I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and remember well how I felt at that time. It is a scary time when you don’t know what to expect, but let me assure you that it’s not nearly as bad as where your imagination is taking you. With regard to how you feel now, allow yourself to sleep as much as you need to. Also let yourself cry, as this is a good relief valve for stress.
I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer. The first was 8 years ago and I had a lumpectomy followed by Tamoxifen. I had the second bout a year later and had a double mastectomy followed by Letrozole. Fortunately you have caught things early and this should give you a better chance. I was stage 1 with no lymph node involvement both times.
Ask your cancer nurse if there is a facility at the hospital to help you with financial benefits. I have a group which I think is run by MacMillan in my hospital. It is helpful to have someone who knows the drill to fill out your forms with you. Having it done from a cancer perspective, it is useful to have it filled in by someone who fills out your form based on this. Your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau will also be able to help you out, but maybe not so much from a cancer viewpoint.
Some benefits are means tested, but others are not, so again advice on what you are likely to qualify for is helpful. If you want help, the sooner you apply the better, as it can take some time to get payments through.
I haven’t had radiotherapy, but I’m sure that you won’t receive this until your wound has healed. I was exhausted, even without this. I am self-employed so felt duty bound to get back to work ASAP. With hindsight, this was not a good idea, as I just felt more and more tired. I eventually developed side-effects to my medication and had to stop doing the day to day work, although I still manage the business.
Try not to torment yourself with the ‘why me’ question. We all do it, but it gets us nowhere. Instead, think of how lucky you are to have caught it early and look to the future with positivity. Try to keep yourself distracted from the wait by keeping yourself as busy as possible meanwhile.
I hope that all goes well for you on 17th April. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. We are always here for you whenever you need us.