Being Informed of Your Diagnosis
This is something you will most likely remember forever. You may have gone to your appointment with an inkling of what you were going to be told, completely convinced you were to be told what you were or alternatively believing that there is no way you were going to be diagnosed. I fell into the latter category!
Whichever it is, it is still a shock and we all react differently.
You may want to find out everything there is to know, you may not want to know anything or you may fall somewhere in between. Whichever it is there are some general things that will help.
1. Only read in depth information from a reliable source such as Macmillan, NHS, Breast Cancer Care. Don't go searching the internet. If you have a specific question ask your nurse or doctor.
2. Don't expect to remember anything your were told and more importantly don't worry about not remembering.
3. Take a note pad and pen and write down all your questions as they come to you. Leave a space for the answers so you can write these down as you are given them. Pretty much everybody's head turns into a sieve at this point in time!
4. Tell people as you see fit. Don't be pressured into telling people and do ask people not to contact you if you don't want them to. If you say you will contact them when you are ready to talk hopefully people will respect this.
5. For once, be totally selfish. Think about what you want and ask people to respect your wishes whilst you come to terms with the diagnosis.
Over time you will begin to understand more about your treatment and what it means for you. Do what is right for you and utilise the help that is available to you from friends, family and local support groups.