• Trying to stave dumb things entering my head

    Asked by little_fut on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Trying to stave dumb things entering my head

    After reading alot of the questions and experiences posted here, it seems to me bc has a habit of recurring....=( So would it be better to just take care of both breasts at once or ? I know this may not make sense but not knowing hardly anything at all (re: cancer) it just makes me wonder.....I guess I am just stressing on un neccessary stuff just to keep my mind busy and trying not to think about Monday. I'm sorry for being such a scaredy-cat. and asking so many questions. The more I read about breast cancer, the more questions I have, and more answers I get, even more questions arise. =( My head keeps telling me to wait until we know more (after the lumpectomy/node biopsy) but I don't know how to stop myself from overthinking. I think since I am alone... I'm 58 with NO family left I'm feeling over anxious and overwhelmed, I guess having ALOT of free time isn't helping much. Thanks for listening.

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn (Best Answer!)

      Not a dumb question at all. I would ask your doctor his/her opinion. If he/she thought a mastectomy vs. lumpectomy would significantly improve your prognosis I'm assuming he/she would have said so. But, why assume anything? This is no small issue and you deserve to have as many answers as you can before surgery. There are women who have a double mastectomy for their own peace of mind but, not to point out the obvious, but there's no going back once you've gone that route. This initial period of worry and waiting is the worst, by far. After you've had a lumpectomy and node biopsy, you will probably feel like you know what you're dealing with and will have more information to make decisions. Having said this, your doctor should be willing to hear all your concerns and discuss them with you.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Also, reading things on his forum and other online boards can give you the impression that certain complications and recurrences are more common then they really are. Most (but not all) people who have treatment and then go on to living a cancer-free life don't remain active on these cancer sites.

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I can't help you with anything to do with the BC, the girls will have to help you on that. What I can help you with is the worry, the looking, the searching, etc. When I was diagnosed the last time, 4yrs ago, I was dx'd in Oct. then first apt. with oncologist was Dec. 14th. So I had two months to sit and chew on the fact I had cancer in my neck, and somewhere else, didn't know where, but it was there, and I had to wait. So I done what most do, jumped on the internet. I started reading all about how high the percentage of recurrence is for Head and Neck. The low percentage of 5 yr. cancer free. Basically everything I read said I was screwed. Then when I go to the Dr. I was armed with a bunch of questions, figures, facts, etc. I wanted to compare his numbers with mine. I wanted to see if he was any good. In my mind at least. After I give him my numbers, he says "you've been onthe internet, haven't you"? You need to stay off there. Then he tells me, this is nothing, we got this, we do this every day. That's just a stinking tonsil. We will cut that out, cut some more, you will be good to go.
      Right there, my worries melted away. I said, ok, let's go. I am 4yrs. out next month. Each time I go back they keep bragging on how good the done on my surgery, throat looks good, no more scans.

      So what I am rambling on trying to say is, calm down, relax, go see your Dr. get the answers to your questions, and look at your Dr. and ask him, "do you have this"? Are we good? Then, LET'S GO!

      Your going to do great, lots of ladies here have, and they will tell you so. Be tough, think positive!

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      Hi little fut - I thought your name looked familiar and it's because you answered me today!! I think the fear and anxiety is the most tiring and exhausting. Sometimes I agree the news on the Internet is not all that encouraging and uplifting and can make things seem worse. I will hope you get some good news. It will help when you get more of the facts and know exactly what you are dealing with. One thing of many that helped is that I would call the American Cancer Society directly and they were always very kind and helpful and would relay and send out very useful information.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      It's hard not to stop fears and questions and worst case scenarios from entering our head, and every one goes through this phase at least once or twice. There is no right answer and each person and case is unique. Speak with your oncologist about your treatment options and which ones make sense for you. Factors include what type and stage your cancer is, your personal and family medical history, etc. You may want to speak with an geneticist about testing, BRACA is the first one that comes to mind, but there are other panels that are now available.

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Actually, the most likely locations for breast cancer recurrence is the same breast (if not entirely removed), the chest wall, the lungs, bones, liver, and brain. I have had two different breast cancers (not a recurrence) in the same breast. I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy for symmetry, not because of concerns of recurrence in the other breast.

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I know how you feel as I went through much the same thing right after I was diagnosed. Cancer is cancer regardless of the type and that first diagnosis is nasty. You are right that you won't really know anything until after the surgery so as hard as it sounds and is to accomplish, you really need to try to stop worrying and over thinking until you know what you have to worry about. It was all much easier for me once I calmed down. Can you take a quick trip somewhere? Get away for a couple of days before you start your journey. Might take your mind off things.

