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new to breast cancer.........

blondie
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2001

last saturday i had a mastectomy....i'm a large breasted woman so this was a drastic change to me......not to mention the "c" word now being in my vocabulary....I begin taking my first chemo treatment tomorrow...tonite I pick up my wig. This is all so new to me...and I have to admit i'm petrified. I have a boyfriend out of state, that wants me to move to be with him...how can I do this??? How can I subject him to my appearance, my sickness, my financial problems now. I love him too much to put him thru this.....even what he's going thru so far is more than I ever wanted to put him thru...I have even tried to break up with him...but he won't let me.....please help me

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi blondie,
Sorry to hear about your struggle.
We never want to subject those we love to anything that is difficult but sometimes that just can't be helped. I too had just started a new relationship when I was diagnosed. I think you have to count your dear blessing and that is him. You have to remind yourself this is out of your control and having someone with you through this is a blessing. He sounds like a wonderful person who knows that you need help. What ever you choose to do don't do it because of the cancer. You are human first.
thinking of you, Tara

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi there, well, your first step in recovery is getting on this site and asking for help. It is a very scary thing this cancer crap, but we can and will deal with it and overcome it. I too am a large breasted woman, but once I found out i had cancer in my breast,I wanted it gone, it was no longer a part of me. I wear a bandana or a ball cap, in the hopes that if some other woman going through the same thing will see me and gain some strength from my carefree attitude towards the whole thing. I have not worn my prosthetic in almost a year. I just dont care anymore. Not that I dont care about my appearance, i do, but the fake boob is large and heavy and I just cant be bothered to wear it for someone elses comfort. I am comfortable going without it, and that is what counts. You have to be comfortable with yourself, love yourself and stay strong. Sure the chemo can be a real bugger, but keep a strong outlook and a good sense of humor and believe me, you will sail through this. Dont shut your boyfriend out of your life, he obviously loves you very much and wants to be with you. You are lucky to have someone like that. My husband has gotten me over alot of hurdles, and actually hates it when I wear my fake boob, he says that when he hugs me it is cold,whereas the rest of me is warm, he likes the spot where the breast was taken off, he lies his head on there and snuggles up to me. It is hard to let other people help you, but I have learned in the past year that others love to help, it makes them feel useful and good inside when you ask them to do something for you. I am stubborn and very independant, and one of my friends always wanted to help but I always refused because I did not want to become a burden, finally one day I let her do something for me, and she was so happy to help,it made her feel like I truly cared about her and trusted her enough to let her help me. So please let your boyfriend into your life again, let him love you and love him back. This love will sustain you through the rough times,and only get stronger as you get stronger.Stay in touch with us here, we will help you both as much as possible.Dont try to do this alone, there is nothing quite like having a good cry in the arms of someone who loves you,and does not care if your mascara is running, and thinks you look beautiful even with your nose bubbling.
Take care and God Bless.
Hugs from tiger.

My home email is davem@efni.com if you feel like getting in touch with me on a personal level.
xo

blondie
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2001

Thank you for those words of encouragement Tiger.......but.,....I just can't help feel I should not put anyone thur this. Our situation is a bit different, seeing how he's in another state...and so far, our only contact has been via phone calls and e-mails. He has a daughter to take care of...he doesn't need to play nurse maid to me. He has tried to be supportive, but I'm just afraid to let him in. Call me afraid, scared, embarrased, whatever.......I'm having a hard time dealing with this. It's because I love him that I was trying to let him move on with his life without me. For the simple fact...I can't make any plans for my future. Right now all I can offer him is a broken down mess of a woman....and it's just beginning. I've not even told everyone in my family.....I've never been the type to rely on others to do things for me or to take care of me. I'm working everyday to pay my medical expenses...my insurance won't cover this. So you see, I would be a tremendous burden. This isn't easy.....all of this has happened so fast I really haven't had much time to sit and think of it all.

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Blondie. Sorry to hear about your new Dx. and recent mastectomy. You are very brave to enter into this chat and ask for help. My question is why your insurance won't pay for your medical bills. There is a law that all breast cancer must be covered. If I were you, I would fight this. You have rights and many times you can get some financial assistance if you challenge them. Good luck! Cathy

judyd
Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi, sounds like you have a guy that really cares about you. Some people can't handle when someone they care about gets cancer so you are fortunate to have him wanting to be there for you. My husband has been so supportive through all of this. He constantly reassures me & lets me know how special he thinks I am . Come April we will be married 31 years. You think you really know someone until something like this comes along. It has just brought something so different to our relationship, all for the better. It is nice to have someone to love you, support you & just be there for you through this. The first part of the diagnosis is the hardest, there are just so many feelings & thoughts you have. Just take one day at a time. I had a mastectomy in Dec. No matter how prepared I thought I was it is still a shock to look at your body after surgery. But who you are is on the inside not the outside. If that is what it takes to get rid of the cancer then that is what needs to be done. You will get through this. Just try to stay as positive as possible, that is very important. I wish you & your guy the very best. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers. Judy

