9 years later

I was on this forum 9 years ago but generally had a good breast cancer experience.  I had chemo, surgery and radiotherapy and a year later it all seemed fine.  I tried tamoxefin but after a few months decided not to continue. 

I was 53 at the time and just got on with my life. 

A few weeks ago I noticed a lump in the same breast and eventually managed to see a GP who referred me under the 2 week rule.  A week later it occurred to me to use my private health care and was able to see my original surgeon earlier this week at his one stop clinic.  (this was a good move as the NHS appointment only just came through for the end of next week so outside the 14 days).  

So, it looks like its back,  he obviously needs the biopsy results but he was pretty sure it was cancer after the examination, mammogram and ultrasound.  

I am absolutely floored by this news,  I feel like I have a ball of anxiety taking up my whole body.  I cannot focus at all even to the extent of listening to a conversation.  I am now 61 and still work full time in a job I love, luckily they are a very supportive employer. 

I am due to go on a very much delayed holiday to South Africa in October with my mum and niece and I am absolutely determined to go.

Finally I have a new partner of 18 months (I went through my first treatment alone as my marriage broke up a few months before),   He is so nice and supportive BUT he lost his wife 3 years ago to pancreatic cancer so I feel so guilty about putting him back in the whole cancer world.

Family wise my mum is 83 and lives 300 miles away so thats a challenge. 

No idea what I am asking for other than just felt the need to reach out.

Hi Kipper

Just wanted to say ‘I hear you’…I have had primary BC 3 times …2012 2018 and 2020…2nd time round after 6 plus year completely floored me…I barely thought of BC …it was something I had out to the back of my mind…I completely get your anxiety and it doesn’t matter what anyone says that will stay with you until you get your results  …I hope you don’t wait long for them …and I wish you the very best 

Oh, it’s so cruel when you go through everything - and it comes back. Some of us are just on the opposite side of winning the lottery twice. On the ‘bright side’ (hmm!) you have the benefit of knowledge: you know what you’re likely to be going through AND you know that you can survive it.

Like KitKat, I’ve done this three times: 2001, 2016, 2019. We’re all still here! You can do this xx

I am pretty cheesed off with my local recurrence too and that’s after 19 years… i will be 67 tomorrow and I am definitely feeling my age compared with when I was 48 at my first diagnosis.

I can’t have another lumpectomy it appears as I had the lump out followed by radiotherapy last time. You can’t have radiotherapy twice apparently. My original cancer has recurred. Last time it didn’t go into my lymph nodes and I was told recently that it hasn’t gone into my lymph nodes this time either, although I now have two tumours and one of these is near my nipple. The last one was hard and rubbery and near my armpit half way up my breast. The lumpectomy made my nipple move closer to my armpit. My new tumours have filled up the space left in my breast when the surgeon removed a quarter of it. This means my breast looks better than it has in a long time, which I was pleased with until I realised the reason for it… 


I should say also that I have a mother of 95 and I am the sole family member looking after her finances and property and as she’s still living at home and has Alzheimer’s the amount of work there is is huge

Thank you for all the replies,  Its been a tough week but I saw my surgeon today and he confirmed it is cancer. They are not sure if it’s a new primary or a reoccurrence.   Next steps are to have a pet scan and a brain mri which hopefully will be done in next few days.  I then see him again next wednesday for the next instalment.

I feel a bit better tonight and have told myself I need to get a grip :slightly_smiling_face:

I have been amazed by the support from people and I am so greatful.

So another week to wait but I am very lucky to have private health care and to have such prompt treatment. My employers are being amazing so all in all I am fortunate.

So an update,  it is breast cancer but they are not sure if it’s a new primary or a reoccurrence.  Apparently it looks very like the last one.  It’s 8/8 ER/PR +.   Grade 3 and stage 2 I think.

I had a brain MRI and a PET/CT scan last week, the results of the MRI are clear and I am waiting for the full results of the PET scan, he seems very relaxed but mentioned some hot spots on my thyroid.

So far the only definitive treatment is a mastectomy but I was determined to go on a family holiday to South Africa in October so he has put me on Letrazole to try and halt the tumour growth.  

I feel very flat but I am planning on going back to work tomorrow and hoping to feel more normal. 

Also waiting to hear about genetic testing which he seems keen to do.

Just an update.  I did make my trip to South Africa but unfortunately managed to get food poisoning while I was there. This combined with recovering from the letrozole side effects made for an interesting holiday.

I had my mastectomy 2 weeks aGo today, on reflection I wasn’t well enough for surgery with a nasty cold but it went ahead.  The operation itself was a success but I ended up with a nasty chest infection.  I have now been pretty much ill since the end of July .

So the latest update is my cancer is grade 3 and the preferred next step would be endocrine therapy which includes aromatise inhibitors.  I am absolutely clear I can’t do this, the side effects of letrozole and anastrzole were just too much for me, I was a barely functioning zombie,

So they are now doing the prosignia test to see if chemo would benefit me. 
If not then it looks like I will just need to take a risk.   On the plus side I feel so much better than I have in months!