Mum was just diagnosed

Today was the worst news, after an urgent appt my mum has been told she has breast cancer. A lump has grown quickly and large and her lymph nodes are abnormal and she is now waiting for a ct scan and lymph node testing to tell us what the next step is. I’m absolutely petrified and completely falling apart my mum is being so strong and just wants to start treatment whatever it may be. My dad on the other hand out of fear is not positive he’s scared as we all are and just feel helpless. My mum is only 54 and we are a very small close family and I know I have to be strong and positive, wait for results from next lot of tests and be there for her but it’s so scary. I really hope she is one of the many success stories and we can stay strong for her. I need my mum so much the fear is unbareable!!

Hi fergal_jay

I’m sorry to read of your Mum’s diagnosis, I’m sure some of the other users will be a long soon to offer your their support.  In the meantime if you need to talk through how you are feeling do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000.  Here you can share your thoughts and concerns with a member of staff who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional support and practical information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator  

Hi, fergaljay

I’m sorry to hear about your mum.


I think most of us who have experienced cancer are able to identify with that sense of helplessness. I would suggest focusing on the time you have with your mum now. I know it’s difficult not to worry about the future and thinking about loosing your mum but try and focus on having her now if you can. Breast cancer is an uncertain disease but with treatment your mum has every chance of being around for longer. There are also many ways of being strong, so dont be afraid to let your mum know how you are feeling. It is possible to be sad and be strong together.

Hey fergal_jay, just reading your thread. I can hear the fear in your words. I had breast cancer 2 years ago. I had a discharge coming from my left nipple had tested done (bloods etc) everything came back normal. Yet I still had this discharge went for a mammogram long story short had cancer cells in my RIGHT breast, no lump (which they tell you to feel for). I really didn’t have time to process anything within a week I was having a lumpectomy. In the end I had 2 tries at the lumpectomy then a mastectomy. Wasn’t in any pain or distress, I actually went shopping 4 days after surgery with my 2 drains in toe. The only time I cried was when the took out the drains (had them in for a week). My hormones went haywire started feeling anxious and worrying, then getting angry at the smallest thing apparently that’s normal. I was one of the lucky ones I didn’t have radio or chemo. Was prescribed tamoxifen but was told it was up to me whether I took them or not as what they found was small. So I decided NOT. But was persuaded by my Macmillan nurse, surgeon, oncologist, and doctor to give it a try. Nearly 2 years down the line I’m still taking them. Had nipple reconstruction and on my 5th session of tattooing now I’m comfortable with my body. Six months later I was back at work and back to power walking. Yes I do get tired and believe me I rest when I need to but I won’t let this beat me. My advice to you and your mum is get to know your Macmillan nurse they are there to help and guide you. Any questions you have no matter how silly ask them. Allow your mum time to take it all in, most of it went over my head, once if got over the shock of it all I had to embrace what was happening and deal with it, so it’s good that your there to ask questions. Breast cancer doesn’t necessary mean death but I understand the fear. Sometimes being positive is tiring, allow her to cry and feel sorry for herself and you have to do the same it’s human nature. I know you posted this over a 2 month ago but would like to hear how your all doing now. Take care god bless. Xx

Unfortunately mums has spread to the kiver

Hi there. Just want to say that I can relate to your shock and fears. My mum was diagnosed on 9th January. It was a complete shock. She went for her regular breast screening and thanks goodness she did as they found abnormalities - things she thought weren’t too bad such as discharge.


She’s due for her op on Thursday to have the lump removed. I live quite far away from my family and it’s tough. I am trying to be there as much as I can. I want you to know that I’m scared and falling apart too. I hear all the positive statistics and how cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence but that doesn’t always sink in. I’m no expert. Like you I’m starting out in something I never wanted to be part of. All I can say and advise is to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself. I can advise this from knowing after the sudden death of my brother how we can sometimes focus so much on looking after our parents and family that we neglect our own needs. This can be catastrophic. 


It’s okay to seek help as you’re doing here. Speak to friends about your feelings and fears. Phone support lines such as Macmillan if you need someone to give you more info. I am finding my feet with this too so I hope something in there helps. It’s not selfish to look after yourself. You will be doing your mum a great service by doing so, so that you may be in the best place you can be to support her. If it helps, I told my mum today that I felt useless in helping her. I then felt guilty about laying my issues on her at such a difficult time but it opened up a good conversation.


My thoughts are with you as you negotiate this difficult path and I hope for a good future for you all.





I have been diagnosed with breast cancer, but found supporting a good friend through the cancer diagnosis for her husband far more challenging.

I am currently reading What Can I Do to Help? 75 Practical Ideas for Family and Friends from Cancer’s Frontline - written by Deborah Hutton. I am only half way through but have changed some of my support of this lady to be less demanding on her time, yet still offer help / support and care as and when she wishes to take it.

For me personally having experienced my child having a sudden life threatening illness with unknown outcomes the worst had already happened to me. A cancer diagnosis is hard, but my childs illness was tougher, I felt so helpless at that time - thankfully she made a good recovery, and I intend to do the same.


After my mum,s initial diagnosis a secondary diagnosis quickly followed but I had 5 amazing years with her where we made the most of every moment. It is a roller coaster ride and at times I didn,t think I would cope but somehow you do. Things took a really bad turn at the end of August and we got the news that she was running out of time. I took the time off work who I must say we’re brilliant and nursed her over her final 5 weeks, hardest thing I,ve ever done but wouldn’t swap that precious time for the world. Sorry I,m rambling but really all I can say is take each moment as it comes and just love her as she loves you xx