Dark Place

Hi, everyone.

I am in a really bad place at the moment, and i know most of you have gone through it and may be able to help me!

I just had my dx confirmed - though to me confirmed is the right word, all i have been told is that it is cancer and that it has spread to the lymph nodes…

I tried to ask other questions, ie what type, what size, what stage - but you just cant seem to pin them down on anything… i can understand why but i am so scared and frustrated by it all.

I am only 40 yrs old, separated and have two young boys, aged 5 & 4 and all that keeps on going round my brain is that i am going to leave them…

I have to wait until thursday until i see the consultant and this is just for a treatment plan… this wait makes me soo panicky.

I also have pains in my arms and in my rib cage, not sure if this is the cancer which has spread or they fact that i havent ate anything since i had the first dx on wednesday.

Pls help, i know you have all been in this place and must have coped better than me, but my world and future have just fallen to my feet…

How do you get through this initial stage?


Hi Corinne,

I can understand why you feel you are in dark place just now. Being diagnosed with breast cancer is such a frightening time. I remember when I was in that place and I just thought this is it - I am going to die!! I laugh now because that was 20 years ago. But it takes time to adjust to what you are going through and there isn’t an easy way to do it but I can promise you it will get easier but you must look after yourself - for the sake of your little ones. You probably dont feel like food but please try to keep up your strength even if you don’t feel like it. The forums are a good place to be because you will find people here who will understand because they have been in the place you are now. Have you got friends and family to share with as well? I wonder if you have been given a breast care nurse that you can talk to at the hospital. Maybe you can ask her if you can talk to her before Thursday you may find that will help. Make sure when Thursday comes you have a list of questions you want to ask and if necessary ask if a breast care nurse can come in with you if you haven’t got someone you can ask. I hope some others will come along and respond to your post but Friday’s it can be a bit quiet on the forums so don’t give up - just keep posting and talking and we will help you as much as we can.


Hi Corinne just so sad that you are joining us in this exclusive club.I am sure you will find a lot of support and help here.It is just such a dreadful shock when you are first dx completely pole-axing. I am much older than you and my grand-sons are the same age as you 2 little ones.I was dx in Dec 09 on routine mammo.Despite having a small lump ( I could not feel it nor could the Onc or Surgeon) I had nodes according to u/s.Do you think that your pains and I am not de-validating them could be due to tension?The waiting is just awful ( bottom of a pit with the what ifs and worst case scenarios for me)Try to write a list of all the questions you need to ask and also have you got a contact with a BCN do you have friends/relatives someone to talk to/ attend the appt with you?Please do keep posting I am sure you will get encouragement and support from the lovely ladies on here and also the BCC is available tomorrow 9-2 when you can speak to a BCN.Also you really do need to keep eating/drinking to keep up your strenghth, not easy I know as I also do the opposite of comfort eating too, please try. Cyber hugs Jackiexx

Hi Corinne,

I haven’t any children so can’t put myself exactly in your position but it must be so hard for you and I felt I had to post a reply, even if it isn’t much help!

I would echo what Dawn says and see if you can speak to a breast care nurse before your next appointment or ring the helpline here just to discuss your immediate fears/questions. The waiting and uncertainty is the worst and once you have a plan in place it does become easier.

I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago and they told me there and then I had advanced cancer, took some biopsies and then I had to go back 5 days later for more detailed results and that’s when they had some more info about the grade etc, etc. Further info came after another week when I saw my oncologist re the chemo. I had a tumour that was over 7.5 x 5cm and had spread to the lymph nodes they could feel. Because of that, I had chemo first but everyone is different.

Please try to eat something even if it’s ‘junk’ food or bits of things - it will help. I would have thought I would have lost my appetite when diagnosed as I was that sort of person but somehow I ended up eating well all through chemo and with the drugs they gave me I put weight on. That’s stayed on and I’ve added more with the drugs I’m on now but that’s another story!!!

You will find plenty of support on here and people you can compare notes with. Ask any questions and someone is bound to have been there before - honest! I also hope the medical people looking after you are as good as mine were and continue to be - I can ask them anything and am not made to feel stupid. Oh and you will find you will worry about any ache and pain now expecting it to be the cancer spreading. I did that the other week so they did scans and stuff and all is fine.

