Unfortunately I was diagnosed with grade 2 invasive ductal breast cancer yesterday. I am having a lumpectomy and a sentinel lymph node biopsy on 8th November. The next week is going to be extremely busy preparing myself for the surgery, I can’t believe how quick it is all happening. A lot of my concerns are about telling people. If I could avoid this I would, but I doubt I will be able to do so. I don’t want people fussing and phoning all the time, particularly my Mum and Mother in law. My husband & I have already discussed this and I have decided I am going to tell them straight, that they are not to do this. I went last night to tell our Son and his partner, which I was dreading but they were fantastic and reacted so much better than I expected. I am most dreading telling my best friend, as her husband is terminal. We are their main support and I know my news will be such a shock and they will be so upset. Again if I could avoid telling them I would, however I am running out of excuses, as I have avoided them as best I could whilst I was waiting on my diagnosis. If anyone can give me some help on this it would I would be most grateful. 

Hiya, We are always sorry to have new people join the forum as it only means one thing but welcome anyway ? I was like you and would have loved for no one to know if possible, we did only tell a handful of people in the end and even now 18 months on there are plenty of friends and family who still don’t have a clue.

Dont feel pressured in to telling anyone it’s entirely your choice and depending on your treatment plan it may be easy to keep it as quiet as you wish, I didn’t have chemo so there were no outward signs , my sons, employer, immediate family and very close friends are the only ones who know. A few weeks prior to my diagnosis I lost a dear friend to Ovarian cancer, she had also had breast cancer previously so telling her partner was very hard , he’s also my cousin and was and still is a great support inspite of his own grief.

The op is fine and you are mobile and able to carry on as normal within a week or two so nothing you couldn’t keep under wraps if you chose too, Just take things a step at a time, there is no great rush to run about announcing it to everyone so take your time and see how you feel Day to day Xx Jo 

Sorry to here of your diagnosis W .Like Jo I managed to keep my diagnosis very quiet too and only told a handful of people .For me this was the right thing.I found telling the few people I did very hard and emotional and their reactions also left me feeling disappointed at times.The phone calls /texts can be exhausting and if your other half can fend them off for you I would let him. There are some good threads about “telling people about your diagnosis” if you search for them on the forum". I had grade 2 invasive ductal cancer and my treatment was lumpectomy ,3 weeks radiotherapy and now Tamoxifen.The op is surprisingly straight forward and after 24 hours I was up and about and getting on with things.Jill

hi wmj,
It is always a shock & I certainly had to get my head round it in the early days, so only told those that had to know in the first instance, work mainly, as sick leave had to be organised.
My greatest anxiety was telling my elderly parents. I waited until I saw the surgeon, so that I was clear on what would happen, they did take it quite well, which was a huge relief.
Fortunately, my bc was an early screening find, lumpectomy, radiotherapy & tamoxifen with an ‘excellent’ prognosis, so I used this to reassure people which was helpful. You’re diagnosis sounds similar to mine, so its not the position that sadly, your friend is in.
I found the treatment straightforward to manage, was up & about & feeling well whilst on sick leave.
Telling people is one of the worst parts, but once it was done I did feel much better, you can only go at your own pace.
ann x


telling people is hard, but I just went out there and told people, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.  We are all proud people, but please do accept their hugs ? I drew strength from all my friends.  In fact this was my way of dealing with the diagnosis as the more of my friends who knew, could take away that emotion and I could carry on then normalish.  And now post op, I’ve had so much support it helps, even if it is just a tiny text or a quick cuppa :coffee:.  

Oh and as for ‘mother-in-law’ I just tell her I’m fine and no she does not need to be at the hospital with me ?.

I hope that you find the support out there.  Xxx 

Hi WMJ, so sorry you find yourself here.  I didn’t want to tell anyone as I hate any kind of fuss so I only told those people who really needed to know:  my children, my closest friend, my dad (which was difficult as my mum died from cancer a few years ago) and work - just my boss and hr dept.  My husband told our other close friends and his mum who went on and told all the neighbours! But in hindsight I felt it was good that people did know so that if they met me on one of my emotional days (and I had a few of those!) they would hopefully understand why I wasn’t feeling so chatty. I had lovely texts from friends of friends wishing me well and was actually very surprised when one of my closest friends only contacted my once! I guess people just don’t know what to say when you have just been diagnosed as “Hi, how are you?” is a bit more difficult to answer when you have cancer and are at a stage when you really don’t know yet what the future holds. But 10 months on from diagnosis I have had a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and take Tamoxifen and people asking me how I am is now answered with “I’m great thanks” and the conversation moves on.  I hope you manage to get the support you need from those around you. good luck! Michelle xx

Yes, WMJ, i totally understand about the telling people. However, with your best friend, you may well find that it brimgs you closer…there is often a special bond between us cancer survivors as we ‘understand’ where other people dont always.


i found everyone kept calling and calling…because they care. I must admit i left the ansaphone on. Do give yourself space, you deserve that.  As others say, dont feel pressured into sharing if you dont want to, but it serms we are often trying yo protect others from what we are going through…the others dont always want to be protected either.?


anyway, i wish you a really good response from your treatment and many cancer free years after.

love and hugs



Thank you all for your kind words of support and advice.

waking up in the middle of the night/early morning is the pits as your mind just plays tricks on you and everything is magnified. Furthermore you are exhausted the next day which doesn’t help with the emotions, as I am sure you all know!!

However It is good to read through the messages of support & vent my frustration, so thanks for that.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel a fantastic holiday, yes I am sad about it but not as sad as I thought and after all it is just a holiday. Much better I get rid of this lump and get my treatment underway ASAP. The  issue is family and friends think we will be away and will be mentioning us getting ready for the holiday etc. Which means I am going to have to say we have cancelled and then most likely the reason why. Exactly what I don’t want to do…Tell people I have BC.


Wondering if anyone can shed some light on radiotherapy treatment?  I have been told I will need it and most likely 15 sessions. The treatment happens a fair distance from me as my local hospital doesn’t do it.  WIll I be able to drive myself? can you even drive after treatment? This is going to be a pain as I really don’t want my husband to stay off work for 3 weeks in order to drive me back & forth for a treatment. What a waste of annual leave! 

I told people I was having an op due to “women’s problems” ,no -one ever dared ask what women’s problems and I didn’t elaborate !!!I drove myself to radiotherapy most days it was 50 mile round trip ,most people are fine to drive themselves but it does get tiring after first week and boring .Its really good if a friend comes with you the odd time and you get someone to drive every now and again particularly near the end.Most hospitals have volunteer drivers who will pick you up and take you door to door for your treatment ,may be worth looking into .Lots of ladies I have spoken to took advantage of this service.

Hi WMJ, i had 15 regular + 5 booster radiotherapy sessions and I continued working throughout and drove myself each day although it wasn’t too far, prob a 15 mile round trip.  Towards the end my boob did get quite sore but it was bearable. I bought a couple of crop tops to wear instead of bras as they were much more comfortable and didn’t dig in like a regular bra would have done.  Michelle xx

Hello - I have been diagnosed today with grade 1 invasive ductal carcinoma, but need an MRI scan as there are apparently further areas of concern. I completely understand your concerns with telling people.  I have told my children who are 27 and 23, some close friends and my boss and 2 colleagues.  At the moment I just want to be treated normally and I don’t want people being sympathetic as that what makes me cry.  Good luck with your surgery - I think I’ll be a couple of weeks behind you. 

What a shame about your holiday. So sorry. You could just tell them after your 'return date ’ would give you some space!


i hope all goes well for you and will be looking in to see how it goesxx