Good afternoon everyone! I’m new to all this & was sadly told on Thursday that I have stage 3 Triple negative breast cancer with the possibility that it may have spread to my liver meaning (if confirmed by an MRI) it’ll be reclassified as stage 4. To say this has come as a surprise to me is an understatement. I’m only 42 & went to the GP to get a pea sized lump checked out “just in case” Don’t know what to think, what to do, or where to even start 

Babylons Sorry you find yourself on here, it is a shock when you are told :two_women_holding_hands: Glad you have reached out to Breast Cancer Now. Tnbc is grade 3. I am surprised they have told you you are stage 3 without having done your mri and checking your lymph nodes. You probably feel like you are in a bubble and not really happening and everyone else is getting in with life while you are watching from inside your bubble. Do ring the nurses on here and speak to them about anything that’s on your mind :two_women_holding_hands: do Salk away on here :two_women_holding_hands: everyone is here for you :two_women_holding_hands: take it one day at a time :two_women_holding_hands: it’s a lot to process as you suddenly find yourself having to make decisions about operation, chemo and rads, like I say day at a time, step by step, when you know your treatment plan, you will feel bit more in control and settle into routine :two_women_holding_hands: not one you want to find yourself in but everyone is here to reach out to as much or as little as you need :two_women_holding_hands: and everyone has lots of tips and tricks that will help :two_women_holding_hands: remember your team have seen it all before and your treatment plan is tailored specifically for you, it’s never a one size fits all. A good book that helped me was surviving triple negative breast cancer by Patricia prijatel. It’s not for everyone but it helped me. Also please keep off dr Google and if you do Google Google Robin Roberts and Joan lunden both had tnbc journeys and again their inspirational stories helped me. Others will be along to offer support soon too :two_hearts: :two_hearts: :sparkles: :sparkles: Shi xx

Hi Babylons

They’re nasty little b**gers TN cells. You think you’re sorted and up they pop elsewhere. You say you don’t know what to think/do/where to start. My advice is, unless you’re a controller who needs to know everything, just (?) trust your team. Wait to hear what they have to say after the MRI and take it from there. Don’t try second-guessing them - they know their stuff but always write down the questions you think of as you go along, otherwise you can forget them. Also, think carefully about what you can handle - there may be questions you aren’t ready to know the answers to.

There’s quite a lot of research going on into TNBC and you may well be able to benefit from a new trial (I’ve flopped at the last fence every time, lacking this or that protein or whatever). There are new drugs in the pipeline and one new drug there are high hopes of, though currently it’s being offered after two treatments have failed which is a bit frustrating.

It turns your world upside down, being given a bc diagnosis. Suddenly you’re in this new world with a new language to be learnt (mostly it’s meaningful to oncologists and makes little difference to us).  You feel pushed and pulled, with nasty things like MRIs hanging over you but you will find your way round. You’ll learn to navigate this new world of TN, believe me. I strongly echo what Shi has said about Google. It is so tempting in the early hours when you can’t sleep to try to settle a worry by googling but it rarely takes you to the right place and, believe me as I learnt the hard way, it can multiply your anxieties. Wait and ring the nurses here - they are well-informed and so reassuring.

I’d also advise you to do everything you can to strengthen your emotional health. Mental wellbeing will ensure you have the inner resources to deal with the unseen side of cancer. We all hear about chemotherapy but we rarely hear of the courage women show by getting through it and overcoming their fears. Many women like to go running or go for long walks, others go for yoga or tai chi; many head for mindfulness or meditation. There are NHS-endorsed apps like Headspace and Calm and YouTube is full of gems like Progressive Hypnosis’s Cure Anxiety which is just plug in your earphones and press play. You’ll be away with the fairies in no time. 

I wish you all the best in what lies ahead. It’s all manageable/doable and you will get through it.

Jan xx