Early Stage breast Cancer



I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer through breast screening.  My mammogram was taken November 26th 2013.  I was told first of all there was just calcifications which potentially could contain some cancer cells.  No worries I thought!!!  Eventually as my journey progressed I had a lumpectomy sintenal biopsy radiotherapy and now finally taking letroxol for the next five years.  The cancer had spread into the breast tissue but not to the lymph nodes and was stage 2 oestrogen receptive.


I feel so isolated and alone. When I read most literature or meet other women they have all been in the higher stages and I feel guilty at not being at one of those stages?  Does anyone feel the same?  I can’t understand being detected so early I feel such emotions and finding it so hard to move on and leave it all behind.


I would dearly love to hear from other women who were ‘caught’ the same way as me.  I can not still comprehend what has happened and the  fact I did have invasive breast cancer without even knowing - no lump no inkling!!


Now the treatment has finished I feel more isolated then ever and have hot flushes (never experienced before despite going through the menopause -did I really)???  and extreme fatigue no motivation etc.


I am back at work on a phased return which has helped enormously but will be back doing a 37 hours week soon.  I am dreading it as my confidence has gone somewhat.  Colleagues keep telling me how well I look but not inside I don’t!!  I also feel different now then I did before I had my mammogram!!!  I listen to the office politics and think there is so much more to worry about and then I feel that I don’t belong anymore.


Can someone out there please tell me I am not alone and all will eventually be well!!!


Lots of love and thanks Krissie



Hello kristina13

Welcome to the forums.  This must be a very difficult time for you but you have come to the right place for support from our experienced users who I’m sure will be along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hi Krissie


Any emotions you are feeling are valid, you have the right to feel them.


You have had treatment for cancer which is not to be taken lightly and it will take a while for you to feel more settled. I won’t say ‘back to normal’ because I don’t think things are ever quite the same after something like this. But you will find a new normal which you will be comfortable with.


Yes, office trivia will seem difficult for a while too, but again, you will get back into it soon enough. It is great that you are making a phased return to work. Make sure they get you a big fan for your desk and always have an old-fashoined manual fan for meetings! I think people say things like ‘you look great’ or ‘you look well’ to be kind, they mean well but as you say its not what you are feeling inside. It’s your close friends and family who are nearer to understanding what you have been through, not colleagues.


I also struggled for a long time with accepting I have cancer, I wanted to go back to the hospital and say ‘are you sure?’, perhaps they got the samples muddled up!


So no, you are not alone, we are all here too.



Kristina said:

. . . When I read most literature or meet other women they have all been in the higher stages and I feel guilty at not being at one of those stages?  Does anyone feel the same? . . .


Yes, I can empathise with you at feeling guilty. My cancer was tiny, caught at a routine mammogram, removed, followed by 15 days of RT. I’ve had few side-effects or emotional effects. When I read about the problems experienced by other people I feel a complete fraud - but also feel very very lucky.


I reason that everybody is different as is every experience of Cancer so we must expect each one of us to have different reactions to it.

Kristina - I’m another who has a similar story to you and these other ladies. My first bc was also found when having a mammogram, although I had to have 3 WLEs followed by radiotherapy, all 5 years ago. So many women had mx and chemotherapy that my experience seemed very minor to waht I had. So you’re not alone in feeling the way you do.


I’m now one of the others - mx on the other side this June, with a totally unrelated cancer - but again, no lump showed up on mammograms last year or this year, and the consultant reassured me last year that the slight difference ion my ‘good’ breast was nothing to worry about. I ‘only’ have to have hormone therapy this time. So neither time have I even had a lump, never mind felt ill, so ops and any other treatment are an enormous shock to the system


I say just be kind to yourself; the phased return to work is an excellent way back. But you’re not the same as you were before, however well you look.


Take great care of yourself - hugs from Jo x

Hi Kristina13. I, like you, am on this journey with a relatively small tumour (6mm) picked up by mammogram middle June. Couldn’t feel it or see it, but it was there:( I’m 7 days on from wle and slnb - left boob but 3rd biopsy right boob…stiĺl waiting, waiting, waiting. The surgeon has said the bc was found in the slnb - not what I expected :frowning:
Well my emotions and mood are up and down, have cried loads at times and feel guilty that other wonderful ladies on this site are going through sooo much more than I am. Then I realise that isn’t a valid thought. BC turns everybody’s life inside out and all emotions, worries, fears and positive thoughts are valid. I am getting enormous comfort from this forum and I am very thankful for that.
I’m not at work at the moment, but I can understand your disillusionment with the usual day to day office moaning - I’m feeling so irritated by my partners moaning which seems so trivial. I think we have very heightened emotions and a very very different outlook on our lives now. As others have said, we won’t ever get back to ‘normal’ as life has changed for us all. But I do believe we will get thro this. Take it easy on yourself. Xxx

Hi Kristina13. .I’ve been on citalopram (for depression) for a number of years now (in fact am on a stepped plan to get off them!) - I had no idea that they could control hot flushes - reading your posts I’m now wondering if this is how I’ve gone through menopause (i am 52) and hardly noticed! That’s great if it is helping you…am I understanding that it is the hormone pill treatment that is causing the hot flushes? One of the few things I do actually know at this stage about my bc is that it is ER+ and that i will be on oestrogen surpressing pills for some years. Sooo much to get our heads around…overload.
I’m so early days with this im afraid I don’t have any useful info to give but I do hope you can find some relief from your gel pillow. Sending good thoughts xxx

Hi Kristina13. Have you wondered if the underlying stress/anxiety of depression has contributed or even been the cause of your bc? I think it has been for me (no clinical suggestion of this I should add). For me, it has been why I haven’t pondered or angsted over the ‘why me’ question at all. As the years of depression rolled by I often wondered what further damage it might be doing to me…now I ‘know’ ???

