I feel so stupid!

Firstly, I am new to this forum even though I was diagnosed with BC in December 2007. I was 45 when I found my lump in September 2007.

I had a Lumpecomy on my right breast and Axillary Node Clearance in January 2010.

I then had 12 sessions of Chemo - 4 of Epirubicin and 8 of CMF between February and July 2008 and 14 sessions of Radiotherapy in the August.

I started on Tamoxifen in August 2008 and then swapped over to Aromasin in march 2010.

So why do i feel so stupid? Well it is for a number of reasons. This is the first time I have admitted this to anybody, but as far as my hospital is concerned, I found my lump in mid October 2007 and i went to see my GP in November 2007, but in actual fact I found my lump at the beginning of September 2007.

I was so scared at the time and I didn’t want to believe what I had found. By the time I went to my GP I was scared again that the medics would shout at me for not going to them sooner. Do you think those few weeks would have made a difference? When I see my surgeon in August should I own up and tell her when I really found my lump?

Also, another reason I feel so stupid is that I have cried in practically every department in the two hospitals - except when I had Radiotherapy.

I cried when the Doctor told me I had BC. I cried when I saw the surgeon. I cried on the day of my surgery in the pre op room. I cried on the ward. I cried at the Christie Hospital.

Am I alone in admitting all this or are there others who can relate to me.

Hi MostonMauler,
Goodness me, you are the most normal person possible, We have all been there, done that and if we don’t have the T-shirt yet we hope to get it soon. I am just sorry you feel so alone. You will meet many wonderful people here and get the support you need and find out you are very normal. Oncologists say a few months don’t make a difference, we all have buried our head in the sand at one time or another, if only for a few days, weeks, months or even years. And as for crying, I think you would be considered not normal if you had not cried, we need to cry.
I do hope you have a loving family to support you. Here you can really say what you feel and you will never be juged. Reading through the different posts you will be surprised how normal you are.
Good luck and hugs

Hi there,are you from Moston in Manchester,Im a manc too. As regards how you feel,Im slightly different from you,I knew there was something seriously wrong with my boob but when the young G.P. couldnt find a lump,instead of asking for a 2nd opinion I just went home and did what she suggested,"buy yourself a decent bra". Shed said what I wanted to hear but 5 months later I went back as I was feeling worse,AGAIN she did nothing and AGAIN I didnt take it any further. A month on and I came to my senses and went to the senior partner who found the lump immediately,4 days later Id got the full
diagnosis and treatment plan,chemo,MX,rads and 8yrs Tamoxifen. If you feel mad with yourself,how do you think I feel,fear does such strange things to our brains. Sometimes I wonder if Ill ever stop beating myself up about being such a wimp or having ill-feeling toward that young G.P.,wouldnt have been any skin off her nose to send me for a mammogram would it? But hey-ho,Gods good and my experiences and illness have brought me closer to my hubby & grown-up kids plus friends & neighbours so in the grand plan,whats a boob between friends?
Cheerio MM,would like to hear where you had all your treatment,who knows,we might have met in a waitig room somewhere! Love, Mags xxx

Hi Mostonmauler

My advice is to tell the doctor because you need your mind putting at rest.

The doctor told me that my lump had probably been there for 5 years and if I had anything booked like a holiday then I should go and have my op and treatment when I got back. She said she had a lady who had booked the holiday of a lifetime, 6 weeks in India, before she was dx and she had gone and was having her op when she got back.

Don’t think I could have done that.

You just need reassurance.

On the crying front. Since dx I can cry for England. I have a crying night on a Thursday now when I try and get all my upset out while I’m on my own. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I always have a cry on Thursday evenings and hope for a cry free week!!!

Love to you

Jan xxx

I don’t think there is any need to tell them, as it makes no difference to treatment or what happens next. And don’t feel too bad, I hadn’t checked my breasts for months possibly years when I found my lump. I am quite sure if I had I would have found it some time earlier as it was easy to feel - infact I saw it before I felt it when the light shone across my skin. I felt like an idiot, I must say, but lots on this forum have similar stories. There was even a nurse who, as she put it, should have known better. We have other things going on in our lives, and doctors appointments etc don’t seem like a priority until a serious illness is confirmed.

Maybe that nurse was me Sarah. I first went to GP in July 2007 with a dimple that I realise now, that she didn’t see and I was happy to be told nothing was wrong. 16 months, yes 16 whole months later I thought I ought to go back to GP as now dimple very obvious and lump felt. I was so thankful that only the sentinel node affected, as I thought as I sat on it for so long, it could have been much worse. And I’m a qualified nurse doing telephone triage. If a patient had rang in saying they’d a dimple on their boob, I would have told them to see their GP asap.

I wish the GP had said she wanted to see me in say, a month’s time or come back if dimple becomes more prominent. I could have avoided chemo. So don’t beat yourself up about your situation. As for telling them you found your lump earlier, is neither here nor there and probably wouldn’t have made any difference.

