The miidle of May 2010 I laid on my bed and decided to exam myself and found that I had a lump in my right breast. It was pyhsically hard when touched and I didn't like it so I visited my GP two days later. He sent me for a mammogram and a ultrasound. The first time before meeting the surgeon on the first appointment at the Northern Hospital in Victoria I was saying to myself I didn't have breast cancer and also said to myself "why I am here in this hospital?" I had to meet this surgeon and my specialist sent me for a byopsy. I was reluntant to go through with it, but if I didn't, there would have been trouble for me later on. There was a nurse there with me while having the byopsy holding her hand really tight. The very first one I had and the last one also. It was positive so I had to go through a screaming lumpectomy on the 4th of August 2010 having 7cm of hooked wire, 3 mommagrams, 4 enjections into my breast then I was ready for threatre for the motive to try and save my breast. I was eager to do it as I didn't mind going to threatre. Riding on the bed going through the hospital to threatre I was laughing saying to myself if I do this it will be OK. Then I felt that it was finished and all over. But no my specialist sent me for a MRI and found some more small bits of cancer on my right breast. What a disappointment for me as I strongly begged these doctors to leave my breast on my chest.
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After the MRI I was back in threatre on the 12th of October 2010 as my specialist had me in one day before the mastectomy as this was great for him to do and appreciated it. I was in over night before this surgury so I could have a chance to chat to the nursing staff. I held my 1k right breast all night while in the hospital having a good sleep. At 10am on the 13th of October I decided to have a shower and they called me at 11.50am to go to threatre being there by 12.30pm. I got onto that bed as he said it once to me to get on the bed to go to threatre. I forgot to comb my wet hair also. After the surgury and out of threatre having a drainage in my side under the arm pit I was in hospital for a week discharged on the 20th of Ocotber. The surgery was over the common emotions set in. the emotions were OK for a month but losing my right breast has been a rollor coster deciding to not have a recontructive breast as the surgery would have taken 9 hours - a massive operation. I was scared to have it as I didn't want a mastectomy but I had to have it to save my life. These two don't go together for me as I lost my darling breast. It's hard to weigh it up. Having a good result from all of what I went through and having my life back again and the cancer all gone I still hated going through with it.
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As I have mentioned this has been a rollor coster. The early stages of taking off my bra leaving the perthesis in the bra at night to go to bed it has to be you to do it to feel the separation feeling of it. To throw off the bra leaving the false breast in a box it is very difficult. Others wouldn't know these feelings till they personally do it themselves. I lost my breast. This is firstly in my life than my life itself. These emotions of losing my breast it's like throwing a baby in the river. I didn't deserve the cancer at all. My emotions have been high for the last 16 months over the surgery. My doctor is good as he says it's hard to get on with my life. I couldn't let go of the breast and with the experience of this with the experience of breast cancer. I can't get to sleep till 4am and I sleep till midday. I still cry a lot of losing my breast.
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These days are emotionally high and not being understood by mainly women who haven't had breast cancer. I try to approach my friends who haven't had this kind of surgery and they laugh at me. My own mother who hasn't had this kind of surgery said shut up to me 3 times last year while visting her over a month in WA. Her visitors who I know who came to visit her while I was there didn't want to know about it either. My 4 sisters the same who haven't had this kind of surgery are not chatting to me at all. I came home back to Victoria early as I wanted to be with my husband Colin . My sister Janet is wonderful as she wants to chat and not have personal space. She has rang me a lot since being in WA and wants to reconize these emotions that I have. I have 5 sisters in WA and one brother. My mother's brother who his wife hasn't had any surgery like this said to my husband to not let me pounce my emotions onto my husband Colin. What an cruel insult. It's true that if women who haven't had this kind of surgery don't know what they are saying till iot happens to them. Till then they can shut up.
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My husband Colin has had prostate cancer since 13th August 2001. This was the unknown for him to recieve this diagnoses. The Doctor over at the Austin in Heidleberg Victoria asked him to have radiation for a month in January 2002. He was on 100mls of hormone tablets 3 times a day also before having radiation in 2001. This journey for him has been emotionally tiring. Any kind of cancer is emotional. He was working at the time going to have radiation at the repat in the morning before going to work in North Melbourne. The radiation was tiring for him also being on hormone tablets. There are results from having the hormone tablets as now he has diabetes in September 2009. Colin has a injection under his navel every 3 months.
