Newly diagnosed and feel emotionally numb

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last week. It’s all moving fast how. Had MRI yesterday, pre-op assessment tomorrow and consultant Thursday for treatment plan. Due to my family history and type of cancer  it seems double mastectomy is likely treatment. They have given me all this information about reconstruction but really I just want the easiest and safest op.  My concern is that I feel like I have no emotions at all. I don’t feel upset or angry. I just feel numb and completely dissociated from the diagnosis. Have others felt like this? 

  • Totally understand, I was diagnosed yesterday with invasive breast cancer.....what a whirl! Am already booked for surgery on jan 3rd! I am veering between being a martyr and a complete heaving wreck! I also have breast cancer in the family....

    this forum has been a god send to me......I dip in and out , keeps me in check! 

    Keep in's good to share our experiences......the good the bad and the ugly....xxxxxx

  • Hi there Sar ....

    You are probly in shock right now ... it felt to me like I was put on the scariest rollercoaster ride ... and strapped in and didn't know where it would end ... you may find your feelings will go from numb, to panic , to crying ... to thinking you can do this ... we all go through every emotion possible ..

    I went on here early befor my masectomy... and a lovely lady  @Jolomine helped me through... many have joined in here .. and wer all still doing o.k ... breast cancer has come a long way ... we just hear the sad stories. . But there are many on here, kicking cancers butt .... jolomine had a double masectomy ... hopefully she'll pick this up and pop by ....

    I found the op was far better then I'd imagined ... only needing parasitomol a couple of times ... and some like rilleyroo were out the same day ... so take heart ... you'll always find someone to hold your hand on here .. and we don't guess how scary it is ... we know ... 

    So get yourself a pair of vertual boxing gloves and get in the ring with us lot ... and well get that cancer on the run , together ... Chrissie xx

  • Couldn't have put it better myself......xxxx

  • Thank you Marlyn and Chriss that is really helpful. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis Marlyn. It is a complete whirl isn’t it. The only time I cried is when they talked about telling the children. Otherwise I can’t cry at all. I’m worried when the emotions do kick in I’ll be a mess. 

    Chriss it’s good to know the operation went well. I’ve noticed lots of posts of people saying it went much better than they thought. I am finding this site very useful and have chatted to Jolamine on a different thread. 

    Good luck with the op Marlyn. Mine will be Jan but don’t have a date yet. Have my eldest 13th on 4th jan, husbands birthday on 16th and youngest is 10 on 27th it will be a busy month! 

  • This forum is defo where to come when you're in a spin. I find I am pretty strong if people treat me "normally " as soon as someone gets upset or is overly kind I go to pieces!! I am a warden of a residential home and told people this morning, by the time I had finished my rounds I was in a mess! Although one elderly gentleman made me smile when he asked who would call on him while I am on sick leave! 

    Take care and I find I cope better with a sense of humour ( all be it a dark one at times)


  • I have found it is hard to deal with others emotions. It’s funny that others have cried more about it than I have. I’ve just had to speak to my daughters school in preparation for telling the children. I found saying the words very hard. I stopped work yesterday. I could effectively work but my work is emotionally draining like yours. I’m a social worker in a substance misuse team. Still debating whether to take annual leave until new year and then go in sick leave or start sick leave now xx

  • Yes, other people's reactions can floor me too! One elderly lady burst into tears and kept saying " *** *** *** ***" I didn't know if to laugh or cry!!! Another lady said...."glad you told me.....but what about that big tree in the garden". Just brilliant!!

    i am on full steam ahead until my surgery....then I want to see how I feel.....I shall play it by will make the right decision for you......xxxxxx

  • Hi there ..

    I think you being so busy, is keeping you going so you can do what needs to be done ... sitting thinking is the worse ... I had to tell my little 5 year old granddaughter (in pic) and told her nanny was ferry poorly and had to go in hospital so the Drs could try to make me better ... she visited in hospital, and was very gentle with her cuddles as she knew it was my boob that had been poorly ..

    When she asked me, if I was going to die... I just told her if I did , I'd be that little star by the bright one which we always said was my mum ... and I told her I'd look down on her every night ... she was happy with that ... it was gentle honesty ... and l love her more then I've ever loved anyone and her me ... so although it was hard, it made it get her through ... and here I am 17 months on have had lots of wonderful memories with her still ..

    Children take their lead from us ... it's about feeling o.k to cry with them, so they know it's o.k to cry .. they are more resilient then we realise .. it's when they suspect things and no one's being honest with them that make them even more scared .. it's all part of walking this journey and all holding hands together ... if the tears do come, tell your self it's o.k to let it out .. it's nateral .. go with whatever your feeling ..  Chrissie xx

  • Thanks both. You are doing well to keep going Marlyn. It’s nice you have been able to tell your service users.  I have poorly children at home this week which is not great when trying to negotiate appointments. But at least they are keeping me busy. My job involves a lot of future planning  and sorting out meetings etc which I can’t currently do. 

    Your granddaughter looks beautiful Chrissie. I think you are right about talking to children before they find out for themselves. A lot of people have suggested waiting until after Christmas but I don’t want them to be surrounded by adults talking in whispers and then something slipping out. 


  • Hi Marlyn  / Sar ....

    You reminded me of something amusing with my granddaughter ... about three weeks after my masectomy ... she was staying with me for the week end .. and was sitting on my lap watching t.v ... my falsey slipped and I was just sorting it out, when little Emily turned round and said "what you doing , nanny" well I said I was just sorting myself out ... quick as a flash she pulled my tea shirt away to see what it was and and saw my scar and yelled " oh my nanny, how you gonna feed babies now!!! ) 

    If you can keep a sense of humour it really does help you through ... when l was in hospital and tried my falsey on for the first time ... the lady in the next beds hubby ... said I'll have to change my name to "one hung low" well I laughed so much , I nearly burst my stitches ..

    So remember no matter how hard it gets ... look for those things that make you smile too ...