Not dealing well...need some HELP!

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MrsMicheal3@aol.com
MrsMicheal3@aol.com Member Posts: 14
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Forgive me, please, in advance, if I go off. This has been extremely hard for me. I AM a "survivor, thank the good Lord above. But....for how long? I am basically having a hard time with the loss of my breast. That is our "femininity!" Like if a man lost his penis. GOSH!
My husband has "tried" to be patient and understanding...but...he's not so good with it.
It's a long story how I found out/got taken care of, so I won't get into that, right now.
The fact is...I lost my breast. Couldn't get re-construction because the doc MY doc liked wasn't available. By the time she was...I knew I couldn't go through anymore pain like that, or worse! All I'm asking,IS.....I just REALLY, REALLY need someone to talk to/with!
No one else seems to want to listen to me. It's so sad...and so depressing. I just need to VENT! I NEED someone......evidently, only someone who has been through it will CARE enough.
Sooo.....as much of a pain in the **** as it was to get ON this website, I guess it's for OUR protection. I just would really appreciate someone....ANYONE.....to PLEASE talk with me!
PLEASE help me through this..because I don't know HOW to do it!
Thank You and God Bless!
Donna

Comments

  • e_hope
    e_hope Member Posts: 370
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    know how you feel
    I feel for you.. I know how you feel. I had a double mastectomy but i had reconstruction. I like the result, don't get me wrong, but its not the same.

    Men... can be very insensitive.. and really have no clue. and mine doesn't really care to learn...

    you need to let your feelings out or your going to SNAP! the stress of the aftermath of this disease is far harder than all the chemo and treatment.

    Have you thought about reaching out to a support group? or a psychologist?
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    Welcome and help is here!
    First off, I had reconstruction about 22 years ago. The pain for me was very mangeable. Everyone is different in their response to pain, but there are medications to help and, the "free flap" procedures are less painful than what I had done all those years ago.

    Also, although the breast is an important symbol of femininity, it's loss is not comparable to a man losing his penis. I am still able to function sexually and my husband has never seemed less attracted to me. We have been married 36 years.

    I do hear your pain though and all of us have grieved for the loss of our breasts in some way. My breasts are funtional but they are not my original breasts. I mourned the loss of my breasts off and on for awhile. It takes time to make peace with such a drastic body change.

    If it becomes overwhelming to you, please discuss this with your oncologist. Mine prescribed lexapro and it has really kept me on a more even keel. Others find groups are very helpful. Don't be afraid to reach out.


    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Also, please know that what you are feeling is normal. It takes time and I can really say that as I have been battling this disease a very long time!
  • BethInAz
    BethInAz Member Posts: 203 Member
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    It's a journey none of us asked for
    Dear, dear Donna,

    I know how you feel, dear girl. I had a bilat mastectomy in October 09 - followed by treatments which finished up 3 months ago. Since my mom had bilat mast in her 40s to avoid cancer (she had problems with lumps all the time - 14 surgeries on benign cysts), and I saw her body without breasts, it wasn't a totally foreign experience for me. There are times, though, that I find I miss my breasts - but I don't miss the cancer that was growing in one of them!! I have come to find that my femininity isn't bound up in body parts but in how you feel about yourself inside. Our beauty and self-confidence come from knowing that we are women precious to God and to our loved ones. If it were a choice between dying or being here without a body part or two, what would our loved ones choose for us? Surely, they would choose to have us by their sides. Once we get beyond the concept that we are our breasts, we can learn to accept our bodies for what they are and rejoice in the fact that we will enjoy life and the many gifts it has to offer us. I pray that you will be able to come to a point of peace and acceptance. And know that there's always reconstruction - even years down the road. To you health and peace, Donna! Hugs, Beth
  • Wolfi
    Wolfi Member Posts: 425
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    Not alone
    Donna,

    I'm sorry that you are having such a difficult time right now. Having gone through a bi-lateral myself I KNOW how you feel. I did not get reconstruction (my choice) and have been happy with my decision although not happy with the whole situation. I try to stay positive but there are days (many lately) when I just feel bad, unattractive or tired of seeing myself like this every day.

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If nothing else, please remember that there are not just a few people but hundreds (or thousands) out there who have gone through what you are dealing with every day. The thing that makes me feel better is coming to this website because it is full of so many compassionate, helpful people who "get me" and what I've been through.

    Please take care of yourself - you CAN get through it (trust me).

    Wolfi
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    I understand the feeling
    I understand the feeling that our breasts are a significant part of what it means to be feminine. If I did not feel that way I would not have gone through with the reconstruction. I am fortunate to have a good Dr. and good insurance. With clothes on I look very much like I always have. I did have some complications with the healing from the surgery, but it is all good now. I just have scars now, but they will fade with time. I don't know whether you have considered prostheses, but I know many women use them and seem quite content. The American Cancer Society is one place you could go to see about getting one. You could also have the reconstruction done at any future date. Or you could see if the ACS in your local area could get you in touch with a support group or counsellor if you want to learn to be happier as you are. You are the only one who can decide what's best for you.

