Emma is a bit scared and needle phobic!

Hi all
I had an early call age 48 on 21 Dec and a recall letter on evening of 10 Jan after work for 9.30 appt at Southmead on 11 Jan. Tild it was BC an d confirmed as early stage 2/3 this week,

I survived my biopsy with tears, lots of, now have GA plus loads of other stuff to go through. I’m normally a strong, confident person but this diagnosis has rendered me useless.

Running out of sick pay and work sympathy as i’m not technically ‘sick’.

Any tips or words of wisdom will be gratefully received. Especially during these long nights.


Hi Emma,
The early days of diagnosis are the worst, we’ve all been there, but it will settle down.
As far as work is concerned… honestly ‘not technically sick!’ What do they expect then, that you don’t have treatment & carry on as normal?
If you’re not already aware, with a cancer diagnosis, we come under the Equalities Act which means employers cannot discriminate & have a duty to make reasonable adjustments. It might be an idea to seek further advice on this, others here have found Macmillan helpful in employment rights.
It is such a rollercoaster at this stage, so it’s quite usual to feel the way you do. Some days we feel we can do anything & other days collapse in a heap, so just go with it.
This stage does pass, when the treatment plan is confirmed & we know what we’re dealing with.
Sending hugs
ann x

Hi Emma


I had a real issue with hospitals over the years, to the point when my 5 year old broke his arm I had to lie on the bed with him as I was on the point of fainting, so when I was diagnosed it was near the top of my list of things to worry about. But I just ended up getting on with it, as you will, the hospital staff are very experienced in dealing with people who don’t like needles, and as I needed chemo and ended up with 4 operations I became quite blase about it all, I still don’t like hospitals (who does) and feel a bit queasy at times, but just told myself they were there to help me, not punish me !

In terms of thinking about it, it will take over your life, but I tried to just allow myself a few minutes at a time to think about it, and get on with trying to be normal the rest, and if anything started to creep into my head I wrote it down and then thought about it in my few minutes I had allocated - I felt that gave me a bit of control over what is a complete head F*** , you feel absolutely fine but have something which may kill you, it can really mess with your head !

Are you signed off work ?


Jo x

Hi Emma, 


I also got an early mammogram call, went for recall appointment, biopsy and diagnosis within 6 days just before Christmas. I went through it in a fog of tears as well, as I still look “normal”. I have an 11 year old and it was very hard trying to look happy as we wanted a normal Christmas for our child. I continued to work as I needed routine and being off work would raise questions I wasn’t ready to answer at home.


I hate needles due to a bad experiences, but I listen to music through my headphones  (more loudly than usual) through any procedures as a diistraction and staff have been very accommodating of this. 


I’ve just had surgery, WLE & axillary clearance, it is very tiring, and I’m not good at being kind to myself, as I am always the organised busy one in our household, so it is hard to accept support. I can’t even manage a quick walk to the local shop without having to have a sleep afterwards! I know I won’t be able to return to my job for several months due to the physical nature of it, I’ve been lucky that the few who know are very supportive, but as I’m very private most people don’t know at work.


I’m coping by staying in the safety of my home unless I need to go out, as I can’t talk about it without getting upset. You’ll find your own way of coping with the emotions over the coming weeks, and I’m learning there is no right or wrong way.


I’m going back for surgery results, further treatment plan and another seroma drainage later - more needles. I’m terrified as I’ll get to know the exact details as we already know it was in lymph system, just not how much.


Thinking of you on your journey