Topic: How do you get past the fear and sadness after dx

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression, and other emotional effects.

Posted on: May 30, 2021 01:55AM

Posted on: May 30, 2021 01:55AM

loverofjesus wrote:

Ok this is what me and my hubby are struggling with.

How do you get past the fear and sadness after diagnosis? Like it’s stolen my joy! Yea I’m a Christian and yes I’m praying. But I’m human. And this is so hard.

I can’t seem to enjoy anything because the thoughts of cancer is always there. I grieve what I am losing. And how treatments will change me.

My poor hubby he is kind of this way too. Plus there is fear.

How did everyone get past this worst part mentally??

This site has been so helpful. Cancer is as much mental as it is phy

Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2021 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2021 Whole breast: Right breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Dx 5/22/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/15/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/2/2021 Mastectomy (Right): Simple; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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May 31, 2021 01:28PM - edited May 31, 2021 01:29PM by traveltext

Lots of good suggestions from members. Everyone handles this situation differently. A few years ago I wrote an article on the alternate emotions, hope and fear.

NED breast and prostate cancer. Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.
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Jun 1, 2021 05:29AM saltmarsh wrote:

LOJ, I was terrified initially, and cried a lot in the first few weeks. Like, a lot a lot.

Then, I got past some of the fear and sadness by being proactive and taking care of things I'd want taken care of if I were going to die soon. For example, I wrote letters to my closest family reminding them how much I love them (and why), just in case I died and they ever felt like they needed reminders. While I think I cried harder working on this project than any other I've ever done, it helped to have something to focus on and to know that -- as best as I could -- I was taking care of them. I took care of stuff around the house I wouldn't want my husband or son to have to deal with after I died. And I did as many nice things for family members as I could, in case I didn't have much more opportunity. And I had already taken stock of my relationships and made sure I was in "right relationship" with everyone in my life, so that wasn't weighing on me.

Sometimes I wasn't able to pull out of the funk.

At others, music really helped me either to feel the feelings and let go, or shift to a better mood. Daily meditation also helped calm me. (Since you are a Christian, perhaps one of the many Christ-centered meditations out there would feel appropriate.). Some days I felt lousy but decided to take the fake-it-til-you-make-it approach and dress up in whatever made me feel happy or pretty, and just start with, "Well, I may have cancer, but at least my earrings are sparkling, and are coordinated with my necklace and this updo is awesome!" And that may sound dumb and shallow but it helped kick my butt out of bed and into the world!

I agree that so much of the experience is a mental challenge, and I really wasn't prepared for that, but once I wrapped my brain around it a bit, I started feeling much, much better. I mean, don't get me wrong, it wasn't suddenly all sunshine and rainbows, but it made a huge difference for me.

I hope you find things that work for you!

Dx 3/8/2021. LCIS, ILC. Surgery 4/19/2021 mastectomy, right
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Jun 1, 2021 05:33PM ontarget wrote:

You were just diagnosed in late May! You will go through the normal grieving process, and it might be helpful to read up on that a bit. Everything you feel is normal (sad, angry, etc). You have to get through certain milestones and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It went through my process which included a lot of waiting and freaking out, but after surgery I felt better.

I feel great now. I appreciate life more, I try to do fun things.

The thing that helps me best is to imagine how much worse things could be. It doesn't help everyone, but I am so grateful for what I have. Just the other day I was researching tissue expanders because I had an implant infection, and had to have it removed and then had a new tissue expander placed. The new tissue expander leaked, and I need a replacement, which is delaying my reconstruction even longer. It's been over 2 years since my BMX, and I have a while to go still. As I was researching I saw some gruesome pictures of what some people need tissue expanders for, and I am GRATEFUL that I only have cancer, and not a totally messed up face or whatever other thing. I am happy that I'm just dealing with the minor inconvenience of a TE surgery.

I do this for everything. I'm glad I have cancer and that I wasn't paralyzed in a car accident. I'm glad I didn't have an arm cut off or lose fingers- I'd trade 2 boobs for fingers any day.

I'm not trying to be trite, but for me, to remember that this sucks, but it could be WAY worse is very helpful in reminding me that things are ok.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative. Lost right implant to infection March 2020. Waiting to start reconstruction all over again. Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant Surgery 2/15/2020 Reconstruction (Left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 3/30/2020 Reconstruction (Right) Surgery 11/6/2020 Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 6/1/2021 Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jun 2, 2021 02:04AM julesai wrote:

So many great posts! LoverofJesus, it makes sense to me that hearing "stage 3" was scary. Mine was stage 2 but my doctor told me that the stage was not important. What was important was the kind of cancer and how it could be treated. So good on your doc for finally explaining what was what! As others have written, mourning is a process. Try not to judge yourself around what you feel. Our life changes, but we are here still living.

Dx 3/17/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/28/2017 Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2017 Femara (letrozole)

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