Hi I am Amanda. It has been a challenging few years to say the least. I was just finally coming out of the other side of stress related health issues, a break up of a long relationship, closing down my psychology business, a new relationship, being a single mum of 3 and having no money when "what the Hell.." further tests following a routine mammogram revealed breast cancer!! Mentally fighting cancer was not going to be a problem. as a psychologist I have counselled many clients in similar positions. But in my case I have a very weak stomach - the idea of surgery and hair loss so scary. Fortunately the nightmares ended up being worse than reality!!
Since then (11th Jan 2014) I have had a single mastecomy and a (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction (left side) on 28th May 2014 (6 weeks ago but it feels like so long ago!!). I previously had a lumpmectomy and 3 lymph nodes removed (including sentinel) on feb 14th (st valentine's day - the 1st one I have missed for ages but lucky my partner took me out the night before - I am a hopeless romantic).
Originally the diagnosis was 1 tiny hormone based lump that needed removing and treatment of radiation. But other lumps were found during 1st and 2nd surgeries. My right side was throughly checked before a new diagnosis and treatment plan could be made. After a long wait the right side cleared of cancer although I still had a cyst removed. The funny thing was that after years of not liking my breasts I finally started to be comfortable with my body. Finally after the shock of a masectomy including loss of nipple and a long scar on my tummy (yes I know the roll of fat is gone) it is all good news!!! The cancer has not spread. All 4 lumps were small, low grade and hormone based so NO chemo needed. The cancer came suddenly then gone suddenly!!
So So lucky as I feel I wouldn't have coped with losing my hair plus looking for work and dealing with the mounting debts!! But I am reminded to feel blessed every day that I only have to take Tamoxifen for the next 5-10 years. And that my family, kids and friends including boyfriend of only 9 months have been fantastic during this journey. And that so far in reality the surgery that I feared for so long has gone very well and recovery is good so far.
Now just needing reassurance and guidance re: getting physically back to 'Normal" and then finding mental strength to look for work (even starting a new career). I am of course so happy that finally health wise things ok but still sad that financially things are very difficult. I am trying to control my stress levels and acknowledge that I've had a big shock .. "a lump in the road'...but that I have got through it better than anticipated and I can therefore do it again with the other difficulties I am facing still..