new to forum, diagnostic mammo and ultrasound found large lumps

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straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16136
   Posted 4/28/2018 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Linda, I do hope that you will continue to write here about your PTSD. I use to journal, writing about that time in my life helped me. It was a dark time for me. By writing about it I think it was a bit of a help.

We have had a week of decent weather, warm in the afternoons with sun, lol. That always lifts my spirits. I may hit my plant lady's place this weekend. She sets up in a parking lot every year with her huge tent. Her plants are wonderful & reasonable. I have bought from her for several years. She is open about 3 months each year. My kids & I call her the plant lady, lol. I always try to send business her way. I stay away from a lot of the lawn & garden places on the weekends, I leave that to the weekend warriors, lol. My peony bush is in full boom & just beautiful. I managed to tie it up before the wind & rain could flatten it. If the blooms touch the ground they do not open.

I meant to ask, is there anything that can be done about the muscle issue? Is it something that time will take care of or not? A friend of ours just started chemo. She has pretty much got cancer everywhere. She has been battling it for years. She is in her early 70's & one strong woman. She has spent years being changed from one drug to another. If you saw her in person you would not have a clue one about the cancer. I see her when I go down to the lake place. She is an incredible woman.

I am off to run a couple errands this morning. Keep me posted, I miss not hearing from you so much.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

exqualls
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 5/4/2018 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Susie, I would want to be just like your friend in her 70s-- no matter what cancer may keep coming back, I would continue to fight it and go on with life, in the best possible way I could.

Yes, the muscle that popped out over the expander is supposed to be put where its supposed to be when I get my expanders exchanged for the implants. However, I rightly do not trust anything to go as planned! lol...I'm trying to be "flexible" in my expectations. But for now, I went to the "cancer lady store" and bought a bathing suit that comes up so high on my chest it covers the weirdo-looking muscle, even though my surgery will probably be in a little over 2 months. It's Florida in the 90s and I don't want to have to never wear a bathing suit for even 2 months. When I was shopping for the suit, I found out from the sales lady that my insurance covers 4 bras a year!!! I didn't know that or I'd have been buying bras in 2016 and 2017. I didn't get one yesterday while swimsuit shopping, as my husband was with me and he had already been waiting patiently for 2 hours while I tried on many, many suits.

Writing here on this forum has been great for ME. Occasionally I have worried that I have wondered off-topic too much, too often, which is why I had wanted to stop writing about the disease I shall not name. But Susie, you made a good point. If someone is reading this to see what it's like to deal with breast cancer, everything else doesn't stop in life just because you get cancer. Other problems can and will occur. So along with cancer, I am also dealing with this other disease, which may be happening to other women as well. Then I didn't want to write anymore about my PTSD that I got while being treated (atrociously) for that other disease, because that seemed to be definitely off-topic. Then I realized that I am able to get counseling for my PTSD simply because I have cancer. I guess the cancer center has had enough people get PTSD from dealing with their cancer, so they offer free counselling for it. My PTSD is, of course, related to how hideously the hospital treated me for the other disease, but PTSD is PTSD and there could be women out there reading who did get PTSD from their cancer, so I have my "excuse" to babble on about it.

So after I read your post responding to my telling of the 12 days of horror I went through, you made it abundantly clear that mine was not a rare case, that patients are frequently neglected, insulted, misdiagnosed, etc. I had NEVER expected that. To me hospitals were places you go to get healed from injuries (or disease) and then back to your normal life. So even though I had PTSD and went through many dark minutes and sometimes hours when something would trigger it, your post about how common hospital mistreatment is, DEVASTATED me. I instantly fell into my black whole and stayed there for 3 days. I remember closing up the laptop, and everything was black... as I walked straight into my son's room which was just a few feet away. I remember giving it a second of thought as to go into that room because it has blackout drapes and all I saw was black anyway and my surroundings had to match....I had to go into a place I was already in... blackness. I curled up on the bed (early afternoon) and stayed there for 3 days. I didn't leave at all the first day (I have a strong bladder), and on days 2 and 3 I just left to go to the bathroom which is just a couple feet away from the bedroom. My husband kept checking on me, offering water and food and encouraging me to leave the room, but I basically don't remember any of his words and I basically just mumbled No to whatever he said. From those 3 days I only remember the feelings I experienced-- fear, dread, depression, disgust, and that of being alone in blackness, abandoned and left to suffer. In other words, the same way I felt during my 12 days of horror.
I sound pathetic. That I couldn't help myself. That I couldn't accept my husband's offers of help. But I couldn't, I was paralyzed on that bed.