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I wish someone on line would comment to my missions. Glenys
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Hi Glenys That's a rough journey you've had and are still having. I had breast cancer too. Right-side mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. In my case the main problem with reconstruction was getting an implant which was small enough. I was terrified about the mastecomy but it helped me a lot to have the immediate reconstruction so I can't imagine what it is like for you to have no breast. I'm sorry you're still having such a hard time, it must be very difficult. I find writing on this site helpful and I hope that you feel a little better from having written your story down.
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yes I do it's like opening up an story that you hold till you tell others how you feel. What was it like for you when you had the recontruction? It must have been fear to have it but you were so good to be like this for your self. Help me to have a recontructive breast but is there anything that would disatisfy you that there is trouble where you did have the recontructive breast. My husband is telling me that there would be something that I would be so disatisfied with - is this the cast with you? It would be an 8 hour operation with me as I have 1k weighed breast. It would be so terrifing to have an 8 hour operation. Thankyou for you to say something to me it is so good for you to do it.
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just because I have had a good result of beating the cancer others only look at the pysical part of it. They seem to ignore the emotional side of it. This is so hard to except when others don't have this kind of surgery they are so ignorant. I feel so comforted by others who have had this kind of surgery and want to chat urgently to them of how they have coped with it. This is so new to me when I have only been to a support group 4 times since my surgery. I went into the church in September last year and found 30 women there. It was comforting to meet them. When my sisters in WA who haven't had this kind of surgery I don't want to chat to them. My mental health nurse hasn't had this kind of surgery either so she tells me to go to the pool and do what is best for you to make yourself happy and to get yourself together. It's been 16 months she tells me to cut off the emothions. I want to have a mental care nurse who has had this kind of surgery as they could help me better.
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Hi Allicat, It must have been good to have the surgery and gain your breast back. They must be small too as I have big ones when I had the surgery. It is another thing when you have big ones and more drainage to it. It must have taken less time in the threatre for you. I had 7 drainage injections after the surgery after being discharged so how many did you have? It is hard to except to have one breast on my chest feeling lob sided, flat on one side feeling like a man and a woman. Would you help me to have surgery with what you had to feel much better. Glenys.
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Hi Glenys I had my mastecomy on the day before Good Friday last year. I had a drainage tube in until I went home on Easter Sunday. I didn't have to have any more drainage after that. I think the operation was only about 3.5 hours. As I said I have very small breasts - so although I had been assured that it could all be done in one operation it turned out to be two as it turned out at the first surgery that they didn't have a permanent implant that was small enough! They put in an expander temporarily and swapped it for a permanent implant a few months later. Most people have a expander in for a number of months gradually stretching out the skin ready for the permanent implant if they're getting an implant. There's also other options involving using fat or muscle from your own body for reconstruction of a breast. I have happy with my implant and I know some people who have had the TRAM flap reconstruction and they are happy too although it was a tough surgery and recovery afterwards. The breast shape does not quite match the other and there is a small amount of discomfort but it is done. I chose this as being much more convenient and less emotionally distressing than having to deal with a falsie every day. I am a runner so being able to exercise without worry is very important to me. The whole thing was a lot less traumatic than I thought it was going to be. I was terrified out of my mind beforehand. Everyone has to make their own decision on what's best for them. But it sounds like it would be helpful for you to at least investigate if reconstruction is possible and what options you would have.
