I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) just before Christmas. I’m due to have a single mastectomy with reconstruction on Monday and possible sentinal node clearance, then chemotherapy 4 weeks later.
Over the last 24 hours the thought of this surgery fills me with fear and I’m considering not turning up on Monday and trying juicing carrot/apple and apricot kernels.
I’m in my 30’s with 3 children and not sure whether I’m being stupid. Has anyone tried this? Any evidence ? I’d appreciate any advice as my time is running out. I’m also worried that my consultant will be angry and refuse treatment later on.
Obviously no one here is likely to advise you what to do or tell you whether you’re being stupid because we’re not you. I have/had (who knows!) invasive cancer which was removed last month. When they examined the excised tissue I also had DCIS as did another lady here who had an operation after me. I don’t think anyone can say whether your DCIS would stay like that for the rest of your natural life and never cause a problem or whether it will invade at which point you’re in such a different position.
I can only speak for myself. I’m in my 40s with no kids and if I had DCIS I’d be legging it into the operating theatre. If I were in my 30s (with or without kids) the only difference is I’d be running a lot faster. I was terrified of the operation but I hope it’s saved my life. You are extremely lucky to have been diagnosed so early. I honestly think you need to speak to a medical professional to really understand what not having the surgery could mean for you.
I really wish you luck with your decision.
Hello Liz. I can absolutely understand your fear with regard to the operation, I too was terrified and I amazed myself that I got through it. In fact the only thing that got me through was doing the best I could for my family.
I can’t give you advice, but I would ask myself if the NHS is offering juicing as a recognised effective treatment package for your condition. Please don’t be frightened of your consultant, they are there to care for you and understand how frightened you are, they do not make judgements. On the day of my operation my surgeon came to see me and we had a really re-assuring chat before I continued. I found that very helpful.
I wish you all the best.
Yes, it is scary but, conventional treatment is the best we’ve got in getting through this & outcomes are excellent these days & surgery is the best frontline treatment.
There is no evidence to support the use of extra vitamins in treating bc, even when it as at an early stage like yours, although of course, its good to be as healthy as possible when going through conventional treatment.
Please be aware that there is a lot of dangerous cancer ‘woo’ on tbe internet, especially involving money.
Your team will look after you, so please talk through everything with them &/or take advice from the helpline here.
When it comes down to it, modern medicine & conventional treatment is the best we’ve got to resolve this.
Do take care
I’ve just had a single mastectomy with SNB and was terrified of having the operation, I was worried I would die.
I went into surgery and the last thing I remember was a Nurse pushing my hair behind my ears (she had cold fingers), then she took my hand and bent down to me and said, ‘I am going to look after you Susan, I’m going to be right here next to you all the time’ and then I woke up and it was done. I never saw that nurse again, but if I did I would hug her - she helped me so much.
Recovering from the operation has been quite quick and I went back to work this Monday, driving my car, still a little bit tender, but o.k. I didn’t even wear my false boob.
I didn’t have a choice on a surgery, mine was grade 3 aggressive - but even with your diagnosis I would still have the surgery, I need to know that I did everything possible to cure myself.
Sending you big hugs.
Just to add, Liz,
With a DCIS diagnosis, surgery offers the best chance of a complete recovery.
We’ve all had wobbles, I had lumpectomy to remove my bc, so less invasive that your surgery, but even so, I remember having some thoughts you describe, but fortunately, it was very short lived!
Having someone with you to keep you calm helps enormously.I was so lucky to have my wonderful daughter with me right up until the last minute.We were even laughing particularly trying to get the surgical stockings up my legs! You must do what you feel is best but for me I just wanted to get it out of me as soon as I could, the future is uncertain enough as it is.
You havent said what grade DCIS it is that you have . Low grade at this moment in time is a controversial subject … Im sure you already know all of this though . It could grow so slow and never effect you ( so they say ) But and the big But was it could not be guaranteed !
Im 54 and consider myself to be very young at heart and Im out and about dancing usually ( massive fan of soul music ) I have children and grandchildren . There was no way I was going to take any chances of limiting my life span if I had any say in it .
