Diagnosed and struggling

Hi there,


I found out I had bc on 21st October. Due to have mastectomy on 18th Nov. Am having a sentinel lymph node ‘bubble’ test and biopsy on Thursday and am struggling to face it. I’m still bruised from the breast biopsies and feel pathetic as can’t even handle this bit, never mind the gruelling stage of actual treatment. 
Feel gutted that although the ultrasound and mri suggested that the lymph nodes were clear, I now realise that nothing is certain until  after the mastectomy and the subsequent histology. Just when you think you have some degree of understanding of where you are, something new and horrible seems to come up.  I guess dealing with the uncertainty of all this, as a friend said, is one of the struggles of cancer. I’m so diminished by it already I can’t imagine where or how I’m going to find the strength to keep going. Just wondering if anyone feels the same or has some words of experience that might help. 

Hello Rizza, you are facing so much. I hope others on here will join me in wishing you the very best. It is horrendous, but 

Hi Rizzer, I found the biopsies more uncomfortable than the mastectomy. I almost passed out during the last one, sweat was pouring off me. But with the mastectomy you are being put under and when you wake up it is all done. I could even shower a day later with the drains still in.  I had immediate reconstruction with implant. 

Awwwww Rizzer…….sorry I have no real advice for you but I can understand your feelings…… I am having a mastectomy and my lymph nodes removed the day after you and am so petrified of the results in case I have cancer anywhere else… when I had my core biopsy the doctor needed to take 3 but I cried and was in so much pain even with the numbing gel I could only do it twice…… the lady who was in the waiting room with me sailed through hers so it just goes to show how different we all are. Maybe you could take some pain relief prior to your bubble test.

I am not loving the uncertainty of this journey either :smileysad:

Sending you much hope x


Hi Rizzer


I am a king-sized wuss about all things medical, with a lifelong history of anxiety and panic disorder. I found the sentinel lymph node biopsies very different from my other biopsies - I jumped in surprise each time (3, in quick succession) despite being warned what was coming but that was all. No pain (local anaesthetic), no after effects. If you say you’re scared, a nurse will hold your hand and surprisingly that really helped me.


The results of the biopsies help inform the surgery - better that they are sure the sentinel node is not infected; otherwise they might remove the lymph nodes which, I can tell you, you don’t want to happen unless it’s essential. I moved from an initial consultation where I was told there was nothing to worry about to the suggestion of a partial mastectomy; to all 3 biopsies showing the sentinel node was infected; then to full axillary clearance with 19 of the 21 lymph nodes infected. Not a good picture. Yet my CT scan, my bone scan and my MRI showed no sign of spread elsewhere and I’m hoping all the treatments will have put paid to any microscopic little b***ers that might have slipped the scans.


This is a time of terrible uncertainty. The goalposts seem to shift every time you visit the hospital. Oddly, once the ball is rolling, although there can be long waits, you do feel you’re getting somewhere. You are in the hands of very experienced people who have your best interests at heart. You may feel less of the woman you were right now because your confidence and sense of security have taken a huge blow but you truly are not diminished- maybe you’ll feel like me and find inner resources you didn’t know you have and be surprised and proud of yourself even while you feel like a quivering wreck. We each find our own way to deal with it and we get through.


All the very best. I hope the biopsies show good results so you feel more positive about what lies ahead.


Jan x

Hi Rizzer

Similar boat to you diagnosed 31/10 having lumpectomy & sentinel nodes operation tomorrow, scarred like you of course and the next couple of weeks of waiting for the histology report will be a nightmare as partial guesswork until there in. I’m not sure how to get through those couple of weeks!!! In a strange way I am looking forward to tomorrow as that is the start of my treatment plan lets get the cause out first and deal with the mess it’s left behind (fingers crossed no mess all out) Once your mastectomy is over your treatment plan is kickstarted and your journey to beat this is well on its way. Will be thinking of you and all the others like us and remember WE ARE NOT ALONE EVER XXXXX  

Awwwww Rizzer lots of proud thoughts from me to you…I’m glad you got that over you today…do you need to wait long for your results x