My BCN visited me yesterday following my diagnosis on Friday. I must have completely switched off after the consultant mentioned cancer and just heard what I wanted. I did have mam with me but I think she was worse than me. I had convinced myself that as my lump is only 12mm and the scans had shown clear lymph nodes that following lumpectomy and node biopsy and maybe radiotherapy that would be it. However she hit me yesterday with the fact I will probably be recommended chemo due to my cancer being grade 3 and they class me as young (39). Any advice appreciated as the thought if chemo has me terrified. Judith xxx
Hi Judith, sorry you had to join this club but you are more than welcome and the ladies here are amazing. So please ask away.
I’ve got stage 2 (spread to 8 nodes) grade 3 and am 40 and just had my 2nd chemo y’day. Even without the spread to nodes I would have also been offered chemo due to the tumour being aggressive and I would have said yes anyway as I want to see my girls grow.
Everyone reacts to chemo differently but it is definitely doable. I was really surprised that my 1st chemo wasn’t as bad as I had expected - the anti sickness meds kept things under control and apart of the tiredness (I enjoyed my afternoon naps) I was pretty much back to normal for the 2nd week. Having said that my 2nd chemo y’day was rougher but by the evening the anti sickness meds had everything under control and I’m much better today. Still eating like a pregnant lady though i.e. anything and everything throughout the day
I’ve used the cold cap to trying to reduce hair loss but found it both times really uncomfortable (not the coldness itself but I couldn’t get comfortable position with the big cold pipe at the back of my neck). Although I have lost hardly any hair so far I’ve made the decision to stop using the cold cap in my remaining chemo session and a brace the egghead look (as my oldest calls it) in the next few weeks.
All this a lot to take in and waiting for the tests/treatment plans is the worst but we are here for you. Hugs xx
When i was first diagnosed i was shell shocked too,as my lump was small but wss told agressive which was only thing that made it stage 3, my first lymph node was suspicious but once i had a lumpdectomy and all other nodes removed and were clear was told only need radio therapy and tablets, I am much older than you 67 but a very young 67, am very fit and active andcome from a ,long living family with no cancer risks . Was told by onocologist he thought chemo would do me more harm than good as im very petite and could debiliate me lots. He felt the small extra percentage just wasnt worth the risk. Maybe if i was as young as you,might have said differently i dont know, but he said if nodes had been affected would have had to have had it. it seems like the ideas change as time goes on, So id wait till see onocologist, they seem to sometimes have a different idea on things, and often seem to reassure you m ore,june
Along with the support here, please feel free to call our helpliners for further practical and emotional support on 0808 800 6000, lines are open 9-5’weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays
Here’s a link to the younger women information and support from BCC which I hope you will find helpful:
I was diagnosed in November with grade 2 IDC, after surgery in December the pathology showed it was actually grade 3 (17mm, nodes clear). The oncologist said that it was my choice whether to have chemo or not. But my surgeon and BCN said they would advise to do it because of my age (42). To be honest, I wouldn’t have been happy knowing that I’d denied myself treatment that could prevent this from recurring. I have had 2 cycles of chemo so far, it’s not the most fun in the world but it’s not as bad as I’d imagined. The worst part of this whole journey was the lead up to chemo, it scared me much more than the thought of surgery. It is your choice, but like me you’re young so I would advise to think carefully before making a decision. Good luck xx
Thank you all. I have my surgery on 12th March and hopefully I will know the full story of exactly whats needed on 27th March so a few weeks of worry. Your advice and positivity has made me feel a little better but I think I need to get my head around chemo as if it is recommended I will take it. I have 2 children (11 & 9) and I need to stick around alot longer yet so anything to stop the horrible little critter returnng!
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Hi Judith, I’m another Judith
I was diagnosed in Feb and have had surgery and my results but am due in again on 11th Mch as they didn’t get a clear margin.
I’m not expecting chemo this time as my node was clear and I’m not HER2+ but I’ve been here, done all this, 22 years ago at age 29.
Back then I was not given any information on the size or grade of my lump but I did have 3/7 (or 3/8, I can’t remember) nodes affected so had the full work then.
Like others have said, I didn’t find chemo terrible though I am glad to not have to do that again. I was on a 3 week cycle and 1 week out of 3 I was not right but the other 2 weeks I felt ‘normal’ and went into work. Each day of the week after treatment was different to the day before and after a few cycles I knew what to expect so could plan the week.
And 22 years ago everything was very different to now. There are obvious advancements in screening, surgery, treatment and support. No matter what treatment is in store for you I believe it will be made as comfortable as possible and there is a huge amount of support available.
Good luck with your surgery and the journey ahead.