Diagnosed on 12 November 2010 (1st post)

Hi everyone, I have been lurking about on the forum since Saturday. My name is Donna and as you can see was very recently diagnosed. Things have moved very quickly for me. It only took 20 days from finding my lump to being diagnosed with bc. Still waiting for more test results from my core biopsy and I have a MRI scan scheduled for tomorrow morning. I guess everyone is different when they are diagnosed, clearly I was very shocked and upset on Friday, but since then I feel numb. All my family and friends (and work colleagues) seem to be having a more difficult time with it than me. I find myself apologising for upsetting people and comforting them. I guess my question is did anyone else feel like this, am I in total denial and how hard will I crash when it finally sinks in??? I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. Many thanks, Donna x.

Hi Donna, so sorry you’ve been diagnosed. I’m sure lots of ladies will come along soon and give you the benefit of their experience. My guess is its different for everyone - folks will have different coping strategies, some will be conscious and others will be subconscious. There’s no right or wrong way for this - and nobody can tell you “how to feel” Try not to worry - denial (if that’s what it is) dosen’t automatically mean it’ll come with a crash.

I can identify with your numbness but less so with comforting others. I felt that the world slowed right down for a number of weeks. it was like everything was happening in slow mo.

Its likely that you’ll experience different feelings as time passes - good that you’ve found the forum i’m sure it’ll help loads.

Happy to talk - take it one day at a time, kind thoughts to you and good luck for the further tests.


Hi Donna,

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, you’ve come to the right place for some good support as the many informed users of this site have a wealth of knowledge and experience between them.

BCC have many publications to help you understand your diagnosis, you can access these via the ‘publications’ tab or by using the search button at the top right hand side of this page. Also, if you need someone independent to talk to then the staff on the helpline are here for you. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 open Mon - Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-2.

Hope this helps. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi donna,

So sorry you have wound up here. It sounds like you are still in shock , which given the news you’ve had over the last few days is totally normal. I too was numb for quite a while after I was diagnosed in march. The only advice I can give is to be so very very kind to yourself. There is no particular way to deal with the sh/tty hand you have just been dealt, but loads of us seem to go through shock, guilt, anger, numbness, fear and horror at various times. You just need to go with it and don’t beat yourself up for how you are feeling or reacting as it’s hard enough! Things do get easier to cope with once you have a treatment plan . I found I got some head space then yo just get on with it. You will get a lot of support from this site so keep posting. Take care, it’s early days for you, don’t scare yourself to death googling about things that may never be applicable to you


Hi Donna,

I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m really glad you’ve found the forum. It’s a wonderful place and has really helped me through the last few months.

I was diagnosed in April and can really identify with your experience. I felt awful for upsetting people and even embarassed. I cried on the night I was initially diagnosed but after that felt quite numb. I’ve just taken things as they’ve come and I have had lots of tears over the months but have never crashed.

take care and good luck with your tests.


Hi Donna,
I too felt awful for making people cry when I told them, I think telling people makes it seem so ‘real’, things for me happened really quickly too, went to docs 6th sept, Dx 22nd Sept, op 8th Oct, felt like a lifetime whilst waiting, as you just want to get on with it and get it out!

For me the initial Dx was the hardest , thought I would never stop crying, I still have my ‘moments’, but have been told this is normal (at least something is!)

Hope all goes well for your appointment this morning, and that you get your results back soon for your core biopsy.

Thinking of you at this tough time x

Posted for new user Miranda

Hi Donna

I too am am recently diagnosed - had my biopsy yesterday with results next monday but they seem pretty convinced its cancer (stage 2?) and have booked me in for an MRI.

Terrifying and don’t know what to do with myself but I’m here if you want to talk. Am slowly telling people and will probably have to tell the children tonight - but i think that patients seem to feel ‘better’ once the treatment kicks in - surely not actually getting on with it is the worst feeling possible. My friend has eye cancer and she says the worst part is the beginning when you just want to get sorted out.

Its definitely a horrible comfort to find so many people in the same boat,

your friend


Hi Donna
Like you I have been lurking around the site. Got the diagnosis a week ago and waiting for a masectomy on Thursday. All happened a bit quick and I don’t know how I feel from one day to the next. I’m scared about the op, scared about treatment, and scared about what lies ahead. Hospital is an 80 mile round trip,but hoping to change after op for half the miles. Angry, sad, confused, sometimes positive, sometimes not… don’t know how to feel. Good to know positive people are on here to share experiences. Jan

Donna - I understand exactly where you are at, and how you feel - it’s only a month ago that I was asking exactly the same questions… I felt that I was just ploughing on regardless, still laughing, still working, but leaving everyone around me gasping on the floor…

I thought maybe my ‘crash’ would come once the reality of the surgery had occurred, that perhaps once my left breast had gone, I’d suddenly ‘wake up’, but actually, that hasn’t really happened. I’ve had a couple of moments of helpless tears, but they’ve passed within minutes, and I think I now believe that for me, this ‘crash’ just simply isn’t part of the plan… It’s not how I (apparently!) deal with bc.

