Scared of what the future holds

Just home from hospital from post mastectomy surgery consultation, I am absolutely devastated as surgeon explained that all 12 lymph nodes removed at time of mastectomy had cancer present and I now have to go in for total lymph node clearance. To be followed by both chemotherapy and radiotherapy and Herceptin. I am still in shock just not sure what the future holds for me now, do I have a realistic future? What about the grandchildren l may not see, time spent with my wonderful husband in our retirement. Sorry for being so morbid but this has been such a shock, thank you for allowing me to rant.

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  • Hi Anita-B. Right now it will be hard to see any positive side. I have had a the whole lot done. I finished treatment in July. Today I took my boys to school, saw hubby off to work and then went for a swim. It was glorious.... I walk, I paint, I visit family and enjoy my young nieces. I go for a drink with my daughter, I enjoy every waking moment. Anita I am telling you this to prove to you that yes, life can go back to normal, in fact, despite scars and lethargy, It can actually be better. I have developed an appreciation of life that I really didnt have before. I am taking early retirement, and I am going on my second spa break with hubby next week since treatment ended. I had chemo, double mastectomy, lymph node clearance, a further 6.5 months of chemo after surgery then 25 sessions of radiotherapy. You have the added safety net of the herceptin. Unfortunately being triple negative I do not have that - however I am alive. I pray it never comes back but I try not to live looking over my shoulder. I try food I never would have done, I have developed a confidence I had not really had and I got rid of all negativity. Yes Anita, life will be good but... you have a hell of a journey to get there. You have the mother of all battles. In that, you have to look for and find the tiniest positive every day. If you dont, it will drag you down. Dont allow it to do that to you. You will feel low, it is far from being all rosy.... but afterwards life will be what you make it. I am sending you all the positive vibes and good luck that I can. Take care and Regards. Lainey66

  • You are awesome and I love your lust for life . I totally agree xx

  • That is lovely to say. Thank you xx

  • Hi Anita, I know right now you are feeling shocked and bewildered. All the treatment you'll be given over the coming months will help you see your grandchildren grow up, enjoy your retirement with your husband, the best advice I can give is laugh, cry, talk when you want to, keep hold of your dreams even when life is really tough, I don't know the age of your grandchildren, but maybe picture yourself at their weddings or enjoying a lovely hot sunny break with your husband I can also send you loads of love and hugs, xxxxxx

  • Hi Anita . Sorry you have had this diagnosis but like Lainey says, you must focus on the positives. None of us , with or without cancer , know what the future holds but we deal with what life throws at us. I am 58 and my husband 60. We are lucky to both be enjoying early retirement and before my diagnosis spent weeks on end away travelling Europe in our motor home never imagining that this would be curtailed but it has been. I had mastectomy in August and have had 5 out of 6 sessions of chemo( whoo hoo 1 more to go) . I still need another op and radiotherapy. Last August I never thought that in January I would have got this far but I have. In between all the "cancer stuff" I've met friends for lunch/coffee, had weekends away, taken up new hobbies and on bad days rested up. I've realised with my family and friends I have so much to be grateful for .My son is getting married in July and I have a ferry booked for mid may and I'm looking forward to both. You will get through this as all the other fab ladies on this site are doing. We are all here for support and to share experiences. Wishing you all the best with your treatment , keep positive hugs Karen❀

  • Good luck with the last Chemo Kazzerp. Great to hear all is going well. Hugs always Lainey66 xxx

  • Thanks Lainey. Was floored a bit last week with a chest infection but better now. Got a look good feel better day tomorrow so hoping to be able to draw my eyebrows on in the right place !!

  • Kazzerp I found I'd have eyebrow of the day 😳

    I'm right handed & found if I pencilled my left brow first it was much easier to get a matching pair!

    Enjoy your day 😌

  • Thanks for the tip Mrs Nails.... I'll probably go for the quizzical look πŸ˜‚

  • Ah bugger... glad you are feeling better. I gave up on my eyebrows the day they went 'poof' and disappeared in front of my eyes. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ albeit they are thin now I can still raise a brow and give my hubby that 'steely stare' πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • Thank you so much for your reply, it has really helped, you have been through so much yourself but still have a wonderful out look on life, I suppose I am scared of this cancer dragging me down and having the fight to climb back up again x

  • Oh Anita-B

    You must be absolutely shocked to hear all this today I'm sure. You are not being morbid, it's shock, the what if's? It's been a body blow, did you have time with your BCNurse after you saw the Consultant, they are a great source of information & support.

    Please keep away from 'Dr Google' as a few of us call searching the Internet!

    1st you need to absorb this information & then you need to speak to your BCNurse.

    Do you have your date for your next surgery? You'll get your dates for Chemo after that l imagine.

