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And then came cancer

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by ilovepoppies, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. ilovepoppies

    ilovepoppies New commenter

    I have recently been diagnosed with cancer. I am the first person in my family to suffer from it,
    Do any of you have some words of advice you can offer?
    At the moment I think I'm in denial, it's all surreal, not really happening to me.
    install likes this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    oh ((ilovepoppies )), as if you haven't had enough stress. :(

    The only advice I can offer is to try and stay positive.
    My husband was diagnosed at the end of last year and starts his treatment next month. He is a very positive person (I might say he's sticking his head in the sand o_O :rolleyes:) but everyone agrees having a positive attitude is helpful in having positive outcomes.
    Also much depends on which type of cancer. Some, if one is going to have one of them, seem to have better success rates.

    I know my husband keeps saying, "You keep telling people I'm ill and I'm not." Because it's been caught at quite an early stage and he doesn't feel 'ill', he probably could also fall into that 'in denial' category, but if this means he has a better prognosis I'd rather that, than a 'woe is me' attitude.

    I realise we will 'live' with worry for the next 12 months and thereafter for the next few years, with regular check-ups and so it makes one realise we need to make the most of every moment.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  3. mbfan

    mbfan New commenter

    I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and can still clearly remember the terror I felt. Like you say it's a surreal time and you can't quite believe it's hapening to you. I also found it really difficult to tell people because I felt that by admitting it I was tempting fate. I felt the need to know exactly what was going on and asked loads of questions but I appreciate not everyone likes to know all the details. My treatment involved radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery and nearly eight years later I'm fine. The NHS have been amazing and have taken excellent care of me. I have no real words of advice other than to do what feels right for you, Take care of yourself, ask questions if you feel unsure about anything and remeber that you are not alone. I'll be thinking of you. Take care.
  4. ilovepoppies

    ilovepoppies New commenter

    Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. Sending positive hugs your way xx
  5. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Sending big hugs to you Poppy. (((Poppy)))

    mbfan seems to offer very good advice. Is there a group that offers support for your type of cancer? It may be a help to talk to others who have had or are still in treatment for the same condition as you.

  6. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Sending you hugs too. What a shock for you. In some ways denial isn't a bad thing as long as you go along for your appointments and treatment.

    Some of the cancer organisations offer support like Marie Curie, I'm sure they must have a helpline. My cousin had breast cancer over a period of years and completely changed her diet based on a book she read by a bioscientist - Jane Plant - who had cancer herself. I'm sure there must be forums as well where you can talk to others in the same situation. Hope you can do things to take your mind off it, as far as you can. And do come back here to touch base.

    pepper5, thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Firstly, I'm so sorry that you're poorly. Sending you a big hug.

    Secondly, as someone whose family and friends have a fair bit of experience with cancer, I believe there are lots of things you can do to make this time just a tiny bit easier. I would recommend talking to somebody outside your family, perhaps through the Macmillan or Marie Curie charities. My mum found it very helpful to express all her "silly" concerns to a stranger as she felt like we were dealing with the big concerns already - she worried about her eyelashes falling out, about paying the bills, how she'd clean the loo! You can pick up a leaflet in Boots by the pharmacy counter with numbers you can ring to talk to someone.

    Take care of yourself as much as you can because cancer treatment is tough. My dad's treatment (he has bowel and liver cancer) is actually quite mild and he hasn't had any of the big symptoms of sickness or nausea but he has grown progressively more tired over time and his hair has fallen out (except his eyelashes which, weirdly, look amazing!). He has to plan a few days after chemo to recover and just sleep; he accepts no invitations, makes no plans and won't answer the phone during these days. He just sleeps. That makes it easier. He also fills the freezer and cupboard with simple, easy-to-digest food such as nourishing soups, tinned fruit, frozen vegetables etc. because he finds he can't always face food after his treatment. If you have a family around (my dad's on his own and my sister and I live a fair bit away so can't always get to him to help with food) then get them to fill the freezer by making extra portions of food.

    Losing hair can be a big concern. My mum wasn't too fussed about it as she was always a bit thin on top but she was quite shocked when it happened. You can sometimes wear a cold cap during chemo to help prevent hair loss but neither of my parents could be bothered. My dad's gone for the traditional beanie cap, and looks pretty cool, whereas my mum asked me and my sister to shave her head and she looked pretty cool too! She had a very pretty beret and a number of scarves she'd pull over her head to keep it warm.

    Ask all the questions you want to of your oncologist and oncology nurse. Both my parents found it helpful to know what was happening as it lessened their stress. My good friend, who had breast cancer and is now cancer-free, took a special list of questions with her to each appointment and wrote the answers down - she found it too stressful to remember the answers afterwards when her husband asked her what was going on, so writing it down gave her an element of control.

    Good luck and keep us posted. xx
  8. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Good advice to have a notebook and write down questions you have and the answers they give you.
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    More hugs ((((((((((((Poppies))))))))))))))

  10. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Every thing I want to write is summed up perfectly by @thistledoo above. Love and best wishes to you both xxx
    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Talking of cancer, just heard today of a 36 year old diagnosed. Pure chance she went to her Dr. with a pain elsewhere or else it would never have been discovered.
  13. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Crikey @Lara mfl 05, hope it's an early diagnosis. Thank goodness they went to the GP.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Indeed she has been told it will save her life, as she's scheduled for immediate treatment next week. The pain wasn't even on the same side of the body.o_O
    thistledoo likes this.
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Sending hugs ILP.
    You've had more than enough to deal with and now this.
    All I can say is try to remian calm, stay positive and take your consultant's advice.
    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    How are you feeling today, Ilovepoppies?
    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  17. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    What a horrible shock ILP. All I can say is that I know or know of, a whole lot of people who have been successfully treated or continue with treatment and live full lives with cancer. I'm not making little of the diagnosis or the treatment but it is, or is likely to be part of life for so many of us. Very best wishes to you.
  18. Norsemaid

    Norsemaid Lead commenter

    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Also no advice but lots of positive thoughts to you (((@ilovepoppies))).
    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Just seen this ILP and just want to send some more hugs and best wishes your way
    thistledoo and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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