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Newly diagnosed

kblair64
kblair64 Member Posts: 2

I just received the results of my biopsy yesterday right before I was heading into a job interview and managed to hold myself together until I got out to my car. My head is filled with all sorts of questions that I don't have answers for yet. I don't know what to expect and I am scared. I am getting ready to turn 60 in a couple of weeks and did not think I would be facing cancer diagnosis. Ugh

Comments

  • l8blmr
    l8blmr Member Posts: 67

    Hello kblair64, I am sorry you had to join our group, but certainly glad you found Breastcancer.org. There is a wealth of information on this site. Your diagnosis is no doubt a shock, but you can get through it. The unknown is the scary part, the waiting is the worst part and you are dealing with both right now. But as you meet with your cancer care team, you will start to get answers-and don't be afraid to ask questions about anything you don't understand. When your team has your plan in place things will be more settled.

    Life can be a bit of a fog right now, so here are a few tips for navigating the near future: if you can, have a second person at your appointments for taking notes-another set of eyes & ears will help you. Don't be afraid to ask questions-there are many chat rooms on BC.org covering a multitude of topics dealing with breast cancer. And lastly, please find a way to put yourself first (hard to do for most women) while you go through this battle. Know you're not alone, we're all here to help each other. Big hugs!!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,887

    Hi @kblair64, and welcome to Breastcancer.org. We, too, are so sorry for the reasons that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. As you can already see, our Community is full of amazing members always willing to offer advice, information, encouragement, and support — we're all here for you!

    @l8blmr offers great advice — it's true, the beginning is the hardest part, with so much unknown. As she said, once you have more information about what you're dealing with and get a treatment plan in place, you'll start to feel a little less scared and be able to focus on what's ahead.

    In the meantime, we've all got your back and can try to answer as many questions as you've got. Please come back often, share your experience, and get the support you need. We look forward to getting to know you!

    —The Mods

  • rosewater18
    rosewater18 Member Posts: 5

    Hi. I'm 55 years old, married with two adult children, and I just received my diagnosis yesterday. I'm absolutely terrified and worried sick. Trying to calm down and hold it together in front of family. No risk factors at all and no family history of breast cancer. I'm especially worried because I need my income and health insurance and I'm not sure how my cancer will impact my ability to work. Can anyone offer and reassurance on that? Thank you so much and I'm happy to have found this site.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,887

    Hi @rosewater18, and welcome to you also. You're sure to find great support here, as you can already see you are not alone! We're so sorry to hear of your diagnosis.

    As for your concerns with working, take one step at a time. Once you know more about your diagnosis and treatment plan, you can figure out how to navigate working. For some more information, you can check out our information on Workplace and Job Issues. In addition, we have helpful information on Covering the Costs of Your Care.

    Take a deep breath and know that others will be by soon to help support you. We're all here for you! Let us know how else we can help.

    —The Mods

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,736

    rosewater,

    Sorry to hear of your dx. I’m a bit of a straight shooter when it comes to bc. With no information regarding the specifics of your bc it’s difficult to say much. Have you received any info regarding hormonal profile, stage, grade, etc. ? It’s quite possible you haven’t yet, so speculation about the future would be impossible. If you have received this info, please add it to your profile so members can more readily understand your situation.
    Breast cancer is a huge umbrella covering quite a few types and sub-types with plenty of individual variation as well. Genetic mutations only effect a minority of breast cancer patients (15-20%) so most cases arise without familial/genetic connections. I know all of the “what ifs “ are weighing heavily on your mind but try to focus on what you know with certainty for now.
    While I don’t guarantee anything, and you haven’t stated or may not know your stage, early stage patients generally (but not always) do quite well and carry on with life after treatment . For most initial treatment takes care of it but recurrences can occur decades later. However, the majority of early stage patients are treated and never recur.

    I was stage IV, metastatic, from the start at age 55. I worked full time until my retirement at 65 and still sub 2-3 days a week (retired teacher). I will be 68 this year so that’s 12 years of living with stage IV bc. I am atypical but it illustrates the point that bc can behave in ways that are highly individual.

    Focus on what you know to be fact, try to stay away from speculation about what you don’t know yet, and don’t borrow trouble! Take care and add specifics to your signature line when you know them.

  • rosewater18
    rosewater18 Member Posts: 5

    @moderators Thank you so much for your advice and the resources. I will focus on what I know at this time and take it one day at a time. This is all completely new to me and I'm trying to learn. I'm grateful for your support.

    @exbrnxgrl Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts and I hope you are well and continuing to beat this disease. I will definitely go and update my profile with what I know at this time. I'm not sure of the stage or grade, but my histologic rating was "well differentiated". My ER was strongly positive and my PR was low positive. The HER2 is pending because it was equivocal. Not sure of too much else and I'm pretty ignorant about this disease. It's all new to me. Thank you again and I will follow your advice about focusing on what I know and taking it one step at a time.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,736

    rosewater,

    Since you are still waiting on some important information, it is very difficult for you to see the whole picture and difficult for us to comment beyond generalizations.

    Yes, breast cancer is very, very complex and more so than most imagine. But unless we have already been touched by bc, either ourselves or loved ones, most of us have no idea about it and believe it to be one homogeneous disease. I was shocked to find out that there was more than one type of bc and that even within a specific type there were sub-types and lots of individual variation. I was shocked to find out you could have more than one type of bc (such as DCIS and IDC which is rather common). So you likely have a bit of a learning curve ahead. The good news is that you don’t have figure it out all at once which goes back to my suggestion to just deal with what you know to be factual today. There are too many possible “what ifs” and you can really stress yourself out about things that may never happen if you let it get to you. Take care

  • rosewater18
    rosewater18 Member Posts: 5

    @exbrnxgrl Thank you. I appreciate your support!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,887

    @kblair64 and @rosewater18,

    We are just checking in to see how you're doing since your last posts. Have you received any more information about your diagnosis and treatment plan? We're all here for you and hope we can support you through treatment and beyond. Please continue to let us know how we can help!

    —The Mods

  • kblair64
    kblair64 Member Posts: 2

    I have not heard from the breast surgeon yet! No further information. I am very anxious. Trying not to overthink. Thanks for checking in!!!

  • rosewater18
    rosewater18 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you for checking in! I'm doing ok. I met with the surgeon and went over a bunch of stuff. My HER2 is still pending and I need to decide between mastectomy or breast conservation with radiation. I've had a bunch of doctor's appointments and am getting an MRI soon. My family and my office have been very supportive. I'm so grateful for that. I'm overwhelmed but taking it slow. @kblair64 I'm so sorry you're waiting and I hope they contact you and get you in soon.

  • rosewater18
    rosewater18 Member Posts: 5

    Forgot to mention that I had genetic testing done during the appointment and spoke with their oncology social worker. She was very helpful.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,887

    @kblair64 We too are so sorry you're still waiting for a plan. Try to keep calm and we'll send good vibes that things will become clearer soon for you!

    @rosewater18 So happy that you've gotten started on your treatment plan. One foot in front of the other. To help you with your surgery decisions, please see this thread:

    And also this page:

    We hope this helps!

    —The Mods