I'm 33, have BC but i don't feel ill, is that wrong?

Hi, I found the lump on my honeymoon in Dec '08 and on 23rd Feb '09 i was diagnosed with breast cancer. On 11th March i had a lumpectomy and this week my surgeon confirmed that the tumor is all out and my lymph nodes are clear which i’m really pleased about.

the only thing is that i don’t feel ill? And i don’t understand that. i feel as healthy as i did 6 months ago.

i am angry, confused and still absorbing this as it all happened so fast and i’ve turned my ‘off work healing’ time into raising money for cancer research but i’m not sure if i’m being lucky or if its going to slap me in the face in a few days/weeks and i’ll be really ill.

Can someone explain what happens after the first chemo session, will i be ill? How long will it last and what can i buy to prepare for it?

I’m so glad i found this forum, i thought i was alone in experiencing this whirlwind!

Hi Katherine,

I had DCIS last year and then radiotherapy and I was amazed at how healthy all the people having radiotherapy looked. Having not known anything about Breast cancer before I had the stereotypical view of cancer patients all looking at death’s door. However, some of the chemo patients looked very poorly and some looked well. It’s very confusing.

I think you are right in talking of the whirlwind that you get swept along with but at least you are starting the treatment and hopefully soon your brain will catch up after it has had time to come to terms with the shock of your diagnosis. Whatever you are feeling is bound to be a normal response to what you are going through so give yourself time to be angry and confused and whatever else you feel.

Someone will probably be along very shortly who can tell you about their chemo experience and offer you some support.

Hi Katherine,

I was diagnosed in 2002 whilst pregnant at the age of 28. I didn’t feel ill at all with the disease, but the chemotherapy did make me feel ill. Everyone’s experience is different but my side effects were fairly common ones, nausea, fatigue, sore mouth. These lasted generally for around 5 to 7 days after the treatment. I was only actually physically sick once, probably due to the anti sickness drugs being so effective these days. The only other point to mention is that the effects of each cycle seem to be cumulative. I had six in all and each ones side effects were slightly worse. The first one, I was up and about the next day, felt a bit tired, but not too bad. By the sixth one I was generally in bed for a few days with it.

I wish you well with your chemotherapy, it really is the worst stage of the treatment, once its over you will start feeling well again.

With regards to not feeling ill, I think thats the same for most people with a stage 1 or 2 diagnosis. Whilst its not affecting any organs you do feel well. I felt completely well for another 6 years despite secondaries in my lymph nodes, had a normal life, worked full time and ran marathons!!! I have only felt unwell and been aware I even have cancer now it has spread further. So don’t think its strange you feel well, it sounds similar to my experience.

A cancer diagnosis always a huge shock at first, and it will take time to come to terms with the ‘idea’ of having cancer. But in time I promise you, you will - don’t beat yourself up over it. Allow yourself to be upset and shocked and feel its so unfair - it is unfair.

Really hope the treatment goes well, and you continue to feel well.

Do let me know how you get on or if you need any support or advice.

Big love


I’m 34 and was diagnosed on 22nd Sept 08, finished my last chemo on Tues, see surgeon next week about surgery. My tumour was 15cm x 13.5cm, I have inflammatory breast cancer and I am HER2+
I too felt like there was nothing wrong with me, still do.

I had 4 FEC which wasn’t effective enough for my cancer so have now had taxotere and herceptin, with the FEC i felt drunk when having it but ok afterwards, only side effect was red face and neck just after receiving treatment and then hair loss, I got hair cut short then shaved it off when it started to fall out, best thing I did, i think if you see it falling out it makes it harder.

With the tax I was good until the 3rd, got very dry mouth then I started to feel less energy but not that much, still getting about and getting on with things. Constapation is another common factor so drink about 3 litres a day.

It really is nothing to worry about, once you have your first dose you’ll know what to expect the next time.

i getting nervous about surgery now but can’t wait as this is the next stage for me now.

Good luck with everything sending hugs

One thing I would say is keep thinking positive, it has totally worked for me, I still can’t believe sometimes that it’s happening to me, but we have just got to get on and fight this thing.

Sharon xx