Diagnosed yesterday

Hi all.

Found out yesterday I have breast cancer, which has spread to the lymph nodes. Don’t have all the details yet but so far I know it’s grade 2, invasive ductal, ER-, PR-, HER2+.  I’ll be starting chemo hopefully within the next 3 weeks. Before that I should be getting a CT scan to check for spread (gulp), an MRI to give a better picture of the tumour (it shows as 2cm on mammogram but actually feels much, much bigger so they’re not sure yet) and a heart scan because of one of the specific treatments I’ll be getting with chemo (herceptin). After chemo, roughly 5 months, they’ll look at different surgeries then radiation.

We told my parents, my husband parents, my sister in law and my two best friends yesterday. Our two teen-agers are next in the list, possibly today. They both have ongoing anxiety issues so it will be really hard going. This is just horrendous.

I’m so worried about the possibility of spread because this tumour is big and I know I’ve had it a while. I’ve also read about secondary prognosis. 

I’m not worried about the treatment - I’ll just do as I’m told and get on with it - but the thought of putting everyone around me through this is just crippling me. As a family we have had more than our fair share of cancer.

I’m trying to be practical now. If things will be starting really soon I need to think about chemo and changes to bed made, plans, things I need etc. I think I saw a group for chemo so will go have alurk there too 

So glad to have this space with you all. xxx

Hello @Doris74  

Welcome to the club no-one chooses to join. It sounds like you are someone who has great inner strength and this will be no doubt be tested in the coming months, please don’t be afraid to ask for help both here and in real life. I’m sure your family will be very supportive but it can be very hard for them to know what to do and say, and talking to people who’ve had the same or similar experiences can be invaluable. 
Sending you lots of love and hugs  

AM :two_hearts:

Hi Doris, so sorry to hear that you are on this journey which many on here describe as a roller coaster. Just yesterday I said to some friends this was not the journey I was expecting this year but somehow we find the strength even if at times it feels too much and overwhelming.

Its good to focus on practicalities, there is a wealth of really helpful information on this site and the forum can be an excellent resource and reassurance that there is always somebody who has been there and understands. 

Check out 'Look Good Feel Better ’ charity for excellent virtual courses in things that can support a chemo journey. 

Your comment about putting the people around you through this resonated with me - that was the thing I was most angry and sad about. I felt I would just have to get on with my treatment options but the fact that this was going to be in my teenage sons lives was devastating to me. And my partner, I didn’t want him to see me go through this and experience the impact on him. As I had surgery first I chose not to tell my son’s until it was confirmed I would need chemo, it was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had but they have been a great support - they were initially shocked and sad naturally. I wrote down what I wanted to say, ran it past my husband to make sure I wasn’t too negative or positive… tweaked it and used that to help me focus and prepare.

Right now you must be feeling a million things at once and whilst there is a wealth of support and advice on here, everyone’s journey is different so I would say be kind to yourself - there’s no right or wrong way to handle any of this. Take each day as it comes and try not to think about the ‘what ifs’ because that will wear you out, focus on what you do know and the treatment to deal with it. 

Take care x

Hi Doris,

You have taken a very positive step by reaching out to people on this forum who understand the emotions you are going through at this challenging time for you and your family.

My daughter who has a two year old son was devastated when diagnosed with Her2 positive a year ago.She too had chemo first ,then surgery followed by radiotherapy.Her family and friends were all there to support her and as she said she couldn’t have done it without them and I’m sure you will find the same.

She is now coming to the end of her treatment and we can all see a light at the end of the tunnel. Although it doesn’t seem like it at the moment it is truly amazing how you will manage to get the strength to get through this.There is so much support out there and as you mentioned the chemo group,also Someone Like Me and don’t forget you can contact the breast care nurses if you just need a chat.

Thinking of you

Carol xx

I have two teenagers, too, and was so sorry I had to hit their life with my diagnosis. It sucks. With the advice of my doctors I chose to wait until I had a plan and knew what I was dealing with. That helped them tremendously when I told them. But I wasn’t shy about telling them I needed their help, too. Mom was going to be down for a little while. And they did and do help from buying groceries to cleaning out the litter box for the cats. It had actually been great practice for the adult world and now that I’ve finished chemo and can look forward to feeling better soon (only two weeks out so I’ve got a while to go) I also told them recently that I wasn’t taking back any of their new chores. And they’re fine with that. In fact my oldest daughter has included this experience and what it’s taught her about herself in her college essays and it’s a damn fine piece that makes me proud. So my advice really is to be positive. Not weirdly positive but let them know you caught it in time, they have wonderful treatment for it, it’s the most common cancer in the world for women, so there is plenty of support and money towards fighting it. Perhaps mention herceptin and how that has transformed the HER+ trajectory in the last decade and that you’ll be able to take advantage of that. I framed my diagnosis as a temporary thing that will be hard but will end with every chance of me going on in my life as their parent for many many years. And they really seem okay. And my youngest also struggles with anxiety and luckily I had found her a therapist about three weeks before my diagnosis and that has been tremendous. If your kids need therapy, you need therapy, don’t hesitate. I found a therapist for myself, too, since my daughter gets her anxiety honestly  

So sorry Doris , 

Just wanted to say you are being listened to . 

Big hugs xxx

Hi Doris74, sorry to hear your diagnosis. Its hard going telling family and friends but once they know they can be there to help support you on this journey. I have IDC grade 3, ER+/PR+ & HER2+. I have to have a second op as one of my sentinel nodes was positive. It is a scary wait especially for results. We just came straight out with telling our kids (12 & 15) which is hard, but at least they know what’s happening and they know they can talk to us, family, friends and even their teachers if they feel they need to talk to someone. I am trying to remain strong and positive and I hope with the help and support of everyone you can too. My husband is my rock and my kids are my stones. All the best with your journey and remember we are all here to support you 

Hugs from cuffcake x x x x x