None of us know beforehand how we will react/cope, and it did make me question whether I was totally unfeeling/detached/losing the plot… well, no, no more than usual anyhow. We all cope in our own way - and that way is the ‘right’ way for each of us, if it gets us through.

(and for the record, I still feel like I should apologise for upsetting other people…<grin>… particularly as I belong to the ‘blurt it out in public’ faction, anyplace, anytime, anywhere. I also spend most ‘initial’ phone calls cheering up the other person, and helping them believe that it’s not sooo bad…hehehe, mad, isn’t it?</grin>

Take care hun, let us know how you get on - and post anytime. This forum has been a huge support to me, and I feel like I’ve already made some wonderful friends - and that’s also an enormous part of not ‘crashing’.

Sophie xxxxx

Miranda - so sorry you’ve also found yourself in this situation, but I’m so glad you’ve found this site - I’m sure it will be as supportive and valuable to you as it has been to me and many others.

How old are your children? Mine range from 16 down to 6, and I was dreading telling them, but they were all fine - and we’ve talked very openly about it since - all three girls have inspected my now flat left breast (my son won’t, obviously!! He can’t even look at the drain, and he’s the eldest…). All four of mine have been a huge support in their own way, from making me a cup of coffee to writing me a poem that I can’t actually read… (my 6yo!). I hope telling your family goes as easily - just keep talking, and don’t be afraid of the ‘cancer’ word… the more you use it, the less of a threat it becomes.

xxxxSophie xxxxx

Jan - it is an enormous amount to take in, and although the waiting seems to take forever, in retrospect it is very little time to get your head around the massive changes that bc means to your body and life.

I had my mastectomy last Friday, was home again on Saturday, and it’s been fine - the drain is irritating, but the pain is negligible - very surprising really. I had axillary clearance of my lymph nodes, and that is more uncomfortable than the mx itself - but even that is fine - just the slight lack of mobility in my left arm frustrates me, but it’s not forever!

Please do ask any questions you want, you will pretty much always find someone with advice/experience or just all out empathy/sympathy - and it’s amazing how much a cyber-hug can boost your spirits!

I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday - take care

Sophie xx

Wow, thanks for the wonderful replies and support!

I am very fortunate that I have the support of my family and friends, but (thankfully) none of them have bc. So it’s so beneficial to read all these responses and messages from women who are, or have been in the same position as me.

Had my MRI today, not too bad at all. Very dignified (not) with your breasts dangling through a couple of holes!! Had a little laugh to myself (better than crying), it’s so surreal. Less than a week ago the only time I’d been in a hospital was to have my daughter or visit a friend, and now it feels as if I’m getting to know all the departments.

I was told today that my ‘case’ is on the list to be discussed tomorrow lunchtime with all the bc specialists, so hopefully I’ll be invited back soon to discuss my treatment plan.

Once again, many thanks for all the thoughtful and kind responses. Hugs to all. Donna x

Thanks Sophie!
I am feeling much more “resigned” to it all tonight. It was great to hear that the mx wasn’t so bad. I would love to be home again quickly. The actual dx day was such an ordeal because I didn’t hear one positive thing from anyone. I just wanted someone to say. You’ve got BC but we’ll help you beat it. It was just a horrible place. The macmillan nurse was ok but a bit patronising. I suppose she gets desensitized to the whole thing if she deals with it on a daily basis. You are amazing to have the time and energy to reassure others. I hope I can do the same when I have got my head round all this and gathered some strength. Seems weird not going to work (Reception class teacher)I wanted to visit them today but thought I might get emotional. I’m not an emotional person usually. Got my hair done at expensive shop. Feels great. I really recommend it. Be kind to yourself everyone out there!! Jan xx

Donna - I cannot get the image of your MRI out of my head now, oh good grief - that is SO funny. Just when we think we couldn’t possibly feel less dignified… Did you get told off for giggling and making everything jiggle? I know you have to keep very still during an MRI…

