Diagnosis really worrying me

I was diagnosed 3 days ago and feel dazed and worried. I didn’t feel a lump but saw puckered skin. After a mammogram, scan and biopsy I’ve been diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. I told the consultant the I would do whatever it took as I wanted to get rid of it. She said it would be best to  have Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy, as surgery wasn’t the best option due to my small breast. She said it would end up very tiny and deformed and look awful. I was very confused and shocked and still am. I’m 73 and not sleeping properly but over eating sweet stuff. Sorry I’m rambling. I’m worried that not having surgery yet it will get bigger or spread. And the tablets cause osteo porosis. I’m really scared. 

Leanne Please ring the number on here and speak to a nurse Also please speak to your team and tell them you are scared It is such a lot to take in and process when diagnosed and Appointments and decisions on treatment plan seem to happen so quickly and you walk out with your little pack with dates and treatments a bit dazed thinking is this really happening. I am sorry you find yourself on here and treatments ahead of you, but take it one day at a time, ask away on here, use the someone like me option too and when you feel ready read the threads and join the threads there is so much kindness and support you :two_women_holding_hands: are never alone and can be with people who just get it Step by step and day by day you will get through your team have seen it all before and know what to do, I always took note pad in with me with lots of questions and wrote down their answers, I also did graphs for each day of treatment cycle to keep track on temperature and when I’d taken meds, it helped settle into routine with it and keep track on everything made me feel bit more back in control of things Others will pop on with support too, breast cancer now is here for you :two_hearts: :two_hearts: :sparkles: :sparkles: Shi xx

Hi Leanne

I’m so sorry you have all this worry. All I can add to Shi’s excellent advice is the fact that your consultant does know what she’s talking about and would be unlikely to recommend a treatment that wouldn’t work. The decisions are made by a multi-disciplinary team and are tailored to your very specific type of breast cancer. Learn to trust them but make sure you have your questions answered, like why isn’t a mastectomy necessary? It’s what we expect but treatments have come a long way in the last couple of decades.

As regards the risk of osteoporosis, there are tests and many women are given the standard weekly medication for post-menopausal osteoporosis and many, like me, are given a three-year course of biphosphonates (a treatment every 6 months) to help strengthen the bones. These carry their own risks. Eventually you learn to see things in a different perspective and realise that everything has a side effect and most people don’t get them so you stop worrying.

For me, my emotional/mental wellbeing was 50% of the cancer experience (I do dislike the word ‘journey’ and ‘battle’ is inappropriate). You definitely need to express your anxieties and make sure you are heard. My oncologist even arranged for me to be shown around the chemo suite one evening so I could see what a calm, friendly and completely unterrifying experience it was. Look into ways you can ease your levels of stress, like mindfulness, exercise, walking. I found YouTube videos very useful and Progressive Hypnosis’s Manifest Healing, used at least twice daily, saw me through some tough times. It would certainly help with sleep. A cancer diagnosis is pretty terrifying but there’s an awful lot of us who get through the treatment - it’s all manageable.

I wish you all the best with what lies ahead. You will learn to trust your team with time x

Hi Leanne

So sorry that you find yourself here, like so many of us. I am also at the start of this experience and totally empathise with your feelings of shock and worry. I was recalled after a routine screening & was told by the radiologist that the suspicious lesion - & lymph node! - was definitely cancer. That was four weeks ago & my treatment has still not started. I do know that I will be having surgery first but don’t have a date until I see the surgeon in a couple of days. For those four weeks the thing at the forefront of my mind has been the cancer diagnosis. But it definitely has got better - my anxiety is not sky high all the time and I can think and plan rationally and I can give proper attention to other things going on in my life. It probably seems inconceivable to you right now that the shock, anxiety and worry will ease but it will. 
I do agree with other comments that you should ask as many questions as you can and let the professionals know of your concerns. As I had already had a frank discussion with the radiologist the biopsy results were not a shock to me and I was able to ask the consultant for additional information. But I have also spoken on several occasions to my breast care nurse - and initially to the sister in the screening unit. I am sure that your breast care nurse will explain the reasoning behind the proposed treatment plan and will also be happy to discuss your worries and hopefully put your mind at ease. Do ask as much as you need to - remember that there is no stupid question. And the support is there for you. 
I do hope that all goes well


Leanne, you are feeling just like everyone else who has been diagnosed with cancer. The feeling of disbelief is paramount and makes it difficult.  I think the replies you’ve got are excellent, and I would certainly recommend a note book for questions and answers. I would also say take someone with you to appointments as it’s difficult to listen, write and take in what’s being said. I was advised to continue with my holiday plans after I was diagnosed at my local one-stop- BC centre and I’m jolly glad I did. The month made no difference to the size or progression of the disease and I was fit and rested for all the procedures . The waiting is nerve wracking, but your MDT have set meeting times to discuss your condition and plan your treatments so it probably does feel as though you’re in slow motion at the moment. Your successful treatment and outcome is their success, so be assured they will do everything possible for you. Thinning bones - there’s a treatment for that. Dry skin after rads- you’ll get creams given. Nausea with chemo- didn’t happen, there’s a pill for that too! There is loads of peer support here, and also information on the various treatments, but take it easy and don’t try and think too far ahead. I found getting to grips with one procedure at a time was best. The nurses are always available for questions, as is your own BC nurse. Always ask questions, as it’s your body and you know it better than anyone. I was 70 when I was diagnosed and after three years I’m doing really well. Slower than I used to be, but I’m getting older, so can’t blame everything on the dratted disease! I found my op, chemo and rads all very doable, and I’m here to tell the tale. My best piece of advice is to take any and every bit of help offered . Good luck. X