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Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

21 Nov 2019 00:08

Hi

I'm 31 and recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I have no family history and have a 20 month old son and feel like I'm struggling to cope with the shock of the last week.

I have had an MRI and biopsy which has confirmed it has spread to my lymph nodes so I am currently waiting for a CT scan which is killing me, along with the fact that I might not have anymore babies (I am a midwife so I can't bare to even think of going back to work surrounded by beautiful babies)

I have a rough idea of the plan of care of surgery, 6 rounds of chemo and radio but it still hasn't sunk in that it's happening to me and I feel like history is repeating itself as my dad passed away from prostate cancer 2 years ago.

They have given me the option of a mastectomy or conservative breast surgery providing the CT comes back clear, however I have no idea what is best? Does anybody have any pearls of wisdom to share about surgery or is anybody a similar age and can offer some advice about their experiences of fertility treatment or long term tamoxifen?

 

Georgie x

 

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

21 Nov 2019 12:46 in response to Gigi88

 

Hi Georgie,

I am not in your age group - considerably older unfortunately, but I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer in the past 10 years, and know just how upset you'll be at the moment. First time around, I felt as if I was outside and looking in on someone else that this was happening to.

Unfortunately reality soon kicks in as you come to terms with surgery, radiotherapy and chemo. It is hard to believe, but all of this chaos begins to settle as you get to know what surgery and treatment you will have.

There are a number of considerations when deciding between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. I found that the best thing was to draw up a list for and a list against both. I had a lumpectomy 10 years ago, but discovered another lump in the same breast a year later and opted for a double mastectomy. I couldn't have reconstruction, so am now as flat as a pancake in front. Still, I manage with a variety of different prostheses for different occasions.

I expect that you will still be a candidate for reconstruction, so won't have to bother with these. Personally I have felt much more reassured since I had my mastectomies, as I feel that I have taken as much as possible away. I know that there is always the possibility of recurrence, but this is something that anyone with a cancer diagnosis has to live with.

Draw up a list of questions for your consultant re fertility treatment, etc, as you would probably have to make arrangements for this prior to starting treatment.

My mum died from secondary breast cancer 10 years before I was diagnosed. Treatment back then was horrendous. Fortunately, there is no comparison between the diagnosis, treatment and after care that I have received and that which she experienced. People are now living with breast cancer instead of dying from it.

I am so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. and, understand that with this happening so recently, it is all the harder for you to deal with your diagnosis now. Please let us know how you get on. We are always here for you.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx 

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

21 Nov 2019 14:19 in response to Gigi88

Hi Georgie

Sorry that you find yourself here. I'm not a similar age either, I'm 43 and already have my children so can't offer any experience on that front. I was diagnosed with BC in March and it was also in my lymph nodes. I had chemo first but was then offered either a lumpectomy or mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  I looked at the pros and cons of both options and although the mastectomy with recon is a major operation I decided this was the best option for me, as I didn't think that I would be able to cope with worrying about whether it would come back. It's a completely personal choice and everyone is different, but that was my conclusion after weighing everything up. 
 

It is a massive shock, especially when you are then given loads of information and have decisions to make, it's like a whole new world has opened up and sucked you into it.  Once you've had your scans and you have a plan in place you will feel a lot more settled. Just take it one step at a time and ask all the questions. 
 

Im here if you have any questions or need a chat. Big hugs.

WL

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 18:31 in response to Jolamine

Thank you so much for replying to me you are exactly right with describing how it feels at the moment to be observing everything going on but not actually feel like it's happening to you.

I have had my CT scan today and now have the dreaded wait until Wednesday to find out the results. I feel like I just want to sleep until then as the wait is killing me, as I expect everybody feels. It didn't help matters that they called the consultant during the scan as in their words they 'saw something abnormal in my bowel area'

I hope that things are going well for you at the minute and thank you for your support. At least knowing I have others to talk to on here makes me feel a little easier.

G xx 

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 18:35 in response to Woollylamb

Thank you for replying Woollylamb. I hope you are doing well at the minute.

My head keeps going back and forth between having the lumpectomy or opting for the full mastectomy. My lump is 2.9cm however there are areas of concern up to 3.9cm so I suppose they would be taking out a large portion anyway as well as the lymph nodes.How did you find the healing process after your surgery?

This waiting around for results has left me feeling in limbo at the minute the only saving grace is having my son to take my mind off things 

 

G xx

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 20:19 in response to Gigi88

Hi

Healing has been ok, my tummy wound has been perfect, I've had a couple of issues with the breast wound, but it's sorted now. I don't have full movement in my arm yet but I'm only 4 weeks post surgery and have a physio who's helping me with exercises. 

I get scanxiety whether it's a good scan or not, I'm hoping it will get easier to deal with. Good that you can keep yourself busy with your son. I have 2 boys aged 7 and 10, and the run up to Xmas is keeping my mind busy. 
 

take care

 

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 20:55 in response to Gigi88

Hi Georgie.