I can’t say I’ve really cried about this, probably because of relief that it wasn’t a worse prognosis, but I am very sensitive and can well up at the news, X factor, seeing a hearse, babies, music, you name it and it’s a right pain being like this.

posted twice so deleted one of them.

Hi Mostonmauler
Please don’t worry any more but about those (very few) weeks. Even when I had my diagnosis & was arranging my surgery for the following week, the surgeon said we could wait 2 or 3 months if I liked, so I’m sure it would have made no difference. You have been through quite enough without beating yourself up over something that probably made no difference, & can’t be changed anyway. Besides, whatever you did with your body, it is exactly that - YOUR body & you were entitled to do or not do whatever you liked with it.
As for cring, oh my God, I cried everywhere - when I got the diagnosis, while they took the very first blood test, when they told me I would lose my hair (that was worst, cried for hours), on the bus coming home from diagnosis, on the phone while on the bus, at work, in haematology when my first chemo was delayed, in haematology when it wasn’t delayed any longer, on the phone to haematology telling them I was never coming back (did go back obviously). After the last chemo I cried for the whole weekend. Even now I can cty at the drop of a hat. Cried on my first day back to work. Had to try very hard not to cry all the way to work the first day without the wig …so you can see the list is endless.
You’re just human, & have been through so much, please try not to put yourself down any more. Be proud of what you’ve achieved & be kind to yourself.

Hi M.M.

I agree with the others-weeks are nothing in the growth of most tumours. I had one 16mm and three other smaller ones.I asked the surgeon how long theyd been there and she said at least a year.I found the lump on 22ns Aug last year and didnt see surgeon till 6th Oct.So please dont beat yourself up and just concentrate on geting well.
Best of luck

Hi mostonmauler- Have to agree with everyone. Had a routine breast screening 28/2/09 which was reported clear but found breast had changed shape in May 09. GP_ was not too concerned because of clear mammo so did not refer me under the 2 week rule. Was going on holiday 2 weeks after dx in July 09 but surgeon said no probs to go and as needed MRI scan he would do surgery after that. First surgery was end of Aug 09. When I asked BCN if it was safe to go on hols she said tumour had prob been there a year already.
So as you can see we all have our own little dramas. You are not stupid , just human. A good cry can do us the world of good and am sure the nurses have seen it all before.
Hope you are now making a good recovery and feel sure that you will find this site a great comfort and source of advice. Marli

hello mostonmauler
just wanted to add my two-pennorth - was diagnosed with a 1cm cancer in 1997 and my surgeon said it would have taken about 7 years to get to that size.
In terms of tears, did you know that the chemical make up of tears cried in grief is different to the chemical make up of, say, eyes watering in the wind. We cry for a reason, and its not called ‘a good cry’ for nothing!
please don’t feel stupid, in the scheme of things, the timescale you’re talking about isn’t likely to have been significant. Its only too easy to beat yourself up, and there really is no need. I think you’ll get better sooner if you can put a very very small delay into perspective.
much love
monica x

MM - I agree with the others - be kinder to yourself and focus on the future - looking forward is much more fun than looking back

Hug from me xxx

Hi MM,

Must agree with the ladies on this post. No, you’re not stupid and we all do things that we reflect back on and wonder would we do things differently having the knowledge we now have.

As for crying - at this moment in time I cry for no real reason, anything can set me off, one of my children saying something nice to me, someone just asking how I’m doing - that’s it, the tears fall and I’m blubbing through them that I’m fine really!

Be kind to yourself and cry when you need to, it’s a great tension reliever, and an excellent eye wash, can make your eyes look really bright.

Hugs to you and I hope you’re crying now at all these lovely posts - it’s for the right reasons. :slight_smile:


hello everybody

Thank you for all your kind words. i do feel a whole lot better now after reading them.

I actually found my lump by sight not by touch, thanks to some very good lighting in my bathroom. I saw a small screase in my righ breast and when I looked down it was jutting out a little bit and then I felt it. The feeling I had then was one of nausea and as if somebody had poured a watering can over my head.

At first i didn’t want to believe it. I was trying to convince myself that it was anything but BC.

It seems laughable now, but I rubbed Savlon in the area, even Tea Tree Oil, cos i convinced myself that it was a spot of somekind under my skin.

When I got my hospital appointment at the beginning of December 2007 i had a mammogram, an ultasound scan and a core biopsy all on the same day, and the lump was so small, just the size of the top of a biro pen. The Doctors at the hospital said to me “You found this lump yourself? Amazing!” it was that small.

i had my surgery at North Manchester General Hospital and my Chemo and Radiotherapy at the Christie in manchester.

You never know, I may have met some of you in a waiting room.

But thank you once again, you have really helped. Hopefully I too will be able to help somebody one day!