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Breast cancer

Affected by breast cancer? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.

Breast cancer & mental health

Booby J
Posted by

I too had a mastectomy beginning of April. Luckily I don't have to have any more treatment, just have to take letrozole for 10 years.

The way I cope with it is that I don't think about it as losing a breast but getting rid of the cancer that was inside of me.  I look at my scar and think that the surgeon saved my life and I am very lucky to have had the op especially during the Covid19 peak.

I also try to walk as often as I can. I'm again lucky because I have lovely fields and countryside around me.  

I also didn't tell many people about my op so I don't have to talk about it all the time.  I did not have reconstruction so invested in some good post  mastectomy bras and wear my soft inside and to be honest no one would actually know and I have big boobs.

Wishing you all the best and hope you have good results.

Be strong, you can get through this.

Love

BoobyJ 

Polar Bear
Posted by

Hi BoobyJ

thank you for sharing. We seem to be following the same path! I saw my consultant yesterday and have been told I’ll need hormone therapy for 10 years. The cancer was grade 3 so they’ve sent a biopsy to America (!) for gene marking. If it comes back high I’ll need chemo so have to wait for 3 weeks for the results before starting hormone therapy. However, I’m so relieved they caught the cancer in time and like you feel so very lucky. The softie they gave me is fab. With a little manipulating, moving the filling around, it looks fine. A prosthetic would be better but there are no fittings at the moment due to covid. At the moment I can’t see myself having a reconstruction in the future. The thought of undergoing surgery is daunting and quite frankly I’m happy as I am. This is me now and I’m proud to have got through it. My husband is too! 

wishing you all the best for the future. Thanks for your positivity. I’m aware that trauma can sometimes take a while to hit you, sometimes a couple of years after the event so stay positive and keep sharing!

x

Polar Bear
Booby J
Posted by

Thank you for replying to my post and yes our story does seem familiar.  I have my fingers crossed that you don't have to have chemo bless you. My cancer was stage 1, 13mm in right breast but because I had have 2 lumpectomys 6 years ago due to DCIS I had to have a mastectomy.  

I too am waiting for a prosthetic fitting and have been told I'm top of the list once this covid19 has been controlled.  I am more than happy with my softie though. Much better than I thought it would be to ge honest.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer the same day as my mum was told she had terminal bowel cancer and she passed away 9 days before my operation so I did not tell her as I didn't want her to be worryjng about me whilst in the Hospice. My brother has just finished chemo too and I know she was so worried about him and it would have been awful for her to know my diagnosis too.

We have had so much cancer in our family and have had some Gene's tested, but nothing has been found, but we are convinced we must have a faulty gene.

As you can see I have been through so much this year and not sure where I have got my strength from. But i cling onto every positive and feel that i am lucky to have had an amazing NHS consultant looking after me.  I could have gone private but so glad I choose not to as I gave been well looked after.

Wishing you all the best and stay safe and positive.

BoobyJ

Polar Bear
Posted by

My goodness. You have really gone through so much! I hope the rest of the year is restorative and you can keep positive for yourself and your family. Let me know how you get on. I hope we both get are replacement boobs by the end of the year. Something to give us a lift...excuse the pun!

Take care. X

Polar Bear
Booby J
Posted by

Thanks for listening. I'm ok. Just been on walk with my dad, bless him.

Yeah look forward to getting my new boob, keep in touch and all the best.

Sorry for ranting on yesterday. Feel better for it.

Stay safe.

BoobyJ

M1980
Posted by

Hi I think the fact you had just returned to work for a short time after a longtime off has probably not helped your depression. I think it has probably just kick started what you had just got through. I feel in a similar position slightly, I was just about to return to work after being off since October when I was told I couldn’t return to work as classed in vulnerable group. This really knocked me back, along with other things during lockdown my emotions have been a rollercoaster again, I try to give myself some headspace, fresh air definitely helps even if just I garden if you are not yet motivated for exercise. Everyone always says be kind to yourself, treat yourself how you would treat a friend in your position. Take care x

Polar Bear
Posted by

Hi M1980

I hope you are feeling more positive. You appear to be finding a good way of dealing with your anxieties through your garden although I can see that it is a very difficult time. I have found that structure to the day helps, so not being able to work makes this even more challenging. In one way it’s positive because you can take advantage of the time to rest/heal. There’s always that frustration and disappointment lurking but once you accept the situation, and it’s not always easy, you can take the positives and relax in to it. 
I found out yesterday that following my mastectomy I need only hormone therapy. I feel so lucky. I still have worries, particularly around how I’ll react to the pills because my mother had a very bad side effect with her joints. Nevertheless, everyone is different so fingers crossed. 
One good thing that has come out of all this is a realisation that exercise is essential if I want to stay flexible and build up a level of fitness to stave off fatigue. Watch this space . As far as work is concerned, I can work from home so I’ll be speaking to my manager in the next week to arrange a date to return. I feel in a very privileged position and not everyone can do this. I’m not sure about the ins and outs of your situation but over the years I have had to leave my job due to ill health and been made redundant on two separate occasions. Although it seemed like the end of the world at the time, It wasn’t. The trick is to accept your current situation, try to be objective, get help wherever possible (both emotional and financial) and as they say, things will get better. Stay positive and I’d love to hear how you are getting on. That rollercoaster feeling does eventually subside. Keep talking.

best wishes and thank you

Polar Bear
M1980
Posted by

Hi Polar Bear, 

Thank you for replying, I’m not quite there yet but I’m working on it!

I agree structure definitely helps, I have just broken up for school holidays, I work in a school nursery so have been working from home. So lots of time now to explore hobbies and get more time outdoors again, keep busy in a positive way.

Yes definitely, this time has let me recover physically unfortunately affecting me mentally however I am working through that and am hoping to get back to a more positive place.

That is really good news, hopefully less stress for you and your body, you have been through so much already. As you say fingers crossed for how the side effects of any affect you, I was stressed out but have had very little.

Again thank you for replying to my post, I really appreciate it, take care and I wish you all the best x