I'm new here (1st post) I'm 48 and already have my family, but like you I have been recently diagonised with breast cancer - Invasive ductal carcinoma Triple Negative 2 weeks ago so i can relate with how your are feeling right now with the shock and your emotions, for 2 weeks i felt like someone had completly trashed my world even when my consultant and breast nurse said its curable.

Mine is just in my breast with no node involvement, my consultant said because of the size of the lump which is around 4cm he would like to do chemo 1st, followed by a lumpectomy then radiotherapy.

I met my oncologist yesterday for the 1st time which i was dreading, as soon as i walked in I burst into tears. She was lovely,she gave me time to tell her all my worries and anxieties then answered them all allowing me to ask questions. I left there a different person than when I went in. Like Jolamine and Wollylamb said once you have a plan in place you will feel a lot more settled.

I'm going to be starting my treatment in around 3 weeks (just in time for xmas) i'll be having 3 weeks of FEC-T then 3 of Docetaxel, I'm sure i will have another wobble just before it starts lol.

This is such a scary journey we are facing but I have been reading lots of posts on this forum and it is uplifting to see so many positive success stories. 

We have this Georgie, we can kick cancers butt! 

Sending a big hug,

Linda x

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 22:10 in response to Lindyluu

Hi Linda

 

Thanks for your reply. Mine is grade 2 ER positive HER negative. Glad you found your oncologist appointment an overall positive experience if overwhelming at first.

It's the waiting which I am finding the hardest at the minute. When I initially went to the breast clinic after finding my lump they said it was unlikely to be anything sinister however they took a biopsy as "sometimes they get surprises" obviously this was one surprise which I never hoped for. They have now said there is unlikely to be anything on the CT scan however for obvious reasons I am not as optimistic as them. 

I am finding it very difficult to stay positive at the minute and struggle to explain to my husband how I feel. I also feel guilty and blame myself as I first noticed my lump 5 month's ago, however as I was still breastfeeding I thought nothing of it and put it down to a blocked milk duct. Now I keep thinking if only I had gone to the doctors sooner!

It's really nice to be able to have other women who are going through the same thing, to talk to and share worries with although it's rubbish that we all have this in common.

I hope you have lots to take your mind off your chemo over the next few weeks.

Always around to offer support - keep in touch 

Xx

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 22:12 in response to Woollylamb

Glad it seems to be healing well.

I am completely clueless about reconstruction. Did they do it all in the one op? 

Glad you also have your boys to keep you busy. Hope they are holding up ok too.

Xx

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

22 Nov 2019 22:42 in response to Gigi88

They said exactly the same to me at my appointment during the ultrasound, the nurse who did it said nothing worrying is jumping out at me, well it certainly jumped out after my biopsy. I think mine came as a shock as we have just been through the same with my mum, shes now finished all treatment and is looking great but it still doesnt make it any easier knowing i am going to go thru the chemo. 

I found it difficult to be positive the 10 days i was waiting, I spent lots of time in bed which isnt like me at all, and even though I have my husband and 18 year old daugther at home I felt alone even though I wasnt if that makes sense. I felt guilty that they have to go through this with me now when we celebrated only a few weeks ago the end of mums treatment.

Easy for me to say but try and stay positive, there is so much they can do nowadays xx

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

23 Nov 2019 20:55 in response to Gigi88

Hi gigi88

I was completely clueless as well. Yes they did it at the same time, sometimes surgeons won't do this. I had a DIEP reconstruction where they used tummy fat to reconstruct the breast. 
The boys are fab thanks. 
WL

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

23 Nov 2019 22:01 in response to Gigi88

Hiya lovely 

I can't offer you advice on surgery or anything but I'm stage four breast cancer and I hope you don't take any offence with what I'm going to say in 32 and having kids wasn't a bother to me, however since I diagnosed i have been put on zoladex which puts me in menaoajsal state since then seeing my friends children's kids pains me, I never wanted kids but fact I may not able to pains me alot so I do feel. Your pain especially being midwife and with your son.

The zoladex injection if they are offering you that treatment isn't so bad I had night sweats first month then settled down. 

Sorry I'm not much help. Xxx

Newly diagnosed breast cancer and struggling

23 Nov 2019 22:17 in response to Daylightdancer666

Hi Daylightdancer666

I've just read your other post and was going to get in touch to offer some support. 

When did you receive your diagnosis? How are you feeling now with all your treatments?

It's the lack of having any control over decision making in my life anymore that angers me the most. I hope you have plenty of support around you and somebody you can vent your frustrations to, to hopefully alleviate your pain a little bit. I feel like sometimes I don't want to burden my family with how I am feeling as I hate seeing how upset they become so having ladies on here to talk to is nice.

Sending lots of strength your way and always here (especially in the early hours when sleep evades me) if you ever need a chat 

 

Xx