Help I have just be told I may have breast cancer - so scared

I went to the breast clinic and had a mamogram and scans and biopsies in the lymph nodes and breast. The doctor then said that he believes it is cancer and that I have to have a full body scan and speak to the cancer specialist this week. I drove home so desperate and seeing my lovely little boys and telling them that it may be bad news was just the hardest thing. My children are 12 and 15 and I am single mum so they are my world. Seeing their beautiful little faces this morning broke my heart. I am so scared and can’t stop crying. I see there are lots of women on here all going through the same thing. I just don’t know how to cope with this. Please advise on how I can possibly get through this.

Hi Elleode

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums where I am sure you will get lots of good honest support. Our helpline team are also just a free phone call away 0808 800 6000, lines are open now until 5pm today - give them a call they’re here to support you. I have also put for you below the link to one of BCC’s publications you might find helpful.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

hi ellode
the same thing exactly happened to me on 6th feb this year, they told me there and then and showed me it on the ultrasound. i went in hospital on 5th march for a mastectomy and lymph node removal (in tues, out friday), went back to work 4 weeks later. since then i have started chemotherapy and i am going back to work again tommorow (1 week off), i am feeling very normal, very well and although it gives you a different outlook on life, everything is much the same.
i dont want you to think i’m being flippant, its heartbreaking and frightening but its just to show you that things can go on, you can be well, still looking after your little boys.
dont get me wrong, there are very emotional times, as you already say. There are bad days, good days, angry days all different topsy turvey emotions that are perfectly normal but draining.
once you know what treatment they have planned for you, you will feel much better, the waiting is the worst bacause the unknown is scary.
try not to look things up on google, use this site and macmillan, the internet is too mind blowing for muddled information.
i didnt have to tell young children, mine are 23 and 25 but it was the hardest thing i ever had to do. when we all stopped crying we decided to just get on with it, do whatever had to be done and we are still doing that now.
do you have a close friend that might be able to go to appointments with? hopefully you will be able to get your head round it soon, although its very early days and there will be lots of questions and worries.
good thing is… now you’ve come on here we can all help you too.
i hope this might show you that flicker of light at the end of the tunnel
any questions or anything to help, ask away.
kindest wishes angie xx

Dear Angie
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I can’t believe you are back at work after all that. I just can’t get my head round it all. We have no one in our family with breast cancer so I had hoped it would be a cyst so the shock yesterday was unbelievable how I drove home I don’t know. How are you finding the chemotherapy the thought of that is terrifying also. I like most people can’t bear to be sick. I am finding it all surreal. I have been out and mowed the garden, made the childens tea etc so trying to stay normal. They were really good at work and said I don’t need to go in yet. My mum is on holiday so I don’t want to spoil her time there but can’t wait till she gets home although telling my family will be so hard my brothers will be furious! I have a friend going with me from work on thursday. Did you have the body scan? I am just hoping it is a precaution. Yes i feel so drained from crying but thank you for your email it has given me a flicker of light. i will try and stay positive, Sarah x

Dear Sarah
It only seeas like yesterday that I was going through the same emotions as you but it was in fact last November and the time has flown by.
I found my lump and to cut a long story short I couldn’t wait to get it out of my body. I went to pieces and found it so hard telling my family especially my mum. There was no bc in our family so we were all dealing with a first case, me!
I made the decision with my husband not to tell the boys, 14 an 15 at the time until I had the full picture. I wanted them to be able to ask questions and for us to be able to give them the answers. They were great and have been so helpful. We reinforced all the positive things about my treatment etc, and pointed out to them people who have had the same illness and treatement who they see on the tv etc all the time.
Surgery was not a fear for me as I wanted the LF, as I called it outLuckily by body scans and bone scans were clear, but that was hard waiting. I have had four cycles of six of chemo and can honestly say that I am coping well with only a week afterwards to get over some side effects then back to normal. I just keep positive thinking that it is making sure it does not come back. Rads next then a year of herceptin and tamoxifen for minimum of five years.
You will get through this, try to keep positive and strong and feel free to chat or pm at any time
karen xx

