Just found out my Mam has BC - feel lost


I’m new so please be kind if I make an error.

Just found out less than an hour ago my Mam has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t even put 2 and 2 together when she was on about tests etc and assumed she meant her womb as she’d been having erratic periods etc. Feel so selfish for not going to hospital with her but have an 18 week old baby and 2 year old which makes it difficult.

She hasn’t given a lot of info apart from its very early stages and consultant is confident. She said its only in the ‘tubes’ (whatever that means) and is very small. She had a biopsy last week and they removed what they could see then and placed a metal disk in its place. Does that sound right? Now she’s back on Monday to discuss plan with consultant who intends to remove the rest asap.

I desperately want more info so I can research it etc as I’m the kind of person who feels more secure with knowledge but if she doesn’t want to discuss it and wants to carry on as normal I have to respect her wishes.

I just feel lost and so very very angry. I am also sick of people already saying ‘Well at least they caught it early’. I KNOW its much better that its been caught early etc and that she’s in a much better position than so so many others (for which I truly am sorry) but I still just want to shout ‘Yes, but, my MAM has CANCER’. Surely I am allowed to wallow for an hour or so before having to pick myself up and be the positive force in the family. Again!

Sorry for the moany thread. Its really not like me, honest. I promise I’ll be more positive next time.

Hello anonnewbie

Welcome to the forums, this must be a very worrying time for both you and your mam. I’m sure the users of the site will be along to support you soon.

Whilst waiting for replies maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information not only to your mam but to family and friends as well.
The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes
June, moderator

Thank you. Its nice to have a friendly ear to unburden to. Just not sure what to do next. I think she’s happy just to sit back and let the doctor’s deal with it and her nurse even told her to avoid going on internet and researching it. I can see her point to a degree as too much info can leave you feeling worse and isn’t always accurate but I just don’t want her to accept her fate and ignore things that might help.

I don’t want to be pushy, just want to help. This might be selfish as its probably to help me cope more than her.

Hi there

You sound like a very caring daugther and I am sure that your mum will be glad that she will have such a caring daughter by her side. I have just come through the bc ‘journey’ and yes, it is a shock, however I am here to tell the tale and my daughters, aged 20 and 28 were an immense help to me throughout, as was my husband and son. Please only look at reputable sites when searching for information as there is so much out there than can cause you angst when you don’t have the full picture. A little bit at a time once you are clear what your mum is dealing with and what her treatment plan is. It does seem a little easier once that is known. Please take care of yourself as well as your mum. J.


You are allowed to have a moan about these things it is only natural. Your mam probably doesn’t want to worry you, which might be why she hasn’t gone on about it a lot.

If she said that it is only in the ‘tubes’ she probably meant ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type. Hopefully the word ‘only’ means that it has not spread outside of the ducts and is therefore not classified as invasive. If this is the case you might like to look under the section on DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ)

The metal disc my be so that they know the location of lump for when they remove the rest, as if it was very small, or there isn’t much left it may not be obvious.

Also the helpline is very good, so give them a call as they may be able to help point you in the right direction.

Your mam will have been allocated a Breast Care Nurse (BCN) if you can get her name and number it would be good to give her a call, as she will have the specifics of your mam’s case.

And above all, keep coming here for answers as everyone is really friendly and helpful, and as everyone says ‘DONT GOOGLE’ try to only use reliable sites such as this one, (or cancer research or macmillan)

Hope everything goes OK on Monday and you find out more

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer and the hardest thing was telling my family. I had to come to terms in my own mind before I could openly discuss things with my children. Your mum may be waiting to know more. My children both being in 20’s were upset as didn’t know what future held for me. They have helped when I wasn’t well with chemo but tried to keep things as normal as possible as I wanted. When your mum is ready she will discuss with you, just let her know you are there for her. If your mum says the BC is just in her tubes, that is good news as it has not spread and further treatment after operation such as chemo will not be needed.

Good Luck to your mum.