The NHS offers you the surgery/treatments that have been deemed effective from research & trials . Some of which they may still say does not have guarantees attached … but its all performed safely by highly skilled and professional people .
I have never heard from people that I know or ladies on this site that they have been offered juicing . It may be there has never been enough research …that alone would be enough for me to rule out any contemplation .
It is your choice and your choice alone but if it was me Id want to preserve the life I have with what has been proved to be the most effective … which is what youve been offered . !!
From reading your post I get the feeling that youre very spooked and frightened of the unknown . It is easy to want to avoid fear and I completely understand that … but this my darling is a very serious situation . Im 6 weeks in from having my single mastectomy and recon . The care I received from the hospital and all staff was exceptional . I went to sleep in anaesthetic room and when I was woken up it really did feel as though only five minutes of my time had passed .
I went to a look good feel good session last Thursday , its a national charity thing ( Maggies ) it puts things on for cancer patients . I went to a make up session and got a fab goody bag . The relevance of me mentioning it is there was several ladies young like you there , theyd also had mastectomies and were going through chemo …theyd met at their treatment and they were so vibrant and positive and just looking forward to moving on .
If you choose not to go ahead on Monday you ( and only my opinion ) will be left with the uncertainty of whether the juices will work , how long it will take before you see any difference and if you see any difference .And also whether not having the surgery was the right thing . That is an awful amount of stress to put yourself under … far more than I could cope with or would want to .
Not sure if there is nurses available on this site over weekend but I would try if I were you and / or phone hospital because you can be specific when speaking about what your actual fear is … and obviously the nurses have the expertise to advise you .
You must follow your own instinct and make the right decision for you , perhaps you could go to the hospital on Monday ( or you may be going in on Sunday ready for Monday ) in anticipation of having the op but only make your final decision when youre there and have relayed /spoken to your Consultant again . NO ONE can force you into having the surgery …and Im sure that you wouldnt be the first person to withdraw on the day of surgery either . And no they couldnt refuse treatment at a later day . Good luck …I truly hope you make a decsion that youre happy with . Big hugs Steph xxx
Lots of good advice here from everyone. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction August bank holiday weekend 2015. I’d never had surgery in all my 51 years and was utterly terrified. I honestly thought that my life was over and I’d never enjoy anything again. The reality was far less traumatic than I’d feared and I made a pretty speedy recovery. I’m also really pleased with the outcome of the reconstruction - the surgeons can do amazing things. As others have said, the people who will be looking after you are experts and always so kind. You will be very well taken care of I assure you.
Please don’t discount conventional treatment. One of the things that has kept me optimistic throughout treatment and recovery is the thought that our very wonderful but cash strapped NHS would not spend so many resources on treating people for this disease if they didn’t have the evidence that it was sucessful in the vast majority of cases. There are lots of us who have been through what you are going through now and come out the other side to enjoy life once more.
I remember reading about apricot kernels several decades ago but am absolutely sure that if they had been found to be of real benefit in curing cancer then I’m sure they’d be utilized in mainstream treatments by now. As someone says below, there is an awful lot of “woo” out there, especially on the Internet, and if you look closely it’s all to do with someone making money at the end of the day.
Absolutely no harm in making sure you are looking after yourself nutritionally. It’s one thing I addressed when going through treatment and I believe it helped in my recovery. My BCN told me that it helps to eat really good quality protein leading up to and recovering from surgery.
Anyway, hope you don’t mind me putting my tuppeneth in. Stick around here as everyone is so wonderfully supportive and let us know how you get on. Good luck on Monday. You are going to be fine.
Hi Liz I really can understand how you feel. My treatment was the first time at 51 that I’d had surgery & I was scared, too. I think I’m echoing everyone else when I say I couldn’t have turned the surgery down. Knowing that after surgery the lump would be gone & hopefully the cancer as well. I couldn’t have not left that lump inside me & trusted to natural methods. None of us know for sure what would have happened if we hadn’t gone along with the surgery or had any other treatment. I know what I would call miracles do happen & some people’s cancer does seem to disappear but I would hazard a guess that this is very rare. Please think about it & hopefully talk to people that can give you more information. Being healthy with juicing etc is all good & by all means carry on with that but at the moment all the evidence seems to side with surgery & follow up treatment. Please keep in touch with us all & let us know how you get on & what decision you finally make. At the end of the day it is your decision & I wish you all the best with whatever you decide xx
Hi ladies, thank you for your lovely messages and advice.