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

HI again. I know you are scared and that is a natural feeling, but you are not a burden to anyone but yourself right now. You are still a beautiful woman who has alot to give to this world and to the man who loves you and his family. Just think of what a wonderful strong role model you could be for his daughter. I have two sons ages nine and three and a half, and let me tell you, if I wasnt running after them all the time, and after my husband too, I would probably lay on the couch and let this consume me. When I have chemo I am pretty useless for the first couple of days and thats when my husband calls himself my "kitchen *****" He does everything and it makes him feel good to be able to help. Then once I am feeling good again, I take over. So what is three or four days a month for him to take care of me? I fend for myself the other 26 days of the month. Let yourself be loved. Boy, if I lived close to you I would drag you out to the mall and have some fun. It is easy to say you are scared and let those feelings take over, but it takes a really strong person to replace the fear with strength and laugh out loud. I am sorry if I sound heartless, but remember, I have been there and am still doing that!! I force myself off the couch no matter how tired I am, and take a short walk and I feel SO good afterwards, even if I have to get back on the couch again, I do it with a sense of accomplishment and some fresh air in my brain. Please,Please, have a good cry, throw something, then buck up, call your boyfriend and tell him you love him. Open your heart to the love others want to give you. If he can look after his daughter, then i am sure he would love the chance to care for you and share his burdens with you. I imagine he wants you with him for more than just to look after you, if he is a single dad then he probably could use your support once in awhile too. Therefore you would be giving to each other which is what every relationship is about. I wish I could hug you and give you some of my strength. Know that you are in my heart and in my prayers. Stay in touch with us, you have posted once now you are a part of our family and we will not give up on you. Lots of hugs and love coming your way.
Tiger xo

blondie
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2001

I thank you Tiger very much, wish I could be as positive right now though.......my boyfriend and I's situation is different.....you see...we have never met. We have talked on the phone every day, sometimes for hours. We met on the internet playing cards.......he swore he would never have an internet girlfriend....let alone fall in love with one that he has not met...yet he did fall in love with me..and I fell deeply for him.......that is why I really am having problems letting him be so involved in my mess of a life. It isn't fair to him and his daughter. They need someone they can count on to be there for them.....I cannot say I'll be able to do that. Today is my first treatment. I've heard so many stories, guess i'm preparing myself for the worse. You see, I've only known about this cancer for a week now....I found out one day, and 3 days later had the breast removed. I find myself sitting for hours just having the largest of tears roll down my face....so angry that I'll not be able to follow the dreams I have.....only because I don't know if there is a future to dream about anymore. I'm sorry for sounding so negative.....heaven help me, i'm really trying. This man is too wonderful to have this extra baggage to deal with. ;-(

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Blondie,having cancer is a very scarey thing. I know,I had myself dead and buried! You've had the surgery and now the chemo begins. You must be strong! You can't sit around feeling sorry for yourself or you will have trouble beating this Beast. Stay as active as you can. Ask people to help you when you need help. Don't travel this journey alone. Think positively and the journey will go much smoother. This boyfriend of yours sounds wonderful. I can understand your concern about moving to be with him but you can still speak to him and maybe visit in between treatments and then maybe, you'll see if he is really sincere.Good luck with everything! Keep us posted. Cathy

blondie
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2001

I guess this is what's so scary.....I'm afraid that he will just stay with me out of the kindness of his heart. I don't want him to think of me as a charity case that needs help......this isn't coming out right, but maybe you will know what I mean. Like I stated, we have not met.........but did fall in love....before the cancer came into the picture....but this has changed it all.....just can't get him to see it. This has changed everything...:-(

webaur
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi, Blondie!

Sounds like things have been happening fast for you. This all came upon me very quickly, too. Life changes at the drop of a hat sometimes. We sit and wonder "Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What could I have done differently so as not to have gotten this disease?" Well, as my second daughter said to me---"Mom, don't go scraping the bottom of the 'What if' barrel!" You cannot change your diagnosis, your surgery, or the treatment to get rid of the "beast". Right now, you are alive and you have people who love and care for you. As you have been told by some of the others, have yourself a good cry (trust me, it won't be the last, either) and then make up your mind that you will get through this. What type of support people do you have around you? Do you have a church that you attend? Please know that you can count on me and all of the other ladies here to help you through this in any way that we can.