Jan - I’m sorry you had such lousy support at your dx. The registrar who told me at my initial appt. that it was bc was very matter of fact, which suited me, but the bcn would very obviously have stayed and chatted for as long as I needed - she offered to make me a cup of tea, despite the clinic having closed by then - but all I wanted was to get outside (and have a ciggy). The very first thing I was told was ‘it is all very very treatable these days’, and I think that made a trememdous difference in how I processed the information. Hey ho, if you don’t get the cheerleading at hospital - keep coming here!! We’ll all get through this together

Sophie xxxx


I to have just been diagnosed with bc and have been watching this site… I found a lump and then following a mamo, ultrasound and biopsy they found the lump to be cancer!!! Oh my god why me i thought then reading this site i have now realised that i am not alone.
I am having a lumpectomy on the 7th of Dec and i am very very scared… Not sure if i am doing the right thing… Keep asking myself should i go for a full mx???
I would really appreciate anyones comments if they are to in my position… Thankyou

Hi Kaz, so sorry you got the cr*p diagnosis too xxx

I was told I was borderline for wle (lumpectomy) or mx, and I chose mx a lot for cosmetic reasons - my lump was at the top of my breast on the cleavage side, and was 3cms - so would have left a big old hole, undisguisable really! With mx, I could have a full recon at a later date - and that sounded right - for ME. I also knew that I’d have to go back in for a mx if clear margins weren’t obtained - and as my consult. was convinced it was borderline anyhow, it just seemed the more sensible option.

Lumpectomy can be a lot less drastic, depending on size/position of the lump - don’t be afraid to talk it through with your bcn - she may have pictures she can show you, advice about bras etc etc.

As for treatment outcomes - I was told that wle followed by rads was just as successful as a full mx - so in all honesty, the prognosis outcome may be the least of your concerns… it may well just be that the decision is what you will find easiest to live with afterwards.

~Good luck - keep asking, we’re here

Sophie xxx

Hiya kazza,

No you are not alone, and I remember that feeling all too well, just hearing the Dx makes you feel like someone has just pressed the self destruct button.

I had a lumpectomy on the 8th Oct, as my lump was quite small (12mm), so I thought a MX was a bit drastic, but you do question whether you have made the ‘right decision’, but ‘luckily’ my nodes and margins were clear so I didn’t need any further surgery.

The op wasn’t too bad either, I found my armpit hurt more that the boob, and that only really kicked in about 2-3 weeks later (and I’m not good with pain!)

will be thinking of you at this tough time, keep ‘chatting’, it does help!! xx

Hi Donna
Sorry to hear you have been diagnosed. Like others have said, don’t assume you will ‘crash’ - I don’t think I ever did, despite the huge shock. I remember feeling more stunned and angry than depressed, and then just plodding through the whole thing. There were unpleasant days, when I had to coax myself through things with the promise of treats at the end, and also many funny moments, but quite a lot of fairly normal life even right through treatment. None of it was anything like as bad as I had feared, and the nurses etc were amazing.
I wouldn’t waste too much time comforting others, Just tell them straight if you want to, and then say you’re sorry if it upsets them…and if they continue to be hysterical I used to bid them a firm goodbye! It’s an illness that can be treated, not a Greek tragedy (one friend started crying loudly in Starbucks, I was really quite cross as there was no way that was any help to me). This is a time to look after yourself!
best wishes
(ps I am 7 years post treatment and doing fine)

Kaz and others worrying…
I know its hard to believe but you will be ok. I had a mammoplasty…a sort of lumpectomy but a bit more drastic but brilliant results…I also had a full node clearance. I had to have the mammoplasty redone due to close margins and the node clearance due to the sentinal node having some cancer cells in it.
If you don’t know what a mammoplasty is google theraputic mammoplasty and you will find details and pics online.
Its just as safe as a full mx as is a lumpectomy…I know as I interrogated the poor surgeon to within an inch of his life!

I now have a shaved head…lots of hats! and have completed 2 FEC chemos out of my FEC-T regime.
I am still doing most of the stuff I have always done and life goes on…it has to for the sake of the rest of the family.
Always ask questions, demand the best treatment and meds for everything, never suffer in silence and be a squeaky wheel as you will get oiled!
Good luck and have a peaceful and happy weekend!

Hi everyone thanku all for your positive comments, it really has helped. Am going to see my bcn on monday and Yes i have a list of questions for her. It as been a week since i have been diagnosed and i still cant get it into my head but i am confident that i will get through this and i am sure by reading all these positive comments on this site will help me also.
Thanks again, Kaz xx