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New to Cancer and Confused
ebmstokes posted:
All I know so far is biopsy shows Invasive mammary mod differentiated, grade 2 Nottingham. Genetic test has been done, have MRI and another mam Monday. Mother had breast cancer at 36. Trying to understand all the terms and I am totally confused. Any resources would be appreciated. I am trying to be positive and strong but I am having trouble w./work and sleeping and just life in general right now. It is Christmas, and I don't even want to put up a tree and I love Christmas - I guess I am just depressed.
rachael67 responded:
I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this situation. All of us who have been there/done that fully appreciate what a challenge and more it is...Combine it with the "happy season" and it sucks big time!!

Depressed? Of course!!! Only if you were living in some altered reality could you fail to not feel so!

All that being said, might I offer one simple bit of advice which for most of us has proved one of the best approaches when our world tends to spin off its axis? BREATHE! In all the stress and chaos we sometimes forget to take a moment to simply breathe....So, right now, please, breathe in slowly and deeply...and now breath out slowly...Again, in slowly...out slowly. Repeat this whenever you feel the tension building up. It is a treatment which is always available, non-addictive and effective!

Yes, you have been thrust into a new world with a whole new vocabulary and in which you are expected to gain a medical degree in a few days! It can be nothing short of overwhelming!

The better educated you are, the more effective advocate you can be for yourself. There will be choices and decisions you will need to make, and for that it is necessary that you do your research. However, limit it to reliable sites. Too many snake oil salesmen haunt the web! And try to know exactly what your personal journey involves: An onslaught of too many terms and treatments which may in no way involve the cancer you are facing will only serve to complicate and confuse. Try to make sure you have a firm handle on what your diagnosis is and research only those areas.

Bring someone with you to all appointments (or a recorder). It is amazing how fear can cause a dreadful case of deafness or dementia when we need to recall what was said! Another pair of ears is vital!

You are still in the testing stage so you do not have a good hold on what you will be facing as yet. Please know that you will be in our thoughts. Come back and keep us updated on how you are doing. Feel free to ask questions and we will share our own experiences. And feel more than free to vent and cry and scream...We've all been thru times when just releasing our emotions and sharing them with others who understand makes a big difference!

In the meantime, please check our both the "Tips" and the "Resources" listed on the right side of this page. They may help you over some of the bumps.

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
judyfams replied to rachael67's response:
I agree with what Rachael has said and would recommend that you look up all the terms that you do not understand on an excellent and reliable place to explain some of these terms.
Much good luck,

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center