3 weeks ago (7th June) I woke up having dreamt I had a lump in my breast. It was the same day I was viewing a new place to live as I’m going through a separation.
As I woke I felt a solid lump in my left breast about an inch above my nipple. I then looked in the mirror to see that my left Breast also didn’t look ‘normal’.
I had swelling under my armpit right down to the middle of my left side.
The swelling was painful and inflamed.
my nipple and left breast was pointing out towards the side
red marks (look like bites & stawberry marks) on my left breast
skin changes (dimpling)
shooting pain in my breast where the lump
- my breast looked a different shape and bigger
Saw my GP the following day, could feel the lump and suggested the swelling was caused by mastitis (haven’t breast fed for 6 years, am 43) Gave me a week of antibiotics and a referral to breast clinic.
Had my appt 24th June - Dr said straight away he could see skin thickening - mammogram, then Ultrasound - they found a lump in my breast and on my lymph node under my arm and said there and then it looked highly probable to be cancerous. Had both a fine needle biopsy and a punch biopsy where they take cells from your skin/tissues.
Went back to the Dr and he told me that they were pretty certain the lumps are cancer. And that they could see the skin thickening.
Back on 4th July to get biopsy results and treatment plan. Preparing myself for the likelihood that I’ve got inflammatory BC just from my symptoms and the rapid onset and inflammation in my breast ( not thinking the worst, just validating what I’m experiencing)
Moving house 14th July post separation - am self-employed, no financial safety net, mum to a 6 year old and single. BC Nurse thinks whatever happens next - chemo or surgery - that treatment will likely start 2-3 weeks time.
This part, the not knowing what’s coming next is so mentally and emotionally challenging.
Realizing how much I’m going to need community and support with me on this humongous climb ahead of me.
You’ve got support from us!!! First of all I’m so sorry. This diagnosis does indeed suck and the point where you’re at is the worst. The “waiting” time before you get results and can start treatment. Once treatment begins it does get better. There’s something about fighting the damn thing that’s soothing. In saying that, of course you can’t know for sure it’s cancer but I will say that you’ve definitely hit on a diagnosis that makes a lot of sense considering your symptoms. They’ll probably move quickly once the diagnosis is settled on. In the meantime be kind to yourself, if you can think of something you like, make a way for it to happen. Perhaps take stock of your physical support group. You are right that if the diagnosis comes back like you’re anticipating you’ll need it. However, chemo isn’t what it used to be either. Still highly effective but the drugs they have for side effects work well. I went through chemo and it ended up being a short blip in my life. I’ve recovered completely and am even better than what I was before diagnosis. Hopefully that’s what it will be for you. I know you’re worried and anxious and there’s nothing I can say to alleviate that because of course you are. We all were in your position. But it does get better and we’re here in the meantime. Good luck and many hugs sent your way!
Thank you for your words and insight, it’s results day for me tomorrow (Independence Day!) it feels like time has stood still since finding the lump nearly a month ago. Just need to know what I’m dealing with and what the next steps look like.
Good luck-let us know how you get on.
Got the results back from my biopsy today.
Grade 3, invasive type - still waiting to hear if it’s triple negative. Spread to my lymph nodes but don’t know how many.
CT contrast dye tomorrow - chest, abdomen and pelvis.
MRI next week.
Treatment plan is 18 weeks of chemo starting in a few weeks, then surgery and lymph node removal then radiotherapy.
Dr said 9-12 months of treatment and they are going to put a metal clip in to mark the cancer before chemo starts.
Move house 14th July so will be settled before Chemo starts.
So much to take in today.
Will get my results when I see the oncologist in 2 weeks time.
I had Grade 3, Hope. Good news in it is that it tends to respond very well to chemo. I am so sorry though. I know you aren’t particularly surprised. I wasn’t either. Sometimes we just know. But now that it’s confirmed treatment can start and you’re on your way to getting rid of the damned thing. My thoughts are with you and let us know if you have any questions or just need to vent.
Things are now moving which always feels better (although scary) -still lots of fact finding going on by the sound of it, CT, MRI but builds the full picture to ensure you get the right treatment plan -sounds like you are in good hands.
I echo Kay, we’re here to support in any way, just let us know what you want/need/how we do that.
unfortunately I’m in a very similar position to you. Waiting on my CT scan to confirm the spread… and chemo to start within the next couple of weeks. How are you getting on? I have a 3 year old and a 7 week old I’m finding the shock really difficult. Hope your house move goes well in the meantime, we’ve decided to move in with my parents so they can help look after us all so we’ll be packing up too x
Have you had your CT results yet? The waiting is the most difficult part. Really feel for you going through this with such little ones, but hopefully having your parents to help will lessen the load on you.
Got moved, so that feels like one less thing to do, think I did it on pure adrenaline.
Saw the oncologist today.
Grade 3/Her2+ - didn’t mention stage.
CT scan thankfully shows no spread beyond my lymph nodes.
Went through the chemo plan today, having 6 rounds of 2 different types plus injections for a year that will target the Her2+
Not yet got a chemo start date but said it will be in the next 2 weeks.
Feel so relieved it’s not spread and that chemo is starting soon!
Do you have both estrogen and progesterone, too? If so, you’ve got the most treatable breast cancer. Triple positive has had a huge change in prognosis in the last 20 years. At any rate, it’s a long treatment no matter what but herceptin is awesome. It has totally changed the playing field so you’re in excellent hands with it.
Negative for estrogen and progesterone but positive for HER2 so have a targeted treatment (perjeta) which I will start on chemo round 2 and have injections for a year.
Hello again @bucketloadsofhope
unfortunately no CT scan results until Wednesday (that will have been a wait of 9 days!). So glad to hear you’ve had some “positive” news with no further spread! Hope your treatment is going as well as can be x