Invasive Ductal, I think

Hi Everyone, I’m new here and new to breast cancer. So Friday 26th May I  went to the clinic following a recall after a recent routine mammogram. The radiologist was experience and following repeat mammogram and ultrasound she knew she needed to do biopsies. At the end she advised me they result was extremely likely to come back as cancer and I should prepare myself. It did, 2 weeks later the nurse called - about 2cm in my left breast, oestrogen and HER2 +ve. In the lymph too. It takes some adjusting to doesn’t it?

So I saw a breast surgeon 2 weeks ago; there are 3 ’suspicious lymph glands’ so he will need to take them all. I knew already I’d need chemo; surgery, radiotherapy and end up on tablets. I’m 59 so grown up family, had to tell my 87 & 90 year old parents -that was hard.

I’m really mad and frustrated I didn’t find it myself. I’ve been to the GP with lumps before, but they’ve always been cysts and once drained disappeared.

Anyway what I wasn’t prepared for was being given the choice of chemotherapy first or surgery first. There are pros and cons to each approach and the surgeon said outcomes are similar. So I needed to see an oncologist too - another 2 week wait. That appointment’s tomorrow. I think I’m erring on the side of chemo first - want to catch anything that’s already set off and floating round my body where it shouldn’t be. Today it’s all suddenly felt very real it’s exactly a month since diagnosis and still not started treatment. The nurse says that’s fine, but I can’t help feeling I just want to get on with what I know is going to be a long journey…

Hi suedot

I’m guessing you feel those cancer cells are running rampant in your body. Apparently this is not so - most cancers are “remarkably sluggish” according to one of my oncologists. So try not to worry about the delay. 4 weeks is pretty good going. 

Don’t blame yourself for missing signs, Sometimes things just aren’t picked up. I had a clear mammogram but, a few months later, I noticed two small raised freckles on my areola. My GP examined my breast thoroughly and wasn’t concerned but referred me. The breast consultant said I had nothing to worry about and I had a clear ultrasound but he biopsied the freckles. Cancer. In the end I was found to have two large tumours, one between the ribs and one in some old scar tissue from an ancient fibroadenoma.  It wasn’t anyone’s neglect. It was bad luck and circumstances. 

I hope you’ve now reached your decision. I didnt even know having chemo first was an option. I just wanted that breast gone lol. Wishing you all the best for your treatment 

Jan x

Thank you so much Jan. 

Yes, I saw the oncologist yesterday. She was very lovely and I am to start chemo (EC) in 2 weeks. Chemo first makes it neo-adjuvant therapy. It’s not too hard to be positive about the long term outlook, but the whole side-effects business and what May happen as I go through treatment is quite daunting. I guess once I start it’ll be time to move to the Treatment board ?

There should be a thread for July chemo starters where you can help chivvy others along while you get support from them. The advantage is you’ll all be in the same boat, tho may have different chemos. If you can;t find it, just contact a moderator or community champion and they’ll direct you. I didn’t discover BCN until I’d almost finished treatment but I wish I’d had a sounding board while I went through chemo particularly (radiotherapy was a doddle).

I found EC quite tough (it’s the Cyclophosphamide that does it. As far as I can tell, the worst from Epirubicin was, briefly, red pee) but I find the wisest thing is to be vaguely aware of the side effects and just wait and see. There is no point wasting precious energy worrying about things that may not happen.

Keep your eyes on the horizon. Best of luck xx


The July chemo starters thread is here:

Thank you so much @Jaybro I didn’t mention before, but I am a pharmacist albeit not a hospital one, so the side effect stuff I am kinda aware of, just not with it being me! I’m glad of the potential red pee warning. ?