Having come this far, and sometimes it has been a struggle I won’t deny it, I feel really well now and have settled into a new lifestyle and am loving it

Good luck with everything this week - you’ll probably feel like you’re on a fairground ride you can’t get off.



Dawn thank you for your reply.

My family have soooo many problems of their own… My dad has kidney failure and is the main carer for my mother who has dementia, my brother had a cardiac arrest 4 yrs ago and can go no where near hospitals as he has bad panic attacks.

My best friend recently lost her mother to breast cancer, and obviously this is far to close for her to be able to deal with

I spoke to the hospital today and the nurse i spoke to said she was my BCN, but i dont feel any affinity (?) with her at all… Just feel like she is doing a job.

I went to the docs yesterday to try getting some tranqullizers (?spelling) but she refused saying i had to get used to the shock… is this normal… i am not coping with this at all…

I tried eating a yoghurt but i just threw it all back… and i am having loads of pain all over, not sure if its lack of food, worry or it!!

It is gud to here from someone who has not only survived breast cancer, but has done it for over 20 years and is still doing so… gives me hope for myself.


Hi Corrine,
Just more support for you really, l was diagnosed in February, since then l have had three ops, the last being a mx, it had spread to my lymph nodes, but l had not pain. sometimes stress can do strange things to our body, you really must try to eat, easier said than done, because those first few months l lost a stone, but l am eating now, and have started my chemo.
So all l can say at this time is hang on in there, yes it gets very stressful, and to have such young children, keeping that happy face must be a big strain.
But we are here whenever you want to shout or just talk.
They may have some results for you on Thursday, but it is usually after the operation that they get the full results, everything seems as though it takes for ages when you are first diagnosed.
Hope you are taking someone with you, sometimes there is so much to take in, it goes over your head, and you come home just remembering the horrible bits. Make sure you have your bcn’s number they are invaluable, for help and support. as we on the forum are!!
Keep posting
Hugs to you
Sandra xxx

Hi there
Sorry I didn’t manage to get your name.

I know exactly how you are feeling, I was diagnosed on 28th April 2010 and had to wait until 2nd of June for my operation, (those 5 weeks were absolutely horrendous) which was lumpectomy and sentinal node biopsy, I waited until 14th June for the results and to be told that they would recomend removal of all the lymph nodes, which I am going in for on 23rd June.

I have had aches and pains all over my body and of course automatically think the worsed but I do try to think logically about it and positively about it. Its the road you - like me, and many others - have to travel. I believe it is the most treatable cancer.

I have lost my appetite also but I think that is understandable in the circumstances.

My experience of the professionals is that they are very factual and clinical which in my opinion doesn’t help.

You must contact the BCN they are always supportive and offer you advice and guidance.

I know its such a frightening time and with two small kids I’m sure you are very emotional. I find a good cry often helps.

hi, Corrine

Welcome aboard. I just want to endorse what others have said about contacting your BCN or Mcmillan nurse, mine was fantastic. I was diagnosed this March. Went to the GP with an earache-came out with BC

We have a one stop clinic at our hospital so all the biopsis are done and results on the same day. I had to have CT, Bone and MRI scans as it had spread to the lymph nodes. Had to wait 2 weeks for the results so I had plenty of time to imagine that I had cancer everywhere so I totally understand your fears. My scans came back clear and I wish the same for you

lots of support going your way


Dear Corinne
I’ve got exactly what you have! Diagnosed 3rd June. Op on 7th July. Feel very like you although have noticed that it’s getting slightly easier at times. Realised I was in shock for first several days - are you perhaps? I have sore arm too since biopsies. Also since diagnosis have real/imagined pains in every part of my body and in my darkest moments convince myself that it’s all cancer. Used this site for first time last night and feel 95% better as result of loving encouragement and support. So as I write I am hoping you feel a little easier tonight. Very best wishes.

Hi Corrine,

I remember feeling as you do now hun, it seems like it was years ago since my diagnosis, op and results. I am 47 with 1 teenage daughter at home and my other daughter has 2 darling babies (3 years & 9 months)

I was diagnosed mid april, lumpectomy & sentinal node biopsy in may and results 2 weeks ago - cant remember dates as mind is mush at the mo, like Kittie I have to go back in for removal of my lymph nodes on monday (21st june).