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Hi Allicat, I feel that you were so brave to do what you wanted to do. I glad that you are so pleased with your breast and to have the surgery. I have a kilo breast so it is big one. It would take 8 hours for a recontruction on me. In hospital I was there for a week after a tube inside under my arm pit. Then I had 7 injections when discharged as it took a week before Christmas to terminate it. Why do others think that when the surgery is over you are OK to get on with it? Thanking you for your time as it is good to chat to you Glenys 0x
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There is another story I must tell on line and that is how I felt on the day when the surgeon told me I was going to have a mastectomy. It was on the 3rd of September 2010 and this is the day much harder to cope with also. I had a friend with me at the time and her name is Eva and she is a midwife and done this study with mastectomies too. She has not had this surgery done though. When you personally experience this type of sugery it is different. The appointment was at 11.30am at the Northern Hospital. Doctors run late. I was glad he was running late. My sister rang from WA to visit us that night. After being in shock of my specialist saying to me that day I was going the have a mastectomy on the 29 of September 2010 this date was postponed to the 13th of October. My specialist had a breast picture of what he wanted to do to fix it all up. He draw around this picture and I still see him doing it. He gave me till the end of October when I would be in trouble. A fortnight before on the 29 of September this he asked me to sign the consent form and I did it really slow and after signing it I said I know what I have done out loud. Glenys xxx
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When in WA last June/July 2011 I had my sister visit our mother from Harvey. She was with her husband and 2 boys. I wanted to chat about the breast cancer and it went for about half-an-hour.It was the first time I had a chance to chat to my sister as she is a nursing sister too. My sister's husband got sick of it and got up to walk outside to just drive away with my sister and boys. I haven't but one phone call to ask him why he did that he said he was just tired of what I was saying. He can get lost with me. The personal space they want over there is good. Glenys xxxx
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hi Allicat, It's has been a rough journey for me as you say. You had breast cancer too but yours are small. So you would have hardly any drainages after discharging you. Boy you are lucky as it would have been great to have your breast back on your chest. The hard time that I am having is that I get undersold. Wombat4 helped me out with this and I feel so happy about it. No one understands it till they go through it themselves. I hope it doesn't take over my life after to what wombat4 said to me. These feelings have not been in my life but for the last 16 months. It is annoying to me to have cancer invade the 3 of us in my family Glenys. x00 You are such a good friend to me.
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My husband Colin and my son Stuart wants their old wife and mother back before the cancer. They are suggesting to me to climb a mountain. My son hasn't been affected with cancer at all in his life and Colin has prostate cancer and diabeties. How can you help me with this one please? Glenys.
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Do they mean an actual mountain? Maybe something like would be good, to give you a goal to work towards. Even if you don't like that idea, they're only trying to help. Maybe there is something else new that you could do.
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Not a actual mountains but to go and have something in my life that would feel great and that is swimming. I want to go with it slow. Not to give up at all. it's sometimes hard to see into the future. I have my cousin Steve coming from Sydney over easter and that has cheered me up a lot. We're going to have a lot of time together going into the city. Thanking you Glenys. 0
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Just seen my mental care nurse this after noon and she said to me that I haven't excepted this false breast. It's hard to accept it as it is too heavy for me and its weight is 1 kilo. I find that wearing the false breast that it is more heavy than my natural breast so I feel weighty on one side and light on the other side. Even when it weighs 1 kilo it seems to be more heavy for me. I am going to put items in my bra like oranges etc to see if I can find some weight to give me something that I am happy about. Do u seem to have this too if u are in the same boat as me? Would someone help me with this one please? Glenys. Thanks 0
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It must be distracting and reminding of the false breast when you feel lopsided. Testing with oranges sounds like a good idea or you could check if there is anywhere you could try on different ones to test them out. There are a couple of support services in the city that might be able to offer some help & advice. (I hope it is ok to post these links) www.breacan.org.au/ www.thinkpink.org.au/living-centre/our-services
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Hi Allicat, You are gorgous to tell me about this website link so thanks very much and I hope you are Ok too. My false breast is quite heavy and it feels like it more heavy than my natural one but they are weighing the same weight so I don't understand the reason for the false breast to weigh more than my natural one. I've had a look at these website links and they look good. I hope you don't get into trouble by promoting it with me. Glenys 0
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Hi Allicat, You are gorgous to tell me about this website link so thanks very much and I hope you are Ok too. My false breast is quite heavy and it feels like it more heavy than my natural one but they are weighing the same weight so I don't understand the reason for the false breast to weigh more than my natural one. I've had a look at these website links and they look good. I hope you don't get into trouble by promoting it with me. Glenys 0
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Hi Allicat, I don't know if you are around still as I haven't seen any posts from you. You are wonderful to share the breacan website with me as I went in there today. I arrived at 1.30pm and they gave me an hour of advice and was appreciated also. Also I got a CD to listen too and I have listened to it twice tonight. It was good so thanks again as you are wonderful to share it with me. Glenys 0.
