Breast Thickening - Petrified

Hi all,

I’m so glad I have found this forum. I just so desperately need to find some way of calming my intense fears. I apologise in advance for the long and emotianlly charged post x

I’m 33, married and have the most magical little 4 year old who makes my world and hear swell with joy. I noticed a month or so ago that one of my breasts looked different to the other one as it seemed to maintain any indentations from pressure longer than the other. I started to see what I thought were deep pores and when I went to squeeze at one noticed that the skin seemed VERY thick / swollen compared to the other.

I went to the doctor as it didn’t improve and she referred me for an urgent 2 week breast clinic referral. In that time my period arrived and the swelling dramatically reduced although was not completely gone. I didn’t feel any lump different to normal.

I went to my appointment on Wednesday and saw the consultant who requested an ultrasound and suggested a biopsy of the skin.

I went for the ultrasound and when scanning the doctor said immediately ‘yes you can see the edema (thickening) on the scan’. Then she started going over and over the same area. When I looked on the screen she stared measuring and checking bloodflow. I immediately began to cry. Then she scanned up to my arm pit and called in another doctor. I don’t really know what they said but the 2nd doctor left and the scanning doctor said ‘there are several’ but didnt’ realise the other doctor had left the room.

After the scan I was told I would need a mammogram and was sent off for that. When I came back into the room the doctor told me that she had found a mass in my breast and an abnormality in the lymph node so they would be doing some biopsies. They did them there and then. I get my results on Wednesday. They didn’t do any skin biopsies though(?!!)

I cannot explain the absolute heartbreak I’m feeling right now. It seems so illogical as I have no idea if they are going to find anything sinister or whether it is just going to be something simple but I can’t shake this feeling of complete distress and anxiety.

I’m desperately clinging to the idea that I may have something like (or even simpler) Fibrocystic Breast condition, a benign cyst and the lymph node is enlarged due to a small but slightly painful cyst right by the biopsy site!

I dont’ have any itching, redness or pain but that doesn’t stop me from panicking that I have IBC. I can’t believe I’m writing so dramatically as I’m SUCH a positive person and ALWAYS tell my friends in times of worry to look at all the positive possible outcomes. I’m sorry for being such a worry wart and for being so dramatic. I truly believed that I was a level headed person who lives by the motto ‘positive things happen for positive people’ but at the moment I’m a complete state!

Has anyone got any words of advice that could in any way calm my fears please? I would be so eternally grateful xxx or even a similar situation that has turned out to be non- cancerous? X

Thank you x Love and light to you all x

Hi Picklepot,

This time of so much uncertainty is just awful and you are feeling just as we all have here at some point, the fear of the unknown is so overwhelming and your mind cant help going to the darkest of places, i went to pieces initially and im the strong one in the family who everyone comes to but i couldnt cope with this! 

The trick is to try and deal with one step at a time, get your biopsy results first and then if you are diagnosed you deal with the next step, its too much to try and take in all at once. You have a good chance of getting a clear result but if not then you will be well looked after , breast cancer isnt an automatic death sentance and the majority of us go on and live happy healthy lives, we have been through it all between us on this forum and there is plenty of support here for you.

Try and keep yourself busy and focused in the mean time, your stress and anxiety wont alter the outcome on weds and will just make the days harder to get through, have some fun with your little one and dont allow it to take over, the shock is horrendous i know all too well but things get better, im 18 months from diagnosis now and its almost as if it happened to someone else ! XX Jo 

Oh goodness. You have both given me some strength! Thank you!
Even before going to bed last night and having read through some of the posts on here I felt calmer.

I need to get my brain to realise that nothing between now and Thursday (they moved my appt) will change the outcome. I also need to feel grateful that I went at all because I didn’t even feel a lump or swollen lymph node… They did and they’re checking it for me.
I find it all so inspirational and although my husband is amazing and has been utterly fantastic, I don’t feel quite so alone knowing I can come here where people understand. And as you say, it’s not necessarily the outcome as such but the angst, fright and worry in the run up. X

I will take all your advice on board and thank you for every word written because not everyone knows what to say and I really didn’t know what I needed to hear - but somehow, you’ve nailed it.

Thank you both and I’m SO pleased to hear you’re both doing so well. That’s the best thing to hear in this situation. X
Keep strong ladies and keep those hearts beautiful because you’ve truly helped mine today xxx
Thank you xxx

Thank you Charys X see! You simply have the words that so many others don’t… Including me!

I will definitely stay busy and keep focused on the fact that Whatever the outcome, I’m not going to be left to rot!!! Lol! X
Thanks for keeping me/getting me back to sanity. I truly felt like I was going out of my mind!
Like you say though, on the plus side I can’t face eating a thing… I could use a bit of stress related weightloss if that’s the only good thing to come out of this!!!