    There are a lot of us here who can help support you, all at different stages in their treatment & some of us have finished their main treatment, I too like Lainey was triple negative so not much in the way of Medication after Chemo but we have to be positive.

    I posted a little inspirational note yesterday as a couple of our ladies are having a hard time, I'll send it to you in a seperate note & it may help you get through these next days.

    Thinking of you πŸ’ & sending really positive thoughts & good wishes πŸ’•

    Mrs N πŸ’…πŸΌ

  • Thank you so much for your kind thoughtful reply, I know I will feel better about this in a couple of days once I have got my head around it, it just breaks my heart seeing how devastated my husband is but hopefully time will help him too x

  • Anita, it's so very, very hard on our lovely husbands, they are so frightened of what lies ahead; there are some good leaflets from Macmillan for partners & family so pick some up next time you're at the hospital or you can get them online.

    Keep talking to him, my husband came to every appointment with the Consultant except the first one but l liked to see my BCNurse on my own for a bit of a chat, they become a really good source of support.

    Keep yourself warm & away from anyone with coughs n colds. Look after each other & face it the best way you can.

    Remember we're here for you πŸ’

  • Hi Anita, I found the worst part of all of this wasn't the cancer or the harsh medications to get rid of it, but the pain, worry, hurt and fear it brought my entire family. Watching them trying to be brave in front of me and on a few occassions hearing them cry when they were not aware I could hear them, totally floored me. I felt guilty for bringing this hurt to them. It made me fight hard for them as well as myself. I made them my strength. Forcing myself to have positive attitude helped them all too. There are times it was not easy but It was doable. As Ms Nails has pointed out, we all support each other here and are here for you during your weak and strong times. Big hugs. Lainey66 ❀

  • Please don't worry, in Ireland once one node has cancer they take them all out, I had 11 with cancer also, had chemo and radiation. 2 years later all good. They will clear your cancer, the chemo is just to ensure they get every bit. This is good news! Your treatment will be tough but I'm it's not such a bad result. Promise...

  • Big love to you. I may not help but choose your thoughts if you can . You don't know what will happen it may be ok and letting your mind go off into the negative unknown won't help your spirits.

    Treatments are amazing these days and that's why they test everything. Go with flow. Wake each morning breath and tell yourself it's going to be a good day. I like eating really well , meditating and being positive. I don't like being out of control but I have to hand it over.

    Be kind to yourself . Xxxxx we get one chance at life so make it count no matter how long it is. πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  • Too right. Making every minute counts is what is important xx

  • Hi Anita.

    I have had a lumpectomy then a total lymphnode clearence. I had chemotherapy Fec-T I was meant to have 6 but unfortunately the steroids caused a tear behind my eye and I then partially lost my sight so it was decided with my oncologist not to proceed with the 6th chemo. I Then had 4 weeks of radiotherapy 3 as normal and 1 as a boost to the site of my cancer. On the 4th chemo I then started my Herceptin. I am now on no: 10 out of 18.

    Herceptin isn't as bad as the previous 2 treatments but it can affect your heart so you will need to go for a heart scan every 3 months to make sure all is ok.

    You can do this, there will be some bad days but hopefully the good days will out number the bad.

    I had both my children graduating from university last year when I was going through all this and I was just so grateful that I was able to see them graduate even if I wasn't at my best.

    It has made me so much more grateful for the little things in life and made me re think my life style. I have horses and dogs and don't drink alcohol so I was getting plenty of exercise and fresh air but I still got cancer.

    However I do feel that perhaps I was trying to do to much and not being a good sleeper wasn't really getting enough rest . So I now try and listen to my body a bit more and if I need rest I do now sit down and take a break more often.

    I wish you good luck wth all your treatment and I'm sure you will smash it, just stay positive and know you are getting all the best help with these drugs.

    Take care.


  • We all have different experiences. I found a pea sized lump last summer which has now resulted in a mastectomy and loss of three nodes. I am now "free of cancer" but as I am triple negative I know this is not the same as 'cured' and I have to get used to the rest of my life being full of drugs and scans and all the other nuisances which keep us alive.

    My biggest surprise is that halfway through chemo I can honestly say I feel very well, if a little tired sometimes. I can work when I feel like it (self employed), and feel blessed to have held Charlie, my great grandson, then four days old, fresh from hospital and on his way home with his mum and dad.

    I consider my self lucky to be treated at a great hospital by caring staff, especially the dedicated cancer nurses. Long may the NHS keep this service going. My family have shown great courage and love.

    On the negative side - has anyone had a psychotic incident after surgery? I was convinced my organs were being harvested and sold to east European gangsters. I actually dialed 999 on my mobile. The police were not happy bunnies. I would be very interested to know how often this horrible experience happens.

  • Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It helps to write things down and have a sight where people understand.

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