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Hi Glenys I'm really glad to hear you went to BreaCan and it was helpful. The first time I went there I cried and cried and they listened and helped me feel a bit better. I went to the pool last night and it made me think of you and I was planning to check the website today to see how you were. Best Wishes Allicat
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Hi Allicat, It is good to hear from you as I thought you had disappeared. Yes I did go to BreaCan and was helped out by chatting about the mastectomy mainly. I arrived there at 1.30pm and they chatted to me till 2.40pm which was great. I was pointing out how in denial I was with going to threatre as it was a joke and the surgeon wasn't going to do it to me. This is how I felt just outside the threatre door. I wasn't screaming at all and I hugged the surgeon beforehand trying to let him know that I wasn't cross with him. I didn't cry when visiting them in there. I don't know how to chat to women who haven't had this type of surgery. It is hard to understand the other side of the coin after a diagnoses like this. Would you give me some hints not to say this and that when other women haven't had this type of surgery as I am new at this game. We all scratch each others back I feel. When other women who haven't had this type of surgery there are things we must not say to them. Glenys 000. Thanks Allicat.
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Hi Glenys I don't know if there are specific things you shouldn't say to people who haven't had breast surgery or a mastectomy. Maybe you need to try not to split the world into people who've had this surgery and people who haven't. People are just people and we all have problems and issues and need help sometimes. You didn't put your foot in it by offering to help. Maybe she felt embarrassed to have to explain she hadn't had cancer but she shouldn't have. I had my mastectomy exactly 6 months after I was told I would need it. This gave me time to get used to the idea. I didn't worry about it for the first 4 or 5 months as I was concentrating on getting through chemo. It was only once chemo was finished I started stressing about the mastectomy. I remember it was impossible to believe. The idea was too big to fit in my head. I could not imagine that it would really happen and that I would be still be me. I was terrified beforehand but then on the actual day I was quite calm. I was just glad the day was finally there and I didn't have to wait any more. Allicat
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Hi Allicat, I feel that you are a good friend to me and helping me out is good. I want to tell you something as I went to a Forum in December of last year and there was a woman there after the meeting who I spoke too afterwards she had advanced breast cancer and I got into trouble by the owned support group. I spoke to this woman and she didn't know anything about having cancer till she went to her GP and found out that hse had cancer. I was asked to not go to her support group in early March 2012. This is the first time I have been told off. I didn't know the future for her at all. I would like your thoughts on this please Glenys. 00
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Hi Glenys Since you didn't know this woman had advanced breast cancer and a bad prognosis then you might have accidentally said something insensitive to her. I guess you just need to be careful what you say without knowing other people's situation. She could have given you some advice about this if she told you off for something so you'll know for the future. Are there different support groups for early breast cancer and advanced breast cancer? In the support group I have been to I have only met people with early breast cancer but they have mentioned former members who have passed away. It seems a bit mean to tell you not to go to the support group but I don't know who that group is aimed at. It could be that it was not a suitable group for you. Maybe they could suggest a different group for you.
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Hi Allicat, Are you in Victoria if you are what support group do you go too? I have had early breast cancer that was in stage 1 and didn't need kemo or radiation. I take a hormone tablet of 1 mill one a day. My story is on line if you want to have a peep. When I spoke to this person it was the first meeting I had gone too. I don't know the ends and outs to it all. I was disappointed that she told me off and then told me not to come to the support group in Melton. It's 17 months now for me since I had surgery and it takes 12 - 14 months to get over having a lump out & mastectomy. I had 2 lots of surgery. There is good meetings at QVWC coming up Allicat. Thanks Glenys 000
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Hi Allicat, I will be going into Breacan as I have booked myself into 7 sessions. The first one is on Tuesday at 5.30pm. Have a look at their programe as it is good. Glenys 00
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Hi Glenys That sounds good, I hope you find it helpful. I work 9-5 in the eastern suburbs so it is hard for me to get to sessions in the city. From the time of your post I guess you are still having trouble sleeping. Have you been able to go swimming yet? Allicat
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Hi Allicat, No I am not having trouble any more as I go to sleep now around midnight which is more early now than 4am. Last night I slept for 11 hours as I went to sleep around midnight and slept till midday. I think I am catching up with the hours I didn't have and this is good. About going swimming I have been down there twice. My husband and I have 3 lots of junk mail to do each week that brings in around $100 so that is good. We have been out the last 3 days and I am rather tired today. Breacan has rang me and I can't go in there today as my diagnoses in 2010 is too recent they told my son. Glenys 0
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That's good you're sleeping better and have been swimming. I went to the pool this evening and it is really good as you get exercise and also feel more relaxed. Was the group at Breacan for people whose cancer was longer ago? That's seems weird. Hopefully they will have another group you can go to.