They said they couldn’t tell me the size or grade untill after the op, and in the end it was quite small, 12mm High grade - grade 2 with 1 of 3 nodes involved

I think its normal to feel this way, but I find each day I am a little stronger and nearer to being healthy again - it could be a long road, but with support from family, friends, my BC nurse and this site I know I can do it, it is sooooo scary but I try not to think of what might me … just what is next in the treatment cycle.

You must try and eat something - keep your strength up.

My BC nurse has given me a copy of the letters she has faxed to the gp with results/treatments on, they are good to have as if you are like me then you cant take it all in at once.

The ladies on here are fantastic and just by reading their posts I feel much stronger and now 8 weeks on from my first biopsy I am very positive going for my second op.

Hope things are much clearer on thursday after seeing your consultant and he can put your mind at ease with a treatment plan.

Please let us know how you get on so we can continue to help & support you

Tracey xxxxxxx

Hi Corinne,
We have all been there, and the beginning is the worst, waiting is horrid. Once you know your “sports plan” it is easier to fight. Once you get to know your bcn I am sure you will feel more reassured. I was rather shocked with your docs attitude. We all need all the help we can get, you will get support here, but if you need tranquilizers you should insist.
You and your family have been through such a lot, but you don’t need to be the strong one all the time.
Hugs to you

Hi Corrine

I’m so sorry you had to join us. As the others have said, it does get easier with time and when you know your treatment plan. I was very much like you at the beginning; lost loads of weight and felt sooo sick. I contacted the BCC helpline and they were great. They arranged telephone support for me from someone of a similar age and diagnosis; she was even a nurse, like me!

I had a lumpectomy and the nodes removed, as it was in one. Waiting for scan results was terrifying; I was convinced every ache and pain was a secondary. So relieved the scans were clear and I realised after that terror, I could deal with anything and deal with it I did.

I’ve just finished all treatment now and am back at work. This experience does change you in so many ways but if I can get through it, anyone can. By the way, I’m 42.


Julia xx


Thanks to everyone for your replies.

It has helped to read them and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel…

Its gud to know that i am not the only one that feels this ‘fear’… I am trying so hard to carry on for the kids sake, but its hard to keep smiling.

Not sleep last night and no food still - thinking logically this is bound to have an effect on my body - can feel pains in my kidneys now but i know this has got to be due to no food!!!

The nights are the worse for me - so long and i get so tired, if i do manage to get off to sleep i wake myself up in total panic.

It is gud to know that even if your lymph nodes are infected you still have a gud chance of survival… i thought that was it, meant it had spread everywhere…


I think that is inhumane that you are being denied a sedative by your GP. It was the first thing my brother-in-law (a GP) suggested to me after diagnosis, as I was (as most people are) reeling, shaking, shocked and couldn’t sleep. I was prescribed diazepam and also a sleeping tablet, both of which were a much needed short-term crutch until I got my head around what was happening. I am disgusted at your doctor’s attitude and think you should ask to see another doctor. It is precisely this sort of thing that those medications are meant for. We live in the 21st century not the dark ages! Please go back and try again, and don’t be put off by one cruel doctor. You need your sleep you poor thing. It might make a world of difference to you. As others say, your outlook will cahnge, you will get over this awful rollercoaster stage, you will see that this is treatable and be amazed at how well you can face your treatment, one step at a time though. Good luck.

Corrine just came on and saw you post and it reminded me of my own dark days in January when I was diagnosed. I felt exactly the same as you and was terrified of everything to come. I too have node involvement and will probably mean that you will have chemo (after your surgery etc) but the treatments these days are so good and so strong - the aim is for the Chemo to kill off any stray cells that may be lurking.

Just after diagnosis and waiting for results is the worst time in my view, and like you I had sleepless nights and was kept thinking the worst. Its easy for me to say but I know from experience it does get better and I am halfway through my Chemo now - having had WLE first and then MX and SNE. I do have to have RADs and then hormone theropy but as far as I am concerned I take everything thats thrown at me to help blast this cancer into oblivion.

