Hi everyone
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast today. After reading some of the discussions on here I’m left confused. I dont know anything about ER PR and all the other abbreviations. All I know is I will be having a lump removed and sentrel node biopsy of the armpit and may require further surgery and chemo/radiotherpy/ hormone tablets. Should I ask the breast nurses to clarify and maybe know more? Or does this come later? It’s almost too much information for my tiny brain to comput. I look forward to hearing from you. Vanessa

Hi mummyv

I am sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, but would like to welcome you to the Forums. I am sure you will receive lots of helpful advice and support from our users.

It is very early days and I am sure your medical team will confirm the details of your diagnosis once your lump is removed and tested.

In the meantime I have given here a link to a Breast Cancer Care publication Resources Pack which can be ordered on line, it is filled with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available.

Kind regards

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Vanessa,

sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis but ‘welcome’ to this most fantastic site, I’m glad you’ve found us! Rest assured you are in good company here and I personally have found this site invaluable since I was diagnosed in March.

I knew v.v.little about bc prior to my diagnosis on Mar 19th (a day I will NEVER forget!). It has certainly been a VERY steep learning curve, not only for myself but those close to me. At the start I think I ordered just about every booklet and leaflet this site had to offer! I’ve now got them stored in our bedroom in a little pink box. I wanted to know as much as possible as quickly as possible and, like you, all the abbreviations baffled me!

The internet is an awesome thing but it can also be the devil in disguise. Try not too get too ahead of yourself at this early stage. Also, I would advise exercising a certain amount of caution whilst using sites such as this. Don’t get me wrong, this site is amazing but it can be a very scary place too when first diagnosed. Its important to remember that whilst we all have bc, we all have different stages/grades/hormone status/HER2 status and many other factors that separate us. Also, each individual health trust seems to have very different treatment protocols so we are all being treated differently. Some have surgery first, others have chemo first and so on. So please don’t worry that you’re not getting the same as someone else, different Dr’s just have varied ways of treating us.

I had my mastectomy and total axillary clearance in Mar, age 34. I have since started chemo and once thats over will be having rads, hormones and herceptin. Phew! I didn’t find out anything about the status of my tumour until I had my post-op appt with my surgeon a few days after being discharged. It was then that I found out it was hormone receptive (ER+ oestrogen positive) and it was grade 3, 4cm. It took some while to get my HER2 result back and this too was positive. This simply means that I have a more aggressive tumour and that I would benefit from Herceptin.

I am sure you’re bc nurses will be more than happy to clarify any concerns or nagging questions that you may have, but they may be speaking metaphorically at the mo. Perhaps you could write some questions down, I found this a great help when I had my pre-op with the surgeon. Have you got a date for your op yet?

I wish you well for your op. Take care and please be sure to let us know how you are doing,


No date yet and yes I spoke to by BC nurse this afternoon and yes I will find out more after my op. I dont really know what to expect after the op. I’m 37 and have two daughters age 7 and 4. I feel there is so much going on at the mo. End of Infant school, end of nursery. Come September they both start new schools and I want to be there for both of their days, especially my four year old. Apparently I wont be able to drive for a while. Can anyone tell me how long? I’m sorting out their new uniforms and getting the house up to scratch so hubby can keep on top of things. I should get a date in a few days and I’ll let you know of course.

I’ve order that booklet. Thanks

Hi Vanessa

I was diagnosed less than two weeks ago and know what you are going through. However, I don’t have children, so can’t help a lot on that issue. I have found that telling people has helped and a lot of people have offered to help with lifts and anything else I might need. Your husband will need support too, as it will have been as much of a shock for him . My husband says he feels so helpless. I hope you have family and friends nearby, who can help with the children. These things never come at a convenient time do they!

Julie. N.

Thank you Julie
Yes my hubby is being brilliant. He is a real rock for support. He is self employed so doesnt get paid when he takes time off so money is going to be an issue too. My parents live an hour away and have offered to drop everything and come to take care of the girls. Like you I have told practically everyone as I may need their help too.
This website is going to be a real boon to me, its great meeting people going through the same.

Hi Vanessa,
Sorry to hear you are joining this site but you will get tons of support here - i think you are quite brave loggging on so soon - i couldn’t face it for the first few weeks after dx then i went through a stage of wanting to tell everyone as it just seemed so unreal, like it was happening to someone else. How and when you tell the children is very much an individual thing - but I would give yourself time to get over the shock first I told mine more or less straight away - didn’t want them to hear it from other children or Mum’s at the school (however well intentioned). It was quite scarey for them when they saw my operation scar at first but children are surprisingly matter of fact about things (soon started telling their friends how I might nedd a wig !) and their being normal has helped me to cope. They will gived you huge strength to get through this dreadful time. When I feel really miserable I go and have a good cry with the dog - ( it is amazing how reassuring a cold wet nose is )that that way it dosn’t upset the children or adults. (does confuse the poor old dog though!) I also told the school - that way they can give you some feedback on how your children are copeing - it also cuts you a bit of slack for the days you forget sports kit, need someone else to pick them up, miss parents evenings etc . Depending on the operation and when it takes place you may well find you are hopefully able to get to take your girls on their first day at school - I was driving on short journeys (an automatic) after two weeks - it may be longer if you have to have a full masectome but the breast care nurse should be able to advise you on that. cheers

thank you Caroline
Every time I read all these kind thought I well up… I’ve only told my girls that ‘Mummy has a poorly booby and needs an operation to take the poorly bit out’ havent gone into detail about chemo. I will tell them nearer the time that I need medicine which will make me poorly to begin with. Both of them starting a new school is going to be a little probmatic, all those Mums are going to meet me at my worst!! Still I can only get better eh. Should get a date this week, awaiting post.

Hi Vanessa,
I was diagnosed in Jun and had a lumpectomy and sentinel node removed. I have been told it hasn’t spread so no more surgery. I am 36 and have a 10yr son. I have told him everything - I didn’t want him overhearing things and being scared that I was hiding something, also I wanted to create an open forum for him to ask questions etc. It is a very personal thing and only you know what is best for your children.
I know what you mean about info overload - as one of the other ladies suggested - take a step at a time. This is a great site, with loads of support but just remember we are all different so please keep an open mind. After my op I didn’t drive for a week then just small journeys for another week, I have been fine since.
I start chemo next week, cos of my age the onc wants to throw everything at it - and whilst I am really scared I can’t say no. I owe it to my family (husband has been amazing). On my bad days I log on and ‘chat’. I have made new friends without even leaving the house.
So, WELCOME, good luck, let us know how you get on, sending lol,
Tracy xx