Change of plan, confused ...

Hi ladies,

I went to see the surgeon today and they have now decided on chemo first rather than surgery which I thought would be next week. The CT scan was ok but I am to have an MRI next week and a clip put in before chemo and hormone treatment. Is it because the cancer is HER+ and receptive to osestrogen blockers? Originally they wanted the op first and I really just wanted it gone … slightly more confused now as in my mind we had a plan and now it’s all changed ?.

Best wishes to all


Morning, In my case they elected to do chemo first to shrink the tumour, they have put a clip in to mark how far it went. This then enables them to reconstruct my breast not a mascectomy . I too am HER+ and ER+ and is large 4cm. I had a CT and MRI I start Chemo next week. Yay. I do appreciate that the changes are very frustrating, see previous posts,but they felt it would be better this way round for me. Hugs Cazzy. 

Hello Karen,

It is frustrating when plans change isn’t it. There will be a good reason and if you are not clear about the reason then I would contact BCN or whoever is in charge of your treatment and request clarity if that is what you want. It sounds like it would be beneficial for you to know and to discuss it if you are not clear/happy with it. After all it is your treatment.

Chemo first can be done for a number of reasons. One of them is to try and shrink a tumour and make it more amenable to surgery or less radical surgery. Having chemo or hormone blocking treatment first can also give a good idea of how well the tumour responds to such treatment. That is something that can not be ascertained if the tumour is removed first.

Having a marker put in is standard. It is especially useful for future scanning or surgery and even more so if the tumour shrinks. It will be removed at surgery.

You ask in your post, “Is it because it is Her2 + and will be responsive to oestrogen blockers?”. Her+ tumours do not respond to anti hormone treatment. If your tumour is Her2 + then you will probably have herceptin or similar with chemo at some point. If your tumour is oestrogen and/or progesterone positive then anti hormone treatment will also be recommended, such as Tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor.

By the way, I had a marker put in, and also chemo first. The tumour was her2 + and oestrogen and progesterone +. After chemo the tumour shrank to oblivion. I was assessed as having no node involvement prior to chemo and definitely no evidence of any after Sentinel Node Biopsy.

I hope I have not confused you. Wishing you the best for all your treatment. Be kind to yourself ? x

Thank you for your replies ?

I am a bit clearer now as to what is going on as the BC nurse rang with my MRI date and we had a chat. The tumour is quite large and after looking at the scan it was decided to shrink it first then operate. I am to take the drug Herceptin I think, whichever one stops oestrogen but no sure when that will be yet. It’s looking like mid June for the chemo to start which is good as it means I can now go on a planned family holiday to Italy the week after next. We have lots of stuff planned this year as the big 50 is approaching in July , didn’t expect to be doing chemo mind ?
I am struggling to sort out things at work when it’s all a bit wait for this and that then we will start treatment. Not that they haven’t been brilliant I am just wanting to organise myself ready for being off work.
Cazzy sounds like you are similar to me are you nervous about the chemo or just wanting to get on and start the treatment , are you going to try the cold cap?
Thank you Chick your info was really helpful I am sure as time goes on I will have a better understanding of the terminology. It’s all Greek to me at the moment…
Is anyone considering the Cannabis oil approach people keep mentioning it to me, anyone know much about it ?
Hope you all had a lovely weekend in the sunshine ?

Best wishes


Hi Blueash,

Many thanks for your reply. I am starting chemo at the end of this week so it’s been quite a long wait to have any treatment at all , diagnosed on May 2nd…
I will have a look at the fasting but get really grumpy if I don’t eat ?

Mine is about an inch 23mm, I am not sure if I that’s large or not in comparison to others but they are doing chemo first now instead of the op. I will give the coldcap a try and see how it goes nothing to lose I suppose ?

Hope all are enjoying the sunshine and great football result !

Best wishes