

If there is anything you want to discuss in a more private manner, you can message a member (or a group of members) and chat in total privacy. 

Personally I found that it mucked with my BRAIN more than anything else!  And sometimes that is very hard to control, as it has a mind of its own! Keeping BUSY doing things is the secret .... get back into your hobbies or take up a new one - even more so now with Covid as we can’t get together with buddies as readily as before.  

Try & keep your sense of humour 'up there' - we have a really good 'funnies page' (called Friday Funnies, but we add them every day!!)  Just click on the link to add pics and posts ... 
If you are into arts & crafts, we have a 'Creative Corner' 
 and if into your garden, a Gardening post as well!! 
And we now have a Fishing post, as that is one of my passions!

If you are an artist or a knitter or do chrochet or other art & craft stuff ..... whack up a picture here!: https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/14979/creative-corner#latest 

If you have 'fur kids' - put their pic here & describe their funny antics ... https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/comment/92526#Comment_92526

We even have a funny Xmas page .... feel free to add any that you’ve seen!

Try not to use Dr Google too much (difficult tho it is) as there is just so much conflicting information out there (and much of it is REALLY OLD & OUT OF DATE), and every BC case is totally 'unique' and it will only scare the pants off you!

If you haven't had your surgery yet, we have some posts here on what to take with you to hospital, to make it 'easier' on you.  

And for your annual checkups, here are some ‘tick sheets’ to help you put your questions together for your medical team.  (Make sure you click on the documents at the BOTTOM of the post, as the others are only sample pages.)

Take care, and all the best to you!


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    Just bumping this one to the top, for any of our new members to check out xx
  • Mazbeth
    Mazbeth Member Posts: 194
    Thanks so much @arpie, you do such a great job providing valuable information and support. 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    Just bumping this for our newest members xx

    There are A few threads you may be interested in (even funny ones!)  & general stuff that may help you get over the shock of diagnosis xx

    Take care & all the best for your ongoing treatment xx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    I am So sorry to see you here, @BeauJ - but you are in the right place for support & information from those who've been thru it already & even a laugh now & then xx. I am actually a bit south of you and LOVE going to SWR!!   I have a bunch of kayak fishing buddies who target Marlin from kayak up there every year (based at the Gaol!)   

    When this Covid thing is over, we may be able to meet up one day!! ;) 

    Feel free to tell us a bit about yourself and your diagnosis & what part of your treatment that you are currently at ....  (in the Newly Diagnosed Section) and we'll do our best to help you thru this shit fight!

    Being rural, you'll be covered by IPTASS for fuel & accomodation costs .... so make sure you download the forms (your GP & Specialist need to sign the first ones, then just continue submitting online.)

    Take care xx
  • BeauJ
    BeauJ Member Posts: 6
    Thanks Arpie, yes that would be great! Covid is a concern, even though I’ve only just been diagnosed, I’m aware that I’m now very high risk, even though I’ve had double dose vax . Will add more info as and when about me. Thanks again!
  • Fizzgigg
    Fizzgigg Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2021
    Hello just wondering if anyone knows any zoom groups or support groups in Newcastle NSW? I’m really feeling very isolated and alone. Thanks in advance and love to everyone going through the same thing xx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    edited November 2021
    Hi @Fizzgigg - sorry to see you here, but we'll do our best to give you support & advice, if/when you need it.

    I am guessing you are in the Newcastle area?  I am further up in the Mid North Coast area.  

    You can add your 'general location' on your Profile ... that way others that live near you can put up services that they know are in your area.  

    Feel free to let us know a bit more of your story - what you've had done already, or about to have done?  THose who've gone before you may be able to give you some tips ....  

    Looking forward to hear a bit more about you xx

    Take care xx

    @Mez_BCNA - could you move @Fizzgigg's post to it's own area - maybe in Newly Diagnosed for dedicated replies??

  • Mez_BCNA
    Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 766
    edited November 2021
    Hi @Fizzgigg, I can see you have received some helpful support already and as suggested by @arpie, I have copied your post your own thread https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/24008/support-groups-in-newcastle-nsw#latest 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    Just bouncing this one to the top again for the benefit of our many Newbies since late last year .... BCNA forum has so many different areas that allow you to express yourself & show off your humour, art, pets & gardens (as well as all the serious stuff!)

    If you haven't had your surgery yet, there is a link (down the bottom of the thread) with tips on what to take with you  ..... and also a link to some 'tick lists' for questions to put to your medical team so that you are more prepared for your ongoing appointments

    take care and all the best xx
  • Olivegreen
    Olivegreen Member Posts: 18
    Hi Arpie I’m new here and I can’t see any tick list for questions to the surgeon at the bottom of the thread. Can you put the link again? Thanks. 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,267
    Hi @Olivegreen

    Here you go xx. Make sure you click on the links at the BOTTOM of the first post (not the 'pics' within the post.)  You may have to copy and paste the link below, if it doesn't work just clicking on it ....

     Feel free to go to the Newly Diagnosed thread & tell us your story. 

    take care & Wishing you all the best xx.