Consultant letter has frightened me

Hi everyone

I saw my GP in May 2009 about a tiny lump I had in my right breast and the hospital appointment came through within a week which I was very impressed about but it was six weeks before my actual appointment - how I wished I had private health at the time.

I had a biopsy on 3rd September which showed DCIS and a 1cm tumour. Also it was mentioned that my cancer was Grade 2.

I also had a sentinel node biopsy in October 2009 which showed cancer in one of the two removed lymph nodes.

I then had a mastectomy on December 17th 2009 and the results have been put into the copy letter I received yesterday saying that I now have residual grade 3 invasive ductal carinoma close to the site of the previous surgery which is 14mm in diamater. Why wasn’t this seen on the mamamogram or when they did the first biopsy?

There was also a second tumour found of 23mm of mixed invasive and in situ disease with the central part of the breast with lymphovascular invasion. There was also some DCIS present in a duct near the nipple and another cancerous lymph node giving 2 out of 21 lymph nodes to have cancer.

The tumour that they found was ER 7/8, PR 7/8 and HER-2 Positive. I phoned a Breast Cancer Nurse and understood what she said but am still confused and worried.

I feel frightened, confused, panicky and worried that I am not gonig to live for more than five years. Although I am 50, I have three children the youngest who is 20 and still calls herself when texting me, ‘my little girl’.

Reading on the web HER-2 positive means that I will be less receptive to treatment and the prognosis is not good along with the return of cancer being more likely. Going from DCIS to Grade 3 cancer has made me have private health as I have waited for nearly seven months to have a mastectomy and it was put back two weeks as the consultant wasn’t available.

My private health started in November 2009 and of course, excludes breat cancer. Luckily for me, my boss is being very very good about this and is paying me full pay for six weeks and then I am on ssp.

We are house hunting tomorrow and apart from my arm having cording and a lump under my arm, I feel fine. Just waiting to see the Oncologist on 20th January 2010 - another two weeks.

I forgot to say that the consultant seems to think the surgical result was ‘satisfctory’. I’m not too sure and need some reassurance.

There is no history of breast cancer or any cancer in my family, I had my first child at 26 and my last at 30. I breast fed them all, exercised regularly and ate reasonably healthily.

If anyone is in the same boat and wants to contact me then please do so - I’m normally a very positive, lively person but right at this moment I can’t stop thinking that in five years time I won’t be here.


Hi, MNC,

So sorry to hear your diagnosis…

I was diagnozed June 2009, primary and bone secondary together, ER+, PR+ and HER2 neg. I was 24 and was very very very confused and frightened. I was told that it was too late for an op and chemo was more likely to be the option. That made me think I haven’t got very long to live… (wish I knew this website then so that I could got support earlier)

There is no history of bc or any cancer in my family either. I eat balanced diet and still haven’t got a clue how on earth I’ve got bc! Life isn’t fair, is it? Lots of people out there doing the wrong thing don’t have to suffer this.

I’m single and have got no kids - not even a boyfriend yet. You’ve got 3 children and a lot more to live for. So don’t give up. Who knows what’s going to happen in 5 years time? With all the researches and resources into cancer, who knows what drugs will be invented next! Take each day at a time.

Life is full of ups and downs and being told you’ve got bc is a BIG LOW point in life, not just a little bad news. I was a very positive person (and still trying to be positive), but remember it’s ok to be negative, it’s ok to cry and let out the angry, confusion. I remember the first time I started feeling a bit positive was when it stopped hurting after my first chemo. That really cheered me up. So I thought to myself:“Huh, cancer cells, you think you are strong huh? You think you can beat me huh? Bring it on, I’m not laying down without a fight!” So, here I am, still fighting.

Despite our age difference and different cancer type, I wish all the best with your app and I am sure they will do all they can to help you. Meantime, if you want to talk, just let me know.

Let me know how you get on. Regards

Hi there,
So sorry you are having to join us on this site - but you will get a lot of support and useful info here. I am no expert so cannot really comment on your results but if you are hr2 pos you will probably be offered Heceptin. My onc says this drug has been a huge breakthrough in the treatment of some breast cancers ( I hope to goodness he is right). try not to panic - when you get your treatment plan things seem a little more manageable. cheers caroline