Sorry to hear your news. I was at the other end last summer, out of the blue called back for a retest. Didn’t tell my daughters but left my letter around when one was here. They both said don’t worry it will be nothing but exactly the same happened to me as your mum. I hadn’t looked anything up so I was rally shocked and didn’t know what to do next. Maybe you could tell your mum how much you want to help her through and you need to understand it for your own peace of mind too?

When I went back for the results I had joined this site and understood the possible routes. One of my girls came with me and joined in asking questions…they live 150 miles away and she was very pregnant at the time, so bad timing.

There are nearly always some option in treatment so it’s a good idea if your mum or you can find out a bit before having to choose.

It does sound like DCIS which was my diagnosis. It meant lots of tests to see if any bit of it had changed and possibly spread, s this was a scary time. Then I was advised to have a mastectomy even though the pre cancerous cells were so small.

At this point there are choices to be made…a mastectomy and reconstruction, in which case, what kind…or no reconstruction. With DCIS you normally not need chemo or rads if you have all th tissue removed from the inside of the breast, but you can usually keep all the skin so it doest look horrid at all…I was SO worried if it meant having a breast off, but I see it as having a refill instead. The other option is just having the area of DCIS removed, then having radiation to reduce risk of recurrence. I took the get rid of it and avoid rads route.

It was a big decision as I’ve never had anythig wrong with me before. Now, twocmonths on, I’ve got a refilled boob, and flat tummy cos I had the fat from my tummy put into my boob. I’ve dropped a clothes size into the bargain and I dnt need more treatment. If you or your mum want to contact me for any more help I can offer, just send me a personal message. Lynette

Hi anonnewbie
Just wondering how you are and how your mam is (are you from the NE area with you saying “Mam”?)

Hope you’ve got some help and support from the helpline. They’re very good and also the support I got from this forum has helped me immensely.

Let us know you you’re doing and I wish your Mam good luck for Monday. I’m sure she’ll be fine, she obviously has a very caring daughter - I’l be lost without mine!

Hugs and xxxx

Oh my goodness, ladies I can’t thank you enough for your kindness. I logged in trying to find a bit more info and found all of your lovely and helpful replies. I’m sure you already know how good it feels to have someone here to give that info or support.

You’ve certainly put my mind at ease somewhat and made me feel less crazy lol. My husband and I have discussed it a lot and I’ve also spoken to my Mam (yes, we’re Geordies lol) quite a bit about what she wants to do. She’d happy to try and continue as normal but I’ve suggested a few questions for her to ask on Monday at her next appointment. I sent her a huge bouquet of flowers the day after her news which really helped cheer her up and cooking Sunday lunch tomorrow instead of her doing it. Its not that I’m treating her like an invalid but I just want to spoil her a little and make her happy. No doubt my Dad will whinge about the food but my Mam will love putting her feet up.

The info about DCIS is very helpful, thank you. She mentioned that her type is staged differently and currently around a 2 but has said its not agressive.

Thank you again.

Hi again anonnewbie (Ya alreet kid?!)

So glad that you and your family can all talk about this now. It does help so much. Just a little idea if you like; I keep a little notebook called “My journey” where I’ve written everything down, thoughts, feelings, appointments, results, explanations, etc. It’s certainly helped me because you get to know words and phrases you’ve never heard before.

I’ve also pm’d (private message) you about something else too
Hugs and xxxx

Hello pet - just read your comment and hope this may help. At 62 I was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts, DCIS - that means ‘in the tubes’ and not spread any further in the breast tissue. I had my surgery to remove both cancers, and one cancer was so small the surgeon thought he might need a metal piece inserted first to make sure he located it properly. In the event he found it very effectively with the dye stuff they inject before the op. Then I had radiotherapy, didn’t need chemo luckily,so I kept my hair. How good is that??? Hope it works out just as well for your Mam. Now I’m 64, looking forward to the rest of my life - normal life expectancy - and smile every time I see my little scars (more like creases really)and tattoo dots from radiotherapy. They make me smile, to me they are badges of survival.Go to mam’s appts if she wants you there, write it all down, ask the breast nurse lots of questions, get all the leaflets from this website, and your mam will have all the support she needs from a wonderful daughter.

