Diagnosed Yesterday - Feeling Guilty!

Hi Ladies,
This is my first visit to the forum and at first, I was really scared to post here but then decided what the heck.
I found a lump when checking myself last month. Since then I’ve been through the ususal and finally received my results yesterday - I have Stage 3 BC. I had a chest x-ray yesterday and I’m meeting with my consultant next week who will arrange for my armpit to be scanned (the scan doc was on holiday).
I’ve been told that I will have surgery to remove the lump on or around 3rd May and then I will begin rad. My lump is hormose responsive level 5 so I’ve also to be given tablets. The lump is 3cm in size.
At first, I took the news well however, when I got to my car, my eyes welled up with tears. I then had to go and pick my fiance up from work and had to give him the news.
We have been going through various stages of thought processes - Firstly it was ok fine I’ve got it, deal with it and then it went to oh woe is me/us. I couldn’t sleep last night for thinking about it and I just kept hearing the words “you have stage 3 agressive cancer”…Hmmmm what a thought lol
Now I’m feeling guilty, why? Well because of what I am putting my family through. They don’t deserve this. I know that at the moment there is all this uncertainty until I my op and a proper definite treatment plan. I’m also scared for the future of my kids.
The only thing that is keeping me going is the fact the this is treatable, people survive this and people go on.
Thank you to anyone who is readying this who might or will be feeling the same.

Hello Martha,

Sorry you find yourself in this club, but it is the best place for support, tips and advice. I think you must mean you have GRADE 3 BC as opposed to stage 3. Staging is only determined after surgery is completed.

Please try not to feel guilty. It isn’t your fault, and you have done nothing to make this happen to you. Once you have had all your tests and results you will start to gain control of it all and will feel better about it. At the moment you are in the worst place possible. Trust me, we have all been there. Yes … this is treatable, and all the time new medicines are becoming available and great advances being made.

God luck Martha xxx

I agree with Lola, it isn’t your fault you have cancer. Having said that, we all feel guilty for what we are putting our family through, but YOU don’t deserve to have cancer any more than they deserve to put up with it. You are the one who will be having the treatment, and as Lola says, it is treatable. I too had Ductal Invasive, Grade 3 cancer. Tumour was 3 cm. I also had a Sentinal Node Biopsy with my mastectomy three removed, one with cancer. But I’m having treatment and doing well. I hope things go well for you, so wishing you luck and sending BIG HUGS.
Poemsgalore xxx

Sorry you are having to go through this but all your emotions are very natural & I went through the same . I’m 4 months on from dx & in middle of chemo , then radiotherapy & also ER+ so 5 years of tamoxifen ! . Once surgery & chemo starts it does become a lot easier , or it did for me, still have emotional moments & the guilt rears its head every now & then but it’s not as raw .
Im 41 , 6yr old daughter & grade 3 IDC too
for me waiting for dx was torture & receiving the news I had BC was a day ill never forget but the rest of the journey has its moments but is doable , I’m on the valentines thread & found it invaluable for support & info , I would recommend you join a thread with other lovely ladies starting treatment etc same as you even if u don’t post much , just nice knowing your not alone in all of this
take care x

Hi Martha,
So very sorry you need to join this “club no one wants to join” but you will find lots of great support and help here from women (and men) who know what it’s like first hand. I am about two and half years down the line, and now hang around to keep in touch with online friends and to offer suport to new people whos eposts catch my eye. There is a totally mad thread called 'Benchland" that arose from feelings of guilt - if you need a laugh it might appeal (it’s very long so don’t try to read it all, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea by any means)

On the Grade/Stage thing, actually from what you have said, it is possible that neither is definitive yet. GRADE is a measure of how abnormal the cells are, with grade 1 being the least and grade 3 the most abnormal. STAGE is a measure of size and/or spread. Very often they will only give you stage and grade confirmation after surgery, as this is when they know best what is going on. Please don’t fret over this, I’m only trying to help with the potential confusion between the two. If you want to see more information on staging you could look at BCC’s infomration here: Breast cancer stages | Breast Cancer Now

Feeling guilty is natural enough, but please try not to. This is not your fault, and you are not meaning to put your family through all this, it is just the way things worked out, and you are just doing your best to get through. Right now you need to be kind to yourself, and gather around you the support you need/want. Once you know for certain what the treatment plan is, it will feel less daunting, some control will come back, and you will find it is, afterall, very do-able.

Please come back with queries and concerns - there are no ‘silly’ questions, only questions you don’t know the answer to yet. Avoid Google, as there is a lot of info out there which is out of date or even plain old fashioned wrong. Stick with BCC, MacMillan and CRUK where you will find accurate information.

Gentle hugs.

Thanks ladies - This is great to have such support.

Lola65 - lol, I did mean grade 3.