    That's my opinion, for what it may or may not be worth.

    I wish you wellness, seof
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
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    Donna.......
    I lost my right breat to BC. And I did not have reconstruction. My biggest issue is that I wish I were even! If I had had both breasts removed, at least I would match.

    I did not want to go through more surgeries, even for reconstruction, so I chose to just use a prosthesis. Although it can be a pain. Literally, as pain, because it is weighted and after wearing it for a few hours, it kind of hurts where my scar is. But I make do.
    If I am home alone, I go without bra & prosthesis. Sometimes, I use a foam one, just to fill out my shirt a bit, but stay comfortable.

    Now, about the sexuality part... If I say that your breast did not make the woman and there is far more to you than "parts", you would probably be frustrated by that answer. But it is exactly what I am going to tell you.
    You must either learn to have confidence and faith in the sexy woman that you are, or you are going to have to consider reconstruction, I guess.
    I have also learned that what WE see when we look in a mirror is NOT necessarily what our husbands see. And I would say that if your husband is not bothered, then I think you should try to stop beating up on yourself...merely because you are missing a breast.

    Big, gentle and understanding hugs coming your way...

    CR
  • Skeezie
    Skeezie Member Posts: 586 Member
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    CR1954 said:

    Donna.......
    I lost my right breat to BC. And I did not have reconstruction. My biggest issue is that I wish I were even! If I had had both breasts removed, at least I would match.

    I did not want to go through more surgeries, even for reconstruction, so I chose to just use a prosthesis. Although it can be a pain. Literally, as pain, because it is weighted and after wearing it for a few hours, it kind of hurts where my scar is. But I make do.
    If I am home alone, I go without bra & prosthesis. Sometimes, I use a foam one, just to fill out my shirt a bit, but stay comfortable.

    Now, about the sexuality part... If I say that your breast did not make the woman and there is far more to you than "parts", you would probably be frustrated by that answer. But it is exactly what I am going to tell you.
    You must either learn to have confidence and faith in the sexy woman that you are, or you are going to have to consider reconstruction, I guess.
    I have also learned that what WE see when we look in a mirror is NOT necessarily what our husbands see. And I would say that if your husband is not bothered, then I think you should try to stop beating up on yourself...merely because you are missing a breast.

    Big, gentle and understanding hugs coming your way...

    CR

    Hi Donna,
    I had a mastecomy of the right breast and I chose no reconstruction because I too did not want anymore surgery. I have a beautiful prosthesis and no one can tell which is which. My breast is not what makes me feminine or sexy. It's my brain that makes me those things. My breast was a lump of flesh that was diseased. I still have 2 arms, 2 legs etc. Losing a breast did not change my sex life or my feelings. It makes no difference to my husband and if it did, then he would not be the man I thought he was. I think your husband also feels it makes no difference but you are to depressed and upset to belive him. Have you sought counceling? Are you taking something for your depression?

    You have been thru so much to get to this point and I wish you to have some peace and to regain confindence in yourself as a woman and an individual. You are still a woman, still beautiful. Please discuss these feelings with your onc.

    Please keep us posted.

    Hugs, Judy :-)
  • Balentine
    Balentine Member Posts: 393
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    CR1954 said:

    Donna.......
    I lost my right breat to BC. And I did not have reconstruction. My biggest issue is that I wish I were even! If I had had both breasts removed, at least I would match.

    I did not want to go through more surgeries, even for reconstruction, so I chose to just use a prosthesis. Although it can be a pain. Literally, as pain, because it is weighted and after wearing it for a few hours, it kind of hurts where my scar is. But I make do.
    If I am home alone, I go without bra & prosthesis. Sometimes, I use a foam one, just to fill out my shirt a bit, but stay comfortable.

    Now, about the sexuality part... If I say that your breast did not make the woman and there is far more to you than "parts", you would probably be frustrated by that answer. But it is exactly what I am going to tell you.
    You must either learn to have confidence and faith in the sexy woman that you are, or you are going to have to consider reconstruction, I guess.
    I have also learned that what WE see when we look in a mirror is NOT necessarily what our husbands see. And I would say that if your husband is not bothered, then I think you should try to stop beating up on yourself...merely because you are missing a breast.

    Big, gentle and understanding hugs coming your way...