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Dear Allicat, It does seem weird as I seem to be turned away some how. The person who I told you about not having advanced breast cancer where I went to the forum last year she was told in March 2012 that she had breast cancer. All I said to her that she will know when she got it and I was told off by Leanne in melton. I am new at this game and being diagnosed in the middle or late May 2010 so that isn't quite 2 years yet. I like the spa and I get into it for an hour. I went swimming with my cousin Steve over Easter and it is good that we go as it does make us feel more relaxed. I am getting to sleep just after midnight and sleeping in also. What would you feel if we met and we went swimming together? That to me would be great. If you live in Ringwood that is where my sister-in-laws are on my husband's side of the family. Glenys 0
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Hi Stitch How are you if you see the post from me after the 10 hours surgery? I hope things went good for you too. Maybe you are still in hospital for 3 weeks. Glenys
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Hi Glenys I like this site being separate to real life. It makes me feel safe to talk about things that are hard to talk about in person. Have you talked to BreaCan again?
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Hi Allicat, Ok if you would like the website to be separate to you. I am glad it makes you feel safe. It would be great to meet you. About Breacan I have booked myself into 6 sessions with Breacan and my husband Colin & I we are going into the city on Thursday for another session. The first one was about sleeping soundly. This next one is on wellbeing. I bought a book home and I am up to chapter 4 and it's called after cancer a guide to your new life. Have you read it as I have found it really informative and it's helped me a lot. I have listened to 2 CDs also from breacan. I suggest if you haven't read it it would be good for you. The first chapter on the first page points ouit that we don't ignore our history of cancer. Can we really do it to ignore it. Most of us would like to put it behind us the whole cancer experience and would say I had cancer but it's over now. I am, or soon will be healthy before I got sick. But can we really do it. Can we face our future by ignoring your history of cancer Should you? This is a good chapter. It has helped me out a lot. I want to cuddle my lost breast like cuddling a baby as this comforts me. Glenys 0
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Hi Glenys I went and got a copy of the book you recommended but I haven't started reading it yet. I want to set aside some quiet time to read it as usually I am just rushing everywhere. The sessions at BreaCan sound good. I hope you are sleeping well. I have been having trouble getting to sleep lately but I feel much calmer when my cat comes and sleeps with me. Allicat
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Hi Allicat, Good I am glad you got this book I suggested to you. Please read the first page of it in the first chapter and you'll be surprised with what it says to you. I have got up to the 5th chapter in the book and it's been good. Around the 92 page of the book it tells you why you had cancer. Glenys 0
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Hi Allicat, Breacan has been busy with making up songs and they are good. It's a new way of living The only way is up You can't ignore the experience and hurt They say time heals But it takes more than that It's a new way of living (1st verse in the song) Support from my friends They may not know what to say It's unthinkable to them But just that phone call That card in the mail A simple hug says it all (2nd verse in the song) Chorus I need my space Tranquility as I learn to cope with my pain My peace is like a garden where I will grow As the seasons come and go The song is a good one with a good tune to it. Glenys 00
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Hi Allicat, I would like to ask you a question. What would you do if your son is 29 years old and you still wash his clothes, wash his dishes, and he lays on his bed most of the time with his laptop? Would you help me out please? He does'nt pull his weight around here. Would you feel frustrated? He is 30 in November 2012. Glenys. 0
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Hi Glenys I think it is fair to feel frustrated. But also your son is used to being looked after so there is no reason for him to change unless you push him. It would have been nice if he had thought to start helping out more when you had cancer but he might not know what to do. Have you asked him to help? All the family doing the dishes together could be a starting point. Allicat
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Hi Allicat, There is everything wrong with young people these days as they treat their parents as slaves. Stuart mainly lies on his bed and he thinks he doesn't need pushing but it said on TV today that being fat and not exercising is as bad as smoking. Stuart doesn't do that as he is not a smoker but I wish he would respect his parents. How are you also? Glenys 00