Poemsglaore - I don’t really feel guilty about having it, it’s just what I’m going to put the family through, but we are all pulling together so all is great :wink:

Karen1971 - I’m 42 and have a 13 year old an a 7 year old. They will keep me going. I’ll have a look for the valentines thread :wink:

As you all know, everything is uncertain until the after the op, then we know what we are really dealing with. I’ve been told I’ll have rad and then the tablets - The thought of chemo scares me a little but if I need it then I’ll take it.

Thank you all for your lovely comments - We will get through this.

My thoughts are with everyone, good luck xx

Rev Cat - Thank you.

I do remember the consultant saying grade 3 agressive (and breath lol), that was all that went through my head last night. My only consilation as that nether he or I could feel anything in my armpit, but obviously the op will confirm that.

I was warned away from Google so I’m not even going there

As you mention, at the moment you’re not in control, but once you have the plan in place you do start to become a little more in control.

I’ve told my son (13) and he is a little rock. I’ve told my daughter (7) I’m going in for a boob job lol. So she said she is going to call me Roboboob from now on. She’s a little character and the one who will keep me laughing.

It is amazing that you have been through this and still come back. It is very much appreciated.

Thank you,

I was also diagnosed not so long ago Martha, it is such a shock to begin with and I felt just awful about putting my poor family through it too, but they have been just amazing and lovely. I felt much calmer when I got my treatment plan sorted out and I’m sure you will too…big hugs to you.
Revcat, I just had a look at the staging link. My tumor was stage 1 but I can’t work out what my sister’s was. Hers was lobular, 70mm with no nodes affected.

Hi Feebs

Thanks for your comment - I hope all goes well with you too.

My family have been very supportive however, my parents don’t want to know anything about the treatment or what is happening. All they want to know about is when they can help me with the kids etc. That’s fine with me. We’ve lost 3 people in our family over the past 2 years to cancer (all of them elderly) and they have just shut themselves off to it. Which I’m cool with and understand.

I’m really positive today and have even been looking at going private - I would have stuck with the NHS but they have already caused delays in the the scan doctor is on annual leave so I only had a blood test and a chest x-ray. I have to get my results of those next Thursday and then I’ve been told that if the scan doctor can sqeeze me in, she will do the scan on Thursday afternoon. This makes me think that everything is delayed. Even my op isn’t until 3rd May. If I can pay to get it done quicker privately then I will.

Big hugs,

Hi Martha,

I don’t feel at all “stuck” with the NHS. They have been brilliant, although it does vary between hospitals. There are National guidelines for timescales, all worked out by knowlegeable professionals, and woebetide any hospital that fails to meet these targets!
The main problem is being in the Waiting Room and feeling anxious. Waiting for treatment to start is the worst time, and that is where you are now. You won’t be given a treatment plan until after your op as the oncologist won’t have all the information needed to decide what you need, and the underarm scan is only an initial indicator of what surgery you may need. Please don’t worry you are being delayed. You aren’t.
You seem to be a positive person and I wish you luck and send you lots of cyber hugs. xxxx

Hi Lola65

You are right - I think it is just the ‘waiting room’ syndrome that is getting to me. I’m not a very patient person and just felt that if I went private then I could have my op quicker and the treatment can begin. My consultant was very nice and the BCN was great.

I know I’m not being delayed on purpose lol it’s just annoying that my hospital only has 1 doc that can do these types of scans 1 afternoon per week. I think that is what is really getting to me. Perhaps I’m at the ranting stage now as I seem to have joined everyone on the world famous emotional rollercoaster lol

Massive, gentle, cyber hugs back
Martha xx

Hiya…don’t post much nowadays but do have a look in now and again…your post caught my eye as this is how I felt when I was dx in Sep 12…I thought it was my fault I had cancer and somehow I had brought it on myself…rubbish now I look back on it…it’s not your fault…cancer doesn’t care who it picks on…you have nothing to be guilty about…Revcat and the other ladies have given good advice…all I can add it take it one day at a time and be kind to yourself…I felt guilty for the worry I put my OH and my daughters through but this cancer malarky has drawn us all even closer together…this site is fantastic for support and info also as Revcat says join in the Benchland thread…it has cheered me up on so many levels…sending you massive hugs…M

Hi Martha,
I am really sorry that you are having to face this too. I was told my lump was cancerous on Friday and will get my biopsy results back next week. I am still in shock I think, as I haven’t cried much and am quite calm about it. I have an 11yr old son. I haven’t told him yet, I want to wait until I know more and try and tell him about it in a positive way. I have been through dealing with a brain tumour before and have fought cushings disease for the last 10 years, Support groups help so much and sharing your experiences with people that have been there or are going through similar things really helped me, which is why I joined this site immediately. I found that although I had my firends and family who were my rock, I also needed people that sat outside of that close circle that I could be really honest with. Sometimes you don;t want to share everything with your friends and family for fear of scaring them. That’s how I felt anyway. Sorry we are ‘virtually’ meeting under these circumstances, but I wish you all the very best in this journey.
Diane xx

