Diagnosed this week - worried it’s spread

I’m 42 and was diagnosed on Wednesday. I’m just waiting for another biopsy on Tuesday as it was a negative result from the first round of my lymph nodes but they think it probably has spread based on my symptoms. I keep thinking every twinge and ache is that the cancer has spread. I’m getting moments of being short of breath/tight chest so I’m 100% convinced it’s spread to my lungs, also Ive been feeling achy and have sore back/hips so of course I think it’s in my bones. My vision has change in my right eye so I think it’s a brain tumour.
I keep flip flopping from being really positive it’s ‘just breast cancer’ to thinking I’m riddled with it and there’s no hope and everything I’m doing is my last time like last Xmas etc.
I’m due to have a breast MRI but I don’t have a date for this.
I’m not sure of the likelihood of it having spread and how to deal with this uncertainty while I wait. I feel like every day I’m waiting it could be spreading more.


Hi Devonchicken,
I am so sorry you are going through this. It is awful.
I had every symptom under the sun after diagnosis and it has really opened my eyes to what our brains can do when under extreme stress. I had what I thought was aching bones and I felt aching in what I thought was lymph nodes (groin, neck, jaw). It hadn’t spread. It took my body quite a while to calm down, but in general I no longer have those symptoms.
I am sorry you are under such stress, but I do hope that your symptoms are all related to the stress and nothing more. Wishing you all the best x


Same here devonchicken. I’m a similar age to you, with all the same fears, as well as all the aches and pains mentioned here. My rational mind knows that anxiety and stress can cause all these kinds of sensations too but, when you’ve just been diagnosed, the mind wants to run riot! The waiting for results and MRIs is so so tough (I’m still waiting too!)… you are not alone… everyone here is amazing and there are so many encouraging stories shared… as for dealing with living with uncertainty, we are certainly being put to the test! Like so many others, I have opted for just taking each minute/day/hour as it comes… when i notice my thoughts going off into ‘what if’ territory or worrying about results day, I bring my thoughts straight back to the present moment before they get chance to go off on a tangent…i hope you find a way that works for you too and that you have lots of support around you. You also have all of us now too…


Omg ladies, I could have wrote these posts. Also 42 devonchicken and also diagnosed on Wednesday this week… I had to take painkillers today because of the aches and pains- hips, legs, chest, back. Everywhere. I even had to take my watch off because my wrist was killing me. I was convinced this morning that it’s in my bones, now I’m thinking this is the result of stress and shock. I also have an MRI which is on Tuesday , know very little at the moment and what I don’t know Im letting my mind make up. The fact there are many women with the same aches and pains after diagnosis must be a sign it is stress related. I’m also exhausted all the time but struggling to sleep. Its a shit show what we are all going through right now ladies. Hopefully these pains will pass and our tests will all show that the cancer has not spread. Wishing all the very best as we embark on this crappy journey. Xx


Oh goodness, it’s a strange comfort knowing there are others going through the same thing right now but of course would prefer if no one was!
That’s good you’ve got your MRI booked, I’m still waiting for a date for this - they said it could be two weeks!!
I’m going to chat to the nurses on Tuesday when I go for the next biopsy about my symptoms to see if they can offer any reassurance.
I’ve been having the breathlessness/tight chest and pain in my breasts before my diagnosis so I’m not sure it’s the anxiety or stress but I’ll ask them as see!


Hello devonchicken,

Thank you for your post. It’s understandable you keep changing from feeling positive to feeling there is no hope while you wait to get more information about your breast cancer diagnosis.

As you can see from the responses to your posts, it’s normal to be sensitive to any ache, pain or symptom when you’re under extreme stress, and waiting to have further tests. The symptoms you describe might be due to a number of reasons, including symptoms of stress, as it’s extremely difficult to deal with so much uncertainty.

As @Triah says, sometimes it can help to try to bring yourself to the present moment and focus on what you know, rather than that you don’t know for now. Our information on ways to manage anxiety after a breast cancer diagnosis might be of some help. It may also help to talk to your GP about how you’re feeling and if they can suggest any short-term medication to help manage your anxiety and the symptoms you’re experiencing.

It may help to know that treatments for breast cancer can be very effective and the wait to have further tests is not likely to alter the effectiveness of any treatment. You may find our information on breast cancer in younger women of help.

It sounds like you are having a very difficult time right now. Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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