That 3 day anxiety attack was the longest, but the shorter ones continue still. A few days after I left the room I had a fun day planned with my best friend of 40 years. We drove to a downtown walkable area that features lots of arts shops, and jewelry and clothing stores, great restaurants, and scenery you can't beat. It's a place you go to planning on spending several hours. I got a great parking spot right in front of a park area that was set up with local artists displaying their work in the park. The artist directly in across from the sidewalk in front of my car had great work that stopped us in our tracks to admire. We also were having great and lively conversation with the artist, had a passerby take a picture of us with the artist (we talked to her so long we felt like friends).. so there was lots of laughing and great fun right from the start. I was holding onto my friends arm for support, as the ground was not level and I still lose my balance easily. Then my friend dropped to the ground. People gathered to help, but she was unconscious for several minutes. A couple men helped put her on a bench. Folks brought water in case she was dehydrated and food in case it was low blood sugar, but she could neither eat or drink. It took over an hour before she slowly became herself again... recognizing me, able to speak (slowly and slurry) and able to move her arms and legs. After a few attempt at standing, we got her up and into my car (which thankfully was right there!) and I drove her to an ER that was just a block or so away. Okay, here's where my PTSD kicked in again. She is my best friend so obviously I was not going to leave her side. They were able to get her into a private ER room right away, and as we walked to it we passed a room with a man in it that sent chills down me, and my heart racing..... He definitely looked like a "2 max". He was very old, and his body was contorted into an unnatural position and his mouth was open wide as if he were screaming, but no noise was coming out. His contorted body did not move at all. The lasting image of him came with me into my friend's room. The ER took about six hours of getting different tests done. The nurses there were great, but I was frozen in fear. I forced myself not to show any of the reactions I was going through inside, for my friend's sake. The only way I could deal was to have total tunnel vision, where I blurred out everything but her face. I sat fairly close to her bed, but it was still painful eyestrain to MAKE everything but her face into a blur. I left the room once to go to the cafeteria to get her some lunch, and so I had to pay attention to the directions..... go down this hall, through those doors, turn right....... and everything I saw was like i was being pushed into a dreadful space (head space)... The hospital colored walls, the types of very wide double doors , the marble floors, the posters on the walls... it was like I was being attacked. My heart races and my throat and chest get extremely tight. But the majority of the six hours was spent with just the tunnel vision of my friend's face and everything else was a blur, which gave me pretty severe eyestrain and a pounding headache. They finally decided to admit her, where she stayed for 2 days, had a million tests and no explanation for why she had collapsed into unconsciousness. It was difficult to drive home. The next day I continued to have tunnel vision for several hours, and i just felt.... BAD.... off..... like my world was tilted.... I know I'm not making sense, but I don't know how else to describe it. I have had tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for many years, but the whole next day or longer it was amplified tenfold.
Pt one.... pt 2, which will be much shorter, coming up soon.

