My journey with breast cancer started 22 years ago and has culminated in surgical removal of both breasts. The first diagnosis was in the year 2000 treated by partial mastectomy and radiotherapy. The second diagnosis was in 2019 in the healthy breast and treatment was lumpectomy and radiotherapy. The third (and final diagnosis I hope), was early 2022 with double mastectomy and insertion of skin expanders 10 days ago.
I've coped fairly well considering however following the double mastectomy I became overwhelmed while still in hospital. The loss of both breasts was hard to take and despite undergoing breast reconstruction using prosthetics, I felt that a large part of my identity as a female had been taken away. I reached out to the Cancer Council who were very sensitive and kind, thus my registering here.
To all women having had breast cancer newly diagnosed and those who have experienced it, I offer you my sincere respect and admiration. Breast cancer is a brute but I'll fight to regain my feminine identity and hope that I never have to go through this again. I hope all of the women who read this have a successful journey with the outcomes they are happy with.
I just came across your post while scrolling through. Yesterday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m 36, so it’s been quite a shock. Something I never expected and I’m scared about the journey ahead. I wanted to tell you, although your cancer has unfortunately returned and I wish you all the best for your recovery, your post gives me hope that I will still be here in 20 years time. So thank you for sharing. It has truly given me some comfort.
You are welcome and thank you! A diagnosis of breast cancer is completely overwhelming and please be kind to yourself and allow the feelings of shock and disbelief to flow freely. After my first diagnosis, I found that as time moved on, the activity of the treatment process overtook the fear and I developed a resolve to march through it!
I didn't reach out to resources such as the Cancer Council until this time around and I'm so glad that I did. No one can appreciate the travails of breast cancer unless one has been affected and sharing your experience and listening to others share theirs is empowering and hopeful and kind.
I wish you every success in your journey and please, take care of yourself and your soul. You are number one right now!
Thank you for your kind words. They really mean so much. I’m am finding it really difficult at the moment, probably because it is all so new and I’m still coming to terms with the news. This morning I hid in the bathroom because I didn’t want my husband and children to see me crying. I hope that as the waiting ends and the treatment begins, I will feel the same resolve you felt. Again, you have given me comfort in your words.
When I start going down that black hole in my mind, I think back to your post and it gives me strength.
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