Just Been Told I Have Breast Cancer


Ive just been diagnosed with breast cancer - I cant take it in. I felt the lump on Fri and got diagnosd on Tues. I will be getting Chemo before my mastectomy. This has convinced me that Im unusual and its spread all over my body and Im going to die soon. Ive been told its ductal and about 4 to 7cm in size and I have an enlarged lymph node under my arm. Im 43 years old and have never been ill before - I cant believe this is happening to me.

I am sorry to hear you have been diagnosed. You will find many friends on this forum who are also in the early stages of diagnosis and treatment. I was diagnosed 6 years ago and am currently very well, even though my cancer was aggressive and I had affected lymph nodes (one of which I could feel).

I think it is quite common now to give chemo first, so don’t read too much into that. If others don’t reply soon, I suggest calling the help line as I am sure they will give useful comments and advice

regards and best wishes, Sarah

Dear Hutchie, So sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis, it is an awful shock and takes time for it to sink in. I too had an enlarged lymph node but there were all clear when a sample was taken. At first, ones mind just runs riot and I think it is normal to think about dying and death.
You will find this site a wonderful resource and support for you and no doubt other ladies with have had a similar situation of chemo before surgery, it isn’t that uncommon.
Try not to panic and take each day at a time. Sounds easier said than done but I found it helped me. The beginning of dx is one of the hardest parts, because once you start treatment at least something is happening.
Best wishes

Just bumping this up so others who can help get a chance to see it.

Hi Hutchie so sorry you are joining us. I don’t think it is too uncommon at all to have chemo before surgery.Has it been explained to you why you are to have chemo first?Do not read anything sinister inti this at all. I have just finished chemo and had WLE 27/5 that is after chemos. The point of the chemo first for me was to shrink lump, as although 4cms it extended into 2 quadrants, and node/s. There was certainly at least one node as it showed up on MRI scan.As advised before take one day at a time, not easy when your head is all over the place. If you have another appt make a list of questions that have occurred to you, and do you have a BCN? mine has been an absolute God send so you might like to ask to see one if you have not already done so. The ladies on here are always ready to support each other. LOL Jackie

Hi Hutchie, No you are NOT unusual, l have read lots of ladies having chemo before the op, it does not mean it has spread, it means they want to shrink the tumour first.
It is good that you have been diagnosed so quickly, l was diagnosed in February, and after 3 ops am hoping to start chemo in a couple of weeks.
Your fears are the fears we all had at the early stages, each stage brings you a new fear! waiting for the op, waiting for the results, waiting for scans, waiting for chemo…it goes on and on, it will get slightly easier as time goes on. As so many on here will say, one step at a time.
When are you meeting the oncologist? you will get a plan of your chemo,
Let us know how you get on, just remember, your thoughts are the same as everyones on here, so don’t drive yourself too mad! just come on the forum and chat away! you will get lots of helpful advice and support
Lots of Hugs
Sandra xxx

Hi hutchie,

I could have written a similar post to yours last year. Just gone pass the 1st anniversary and still stuck on chemo.

I’m one of those who had chemo first, actually, no op was offered.

It takes time for the news to sink in and come to terms with what’s happening to you. So take it very easy and look after yourself. This website has helped me a lot in the past year and I’m sure it will help you along the way.

Just ask if you’ve got any questions and shout if you need any support


Hi Hutchie, welcome to the BCC forums

I am sure you will continue to receive lots of support and information here from your fellow users, in addition, I have posted the link to our ‘New resource’ pack which you may find helpful to read, it has been designed for anyone newly diagnosed:


The following link will take you to our ‘Chemotherapy’ publication which explains why chemotherapy is given at different stages:


You may also find our helpline useful to call, the lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 9-2 Saturday on 0808 800 6000, here you can speak to someone in confidence, ring up for a listening ear or further information about all aspects of breast cancer.

Hope this helps.

Take care

Hi Hutchie

Sorry you have found yourself in this position, you will find much support and info on this site.

I am also having chemo first to shrink my tumour, and it has worked really well so far i have no 5 of 6 cycles on Wed.

When is your next appointment? I am sure they will have more information for you then and an opportunity to ask questions. There is so much to take in at the beginning and i know i was in shock at that point and everything was a bit of a blur.

