extremely confused and scared

I was told 3 days ago i have a 22 by 22mm ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma tissue grade 3 in my left breast. The nurse explained the choice I have to make about having either breast conserving surgery or a mastectomy and I am very confused about what to do. I don’t like the thought of losing my breast, but I am scared that after having the operation and treatment the cancer may return. Also after reading posts in the forum one person explained perfectly how I feel, I feel that I have been picked up in a flood and i am being swept away. I have been told that I go for my operation on the 21st of may, then start chemotherepy and I am very nervous.I am looking for any helpful advice anyone can offer me.

Hi I was exactly the same when i joined this site a couple of days ago. the posts and i have recieved have been very informative and have help me to understand quite a lot more than i did and now i dont feel as scared as i was. reading other womens experiences has realy helped me. i hope that you find the same thing.
best wishes

Hi I thought I would let you know that I made the decision to go for breast conservation option. I felt that I after many years of moaning about the size of my breasts ( 34ff) that I actually liked them and wanted to try and keep my breast the same as my other one. I am having my 1st chemo session on the 9th May and then wait and see what happens. Take time to consider your opitions and go with what you think is right for you.

I couldn’t have reconstruction at the time because I had to have both removed and it would have been too long an op. But they did point out that I can have it done at any time in the future. I personally don’t want to right now but that may change. So even if you don’t right now you can later.

I totally understand what you mean by being swept away, this is all so fast and there’s just not enough time to get used to something this big. I have found that it’s getting easier to live with if that helps. I’ll never be the same person that I was and that makes me really sad, but maybe I’ll come to like the new person I become when all of this is over.

Just take it easy, one day at a time and don’t beat yourself up over anything at all. That’s the only advice I would give.

Lots of love


Thanks for the advice ladies, I am having a good read at the forums and it is reasuring to read of other peoples experiences but I am still finding it so hard for it all to sink in. I am trying to keep as busy as possible to try to take my mind off it and to try to get my life back in order, but its just swimming there all the time in my mind. I am going to the hospital on tuesday to give blood and have x rays and also to meet my surgeon. My partner spoke to a nurse that called on the phone yesterday to ask how I was, and he told her the decision for a mastectomy was worrying me. She told him that they thought reconstruction surgery was probibly the best way forward, but everyone I speak to say they would have a mastectomy or know people that have already had one in fear of the cancer returning. We’ll have a good talk to the surgeon on tuesday and see what she thinks, and I hope settles me down a little bit. I will keep you updated.

Hi prawnydawnie ( love the name)
You talk about the concerns that you have about the cancer returning if you choose not to have a mastectomy.
Because of the nature of the cancer I had - lobular and its position in the breast I didn’t have a choice and had a mastectomy. But after the mastectomy was told that there was a 5-10% chance of cancer occurring on the chest wall due to a 1mm margin between where the tumor was and the chest. I had rads to reduce that to between 2-3%. What I am trying to say that a mastectomy doesn’t always mean no recurrance.
Make a list of all your concerns, however trivial they may sound, and discuss them with your surgeon.
Decisions are so hard to make aren’t they? and it has to be what YOU feel happy with, not what other people think they would do if they were in your position. I found that the people advising me, however well intentioned, were friends who didn’t have breast cancer!!
All the best for Tuesday hope you get all the info you need.
Best wishes

Hi Prawniedawnie

Welcome to the forums, I am writing to let you know that Breast Cancer Care have published a Resource Pack, it has been designed for anyone newly diagnosed with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and various treatments, it is available via the following link or by contacting the helpline:


You may find our helpline useful to call to talk through the concerns you have about your surgery options, they can talk to you about our other support services too and also offer support, information and a ‘listening ear’. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, Saturday, 9am - 2pm. I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Hi Prawniedawnie

This is a really hard time for you. I was never given the option about having a mastectomy, which I had on Friday, its not that bad really, you don’t say how old you are because sometime this obviously has a bearing on your decision. I am 44 and have been married for 25 years and at the moment I don’t think I would even consider reconstruction in the future, its just another op but that may change later. It is harder for you because you have been given a choice and that just gives you something else to think about. I feel for you I really do and know how you feel you can think of nothing else but it does get easier. Good luck with whatever you decide I will be thinking of you.

Deb x

Hi Debs,
Thank you for your kind words, I have seen the surgeon today and she has convinced me to have a wide local insision surgery as in her words it can still come back whether mastectomy or not. I have been given my surgery dates today too, In for a tracer and the blue dye on 20th may then up to kendal hospital for my op on 21st may. If everything goes to plan I start chemo there after,(not looking forward to that as I have just grown my hair). To answer your question I am 45 yrs old, have a daughter of 21 and a son of 16 and have a sort of husband of 22 years, (we never got married he keeps chickening out of it). I hope everything went ok with your op, do you have to have any follow up treatment like chemo or radiotherapy ? Thinking of you right back,

Luv Prawnydawnie

Hi prawnydawnie

I still don’t know what is next probably wont find out for a couple of weeks but have been told definately chemo. It seams that every health authority is different. How long will you be in hospital? I was in for 3 days.

Sounds like you live in the Lakes, is that right? coz if so Lucky You!!!

Keep your chin up

Debs x

Hi Debs

I don’t know how long yet, they didn’t say. It depends on the op and what they find.Don’t live in the lakes not so lucky, we live in the lancaster area but we get a real nice veiw of the lakes from my living room and bedroom windows.Where are you having your chemo? I’ve been told I will be going to Preston for mine. Do you work? if so, how long have they told you to be off work? I work at a local school as their chef and was wondering how long I’ll be off.

