Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What to expect when you’re newly diagnosed!

Hello family & friends!  Here is a little "what to expect" post - a little insight from a newbie.  I'm sure this applies to any diagnosis - not just cancer.  This can be for you or for a family/friend that was diagnosed with whatever "IT" may be.     
  • Nausea:  This one may just be me, although I doubt it.  Holy shit was I feeling completely ill.  I got the “hey, you have cancer” call while I was at work.  After I sobbingly relayed the info over to the hubs, I headed to the bathroom stall, where I had to stand for a bit because I thought I was going to lose my lunch.  I not only did this once, but three times that day.  I stayed nauseous for the rest of the day and little into the next.  It gets better, I promise.  I also became nauseous the day that I received the pathology report, after researching what it said of course.   Again, the bathroom stall became my buddy.
  • Eating Habits:  You may be an emotional eater or an emotional starver.  I happen to be the latter.  I haven’t been eating quite as much since the diagnosis.  Let’s say I am super hungry, but then once I dig in, about half-way through, I am done.  My brain thinks that the hunger level is still there - but my stomach doesn't. 
  •  Freak out!  Le Freak, C’est Chic!:  I don’t care how stoic you think you may be, you WILL be in freak out mode at one point or another.  Your freak out mode may last an hour, a day, a week, a month – only you can decide when that will end.  Just be prepared that it can absolutely sneak up on you when you’re least expecting it.  It could be a song you hear or even one of those freaking Sarah McLachlan sad puppy commercials (I can’t change the channel fast enough!).
  • Sleepless Nights:  The way that I handle this is to try to relax before bed.  I know, I know – easier said than done.  I already have a dash of insomnia (thanks, Mom!) and stress turns that into a colossal glob of insomnia.  What I do is make sure I am showered, try to drink some ‘Sleepytime Tea’, take some melatonin and possibly half of a non-addictive sleeping pill, throw my pasty butt in bed and try to do some reading; yes, in that order.  I’ve tried muscle relaxers, three different kinds to be exact, and all it does is make me an uber-relaxed annoyed person with random thoughts racing through her head.  There may be a test run of what concoctions work best for you.  Whatever works - stick with it!
  • Emotions:  There will be a torrential flood of emotions that will come to the surface.  Me – I’m a crier.  I cry all the damn time, especially when I am about a week away from starting my lovely period.  This makes it worse, MUCH worse.  Oh jeez, my poor husband!  Honey cakes, I’m sorry and you know that I love you, right?  It’s just the hormones, I promise!  I don’t even want to think about …..(drum roll please)….The Change!  With my hormones, I may just go on a three-state kill spree.  Wait, how the hell did I get from crying to menopause?  Anyways, you’ll be a little on the emotional side.  More on this later.  
  • New Friends:  O-kay, they may not technically be “new” friends, they may be old ones that you never, ever physically speak to.  I weeded through my Facebook friends list and got rid of about 50 people before 'coming out'.  And I'm still deleting people *cue 'Jaws' theme*. 
  • Knowledge:  To me this is one of the best outcomes of any diagnosis.  Knowledge.  I've researched my pasty butt off.  I'm sure if there was a way to disable Google on my computer at work, my boss would have done it.  Just because she thought that I was freaking myself out, but I wasn't...well....I wasn't freaking myself out TOO bad.  I need information, o-kay!  Knowledge is Power and don't forget it.
And there it is.  You (or your family/friend) may have all of these or not - there may be even MORE things.  This is just what I went through (and still am going through).  Diagnosis can be scary - I think it means "Fear of the devil's goat eyes" in Latin.  Just kidding, that is completely false.  But I had you going, right?  :)


  1. I'm proud of my Sweetheart Amber. Her skill in writing, her sense of humor, her intelligent wit only match the beauty I see in her every day. My son was blessed to marry her as she was to marry him. We are all blessed our sweet girl will be here a VERY long time with a love & beauty that never dims.

  2. You make us very proud of your wit & humor. You shine in your hardest challenges. You blessed us all when you married my son & he married you. Your warrier spirit had emerged & you are conquering any unwanted invader of body. March on, Sweet thing. Your light shines bright & will for a very, very long time. I love you very much, daughter.

    1. Thank you Momma #2. I really appreciate your kind words. Love you!

  3. Awe, those sleepless nights that I can relate to... Your Momma has had those for many years and I'm sorry it seems to have run in the family. Wonder if we will ever get over that.. I sure hope so. Me, being that I'm 64 and still not sleeping right, I'm sure sick of it.

    I'm happy that you are writing about what's happening in your life with Melanoma. Maybe it will help other people in the same situation you are in. I sure hope it does but I know it's also helping you cope being able to get it all out. I think you got that from me too. I too am very proud of you and what you are doing. I also agree with Susan that your light will be shining brightly for many many years to come. You are loved so much not only by me but I'm sure whoever knows you.

    1. I really hope it will help other people. Apparently there are a few people in Germany that have read it and to me, that's effing AMAZING! I love you lots, gotta get to work now :)