    CR

    Sending hugs and comfort your way
    I am so sorry that you are feeling so down about the loss of your breast but please know that you are amongst fellow warriors here who know exactly what you are feeling and it is normal. We are here to offer you comfort and strength in the midst of your loss and are always here for you with a listening ear and a warm hug. As time goes by you will resolve to the fact of the loss but it will take time. I also had a single mastectomy and hate to see my breast gone but you have to think of the alternative....if you did not have the mastectomy then you would still have the cancer...our goal is health and life....to keep on living and fighting to see another day and another year...to be there for our families as long as God will allow us. Look at what you still have and not what you have lost. Look at the years of life you have gained by having the surgery. We do not always understand why God allows certain things to happen but we must trust Him and know that He works all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28). Much love and loads of hugs.
    Lorrie Balentine
  • swalters
    swalters Member Posts: 33
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    Not Dealing Well
    Donna,
    There are lots of caring people on this website, as you can tell. When I had DCIS I did not lose my whole breast, but just a chunk, so I have not had exactly the same experience as you.

    However, if you want someone to talk to, send me a private message and I will give you my email address and phone number. I have mentored several breast cancer patients and would be happy to listen any time you want to talk.

    Blessings,
    Sandie
  • 123dmb
    123dmb Member Posts: 1
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    Been there and in it again
    I am here for you...
    I have had cancer twice once at 33 and now at 46, just when I thought it would never happen again.
    I understand you loosing your breast. What is the scoop on the doctor business? You know you can go back and do reconstruction at anytime. I would say find another doctor and interview them if you like we don't have to settle on anybody. Do you have insurance?
    I interviewed 3 before I decided on the one I have now.
    Husband issue: Ok BOOBS ARE OVER RATED
    Your husband should love you no matter what you just have to be a little more creative
    when have relations. You can still wear a cute nightie with a bra on or some have cups
    sew in, you can always have cups sewn into ones for you. What is the real problem?
    How old are ya'll? My husband was supportive either way that was my choice he said all he wanted was me to be alive and with him with or without breast I had double masectomy on March 16th and I am going through reconstruction, my choice.
    How else can I help.
    Dane
  • kate33
    kate33 Member Posts: 24
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    Not Dealing Well
    Donna-

    All the emotions you are feeling are very normal. Getting a BC diagnosis and going through treatment is the same as the stages of grief. There will times you are angry, sad, depressed and every other emotion under the sun. The hardest part for me, I think, was realizing that everyone in my life just didn't "get it". That's why I started posting on sites like this because other BC survivors were the only ones that truly understood.

    Some women are ok without doing reconstruction but it sounds like it may be something you feel you need to feel whole again. I would try to see what your options are. I'm not going to tell you that reconstruction is easy because it's not. But it also isn't intolerable. And you could be done in 3-4 months. If you think about your entire lifetime without your breast a few months seems doable.

    If you need someone in your area to talk to please check out the American Cancer Society's program called Reach to Recovery. They will match you with a volunteer in your area that has had a similar cancer or treatment. They will call or visit you and there is no charge for this.
  • Christine Louise
    Christine Louise Member Posts: 426 Member
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    Please let us know how you are doing
    Donna, we are all concerned about you and hope you keep us posted on how you are feeling!
  • Third_Generation
    Third_Generation Member Posts: 121
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    Hello Donna,
    I am so sorry

    Hello Donna,
    I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. The reply posts are all so great and giving you such good validation of your feelings and advice. I had bilaterals in january 2010 with no reconstruction. I think it was easier for me because that is what my mom and aunt and grandmother had done, so things look right to me. I still do not wear my prothesis since I still have a little fluid under the left incision. No one at work minds my look or even notices it anymore. I have always worn jewelry and also love jackets and I think clothes, shoes, and my jewelry are part of my feminity rush! lol I did not want reconstruction either but am very comfortable with my decision- as I said, family history and also, maybe easier at my age.
    I hope things work out well for you. I wish you the best,
    Brenda
  • jworkman
    jworkman Member Posts: 10
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    Me too
    Hi Donna! .. I'm only 21 years old and I had a radical masectomy on my left breast about 7 weeks ago. The doctor recommended that I hold off on reconstruction until I am done with radiation and more chemo. I've struggled so much with the new image of myself. My boyfriend of 5 years is very understanding and just wants me to be happy. I'm just struggling with myself. I literally feel like I'm losing it sometimes. It's just very hard to deal with looking totally different. I will be getting reconstruction in the future but I know it'll be a while until I can do it. I told the doctor about feeling like I'm "losing it" .. and he put me on xanax <- think that's how you spell it. But I've had to have it upped because it just wasn't doing the trick. I couldn't even sleep because of all my stress. Believe me Donna, you are not alone and as far as I know it's totally normal to feel the things you're feeling. I have a hard time talking to my boyfriend about things like this because he's a man and he's doesn't have breasts .. he wouldn't know how it would feel to lose them. I talk to my mom a lot about it. Or I get on here. Sometimes you just have to let it out. Find someone who will listen .. It WILL help : ) I wish you all the best. Please message me if you need to talk. I'd be more than happy to just listen. :)