Diagnosis and operation in the same week!


I thought i would let you know my experience.

I had a 3 yearly routine mammogram and a couple of weeks later I was recalled to have it checked again at Peterborough hospital. I went on Tuesday 9th Sept and also had ultrasound and biopsy, got the results on Friday - 6mm tumour grade 2 not aggressive, oestrogen receptive - and was on the operating table on Wednesday 17th. They also removed 2 lymph nodes. Went back for the results yesterday, 26th Sept. All tumour removed with clear margins and the lymph nodes were also clear. What a relief! I start Tamoxifen today and have to go to Addenbrookes for 3-4 weeks of radiotherapy.

The speed with which the hospital worked was phenomenal and whenever I hear about the NHS failing I can only say for me they were superb. The breast care nurse has also been really good. When we got the initial diagnosis she wrote down everything the consultant told us. As she said, when we left that room we wouldn’t remember anything he had said so to have it written down was a great help.

I have been in a whirl for the last 2 weeks on the proverbial rollercoaster but had read as much as possible. Fortunately my husband is a great one for researching on the internet so everything we were told by the hospital he went away and studied so we were fully clued up about what to expect. Having said that it doesn’t help when you hear the word ‘cancer’ and have to go home and tell 3 sons that is what you have. Your mind goes into overdrive and you start imagining pains, lumps etc which can, to you, mean that cancer has spread everywhere.

I found it helped to talk and tell as many people as possible as the more I talked about it the more I was able to accept it. Also the fact that I had no time between diagnosis and operation to really think abut what was happening as there was so much to do with pre-ops, injections etc. I also had read quite a lot of posts on this site but until now did not feel able to contribute.

I even found on the day before the operation, only 4 days after being told I had cancer, when I was in the hospital waiting room prior to having injections for the op, that I was laughing and joking with another breast cancer patient about what we were having done.

It still seems very surreal, probably because of the speed things moved at, but I thank god for breast screening and for the keen eye of those people who study the xrays. One doctor told me that if I had had the mammogram 6 months earlier then it most probably would not have been spotted and it would then have been another 3 years unless I had felt anything before it would have been found.

I know that compared to many on this site I have been really lucky, both with the finding and treatment of the cancer, and the sort and size of the cancer, but the initial shock I would think is the same. I have the support of all my friends and family, and above all my husband who has kept me going thru’ the last 2 weeks.

Good luck to everybody on this site and just hope that my experience can help somebody else in the same circumstances.

Hi Bettyboo

Its loveley that you have such close friends and family, your support network sounds fantastic. (especially your husband)

I too went from DX to sugery in a few days. Dx on the thursday, mastectomy and clearance on the Monday. I had a lot of support for the first couple of weeks, but now friends and family think I am better. They say I only had cancer for 4 days and i am now cured. If I mention cancer my husband says in a lovely but patronising way, “but you dont have cancer” He can not understand why I still come on this forum or do any research. i didnt need chemo or rads, just tamoxafin, I think he thinks I am just trying to get attention which I am not.

As you said, it just happened so quickly that it seems so surreal. Good luck with your rads, hope it goes OK.



Hi Deb

thanks for your reply. My family are so far the opposite concerning whether I am better. My husband says ‘you no longer have cancer’ but he means it in the sense that what was there has been removed but we have so far only crossed 2 hurdles and there are still some to go ie tamoxifen and rads. My sister and nieces still keep on at me to take it easy - I know it’s only 10 days since surgery - and my husband insists I am not to drive yet or do any of the things the hospital told me not to do. My sister lives in Ireland and has booked a flight to coincide with rads so that she can come and cook us a meal and walk the dogs as we will be doing a 80mile round trip each day even tho’ we’ve told her it’s not necessary.

I guess that as you do not have to have any further treatment apart from the tamoxifen they seem to see it as a cure, which in a way i suppose is right, but it doesn’t make it easy on you. It is a life-changing moment when they tell you that you have breast cancer so unless people have actually been in that position maybe they just can’t comprehend what you feel.

It’s good that you can still come on the forum and get support and understanding that way, and you know that everybody on here does understand what you have been and are still going thru’

good luck and hope you get on ok with the tamoxifin


I just came across this post - I was dealt with at Edith Cavell Hospital in Peterborough, and from finding the lump to Surgery all in all took 1 month… They staff have been terrific… after cancelling my long awaiting oliday to Oz, I put the pressure on him to operate sooner, and he did… 2 weeks sooner infact… I can not thank the staff at Peterborough enough.

I had a very similar experiance… Grade 1 tumor 9mm, DX on tues mastectomy the following monday no chemo just tamoxafen and zoladex…Ill never complain about the NHS again!

how do you all know (grade 1, 2, 3 ect
size 7, 8, 9mm ect
i was on my own at results and all i remember is cancer
op on the 8th

anniemac, you will get your results after your op. when they examine what they have taken away.

I am new here today. I was diagnosed with calcification and a small part of it has gone on to Grade 2 cancer. I can’t remember the size at time of writing. I am waiting to have mastectomy in a few weeks. The above were interesting to read and I wonder if any of you had any reconstruction done at the same time?

Well,I had to wait nearly two months for my op and by then my tumour had nearly trebled in size and had spread to my nodes.I was told by one doctor that I was very lucky it had been caught in the nick of time- infact they even checked for spread during chemo! I blame myself for not being pushy enough- although I did make numerous calls to the hospital I kept getting panned off with various reasons for the delay- breastcare month, doctors holidays,christmas…!!!