PLEASE, PLEASE tell your family as soon as possible! They can be more supportive than you can ever imagine. Believe me, I hated having to tell my mother--we just lost my father to cancer less than two years before I was diagnosed. I didn't want her to have to face the "C" word again---especially with me (I am the youngest child). You also mention your boyfriend. He sounds like a MARVELOUS man---don't let him go!!! You say he wants you to move to be with him---has this been since your diagnosis? If so, then believe in his love for you. You should not go through this alone and having someone who loves you makes it even easier. I thought (and still feel) that my husband deserved a "whole" woman....not one that is missing a body part, has no hair, has no energy, and adds to the monthly bills with the costs of treatment, etc. Believe me, I didn't ever want to put my husband through this either. He has been really wonderful and supportive from the very beginning----he was there when the surgeon changed my bandgaes from the surgery in the hospital before I went home--he saw the "new" me before I could even think of looking at myself. Know what he said to me as I laid there looking at him so I wouldn't see myself? He looked into my eyes and said "I can live with it." WOW!!! I'll bet your boyfriend will say the same thing to you. If we could choose what and even when we would subject those who love us to, then no one would ever get cancer!! Don't worry about putting him through this--he has volunteered for the job!! As you will also find, the ladies on this site will tell you that when someone wants to do things for you--let them!!! It is hard--believe me, I know. But you, and they, will feel better for it. I am still learning to let go and let others do for me. I am the type of person who prefers to do things for herself. Having people help me take care of my family just wasn't something I was ready to accept---after all, I AM THE MOM. I am supposed to take care of everyone else. WRONG!!! God is constantly teaching me things---unfortunately, I always have to learn the hard way. I am rambling on, so will try to get back on the subject. Perhaps the fact that your boyfriend won't let you break up with him is God's way of telling you that THIS is the man He has for you. If you can face this beast together, you can face ANYTHING else that may come your way in the future. Please look into the possibility of moving to be with your boyfriend and his daughter. You need and deserve all of the love and caring you are offered. Ask him to help you find employment, unless you can get transferred by your current employer. Talk out the situation with him, let him know your fears of saddling him with the financial burdens, etc. Go for it!!! Makes plans for the future--it'll give you something to look forward to....together.

I also read that you said you need to work to pay the medical bills because the insurance doesn't cover it. Is that your insurance won't pay for any of your surgery or treatment? Somehow that just doesn't sound correct. If I may be so bold as to ask, what type of insurance do you have? Have you actually talked with your company about this? I would really check into it a bit further, if you haven't already. Even Medicare pays pretty good for cancer surgery and treatment. Forgive me for being so preachy about insurance--I grew up around the business and can't believe that there is a company that would sell you health insurance and not cover this type of situation.

Don't know if I have helped any, but I do so feel for you. Please know that you and your boyfriend are in my thoughts and prayers. I have rambled on, but that is just the way that I am--get used to it!! Please feel free to contact me at any time through this site or through the e-mail. I want to help support you through this in any way that I can. You will be in my thoughts as you begin your chemo tomorrow. I was anxious to begin mine---at least once I began I felt like I was "doing" something to actively fight this monster within. (I started chemo 2-1/2 weeks after my mastectomy.) Any way, I am starting to ramble again. One last thing to say for now---my pastor said this in a sermon a couple of weeks before I found out I had cancer..... "Live every day as if it were your last, but believe that you will live forever." Don't shut out your boyfriend just because of this monster. If you do, "it" will have won.

Take care and know that you are now a part of our "family" here. As you feel up to it, please share with us more about youself and your story. (I live in the desert of So. Calif.) Please let me know how I can help you further.

Blessings and hugs.....Wendy

P.S. Go back and read some of the older posts on this site...you will find that many of us have had many of the same feelings that you have now. It will get better---you just have to take it a day at a time. (If you care to know more about me and the start of my "journey", please go back and read my initial post from 2/20.) Please stay in touch. :-) web

ondine19572
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi - I read your post - your boyfriend sounds great - please give him the chance to be there with you - I don't know what I would have done without my husband when I was dx last year. Keep strong - and let him be with you good luck - Nancy

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Blondie
I too am a learge breasted woman. I had my mastectomy 20 years ago & never had a reconstruction. After initial few weeks of hiding in the bathroom etc my husband eventually asked when I was going to stop all this nonsense as he had married me & not a pair of breasts & quite frankly as long as he had me alive even without any breasts he was not concerned. I knew then that I could beat this disease and he has given me the strength I need. I think you are probably being unfair to your boyfriend. He knows you have had a breast removed & he has chosen to still be there for you. I think you are underestimating his love for you. He sounds wonderful & he deserves that you give your relationship a chance. You have nothing to be ashamed about & he obviously does not feel there is anything to be ashamed about. There are plenty of women out there whose partners have chosen not to stay around in their time of need. Trust him & trust yourself. Right now the love of a good man can make all the difference to your attitude & recovery. Please give him a chance. I wish you all the best in your treatments & please keep posting on this site as I feel you need a lot of support at this time. You are in my thoughts. Love Pam.

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