My breast cancer story has been very fast - from diagnosis via mamogram and untrasound with a biopsy to a lumpectomy and removal of my lymph glands 2 weeks later…I have my follow up appointment tomorrow just 3 weeks down the line. It has all been quite scary and a lot o take in. Our kids are 12, 13 and 15. We have not mentioned the word cancer yet and are waiting for results tomorrow so we know where we are heading next…It’s all a bit of a whirlwind to deal with…

Hi Sarah… my story is very similar to Karens…It all started last October. I was knocked off my feet and waiting for the body scans was the worst part. I had mx and removal of lymph nodes. 1 positive. I am due to have my last chemo soon. (Chemo hasn’t been too bad). You will get through this. Sending hugs Ireneexxx

Dear karen
Thank you for replying also and for your advice. I just want to go back to my lovely normal life! I have also told the children that there are plenty of women out there who have been able to go on and lead normal lives. What else can I say I am just praying I will be one of them. I am feeling quite sick at the moment I think from all the shock. I guess tomorrow I will get to hear what the treatment plan is so will give me someting to focus on. Thanks for your support I will try and stay positive but this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. My father died from cancer 6 years ago and that was horrific and our lovely family are only just healing. I am dreading upsetting them all. thanks for emailing it really helps and for saying that the chemo isn’t too terrible. x

Whirlwind yes I know what you mean. It is all happening so fast but I suppose its good but doesn’t give you a second to grasp it all. I guess I will know more tomorrow it is so scary. Good luck tomorrow and thank you for replying. xx

Dear Irenee
Thank you for your comment. I am so glad to hear the chemo hasn’t been too bad I am imagining the worst. Thank you for saying I will get through this as at the moment I just can’t imagine how. I cannot sleep, eat or even struggling to watch TV. Would you say its going to take about six months it seems to be the norm for chemo etc. I have a wonderful holiday booked in August but it looks like I will have to cancel it the boys will be so upset as they don’t really understand and I am trying not to be too negative with them. I read on one website that breast cancer has gone up hugely since the 70;s I wonder what on earth is happening. Hugs to you to Irenee x

I know exactly where you are coming from with the sleep, eating and not being able to concentrate on TV etc. I know it’s easier said than done but do try to think positive thoughts. Some people do manage to go on holiday during chemo… they (the dr’s) do make allowances for that if a holiday is booked. You will find the people on here are amazing, Wishing you all the best and like you say once you have a treatment plan you will relax…and take things one day at a time…also have a word with your doctor if the lack of sleep carries on. xxxx

I know how you feel, On 12-20-13, My Dr. Told me the bad news over the phone, and then wished me happy holidays.
I was lucky that I was at work and when I started to cry, my co-worker held me. I cried for about a minute and then I thought. It is a blessing, they found it and it will be taken care of. think about the alternative. You would NOT want that.
I am divorced and live alone. I learned to accept others help when offered. this was the most difficult lesson for me. I usually help others. Not the others, not the other way around.
I found how kind most people are and how much they want to help. So allow others to help you with your children as you will NOT be able to care for them for at least 3 weeks. You will be very tired after Surgery and you need your sleep and have peace ofmind that they are well cared of to heal.
Share with them you are scare, just like when they go to the doctor. But the Doctor will make it all better, but you will need their help and love for a quick recovery.
i am going this Tuesday to have the expanders exchanged for the final implants, and hope soon, I can put all this in my past.
I wish you lots of luck and a quick recovery. before your next appt. to thedoctor, go into the Internet and find out what questions that apply to you you should ask your doctor. I had a whole paged typed of questions. If you are lucky to have the plasticsurgeon like mine, you will do great. make sure you like him or her, because it will be a very longrelationship. not like the one you will have withyour surgeon, who will just remove the breast and not see you after 1follow up and the in 6 months.