Post Edited (exqualls) : 5/4/2018 10:30:59 AM (GMT-6)


exqualls
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 5/4/2018 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
pt 2.
Then about a week after that my husband and I had each DVRd shows to watch, and I came into the room to watch mine when I thought his was over, but his show had run late and so I caught a minute of it. There was a husband and wife on a couch being interviewed, apparently about a bad flight experience. I do not know all the details of what went wrong on their flight but I got the impression it was one of those stories we hear about occasionally where a plan can't depart as scheduled, (or people can't de-plane when they arrive) and they are stuck on the plane for an inordinately long period of time. So the maybe one minute of interview I saw had this couple complaining that they couldn't even get the flight attendants' attention to get some water or peanuts. My reaction: I flew into a rage!!! These people are on TV because they couldn't get nuts? Had to stay in their seats for way longer than was comfortable? Maybe the air conditioning wasn't on....I don't know,.....there could be much more to their story but that is the part I heard before I went berserk and started screaming....How about not being about to get a NURSE'S attention when you need to pee??? How about this going on for 12 days, not minutes or hours.... How about being paralyzed and having someone disrobe you in front of whoever may be around--- when you've had a double mastectomy and the right breast area was a MESS with the deflated expander and lumps and bumps and scars everywhere.... How about being abandoned for so long that I attempted (on my own since NO ONE would come to my aid either like these people waiting for nuts) so I attempted to "de-plane" myself from the bed and immediately crashed to the ground and crumbled like the twin towers.......anyway, you get it. I could not take hearing someone get to have TV time on a national show to talk about how lousy the airline treated them, when the hospital I was in gets to get away with no one knowing how they mistreat the paralyzed, the extremely obese, and other "2 max" patients. It's not that I want to be on TV.. I don't.... I want the hospital's extreme neglect and abuse to be talked about on TV. (And I don't mean to make light of anything these or other passengers have gone through, I'm sure it was miserable and maybe gave some folks a lasting anxiety, which is terrible. ) I'm just telling you my reaction to hearing one sentence from a TV show and how it set me off SCREAMING every neglectful and disrespectful thing I went through for 12 days. And of course, mentioning it all like that brings back the feelings of being there, which sets off the PTSD attacks.......

Yikes, I'm a mess..

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16136
   Posted 5/10/2018 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Linda, I think with PTSD there can be all sorts of triggers for people that suffer with it. Just from what you saw about the airplane situation, I have to agree with you. Personally, I think it was stupid & the show must be hard up to get people on it with real problems & issues!! I have been on flights where we were delayed to either get to the gate or take off. No one went on tv & complained about it either, lol. Was I happy, no, but it is just one of those things that can happen.

What an experience for your friend. Is she still doing ok? I think it would be a little frightening to have something like that happen & have no answers as to why. Thank goodness you were there with her.

My friend is struggling somewhat with the IV chemo. She gets chemo crash & says she tells herself for every rough day the next day may be better. She has lost her hair again, so she wears hats. She lives down at the lake & it is a tiny town. She is organizing a cancer support group down there. Something like that will be a blessing for many & word will get out too. Her & the husband ended up adopting a little boy, I think he is 10 now. It is a very long story, something to do with some friend of her daughter. The mother was busted for drugs & was sent to the pen for a long time. Her daughter committed suicide (long history of mental problems) & this little boy came into their life shortly after that happened. He has given them a new purpose in life. Keep in mind they are in their 70's. In a way, I feel this little boy has probably extended their lives, between keeping up with his sports & their health issues they stay busy. She went on a field trip to the Austin for the day last month. She said yesterday her legs are still giving her fits from all of the walking. She amazes me.

Our weather is typical for this time of year. We are warm for good now, the weather man said we could put our jackets away for the next 6 months, lol. I have been planting some flowers in pots & still have a couple of more pots to make. I have some pots to sit by the pool. I sit out back every morning & have my coffee. I love to watch & hear the birds. My son finally saw a pair of black & yellow birds that has shown up. He looked them up & they appear to be Baltimore Orioles & they are common here. I had no idea.

Please keep writing your experiences here. I do not feel they are OT, they are very much a result of the cancer dx. No, you are not a mess, lol. You have had some extremely traumatic things happen.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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