Inspiration Needed

Hi, I was diagnosed with Invasive BC in September 2011, 3 days after my 30th birthday. I was strongly ER positive, HERS2 negative and had a full mastecomy and axillery clearance (5/23 nodes positive). I have finished chemo (FEC-T) and 3 weeks of radio and been on tamoxifen for 2 months now.
I am now seeking some inspirational stories of women in a similar situation as me that have beaten it and are years down the road. I have a 19 month old daughter and am desperate to be here for her for many more years, to see her go to school, help her with high school homework, at her wedding and when she gives births.
Whilst i am generally a positive person this does scare me so i would love to hear from anyone that had a similar type to me that can give me a little more hope that i will see all of this.

Hi jbowall ,
You may have read my post just below yours (so don’t want to bore you with repitition) but you will see I was in a similar postion 9 years ago (although older, still pre -menopausal). Large , Grade 3, strongly ER+ with pos nodes. The terror was sharp and clear, I had 2 young children. For me ( and I suspect I am far from alone), it took a very long time to regain any sort of peace and composure and even after “all” this time, I can still be caught in a grip of paralysing fear particularly when a check up looms (just had one,which I guess prompted my post). You are still only 9 months post diagnosis and I know many women struggle more once they are through treatment. My cancer thoughts were initially all invasive but I felt a tangible relaxing after I hit the “magical” 2 year mark. It may also give you some comfort to know I worked with a girl who had her first cancer at 29. She was treated with chemo ,rads and WLE. She has just had a second primary but she is 64. She is now 2 years post mastectomy and is NED. Brighter days will come, it just takes time. Cherry.

I can really identify with your feelings as can everyone who posts on here. I had BC with a lot of node involvement in May 2010, and remember feeling it was the end of my world. But here I am 2 years later feeling fit and well, I am back at work feeling really healthy. I would be lying if I said I don’t think about the cancer coming back, but I have a big box at the back of my mind with a padlock on it which I keep my worries in. Sometimes they escape, but more often now the lid stays firmly closed. I have had so much support and friendship from so many people - that helped me so much.
There are many women on here doing really well. My friensd is 13 years free of BC, and she had node involvement too. Hope this helps a little, it’s early days for you, so be kind to yourself.
Take Care

Thanks so much, it really does help to know that people that had the same sort as me are doing well and living strong, thanks

Hi jbowall just to tell you my story, diagnosed oct 10 big tn tumor & pos nodes. Had surgery, chemo and rads, 2011 pretty much a wipe out.
Had 2 goes of sepsis, and a Lung clot. Frozen shoulder after rads, that was realyy upsetting. Became depressed at Xmas time.
Got some antidepressants, now feel great, I’m back to me, arm movement nearly full but not sore, puff a bit going upstairs but fine on the flat, need to manage slight lymphoedema but now know the signs.
All in all I’m back, out a the lash with the girls for a weekend in edinburgh and really enjoying life!
Don’t have a cleavage anymore but hey flash the legs instead (I do have embarassing photographic evidence if requested)

Just wanted to add another inspiring story to add to the above.
I was diagnosed in 1998 with lobular cancer, 5 nodes were cancerous, had a lumpectomy, chemo, rads & Tamoxifen for 5 years. It was a terrifying time made even more so because I had an 8 year old daughter at the time. I really didn’t think that I would see her grow up. Unfortunately I had a local recurrence in 2004 which was dealt with by a mastectomy & Arimidex, but honestly I had myself dead & buried before I got out of the consulting room! However 8 years later I’m fighting fit and now undergoing a reconstruction. Best of all I’m about to go to my daughter’s graduation (with plenty of tissues to hand!). We don’t hear about the good stories enough & there are hundreds of them. It’s still early days for you but time does heal honestly. Be gentle with yourself, you will get there.
Lots of love

Hiya - I totally understand the feelings… I had my first lump in 1998 or 9 and I remember whilst waiting for test results saying to someone that I was choosing to think positive, but every so often I wondered how the children were going to manage without me. Couldn’t help it! That particular lump was benign… had a malignant one last year, 10/18 nodes affected. After a mastectomy, chemo and rads I thought I would bounce back and be back to normal within weeks… (!) How wrong can you be? HOWEVER, a year down the line, as i am now, I can tell you that I have my old energy back, my zest for life is better than ever, my appreciation of life is better than ever… I still have to be careful cause i have mild lymphodema, but I am otherwise AOK and working full time (and some!)
As others have said, you WILL get there…
there is a useful article by Dr Peter Harvey available at If the mods take the link out, google the name and you should find it. It’s called “After the Treatment Finishes - then what?”
There is also the Cancer Survivor’s Companion, a book you can order from wherever…
and of course, you can talk to us… You’re not abnormal…

Hi jbowall,
My story is almost identical to yours! I was diagnosed in Aug 2010 at the age of 30. My daughter was 18 months at the time, I had around 15 nodes affected and put the spread down to the delay in getting to see a consultant as I wasn’t priority case on paper.
Having undergone chemo, mastectomy and node clearance and radiotherapy during 2010 - 2011, I have recently undergone risk reducing surgery and a bi-lateral reconstruction using a diep flap (taken from my tummy). All I can say is WOW!! I am so pleased with the result! My new boobs look amazing and I’ve also had a tummy tuck!!
I have remained hugely positive through the whole process and I think this has really helped, the biggest help for me though is my beautiful daughter. To her, I am her mummy and that’s it, she relys on me and I have to be there for her, however crap I feel. It really focuses you to get through it all don’t you think?
Although there’s still some tweaking that’s needed including nipple reconstruction, I’m finally feeling like i’m back on track. I live life to the full and enjoy every moment!!! Sorry if that sounds a bit cheesy but that really is how I feel! I guess I just wanted to share this with you and tell you - yes, the treatment is a bit crappy, but as soon as you come out the other end of it, you can get you’re life back on track and pick up where you left off, having a young child will give you the focus and strength to do it!!
Good luck with everything,
Sarah x x x

I was just 39 when I had my first chemo, mastectomy with reconstruction. My tumour was large 5.5cm. I was scared and my daughters were aged 7 and 14 at the time. This was 23 years ago. I have them sitting right beside me right now and they are 29 and 36. My Mum died recently and I was always worried I would die before her. She was heartbroken when I was diagnosed and she took it really badly as it is not the way things should be. I am now 62 and although it has been a rocky road I am still here enjoying a life that i did not feel I would have. Just to say there are survivors of breast cancer here who are quietly getting on with their lives and enjoying it too. Take care, val

Wow Val, 23 years, I had no idea, a young looking veteran…!
Good for me to see today as feeling really down at moment

Sacha it is okay to be down. A good cry is good for you didn’t you know that? I know it can be tought honey but you do get good days and bad. You need to write your worries down because this is the place to share as we know what you are going through and sometimes we don’t want to talk about things to our nearest and dearest. You need not be alone as we are a friendly bunch. PM me anytime you want a private chat or come back on here on your down days. Take care, Val.

Hi I saw your message a week or so ago and looked up the article you mentioned which was great and really helped me. I was only diagnosed very recently, am 68 but fairly ‘young’. Am having a mastectomy in just over a weeek’s time. I am so lucky in that it has not spread at all. My consultant is lovely and tells me that I shall be up and about within days. I have had many ops in the past inc removal of my colon and know it takes a long time - up to 2 years. My daughter is getting married next June and I so want to be OK by then. At the moment they are saying unlikely I’ll need radio or chemo but have to wait for results of op. Any helpful thoughts? Seagull