Hello Sarah
just wanted to ask how you are doing hope all is well with the family and your appointments.?
keep strong and keep in touch
big hugs
karen xx

Hi Karen
I have seen the cancer specialist and he says I am to have FECT-Chemo and then surgery and then rads. I am so scared of having chemo but also obviously want to start as soon as possible. I have told my brother and we are just waiting on my mum to come back from a lunch out to tell her the horrible news. I am reading as much as I can to prepare myself. It is massive isn’t it I just want it all to go away. My exhusband is helping I normally do everything but I know I am going to have to let go a bit. The children are very worried but the cosultant said I would live to be a granny and beyond so I have told them that and I think that helped. I am trying to stay strong but have panic attacks in the night. I guess when I have had the first chemo I can relax a little. I am scared of being sick etc everything! I will keep in touch Sarah xx

Thank you for your post it is really nice that everyone is taking the time to write to me xxx

hi elleode
just been reading through your replies, see how soon it all flies by, you will be running around as normal before you know it.
is so sad, my mum died from cancer (not breast cancer) 2 years ago, although i have to say she refused some of the treatments that could have helped her. so i decided to just do whatever had to be done whenever it had to be done. its not the nicest thing getting chemo but to be honest you can get by as normal most of the time. you have to have a nap here and there and make sure you get some help but i’m sure everyone having it would say,‘very do-able’. the surgery was fine,there was no bother like i expected there would be, cant comment on the rads because i havent got there yet.
your self esteem might take a pounding, but ive found a new interest in make up and clothes that i havent had for years, no one can see any difference and i dont look ill either. i am back at work 4 days a week instead of 5 to allow me extra rest, so i’m quite pleased.
i get my second cycle same treatment, fec, as you, a week on wednesday. if you want to pm me i will be happy to keep in touch and help guide you from my experience so far. its going to be fine.
kindest wishes
angie xx

Hi ssarah keep in touch and let us know when you have a date for starting treatment.
Have they given you a diagnosis of type of BC if you want to chat you know where I am?
keep smiling you can do tthis karen xx

Hi, the same happened to me on Thursday Ellode. I went on the 18th April for the first appointment not expecting any results (so told my partner to go work) Following mammograms, ultra sound and bioposy the consultant said he was sure it was cancer. Went back this Thursday to have results confirmed from the biopsy. My diagnoses came exactly 1 month after my mum was diagnosed. Breaking the news to her and my dad last week was awful especially as the same day she had had clear reuslts from the bone and CAT scan. I have two boys and told one of them yesterday before he left for work (he works away) but I can’t tell his older brother until tomorrow morning as he has been working away since last week. Telling people is the hardest but I feel that by telling them you know you will get support. My mum is the opposite she wants few people to know.
I am waiting an appointment for an MRI scan to get things underway and will be glad when this happens. I do feel a bit fake though because everyone is horrified I have it but I feel exactly the same as I did before!! Weird. PS I start crying randomly… for no particular reason!

Anyway must go now I am a teacher and i have 25 little people who need me today and it is great as I do not get time to think about it all day!
Hugs xx

hi sarah, i was diagnosed on jan 2nd, it is a shock and im still finding it hard to believe, i have had a masectomy and my lymph nodes removed. Today i had my 3rd fec, dont worry about chemo, you can take things to reduce the side effects, for sickness i wear the sea bands you get from boots, (little wrist bands like sweat bands that were the fashion in the 80’s), ginger drinks are good,they should also give you anti meds at the chemo unit,. When you feel like napping do so, the side effects are not there all of the time when they kick in the last a few days not the whole cycle, before you know it the cancer will be out and you be thinking what the heck just happened, i cant comprehend how fast its all gone for me, hope it does for you, but i know at the moment you’re stuck in the ‘waiting room’ and that does drag i know xx

Dear Tabitha
Thank you for your reply I will try and be positive about the chemo - just had a letter from the consultant detailing my diagnosis which made it all more real and had a big boo hoo. Right I am off to tescos to buy supplies and I have some of those wrist bands somewhere I will try and find them. I hope it all goes quick but how will life ever be the same for any of us.