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      I have appendix cancer, which is rare, so I joined a PMP appendix cancer group, and before my surgery, they sent me lots and lots of literature, so it was more "official" than stuff I might find trawling the internet. I started to read it, and it scared the life out of me. I imagine, like the literature that accompanies prescriptions, they want to include every side effect and complication that could happen. I finally put the lot aside, and decided to take my chances on how the surgery and hospitalization would go, and I did just fine. What I learned from this is, everyone is going to have some things in common, but everyone is going to have his or her own experience, and trying to second-guess it before it even happens is futile. And, we've all done it. They aren't dumb things entering your head, they're legitimate fears. Take a deep breath and try to live in the present moment. Good luck to you, and let us know how it is going.

      over 3 years ago
    • savingrace's Avatar

      Hi little fut, always remember no question is a dumb question if you don't know the answer. Anxiety and uncertainty is very common when we deal with issues that are new to us (especially when it comes to our health). Talk to your doctor and be completely open and honest about your feelings. Try to get a clear understanding of what he says about the results of the test that are performed and go from there with what is the best move. Follow your heart, you say your head keeps telling you to wait until you know more after all procedures are done, follow your heart. Most of the time we find our worries were not as necessary as we thought. You say you have no family, what about a close friend that you can talk to? Or talk to your doctor about a good support group. Pray and ask for "Peace", it will come.

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Just wait til you get all the results back from your lumpectomy on Monday! I know that is hard but it is your best option. Then you will have a final path and you may not need anything more than radiation and if you you are Est+ or Proest+ then a pill for 5 years. If the results are not good then you make an informed decision regarding mastectomy. Waiting is the hardest but Monday will be here before you know it.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      Like others have mentioned, you are in the most frightening stage of cancer, that period before surgery. After surgery you will know so much more. The most informative Site I have found is: www.breastcancer.org. I still refer to it and my family did as well. I want to remind you that early breast cancer is 99% curable if caught early and any stage BC is not the death sentence it was once thought to be. I am a two time cancer survivor. I chose Lumpectomy because it felt less invasive to me. We have to choose what gives us the most peace of mind. Remember that it only takes one teeny cancer cell to start growing again. Mastectomy, though often a good choice, is not a 100% guarantee of recurrence. Having said that, you are going to be be watched very carefully for the rest of your life! Your oncologist can catch any new cancer or recurrence fairly early. MOST OF US BECOME SURVIVORS! I cannot stress that enough. In this Site, you will read more of patients having problems. We don't post about how great we are doing. I wish you the best of luck. You are stronger that you know, we all are.

      over 3 years ago
    • nonnie917's Avatar

      I feel and felt the same way you do so don't feel like you are being a cry baby because you aren't. It is hard decision to make and one I had to make too. I chose to have a double mastectomy. I did not want to live with the fear that the cancer might come back and when the MRI found clusters in the left breast that the mammogram did not pick up that is when I made my decision. Better to be safe than sorry I say. I will be having my the last part of my reconstruction surgery either the end of this month or sometime in April. I can't wait. It is a long drawn out process to go through, but worth it to me. Because of the type of flap reconstruction I had done I can no longer have mammograms I have to have MRIs. I think I trust them more than mammos anyway. Who wants to live with the fear of the cancer returning? No me that's for sure. But it is your body and you have to make the decision that is right for you. Don't worry about what other people tell you to do. Listen to the experiences and to your own heart and make your own decision. You will be much happier you did. Listen to your heart and heed the call. Good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Hi, little_fut. You aren't a scaredy-cat. This *is* scarey stuff - no doubt about it. You'll soon have more info with which to make future decisions and that will help alleviate some of the worries. One other thing I'd like to add to the conversation is the idea of a counselor. You mentioned you have no family. Maybe someone to talk to in person would be helpful...? My oncologist gave me the business card of a counselor who specializes in cancer issues. I've seen the counselor several times and she's *great*. She totally understands and helps bring me out of the fear/anxiety place when I'm there. I do have family and even two sisters who are breast cancer survivors but, boy, this lady really gets it. I'm so grateful for her. Just an idea. The best of luck to you. I'm with you in spirit.

      over 3 years ago
    • dawnbokelman's Avatar

      Recently diagnosed and feeling much like you. I had my final consult yesterday before my surgery tomorrow. The only risk factor I had was the fact that I have never been able to have children and here I sit with BC. Initially I was scheduled for a single mastectomy due to the fact I am now considered high risk I opted for peace of mind and am now scheduled for a double. I don't want to have the threat of it returning always in the back of my mind or at the forefront of my mind with each mammogram of the remaining breast. The emotional scarring I am positive God will see me through just as he did through the numerous miscarriages and a six year abusive relationship. I have found a very loving community out there who are going through or have been through what I am experiencing. Call the American Cancer society and they will set you up with a survivor you can talk to. Much Love and Peace

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      Your fears and thirst for information are normal. The Cancer world is a scary place. When you get the results, take time to consider all your options -- seek professional advice and pray on it.
      I chose to be aggressive -- I had a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation and I am now on Arimidex for 5 years. I just wanted to do all that I could so that I would not have regrets later. However, everyone is different and may not need to be so aggressive. I wish you the best.

      over 3 years ago

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