Just diagnosed with breast cancer. Can't take it all in.

I found a bruise with a lump underneath on my right breast about 5 weeks ago, went to the doctor straight away due to family history. Both my older brothers and my mum have all had cancer. Referred to hospital and had mammagram, ultrasound and then biopsy, result this week, turns out the bruise was a coincidence, thank goodness I noticed it when I did. Now waiting on MRI to get treatment plan arranged. Feeling stressed, anxious and very lost. 

Hi Shelly


It won’t be much comfort to you right now while you are reeling, but there’s not a single person here who hasn’t felt the same. No one expects this diagnosis and for some odd reason we fear this more than almost anything else.


The good thing is, speaking with a whole year of experience now, you have the diagnosis, you have a specialist team dedicated to getting you better and they will be planning and scheduling exactly as you need. It will feel at times like the delays and waits are interminable but you will get used to it. I hope your diagnosis is simple rather than complex but, whichever, keep reminding yourself that the survival rates from breast cancer are high now, much higher than even the start of this century. Things are constantly improving though, to be honest, the treatment can be tough, particularly for an illness where you don’t feel ill. However, we all find the inner resources to get through it.


Find a trusted friend, maybe your partner, and hide nothing. Your emotional wellbeing is going to be an important factor in the coming months so steer clear of Dr Google, definitely not recommended. If you need to know stuff, ask your team or ask the nurses here - they take everything into consideration whereas Google generalises, has no emotional empathy and generally scares the wits out of us when we’re scared already. 


Remember, the recovery rates are very good now and there’s plenty of support - look at The Haven, Maggie’s, Macmillan and you’ll be told what your local hospital offers. It makes a huge difference. Best of luck for the future,

Jan x