Please feel free to message me if i can help.

Lots of love

Jayne xxx

Hi Hutchie

So sorry you are going through this, like the other ladies have said the chemo is to shrink the tumour. I know it’s a huge shock, but you will get through your treatment and op, by taking one step at a time

This site is wonderful for advise and suppport, keep strong

Ann x

Hi Hutchie,

What you are feeling is perfectly normal. I was diagnosed in nov last year at the age of 32 I have 2 young children and was convinced I would not see my daughter start primary one, I am now 3 weeks off of finishing chemo, got radiation next. I have started buying my daughters school uniform and look forward to taking her on her first day.

I went through a stage where I was convinced it was right through me and every ache and pain was spread, the doc said it was because I have lost confidence in my body and the only thing which would help that is time to regain the confidence. I now still have some bad days usually when i feel ill but I can say I have a lot of good days now.

You will start to feel better once treatment starts and remember this disease is very treatable, life may seem a dark place just now but you will get your head round your diagnosis and come back with a fighting spirit.

You will get there hope your ok.


Hi Hutchie,

Your post could have been written by me over 5 years ago (except I was 50 at the time). I had a 4cm+ tumour (exact size not known as they lost the original mammogram and ultrasound) and palpable 2cm lymph node under the arm. Like you never ill before and it came as a huge shock.

I had chemo first (more common now) and this can even be an advantage as they can monitor your response to chemo. I’m glad you’ve found this site as it will be a great help in getting answers to questions and general support. I didn’t find it until after my final chemo and wish I had used it earlier. I don’t post very much nowadays, but thought it might be helpful to know that someone in a similar position is still around and without relapse over 5 years on.

Good luck

Hi Hutchie,

It’ll be a real rollercoaster over the next few months especially, but there are so many lovely people on here that have been through it and come out the other end. I have 1 more chemo to go then rads, had surgery (double mx in Feb) so gettin there slowly!

Paula xxxxx

Sorry to hear your dx, mine was DCIS and I think your having chemo first because of your age group. You need to keep calm in the madness and once you know your treatment it will be more reassuring that something positive is being done to help you.

Please talk to the helpline when you have a panic as our thought process takes us to the places we shouldnt be going - they can help you sort it all out or just come back to here and chat to us. We will all have something to say haha

God bless and take it easy on yourself - there was nothing you could have done.

hi hutchie,

just wanted to add my very best to you, you are at a horrible horrible stage, but each day you get through is a day you don’t have to do again. Be kind to yourself, you have been hit by a truck with this news and need time to adjust,

take care


Thank you all for you replies. It really helps to hear other stories and know your not the only one going through this.

I have an appointment tomorrow with my assigned nurse and a CT Scan, getting a Bone Scan on 16th June. Dont know when I’ll see the Oncologist hopefully they will let me know tomorrow.

The surgeon said he wants to shrink the tumour before surgery but I couldnt understand why shrink it when Im having a mastectomy anyway.

Each day is getting a bit easier - I think I will be a regular visitor to this site x x

i too have just been told a lump i found is cancer. i go in hosital this week to have it removed like you i cant take it in, im finding it hard to take in and i burst into tears at silly things,im trying to be positive about this,

Hi jj10, welcome to the BCC forums

I am sure you will soon receive lots of support and information here from your fellow users, in addition, I have posted the link to our ‘New resource’ pack which you may find helpful to read, it has been designed for anyone newly diagnosed:


Please also feel free to call our helpline for further support and a ‘listening ear’, the lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 9-2 Saturday on 0808 800 6000, it may help to talk things through with someone in confidence

Hope this helps.

Take care

Hi jj101 and Hutchie

Sorry you had to join us but this is a fantastic place for support. It is hard at the beginning but, i promise, it does get better when you have a treatment plan and know what you’ve got to deal with. None of the treatments are easy but they’re all doable.

Take care

Julia xx

I go into hospital tomorrow to have the lump removed then in a few weeks time will start raido therapy, im lucky to have lots of freinds and family around me for support,but its good to talk to people like me who have or are going trough the same as me, and know whot im feeling, so a big ty to you all xxxx