Hey I've just found out that I have breast cancer and maybe it's also in my lungs. I've got agoraphobia and haven't been outside in 12 years. About 2 years ago I found a lump, I convinced myself it was a cyst due to my agoraphobia as I couldn't leave my home. It got to the point where I was hiding it from my partner as the skin bruised and there is a lump like a golf ball sticking out and it weeps. He knew something was off but I just shut him out. About a month ago I lent forward and it burst and started bleeding so I got rushed into hospital. After having a biopsy, ct and pet scan I now know its cancer and I'm absolutely terrified. I'm only 29 so breast cancer was not something I was letting myself think about. I'm due to start chemotherapy next week and I really have no clue what to expect. Ino they are not operating yet and they are trying to shrink it first and are going from there. I'm just wondering is there anyone on here who knows of any tips to help me through? I don't want to Google and freak myself out as I'm m freaked enough and I haven't got anyone in life who I can talk to about it. Sorry for rambling on I'm just after some help/tips to help along as I panic when there and when the nurses and doctors talk I just blank out which isn't good.
I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. It IS frightening and everyone who hears that word 'cancer' just goes into a free fall spin. You are not alone with feelings like that. I guess we all immediately think this is IT. The end. It isn't. The treatments are amazing as are the cancer teams in hospitals. So much can be done. Hold on. Yes good self talk, stay off Google It's full of scary stories and often it's not even factual.
Whilst I have had breast cancer I only needed a breast conserving operation and afterwards 15 sessions of radiotherapy. So I can't speak about chemo though loads of people on this site will know and will, I am sure, respond to you.
A good place to start will be your breast nurses at the clinic. They normally have a helpline and I have found they always phone you back, even if it is the following day. This site also has a helpline too of course. I really really recommend that you talk all your thoughts/worries through with someone knowledgable. They are there to help. I found talking helped me to relax and see what was before me. Speaking to people who aren't emotionally involved helped 'balance' me out when my head kept leaping to a million places. Try it
I of course wish you well. It IS a tough road especially in the early days when you aren't aware of what the plan is or how you will manage it all... one step at a time...
Sending many positive vibes to you. Go well
Hi Tashaa I saw your post and had to reply. I have had chemotherapy after my operation I had to have 6 sessions followed by radiotherapy and now take letrozole daily. I found the nursing staff so very kind and considerate the first session is obviously worrying but the staff support you from the moment you arrive and answer any questions you have. After your treatment I found that If i went to bed with my ginger and digestive biscuits and water I could rest more comfortably. The next day I rested if I needed to but if I felt up to it did a little exercise . Eat little and drink lots of water . After each session I counted down only 5 to go etc. I had mixed emotions and used to call it my roller coaster journey with problems along the way. Take each day as it comes but try to do enjoyable things on the days you feel well whatever helps you to focus on positive things. As your chemo sessions move on you will need to rest more to help your body recover but don't forget to talk if you need to advice is available at all times via your contact nurses at the hospital. They were great and helped me when I needed support. I hope all goes well for you . Xx
First off agrophobia is difficult enough on it's own, credt to you for coping. Me- BC in 2016, mastectomy. and chemo. Panic is understandible, the worst thing about chemo for me was a bad taste in the mouth which made eating a chore. Hair loss was mitigated a little by the cold cap, then there's the tedium - take something to occupy yourself.
I'm sure your chemo nurses will have helped many with anxiety and phobias before, do let them know your worries. I requested ativan from my doctor during chemo but in the end never used it. I think fear and apprehension is almost always worse than the reality.
All the best
Hey thank you for replying. I've now been told I have to have radiotherapy to dry it out and stop it weeping. Not sure how many or even sure what they do but some people are coming to see me at home on Tuesday with information for me which I can't wait for as I'm filled with so many questions. Thank you for your advice and I will try to talk to the people available for me x
I've been told how chemo can make you feel but I don't think it's really registering. Thanks for the tip about ginger and a biscuit I will be trying that! I know what you mean about rolleecoaster emotions, I keep going from is this really happening to denial then just wanting to cry my eyes it. It's all the unknowns that are scary and still think I haven't really gotten my head around it. Of you don't mind me asking what's letrozole? The nurses are lovely I just forget to ask stuff when I'm there as I just start crying and wanting to go home. I've now started a list of questions so hopefully I get some answers I want. Thank you for replying and telling me your experience it really helps x
Hey I've been told soup might be good to each while I'm doing chemo did you try it? First I've heard about a taste and it doesn't sound pleasant. The hair loss does freak me also my mam is cutting it shoulder length for me to try and help me get use to my hair been short before it goes. The fear is definitely horrible! It's strange as it hits in waves as my emotions are all over the place at the moment. I'm hoping it gets better when I start my treatment and when I have some answers. Thank you for your help and for sharing x
Letrozole is a tablet I have to take 1 per day for 10 years it is a hormone inhibitor and is part of my treatment plan to hopefully stop my cancer coming back. So far so good started my treatment january 2016 my diagnosis went from initially a grade 2 to a grade 3 and spread to my lymph node. I had a dx diagnostic test cant remember if I was asked about this as at the time my head didn't take anything in! When I went to see my oncologist he then changed my original plan to include chemotherapy.then radiotherapy I had my operation first. One thing I learnt along the way is that everyones plan is unique so don't compare. On a positive note I have now gone over 5 years in remission and live my life to the full. I also attended the well women sessions at the hospital and met others who were having treatment it was nice as they knew how I felt and we were all supportive to each other. Good idea to write your questions down I did the same. You take care and keep positive.x
Soup is very good yes - I got to a point where the things that tasted best were Wotsits and advocados! Fingers crossed you don't get the bad taste thing anyway. As for hair loss I did use the cold cap which freezes your scalp- unpleasant at first but your head gets numb pretty quickly.- I did still get some hair loss but not enough to need a wig- I stuck with a hat.
Hope all goes well on Tuesday and you get your questions answered and a plan of action, I'm sure this will help lessen your fears.