Whilst my life is not the same as it was (and it will never be) I have gotnormality back. I am working and do ‘normal’ things like shopping, cooking cleaning etc and I do feel very well and positive for the future. This site is brilliant for information and support from other people in the same situation and is a real boost particularly on your ‘low’ days… xxx

Hi Corrine, I think the worst part of the whole BC thing is waiting for results. It does get easier but it is still the worst part for me. Its the NOT knowing. You don’t know what you are faced with…or what they are going do do to for you. The despair you feel is normal and we have all been there, though that doesn’t make it any easier for you.

I was 39 when I was diagnosed and my kids were 7 and 14 and when I heard the news I thought I was going to die and not see my children grow up. But that was 21 years ago and they are grown young women now.

I did wonder where in the country you live because here in Scotland we have “Maggie Centres” where I have gone to for help and support. Do you think you have a friend who could go along with you when you return to the hospital? Make a list of all the questions you have in your head now so that when you go to see the doctor you have them at hand. After you have been to see the hospital doctor you may have further questions you need answer and that is where the BC nurses come in very usful. You can contact them and ask if they can find the answer for you. Do not dismiss the BC Nurses because they are very helpful if you need help.

But you have taken the courage to come on here and ask for help. When I was diagnosed there were no websites to support us. I have had lots of support from the ladies on this site but I only joined th sitelast year. Things will get easier…but while things are difficult, we are here…sometimes even in the middle of the night when you need someone to chat to. Take care, love Val

As for not wanting to eat. I know that feeling well. But how about a milk shake with a banana in it. You could make it for you and your children. Keep coming on here and we will support you as best we can…but a friend/neighbour with you at the hospital would be a great asset.

Hi Corrine

Just wanted to add my support to you and reinforce the advice you have been given. As scottiedog says we live in the 21st centure and you are entitled to something to take the edge off your anxiety and help you sleep - I am outraged your GP was so insensitive and think you should go back to another one and demand support!! I was prescribed diazepan when first diagnosed and it certainly helped me through that dark time. I know it is hard when you are in a state of shock but start thinking of yourself - you are the priority here and not sleeping will not help you coping or eating.

As you can see this site is brilliant, don’t know what I would do without it. Keep posting and I’m sure you will feel better when your treatment plan is in place. We are all here for you.

Lots of love Anne x x

Hi Corrinne,
Sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but you are in a good place on here with lots of support and information which is what you want at this time. Obviously we can’t give you the exact information you want but you can know that we have all been there, all felt the same fear and concern that you are feeling…so the good news for you today is that you are normal!!
Could you try a different doc maybe to get some help with sleeping medications to help relax you a bit, or call the out of hours service as it is weekend and chances are you won’t see your regular doc? just a thought.
I was dx in March and yes, like you I had node involvement and was scared to death literally, I thought I was riddled and each twinge was the beginning of the end. I had scans done and all came back clear so having node involvement does not mean that you have ‘it’ everywhere (and I was told that it doesn’t rush around you body like wild fire as I was imagining but it takes time for cells to alter and whatever else they do before it travels around…and you will have had treatment well before all that happens).
So, try not to worry (easier said than done) and just come here if you have any other questions or just need a cyber hug (we are experts at giving them too)
Take care (eat chicken soup) be easy on yourself
Hugs Suze xx

HI Corrine,

Do not panic name it and lose it. i was dx 10/06/10. waiting for my pre assesment and op to follow. Please i am taking one day at a time not letting it take over my life if u are too streesed they migh not do the opp just be prayerfull and do not have any evil thoughts at all.
i was so put at rest that I am atcually looking foward to my op to get it over and done with.

Will keep you post.

Hi Corrinne,

You have come to the right place, the ladies here are lovely and sooooo helpful, i am 45 and had bc dxd about 3 months ago, i had surgery and am now halfway through my chemo, and then i will have radiotherapy, i feel ok, i don’t feel ill, just a little unwell if that makes any sense.
I can only imagine how frightened you feel, but try not to be, my mum had bc twice, once at 45 then again at 62, she died when she was 74 but not from cancer, so try and stay positive, at least when i was dx i had an idea of what to expect, because i had seen my mum go through things, but my mum didn’t have the internet and the lovely ladies here to confide in.
When you are feeling down, come all to the forum, there is always someone who is ready to listen.
Take care, hope you get the answers that you need as soon as possible,
Sandrae x x x