I didn’t mean to bring a tear to your eye but hopefully only a happy one xxxxxxx

Thank you x with all my heart xxxxxxxx

Jones, that shouldn’t make me chuckle but it did! Xxx
I’ve got 7stone to lose so really ought to get to slimming world myself! Lol xxxxp

Thank you I’ve had a beautiful day! Only just home from a friends bbq in their beautiful home surrounded by fields and cows and lots of kiddies X just what I needed and have eaten more than I have in the last 4 days X it’s been exactly what I needed xxx

Hello ladies X

Well, my appetite returned… Quite quickly actually… So not much weightloss here!!!
I think I have convinced myself the worst symptoms (edema and lymph node swelling/abnormality) are down to wearing my bra too tight and not drinking enough… Which has left me to feel more able to deal with the possibility that the ‘mass’ could be localised bc and not that I have actually got IBC which is what was frightening me to the core… Perhaps not the best way to deal with it but it has got me to today with some mild sanity remaining xxxxx
So… One more sleep! 9am tomorrow I will be sitting in that clinic no doubt waiting to be seen and probably breaking into a sweat with fear but what will be, will be and whatever happens, I will deal with it… Just as you have xxxx
Thank you for ALL your support xxx honestly, you’ll never know the comfort you have brought me through this so far xxxxxxx

Hello ladies X

Well, not good news sadly X
I have invasive ductal cancer. Xxx
Wow! What a sh1tter!

Ohhhh I am so so sorry. What a terrible shock for you. I’m on my phone at the moment so not good at doing long messages…but…I hope they started talking to you about your treatment plan. Most of us here know how a diagnosis feels and are happy to try and help you through x

Edited…posted same message twice.

Hello Picklepot, so sorry to hear your news. The diagnosis is such a shock and can imagine you are still in a daze. Did you discuss treatment plans this morning? That usually helps with positivity as it gives you back some control. What is next for you? I had thickening of tissue rather than a lump. I had an MRI to give more information, then a mastectomy and radiotherapy. That was in April and I am feeling much better now.


I hope you are spending the day with your magical four year old. 


Take care and sending a big hug, Jill xx

Thank you all very much X
I just feel so physically sick and anxious. But it’s here and I just have to get on with getting rid of it X

Thank you all so much xxx
It’s strange because I haven’t cried yet. I cried more after they found the problem and before I knew what it was X
I know I’m dealing with some anxiety though as it has upset my tummy and has made it very hard to
Find my appetite but I’m not being too sad X
I think now I know I can focus on getting through the other side and as I may have said, am just PRAYING to high heaven that it hasn’t gone beyond the lymph nodes xxxxxxxxx

Oh - they’re they are! Those tears and the fear just rocked up in one hit! But my hubby talked some sense into me and I feel a bit of relief from those tears X I’m also 10lbs down since my biopsies so that has to be something to smile about :slight_smile: xx

I knew it would come but wasn’t sure when xxx
I think it will come again a few times but I’m ready and I’m
Not gonna let it happen too often!! Xx

I only know I’m having chemo first then surgery?? Is that my treatment plan? That’s what everyone is asking but I don’t really know.
I’m also having my eggs harvested as want to have more children if possible so this will give us half a chance X
That will delay chemo xx

Hi Charys X I’m having Fec-T??
I don’t know any more yet but I’ve lost almost a stone now and have the worst anxiety! I’ve never experienced it before!!! Just want to get started now!!! Xxx

Ok…look…you should reach out I think to the professional help that is out there. Have you been allocated a bc nurse yet? If you do then ring and make an appointment to see them, or talk on the phone. There is the helpline number here on the website…or go see your GP. There are many of us here who needed a bit of ‘anti anxiety’ help in the first few weeks…either with talking therapies or some short term meds. My gp gave me lorazepam to use as and if I needed it, which I did particularly at night for a few weeks. This is a ‘big life event’…it rocks even the strongest and most resilient of people. You can even ask your bc nurse to refer you to a cancer specific counsellor…I was for a series of sessions. What I’m saying is, don’t suffer alone with the anxiety, which can be crippling…reach out to those who can help. Xx

You remember I told you about losing a stone myself in the period after diagnosis…its a common anxiety reaction. My surgeon looked at me after surgery and said she hoped I wasn’t planning on losing more weight, I cried as I wasn’t trying to ! X

Hi ladies X I just wanted to update you xx

I’m feeling much calmer… I had my ct results yesterday - everywhere else is clear X My clever little lymph nodes have contained it xxxx

I start 6 rounds of Fec -T in two weeks. Will then have surgery, then 6 sessions of radio xxxxx I’m ready for this and not as fragile as I was thank goodness xxxxxxxxx thank you so much for your amazing support xxxx