Hi Sam, Good to hear from you! You really do not need to be sorry about your late reply as I totally understand the turmoil you are going through! The beginning of everything is hard, it is especially true for this journey which is so much rougher than the other ones. I think comparing myself to other people helped, people who have lost their lives to accidents, fire, flood etc. . I think about my classmates who were the same age as me but sadly have passed away many years ago. I am lucky to be still alive comparing to them. If you focus on what you have and focus on making every moment beautiful, you will feel the peace. On the contrary, if you focus on the negatives such as side effect of the surgery, it will make you scared. My husband asked me if I was scared before my surgery. I said not really. I said it is like people going to bungee jumping, they might be a little bit scared inside, but when it is the time to jump they just jump. Only with that jump, you achieve what you could not have imagined. You will feel relieved after the surgery, at least that is how I felt. Cancer is taken away, and you are given a new chance to start all over again. Isn't that great?! Yes, of course we have to live with some pain for some time, but the good news is that is only temporary! Soon after your recovery, you will be walking, driving, running as you used to. You will be there when your children celebrate their birthdays or graduate for the years to come... It will happen, just keep the faith! I am lucky enough that surgery was the only thing that I had to go through. I think the diagnosis is a wake-up call. It calls to change the ways I was living and change my diet and exercise more. Things will only get better from here. I am rediscovering the things that made me relax and happy, especially after your surgery, you will have a lot of time to do that. Pamper yourself, you deserve a break! Sending you positive vibes, Do not be afraid
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Hi Njia82, there are several tips I want to add: If you want to see a specialist/surgeon earlier but can not get an earlier appointment, you can get your GP to call them instead and that will make a huge difference! I wanted to see a dermatologist when we first suspected cancer and could only get appointments weeks down the track after trying with several dermatologist offices. One receptionist suggested my GP to call them instead and that secured me an appointment the Wednesday next week! The dermatologist could perform biopsies right away on the appointment and that also certainly bought me time. Yes, timing is essential as the early it is detected the less treatment you will need and the better your recovery is. When biopsy result comes back, check it right away and make appoint with a surgeon or medical oncologist right away! If you are really worried about spreading risks, maybe ask your GP/specialist to prescribe a whole body PET SCAN which can show where tumours are. If there are no uptake of radioactive sugar in other parts of your body, there should be no need to worry. My surgeon prescribed the test after seeing me the first time and it was bulk billed. Not sure if it is also bulk billed if your GP prescribes it but you can find out. Having the scan earlier can speed things up and give you answers and peace of mind as well. I think doctors sometimes do not talk much as they do not want to scare you. My surgeon did not talk about much about side effects of the surgery and told me it will only take 2-3 weeks to heal. It’s taking longer…but no big deal. Not talking much does not necessarily mean your condition is bad or they do not want to inform you. Experienced doctors know how to balance their talks to give you information at the same time not to scare you. When you are doing research online you may find a lot of things that might not apply to you but will scare you only. Yours is most likely stage 0 or 1 or 2, which means it has not spread to other parts of your body, you may only need surgery and do not need chemo or radiotherapy or even immunotherapy. So reading about the possibility of spreading or having these treatments and the horrible side effects that they might bring will only make you scared. When a person is scared, his body will produce adrenaline which prepares the body for fights and his immune system will be suppressed. This is the time we need our immune system the most, so make sure you do not worry and develop an positive attitude towards healing. Thinking about what things make you relax in the past, is it music, is it good food (make sure not sugary food as cancer cells love sugar), is it meditation, is it Taichi, is it exercises, is it talking with friends… Do all of those things that helped you in the past and discover new ways to make you relaxed and sleep well. For nutritious recipes , you can go to CANutrition.com.au or search for some dietitians' websites. Looking for these healthy living resources will keep your mind away from thinking about the negatives as well. There are several free telephone support lines such as Beyond Blue, Lifeline etc.. You can call to just talk with someone and get things off your mind when you need. If you want a more in-depth consult, your GP can give you mental care plan letter for free psychiatric services if he or she finds you eligible. With this letter, you get 20 free or discounted psychiatric services depending on which psychiatrist you go to. There are psychiatrists that specialize in cancer patients support but can be a bit pricy and a long waiting list, like Headwayhealth, Mindmyhealth. I am using Goodminds.com.au and they provide no-gap services with mental care plan letter. No need to worry about your finance. The government pays towards consultations, scans and treatments, though sometimes only a portion. I think my message to take away is -- actively focus on healthy living and do not think about the negatives. There is SO MUCH support and help out there, if you just open your eyes and heart to look for them. Send my best wishes to you, DO NOT BE ARAID!
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Hey just read your post and Im so sorry that this is happening to you. This is an awful time for you and your family and what really ramps up the stress fear and worry is the waiting and living with the unknown whilst you wait. It truly sucks Ive just come through the wait/diagnosis period of the cancer experience 4 months of pure hell. But there is so much that you can do to improve it and it starts right here seeking support it was the best thing I ever did. I reached out to the cancer council support services spoke to a support worker and it was a defining moment in me gaining back some control in my out of control life. Your family also have access to support services too. You dont have to go through this alone. Your GP can also be another great support they are there for your mental health as well as the physical so when you feel overwhelmed make an appointment tell them how you are feeling. There is also this forum there is always someone here who will reply. Youre not alone we all understand the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. Sending you massive hugs and good vibes Helen 🤗 🤗
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.