Hi Anonnewbie, just wanted to say I understand what you mean when people keep saying isn’t it lucky it was caught early/it could have been a lot worse. That’s true but it’s still a terrific shock for the whole family and it’s not lucky to get cancer. Don’t forget your own hormones are probably still all over the place and you’ve got a lot to cope with yourself with 2 little ones. It’s ok to cry, you don’t have to put on a brave face all the time and it’s ok to talk about it. I was diagnosed with invasive cancer last year and I’m getting through it. Good luck to you and your mam xxx

Thank you again for the new comments.

My Mam had her appointment with her consultant who has arranged her operation for next Thursday. She’s very worried and almost considered not going and just accepting her fate but think this is down to fear more than anything. My husband managed to get the day off work so that I can go with her. She hates coming round from a general anesthetic so I thought I friendly face might help.

Thanks again xxx

Hi,so glad you started this thread, i have been reading this forum trying to get so info as my mum too has been DX with BC.
My mum seems much older than most, she is 74 but extremely young and healthy.She went to the doctors as she had a dimple appear on an old B9 lump scar she had 34 years ago,doctor couldn’t feel anything but refered her to be safe,within a week she had her hospital appointment where they did more tests and scans and found a 17mm lump,did a biopsy,week later back for results, yes BC a week after that had lymph nodes biopsy and also biopsy on another tiny lump that had also showed up,week after that back for results and MRI scan, lumph nodes clear but 2 cancer lumps,she spoke to the consultant who offered either full MX and no further treatment or just lumps removed followed by rads,she has decided lumps removed followed by rads.So far it has only been 4 weeks since she first went to the doctors and today the hospital have foned her to say her op will be done on Tuesday (14th feb)with pre op day before.She had been fine up until today,taking it all in and coping but now she is so worried, We have been with her all the way and will be on Tuesday, its all we can do isn’t it.Will let you know how she is after tueday, sorry have waffled and not used any techanical terms as haven’t had time to learn them . x

Hi Anonnewbie

Just to wish your mam good luck for next Thursday. Virtual hugs to you both. It’s good also that you’ll be with her. Keep us informed as to how she gets on.

Hugs and xxxx

Hello whattodo

Welcome to the forums, this must be a very worrying time for you and your mum but you have come to the right place for support.

Maybe you or your mum would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes
June, moderator

Your Mum’s diagnosis sounds much like mine if it is a DCIS. My consultant doesnt even call it cancer, she calls it pre-cancer, even though mine is high grade.

The metal disc is tiny and mine was put in by the radiographer when she did the biopsy. She explained it would stay there so that if they had to go back in they would know exactly where to go as it shows up on the x-ray. Also they put in a ‘wire’ before the op, which sounds awful, as someone on here said, it sounds like a coat hanger! If they say your Mum is to have this, do reassure her it is no where near as bad as it sounds. The radiographer gently inserts a very fine wire into the right place under a local and then tapes it down ready for the surgeon, so that the surgeon knows which part to remove.

I met some lovely ladies on the day of my op, all having more or less the same thing done and we waved each other off to theatre! My lump was removed, the surrounding tissue was clear, although if it hadnt been, the surgeon said she would just go back and take a bit more and now I am about to start radiotherapy, which they see as a back up to make sure nothing is lingering about.

If your Mum can just think of taking one step at a time, Im sure she will get through the op day just fine. One little thing, I know you said your husband has taken the day off so you can be with your Mum. Im sure all hospitals are different, but you might want to check with yours. Where I was our family dropped us off first thing in the morning and none of us saw anyone again until it was all over and we were ready for picking up.

Do let us know how your Mum gets on.

Jayne x

Big hugs for you all, as all the family go through it as well as the person with the cancer.
I haven’t got any wise words to offer but was moved to wish your mums well and send you all virtual hugs xxx

Hello again - you are being a tower of strength for your mam, and your husband is being a real star. I send your mam every good wish for her op and recovery. Remember to write down EVERYTHING you are told, cos it is sometimes difficult to take in all this new information so reading it through later helps you to understand it better, and will give you questions you need answering at future appts. And don’t be afraid to ask the same question over and over again - the nurses are used to this and will help you as much as possible. Good luck for Thursday.