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Hi Glenys, Sorry your son is so difficult. Sounds like he needs to grow-up. Today I stayed home from work as I feel quite unwell in my head. It is a dizzy sort of a feeling. A few years ago I had an inner ear problem which made me feel terrible for about 8 weeks and it reminds me of that. I really hope it is not the same thing. I made an appointment with the doctor for Saturday but I don't know that he will be any help. When I had it before it was possible it was brought on by stress and getting rundown. When I had chemo I was worried that would bring it back but it didn't. It is weird it should come back now. Although I am still hoping it is something else that will get better quicker! How are you? I think you mentioned a knee problem? Allicat
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Hi Allicat, This sounds to me as it might be so serious for you and the dizzy feeling that you have scares me. It might be your ear but I can suggest to be careful. Don't be saying that the doctor won't help you out as the GPs job is that they will help out. If you feel with them that they are recking things for you speak up to the GP. This dizzy feeling sounds serious or you might not be drinking water. We do get dizzy when we don't drink water. If you are not happy with your GP find another one and they will help you. Yes I have knee problems both of them and I am going to the Northern Hospital on the 2nd of October and I think I am up seeing a surgeon. Hows that? Glenys 00
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Hi Glenys, The GP thinks it is the inner ear problem again. He gave me some tablets which he says should fix it by next week. I hope he is right. I did feel better this afternoon so that's a good sign. I hope the surgeon is able to fix your knees. Knees are very troublesome when they go wrong. My dad had a knee replacement last year and he is really happy with it and can walk without pain now. Allicat
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Hi Allicat, Is that Antibotics - the tabs that he gave you? I recon that these tabs are not good for you especially when you have to drink a lot of water. I am looking forward to the op so I can be in the same situation as your Dad - no pain at last. Glenys xx
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Hi Glenys, How are you? I haven't heard from you for a while. I hope things are going ok. Are you scheduled for knee surgery soon? I have had a lot of headaches recently and been feeling tired. But apart from that things are good. I have six weeks off work now and I'm leaving for America for a holiday next week. I still think about cancer everyday but it is just in the background. I am still reading the book you recommended "After Cancer". I like it but somehow I've gotten into the habit of only reading it while I'm in the bath so it is taking a while.
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Hi Allicat, I am coping the best way thinking about the recurrence that I may have. I would hate it to happen again to have my other breast off. This is what is on my mind a lot. I am seeing the surgeon on the 2nd of Oct about my knee hoping I can get out of surgury. I ware patches for pain relief. Just come from the GP tonight and having a general blood test tomorrow. I hope you can get this message before you leave for America as I will miss your commnication and I want u to answer me. I hope u have a great time with your sister. I am glad u like the book also. The 4th chapter is a long one all about cancer recurrences. The last chapter is a good one to read. It's good to relax with the book. Again have a great time with your sister as both of you need a lot of catching up to do. Glenys xx
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Hi Glenys Is there some suggestion that you have a recurrence? I hope everything is ok. I had a great time in America with my sister. I thought it might be awkward as we hadn't seen each other for a while but we got along really well.
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Hi Allicat, All I am saying that I hope don't have a reacurrence in the future as it hasn't happened. I am so glad that you had a great time with your sister. Would you help me out with this. I have good results with my cancer having no chemo or radiation and to get on with life. But I hate the experience of having cancer and what I have to put up with. I haven't had a recontruction so I wear a false breast, lob sided, flat on the right side etc and I think the friends are saying to me that is all hatred with the surgery and I can't move on with it. I hate this experience that I had surgery with this diagnoses. Do I ignore the feelings of being lob sided etc? What do I do with it. I can go on hating the experience for the rest of my life too. I bet you feel the same way with it. How do I accept it? Glenys.
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