Longer wait than expected


Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy for stage 2 er+ pr+ her- cancer on 3rd February.

I got the results of surgery on the 24th February. They got the 2cm tumour with good margins and lymph node was clear, which was good. At that appointment I was told I would have another 4 week wait for the Oncotype test to see whether chemo was needed, otherwise it will be radiotherapy and hormone therapy.

Yesterday I got my appointment through and it’s 25th April, that’s eight weeks after last appointment and nearly twelve weeks since surgery. Talked to breast cancer nurse today who said this was fine, and a normal waiting time.

However everything I’ve read suggests this is quite a long wait and will put any start of treatment beyond the within 90 days from surgery guidelines.

Am I worrying unnecessarily? 

Hi Gemsy

I don’t think you’re worrying unnecessarily - any worry has its own relevance to the worrier and is justified on those grounds alone. I did do some calculation and you’ll be at day 81. If this appointment is to discuss your treatment plan, yes, it is cutting it a bit close but it suggests to me that they are thinking you won’t need chemotherapy. My chemo began on day 89 (Christmas Eve too), which was cutting it a bit fine. But the guidance is just a statistical calculation. For some breast cancers like Triple Negative, 90 days would be disastrous, for others a longer gap would make no difference.

The important thing is to learn to trust your team. Your BCN has tried to reassure you. Your team would not put you at risk and, if any results come back indicating that chemo is necessary before radiotherapy, they would contact you immediately with a revised appointment. You are going to be at their mercy (sorry, in their safe hands) for months to come. For that reason alone, trust will make a lot of difference. It’s hard but, in my opinion, essential.

One thing that might help would be to ring the nurses’ helpline here and ask their opinion. They provide a wonderful service and may well set you on the road to trust. Give it a try?

Good luck with the treatment.

Jan x