My cancer is back


Diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer in 2018. Surgery (lumpectomy) went fine and Onco test gave a score of 11 so low likelihood of recurrence. In hind sight rushed back to work far to soon and slammed the door on that episode.

2022 Mammogram came back clear, but was bothered by a small lump near the surgery site, so raised it at the clinic. Biopsy done and came back positive. (Felt physically sick at that news).

Quickly in for a CT and wham - it looks like it’s spread to my pelvic bone.

Now in a state of shock/denial. 

Dreading what I’m going to be told next. OK with the surgery, know chemo is on the horizon and bone strengthening meds. But what else???

I’m so sorry but maybe chemo doesn’t have to be definitely on your horizon. If it’s a new lump and the cancer spread from that they’ll base their decision on what the hormone levels and grade are I assume from that lump. Maybe you’ll just go on more extensive endocrine therapy to control it and bone strengthening meds. 

Either way I know you’re devastated and I wish I could think of something to say to help. So many hugs sent your way…

here is a big hug for you ! 
a lot to take in so suddenly.

I hope you will soon get a plan for treatment. Are you already on tamoxifen or letrozole? Have they already explained potential next steps? There is plenty of options and they will find what’s best for you. 
warmest wishes , 


It’s very hard to deal with the blow of a secondary diagnosis. Like you, I was almost in a state of denial and, 20 months on, it still doesn’t feel it’s really happening to me. If that’s denial, I’m comfortable with that because I face almost everything calmly, which is entirely out of character. It means I can cope with the chemo, cope with the side effects, the scans and everything else that’s thrown at me while my husband is an emotional wreck!

Have you been given your treatment plan because it’s usually straight to chemo. There are many different kinds of treatment and, at stage 4, lots of trials that are worth asking about, and new drugs appearing. This means that you may experience a bit of a wait now as your biopsy samples are tested and sent off to other bases to see what’s available for your specific cancer. It’s not so straightforward as first time round but there are now excellent outcomes for many patients who continue to live full lives.

What else is going to be an open-ended question. No one, not even your team, can know till the results are in because each cancer is unique and each patient is unique. The important thing is that you will be monitored very closely, have scans every three months as well as ad hoc scans, probably have regular hospital appointments and consultations to keep you informed of your progress. It may feel impossible at this point but things will settle for you and you’ll adapt. Meantime, keep away from Google and Emmerdale and focus on your emotional wellbeing. Meditation, mindfulness, running, whatever helps you build up the resilience you know you’re going to need. And, of you still feel it’s unreal, go with that - it’s only a coping mechanism and way better than hyper vigilance and panics!

Wishing you all the best for what lies ahead

Jan x

I’m in the same situation, don’t know what to do.