Hi Martha, so sorry you’re eligible to join this exclusive club but you’ll get lots of support here. I was 43 when diagnosed January 2012 with a 4 year old daughter, shocked and terrified doesn’t come close to how I felt. I had my surgery privately 10 days later for a small 19mm lump and snb, my nodes were clear on the scan. Path showed results were grade 2 Idc strongly hormone positive and a micromet on one node (too small to show on a scan), the jury seems to be out on whether this is node negative or positive but I had the remaining nodes out as a precaution. I remember being told at diagnosis that I would need surgery followed by radiotherapy, it wasn’t long before the nurse told me to mentally prepare for chemo, she said that was normal for younger women, it makes me really cross that they’re not up front about this. So i suppose that’s what I’m saying to you, chemo is likely especially for a grade 3 tumour, I’m not saying that to scare you, but to prepare you, but, chemo is doable. I was borderline for chemo but chose to go with it (short term pain, long term gain and all that), I worked through it and was relatively well throughout, I chose to have my chemo and radio on the NHS even though I have private health insurance, they’ve been marvellous and I couldn’t fault them. The waiting is horrific, you’ll tie yourself up in knots thinking all sorts but once you have your treatment plan youll feel better. Also do give the helpline a call, they’re fabulous, they kept me sane through some of the worst times of my life.
Take care and keep us posted.
Lydia x

Hi there
Sorry that you find yourself here but you are in the right place. My first thread was exactly as yours. I was diagnosed on 18th March after being told on the 11th, whilst having biopsies, to expect the worse. I went through so many emotions and the support on here has been great.
I have 5 tumors and lymph node involvement. I don’t know finer details yet but will be told after my op. My mx and ANC is on the 17th so it has been a wait but I cannot fault the NHS for their care.
Take time to look after yourself. Pamper yourself and let others pamper you. I’ve just had a lovely afternoon tea with old friends, their treat!
Best wishes and hugs.

Hi Everyone

I want to respond to everyone individually, but my head is in such a pickle lol

I haven’t eaten anything since I was dx and when I do, I just throw it back up. I’m waiting on the doc calling me back so I can get something to stop the anxiety.

I spoken with BCC today and they were really good. I also spoke with my BCN and she helped me understand a few things better.

I was a little hacked off with bupa - I gave them a call today as they have a policy option where you can be dx on the NHS and then take the remainder of your treatment with them. Oh how mis-leading that was. You need to already have a poliy with them or someone else. It’s quite ironic when on their website they advertise that your health comes first and not their profit and I have an operator on the phone telling me “if we took everyone on like that then we wouldn’t make any money” - Oh come on bupa!

Anyway, rant over - I’ve had a serious cry today and I’m now only taking 1 day at a time until Thursday when I get my scan, path report results and then admitance papers :wink:

Thank you to everyone who has given me support - It is very much welcomed and I feel humbled by you all xx

Hi Martha, I’m sorry you’re feeling so low, this really is the worst time, I don’t know how any of us get through this bit but we do. I was diagnosed on the NHS, had surgery on Bupa, chemo and rads on the NHS, as I already had a policy, I’m afraid no insurance company will cover you for treatment for a pre existing condition, it’s like being burgled and then trying to take out contents insurance, I don’t think they’re being misleading, I have to say I’ve found Bupa excellent. My treatment on the NHS was also excellent and it really is gold standard so I wouldn’t worry about not having insurance x

Hi Martha,
I was Dx the end of feb and I had my Mx a month layer and node removal so don’t worry about time being a issue I am now waiting for a appt to see oncologist about that xx
I had private cover but was told that it would be quicker on the NHS I would have seen the same consultant but as he was on holiday the week after my biopsy I would have had to wait at least two weeks to see him so it would have been longer till I had my Mx.
I had the best possible treatment could not complain about anything the staff were brilliant food was good and I was only in one night.
I am just taking each day as it comes and whatever it throws at me attacking as it happens and not thinking what if!
Marie xx

Hi Martha…regarding the anxiety…I was like that…I started every morning in the bathroom being sick with nerves…my jangling used to last until dinnertime…I went to the doc who gave me drugs to deal with this…I found that going out in the daytime…even just for a walk helped…I could eat in the evenings …don’t suffer on your own…don’t wait for the doc to call you…go and see him and explain how you are feeling…my doc was v good…the amount of time I sat in the office crying the poor bloke needed a dinghy…as I said in my previous post…take it one day at a time…even half a day or just an hour at a time…whatever helps you cope…I found that once I had the surgery and the treatmen plan was in place…my nerves calmed down…I hope this is the same for you…massive hugs…M

hang on in there x x x