I have my 2nd outpatients appt next wednesday to get op results and find out treatment plan. Radiotherapy and oestrogen blocking pills already mentioned at 1st clinic appt when bc confirmed. However my surgeon advised that chemo would now be appropriate as micromet c found in slnb :frowning: So now don’t know what is next yet - next Wednesday is the day. Is the concoction of pills you are taking the norm for oestrogen receptor+ you know?

I’m only just starting on this journey, but I can so understand totally how when the regular treatment and clinic appointments stop you can feel ‘let loose’ and on your own. I have already been wondering if I would benefit from getting involved with a bc support group. One thing that has become blindingly clear to me already is that unless you are going through this or have already been through this, you don’t ‘get it’. It makes me feel guilty that I am so irritated when family say “you’ll be fine” …they don’t know that. …I don’t know that!!! I’ve ended up feeling so very lonely in the proverbial crowd :(. That’s why this forum and all the lovely ladies on it, is becoming my lifeline :slight_smile:

Thinking of you and wishing you well. Thanks also for taking the time to reply and your kind words of support xxx

Hi Kristina13. I have found comfort, reassurance, masses of useful information and wonderful support on this forum and thank YOU for being a key part of that :slight_smile: how weird that such a truely horrible time as this, can also foster such wonderful random ‘virtual friendships’ :slight_smile:
I have slept all afternoon again today…still so tired since the op last week - but feeling brighter and more positive in myself. I hope you are still taking time to be good to yourself and that you are having good days too. I’m sure my OH already thinks it is all but done and dusted - bit of a shocker coming soon for him but I’m tired of managing his emotional state as well as mine, so who knows what’s to happen. Take care xxx

Hi Kristina13, oh I’m glad you mention the stabbing pain because that is something I wasn’t expecting and it keeps catching me out! OUCH!!! Should i be expecting my boob to shrink through all of this? It gets weirder by the day lol.

As you rightly say, my OH I’m sure is as scared as me and I do worry that ‘we’ won’t cope - but it might just be the making of our marriage…half cup full tonight :wink:

Loving the idea of having a ‘never ending’ supply of clean pj’s to doss about in…that’s right up my street and especially if accompanied by chocs and wine :slight_smile: think I’ll get internet shopping right away :slight_smile:

Take care and I hope you have a great weekend too xxx

Hi Kristina13, I’ve had a wonderful weekend staying with my mum & dad…they always spoil us rotten and we have spent lots of time just chatting and catching up with everyday stuff. It has been a fabulous distraction. My mum nearly cried when I arrived and we hugged…that was tough :frowning: I have been calm and quite matter of fact the odd time the conversation turned to my bc - so I very much hope that they will not worry about me, quite as much as they hwve been.

I think we must be kindred spirits - I adore crisps too. I have been known to consume a large bag on my own in one sitting…how I’m not really sure! Lolol

I’ve been internet shopping for pj’s but haven’t make my mind up yet…to be revisited when I’m back home tomorrow.

Also I wanted to mention that I came across a post from ‘Maryland’, who had included a link to an article about working through 3 stages of recovery AFTER the active treatment had ended. I found it very interesting and I thought you might too…particularly in relation to how you said people are behaving around you as if everything is now all ok and done and dusted now your active treatment has finished! Here is the link if you are interested (although not sure if this will work mind):


Anyway, I hope you’ve had a good weekend too - despite the terrible weather today and lets continue to take good care of ourselves next week :slight_smile: xxx, Bettypoppit

Hi Kristina13, what a joy it is to read your post…it’s great we both had a lovely weekend with family. I imagine time with the little ones lifts your spirits and brings lots of smiles :). I’m back home now, but one of the things we did was to set up skype for us to keep in ‘video touch’…I’m chuffed that both mum & dad have become keen tablet users (which in itself gives me the giggles if you can imagine mum who was 80 earlier this year and dad who is nearly 87 - both absorbed by their tap tap tapping all this weekend :slight_smile: lol).
Yes, big day for me tomorrow. …more results and decisions to be made on what treatments are next…scary scary stuff…as before my mindset tonight is that it’s all going to be ok…head in sand springs to mind :wink: I think it is weird that I am on the one hand ‘ill’, but, on the other hand I don’t feel it???

How’s it going on your concoction of pills and has the gel pillow helped at all? Is this cooler weather helping at all with your night time hot flushes…or maybe it makes it worse because your hot but it’s cold outside of the duvet? I enjoyed lying in bed this morning wrapped up snug as a bug in the duvet - my dog on the bottom of my bed keeping my feet warm too ;), window open - listening to the heavy rain - love it :slight_smile:

I need to get off to sleep now - need to look my best for the morning :wink: lolol. You take care xxx

Hi Jo1, it sounds like you are having a double tough time of it and I’m in awe of how you are dealing with it :slight_smile: . Please don’t forget your own self in all that you are doing for others x. I have been reading some more by dr Peter harvey and the articles are resonating with me - giving me insiggt and validation to my feelings and current outlook. I realise we are all different and this won’t be the case for others, but for me they are very informative and helpful :slight_smile:

With regards the tablets, the family gave my mum a samsung tablet for her 80th in March and my dad has just been given an ipad mini by my mum - bacause dad was manopolising mums tablet and she wasn’t getting the chance to use it! Lololol. This weekend at times, like after breakie when we were all having coffee, their lounge resembled a tablet classroom with all four of us (my hubby too) tapping away…it was very surreal and funny with the added bonus that I can Skype them both now :slight_smile:

Well it’s time for me to get up out of my pit, walk my lovely dog, shower and head off to hospital to find out what’s what and my next step…at last.

Let’s all take care of ourselves and I will post again, but not sure when that might be! xxx

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