You have just heard the words, “You have breast cancer,” and it took your breath away. I have been where you are at this very moment and it is a scary place to be.
The first place you thought to turn to was the internet and you googled “breast cancer” and found this site. So, you are here. Online was the first place I thought to go right after I hung up the phone with my doctor and heard the words, “you have DCIS.” I spent the next five hours googling DCIS and ductal carcinoma and surfing through sterile pages of definitions and blogs full of blotched reconstruction surgeries. Scary stuff out there. This website is intended to be a soft spot for you to land online when the hard diagnosis of breast cancer hits.
Please do five things for me and yourself.
First, take a deep breath. It took years for your body to form millions of cancer cells and you don’t need to make any decisions at this very moment, but I’m glad you are searching for answers to your questions.
Second, browse around this website and try not to put yourself in “information overload” (easier said than done). We’re open 24/7 so don’t try to absorb the whole site in one visit. And come back often as I blog regularly and add new news and research, links of importance and love to respond to comments and emails.
Third, start writing down your questions and take them in with you to your next doctors appointment to get answers.
Fourth, start a personal journal of how you are feeling and what you are feeling; you will be glad you did. A girlfriend gifted me with a journal just before my mastectomy and encouraged me to write things down. Little did I know those first written words would turn out to be the foundation of this website!
Fifth, find a friend who can be your “go to person.” Someone whom you can fall apart in front of, cry, laugh and show your fear to without judgement. I am hoping you have someone in your life that can provide support for you as you move forward.
Here is a helpful online link to “Beyond the Shock” to get you started on your path of gathering information.
I’ll leave you with a photo (below) of a summer backpacking trip to the Porcupine Mountains in the Michigan UP. This photo of Lily Pond makes me relax; great memories wash over me as I recall a spectacular backpacking adventure with my best friend (and husband) Steve. May my boots in the boat be a visual reminder that I’m walking a few steps ahead of you as you are just hitting the trail. Lace up your footwear, grab a compass and fill your backpack with good information, second opinions and help from others. See you on the trail.