Lumps and pain

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I am 46 years old, never been pregnant, and noticed pain (a prickling stinging sensation like a stray pin left in my bra) in my left breast which also went hard several weeks ago. I went along to the doctors last week expecting it to be dismissed as attention seeking behaviour and menopause but was given a 2 week urgent hospital referral which is due next Monday.

I am expecting the worst from this appointment given the look on my doctors face when she examined me - apparently I also have skin changes on the lower part of my breast which I could not see (my breasts are large and I can’t see the lower surfaces of them).

I have not told anyone about this as I am meant to be the strong one in the family who is never ill, never has problems and looks after everyone else. I am trying desparately to hide it from my husband (my breasts are now visibly different to each other in appearance, size and shape).

Does anyone have any tips on how to cope with being given bad news at the hospital appointment without having a meltdown?

Hi squeakymouse

I’m sorry to read that you are having a pretty tough time at the moment. I’m sure the users of this site will be along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk to a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi squeakymouse, so sorry to hear that you are trying to face up to this on your own…please don’t do that.Confide in your husband and have a good cry if you want, you are only human and you are out of your mind with worry. He will want to go with you to your appointment, so let him…he can help to take in any information you are given.I’m very strong, like you, and so I went along to all my appointments on my own, playing the whole thing down, but then when it came to light that I had early breast cancer and needed a mastectomy, my family were beside themselves to think that I had faced that news on my own. I still don’t know how I managed to not crumble, but I think shock must have taken over and all the time I was thinking okay, if I even think of crying I won’t be able to take in what they are telling me here and I want to know exactly what I’m facing, so just held it together “somehow”. I think when faced with something major we get an inner strength that sees us through.I hope you will confide in hubby, you can’t possibly shut him out when you need him the most. Big hug to you. xxAnnxx

Hi Squeakymouse
Im sorry you are so worried, Nobody can help you with the fear of the unknown im afraid if you read through the posts i think 90% of us all felt the same, and to be honest we all seem to agree the not knowing is somehow worse than the diagnosis i know that must seem very strange.
When I discovered my lump it was a sharp shooting pain that led me to it so it is a myth that cancerous lumps are normally not painful, but in the same instance many painful lumps are also benign,

Nothing could prepare me for the results, even though I had convinced myself i had bc when it was confirmed I went to pieces, its one of the worst things you can be told, but with help/support and a treatment plan in place you cope, you have to… its a scary place to be but im having my 2nd chemo next week and copeing … its not pleasant but as a lot of ladies on here will tell you its doable

I wish you the very best of luck at your appointment… you will hopefully be one of the lucky ones and none of this will be relevant to you, but if you do need help we are here

Hugs Janice x

Hi Squeakymouse

I too discovered my lump after a series of sharp shooting pains made me re-examine myself. I always look at my breasts in a mirror whilst holding my arms above my head, and I noticed an indentation in the boob with the shooting pains and I just knew that it was bad news.

Having said all that I was dx at the end of May 2011, had 5 months chemo, then mastectomy and axillary clearance, 15 x radiotherapy treatments and now back at work. It might be bad news but its not ALL bad news and it will pass.

Hi Squeakymouse,

I too am the ‘strong one, the organiser, the do-er’ in my family, but I was prepared to go to the appointment on my own, but my partner would not hear of it and came with me, I was told on the first appointment that 95% It was breast cancer, and that was confirmed the next week. Feb 2012

All I could think of was my 14 year old child, and I felt utterly distraught. I doubt if it is bad news for you, you will be able to ‘go it alone’. It’s such a shocking thing to hear that eventually you will have to share it with someone.

My family aren’t great for that, but I have shared my fears with the women on here. I have found it a huge help. And my partner too has been wonderful.

I do hope it is not cancer, but if it is so many people will be here to help you on this forum.

Best Wishes


You asked for help to avoid ‘meltdown’ in clinic. I agree with others who say it’s best to take someone with you if possible. And my advice is to ask that person to remind you to breathe! I know it sounds silly but that’s the best advice I had in 2005 when I was diagnosed, and for the weeks that followed. Concentrate on your breath , especially breathing out, and notice that in that moment as you breathe out you actually can feel ok. You can repeat this whenever the panic comes on!
I have to remember my own advice tomorrow as I am going to get a new lump checked out having been ok since 2005…

Hi everyone

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to my post, sending hugs

Squeakymouse, please share this with your husband and with family and friends. You should not bear this yourself and there is great solace to be had in sharing.

As for avoiding a meltdown - the staff have seen all reactions from stoicism through stunned shock to weeping and the way you cope is the way you cope. There is no wrong way to behave in these circumstances, short of maybe punching the oncologist! (joke!

I hope things are not as serious as you think but if they are that you will find whatever you need to help you cope. I have bone mets, diagnosed three weeks after a lumpectomy and very optimistic initial prognosis. That was last August and sometimes i cope and sometimes i don’t, but thats ok.

I’ve only recently joined these forums but the ladies are great and i’ve found it comforting and know that there are a lot of us all struggling with the same stuff.

Good luck, Louisa