I hope you are feeling ok.
luv prawnydawnie.

HI Prawnydawnie

I live in Kent and am having my chemo at Dartford. I don’t work now, I was looking for another job just before all this happened and I just handed my notice in so will leave it for a while now and maybe get something next year.

I am feeling ok but going to have the drain removed today and am petrified which seems a bit silly considering everything over the last few weeks. But I will be glad when its out.

Keep your chin up

Love Debs x

Hi Debs

How are you today, hope you are feeling alright. The doctor told me to stop smoking before my op, I am going on patches and lozingers tomorrow, I hope they work. I am going to have my hair cut short next week,which is upsetting because i have just grown it long for the first time, (thinking about chemo). I hope everything goes alright with having your drain out and don’t worry, hope to speak to you soon

luv dawn

Hi prawnydawnie, I had lump and sentinal node removed last week and was in hospital for only 1 night. It is tough for you to have to cope with giving up smoking at this stressful time but I gave up on patches and gum, they are very good. You should be able to get support with giving up smoking through your health authority - are they giving you the patches and lozinges or have you bought them?

I will have to have chemo as well. I need a further op on the 27th first to remove more lymph nodes as the one they have tested came back positive. My friend who went through all this 3 years ago suggested I wait to find out what type of chemo and the chances of loosing my hair before taking any action and then if I am told I will most likely loose it, have it cut very short. She had shortish hair anyway but it was quite long on top and it got quite matted and difficult before it fell out. Anyway, neither of us should be thinking too much about chemo yet as we have operations ahead and one step at a time eh?

Hi ladies,
I had a wide local incision and node removal on 14 march and was out of hospital the next day. (No driving for three weeks) I was virtually pain free for two 2 weeks just numb. When that wore off I got a burning sensation in my nipple which was unbearable. The only relief was with heat pads (strange but true.) The surgeon said this reaction is extremely rare. I was told I had dodgy cells and a mastectomy with reconstruction was on the cards so I’m still off. Having that done 16 May Really nervous now! Just want my life back. It is a confusing time and you just get swept along but you have got to go with the flow and look at what is best for you. This site has been a godsend to me as although I have loads of people who care they cannot feel what I am feeling and it means alot when you come on here and and read your own thoughts exactly from someone else. Don’t know if that makes sense I’m too tired now.
Take care
Diane x

HI all

I really feel for all you women who have one op only to be told you need a mastectomy anyway. I am glad that my surgeon said that he thought that it was the best course of action for me. I know what you mean about wanting your life back because I feel the same. I feel I am on the road to that now having had my mastectomy last week. I too am thinking of getting my hair cut next week. I haven’t really thought too much about the chemo, and don’t really know that much about it, I know that everyones treatment seems different so its had to guage what you need to have.

best of luck with everything try not to worry its not a bad as you may think

Lots of love

Debs x

There is some very good info on other threads about chemo Debs, I have been having a look. It seems it is the ‘E’ chemical that makes you loose your hair, so if it is FEC (whatever that is) the E part of it is the culprit. Cold caps are worth a try it seems. I don’t feel too concerned about loosing my hair other than the reaction of my children who are at an age where their parents can easily embarris (nope just can’t spell that today, tried all different combinations and they all look wrong) them (12 and 13) and I think it may scare them, although I will make sure I explain it all before hand.

on the losing hair I had 4 AC and had a red coloured drug injected which I was told was the hair loss drug,also made me wee red for a day,When I went onto Taxotere my hair started to grow back

Well ladies I have got through today (sat 10th may) first day without a cigarette and wearing a patch and I am really proud of myself, my partner is doing the same but is biting his nails, sucking nicotine lozenges and moaning that he’s needing a fag, (he’s doing well really). Thank you firebird for the advice on chemo, the haircut’s on hold now until I find out what kind of chemo I need. I am going to have a good read about chemo on the net before making any rash decisions. Sorry to keep repeating myself but I still don’t know how long I will have to be off work after my operation, if anyone has a rough idea please let me know. Sorry to hear you have to go for another op for your lymph glands Firebird and I also feel for you Luckydi, I’m so nervous about my first op and it’s so hard for me getting it all to sink in. I also think this site is wonderful, I am getting more confident and less scared the more I read of other peoples experiences and the support from all you ladies is really cheering me up, I look forward to logging on each day to see who has replied to my text and to hear how you are all coping with your treatment.

Lots of love to you all


Hi Dawn,
Didn’t want to read and run… I’m Lauren 25yrs old with 2 babies 3yrs & 11 months and a hubbie of 2 years!! Was still breastfeeding when diagnosed and have just had a mastectomy (same day as dawn)!
Just wanted to say that i think you are coping really well…I too had my very lovely long hair chopped very short just before my op and it’s the best thing i’ve ever done!! I LOVE it now…Can’t imagine having it long now… Chemo due to start in 2 weeks, and will also have radiotherapy…Will then take tablets for 5 yrs.
I am so thankful that i found the lump when i did, and don’t feel sad that my breast has gone… In fact, i’ve still been wearing lowish cut tops with my big white plaster showing whilst out shopping and no-one would ever know i have just 1 boobie!! Prothesis & bras are fab!! Will have reconstruction done after treatment in around 7ish months but truly am just thankful i am rid of this cancer! Can’t wait for some new boobies tho!
The ladies here are truly amazing and you will recieve so much support on here…
Keep us updated, as we do too…
Lots of love.x.x.x.x.