I was having a complete meltdown last night. My partner and I had gone away for the night for the firsr time since children (10years) before all the stress and treatment starts. Well not the stress as that started on diagnosis day! We were discussing what ifs and found ourselves on youtube watching videos about cancer juices!
I started with pain when out running in October - not real pain, just discomfort really. Gp referred and consultant couldn’t feel anything but sent for ultrasound for peace of mind. The ultrasound picked up a small 1cm lump. When I went for tge results 2 weeks later I expected lumpectomy and radiotherapy at worse. Consultant explained he was surprised but I had grade 2 small invasive cancer and a larger area of DCIS in same left breast. Also herz positive. They said the cancer was aggressive.
I was gobsmacked to hear the words chemo and mastectomy, never in my wildest dreams did I expect the consultant to advise this.
The hospital have advised for me to be at the hospital for 7am Monday, my partner will have to leave straight away- is this normal?!!
Hi Liz… I am 3 weeks post mastectomy op … it said that friends/relatives couldn’t stay on the day surgery ward but as I was sat in the waiting room for a couple of hours, my hubby actually stayed and didn’t leave until I was called through.
I totally understand your fear/anxiety and I don’t even think it’s possible for anybody to be more scared than I was but in all honesty, on the day I think I must have just been so relieved that something was being done that I was ok … I have recovered really well after the op and it all seems a bit of a blur apart from I still have a bit of numbness on the non boob side and it feels a little bit bruised … i would never have thought I could go through with it as I have a phobia of hospitals.
The nurses etc will look after you really well … I had my op at 2.45pm and was home at 7.45pm … I had been there from 7.30am though
Big hug for Monday
I’ve been told I’ll be morning surgery but that I’ll be staying 1 or 2 nights as having implant reconstruction. Hoping to be back on feet asap- have plenty of help but have children at home so hoping that boosts me along.
Were you all sent home with arm exercises?
I wish I’d found you lovely ladies earlier and not worried so much alone.
How long before you can drive?xx
Thanks for the tips. Whitelily, I hope your op goes well on Monday. You’re not in Stoke are you?!!
I’ve got a brilliantly supportive family and friends but none of them have been through this surgery to be able to advise like you all can x
Nice to see you back here. There is so much going on in the lead up to the surgery that your time will most likely be very occupied. You usually see the surgeon, anesthetist and a nurse at least and if you are scheduled for the morning then hopefully there won’t be too much hanging around for you.
Like you, I was told I’d be in for one or two nights after my implant reconstruction. Strangely I actually quite enjoyed my time in hospital. I’d never stayed overnight before so it felt like a novelty. The morphine they gave me after surgery might have had something to do with my elevated mood perhaps :smileyvery-happy:
Good luck. You’re not too far away! I’ve opted for the implant reconstruction using an implant. I hope you recover quickly x
Thanks Helena yes not far from me. Liz will be thinking of you tomorrow when you are getting your gown and paper knickers on I will be too!! you are making the right decision I am 5 years down the line now and don’t regret anything Love to all ladies who are having surgery this week xx
Thanks Steph and Helena you are all such a support us ladies need to stick together xx
Good luck Liz. I was DCIS that turned out to be invasive. Mx is doable. I was terrified but the anaesthetist and surgeon were lovely and reassured me. You will be fine. Come back and let us know how you’re doing. Watch out for the blue dye if you’re having a sentinel node biopsy. Everything comes out blue and I felt a bit like a smurf!
Thanks girls, I really appreciate your advice and support. Really scared and emotional but hoping after the operation I’ll be cancer free if the sentinal node clearance is negative.
Thanks for the blue dye advice- just to top off my day my period has decided to arrive also!
Will keep on touch. Xx