My daughter

Last year my daughter found a lump in her left breast. She was referred to the hospital but they said it was a fibrous lump. No biopsy even though both my mother and mother in law both had breast cancer.  March this year she was referred back to the hospital as the lump had got a lot bigger.  She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes.  She has had chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy which finished just before Christmas. No cancer was found after surgery.  My daughter has been incredibly positive through all her treatment but now the treatment has finished she seems to be falling apart.  She is so scared that the cancer has spread to her brain as 3 people she knows of it has gone to the brain even though they had been given the all clear. 

I don’t know what to do to help ease her panic and part of me is also worried as that is what happened to my mother and my friends daughter.  Would we be able to get a scan with the NHS just to ease her worries? I’ve suggested she needs to get counselling to help with her fears.  



Hi Pinkpal


This must be very worrying for you but it’s important to remember that every case of breast cancer is different and, no matter how many people you know, no two will be exactly the same. Your daughter is entitled to quite a lot of support (I only found out at the end of my treatment, but there’s no time limit on it). It may be that she has been signposted to it but hasn’t taken it in (that was me) or doesn’t think she qualifies. It may be that her hospital doesn’t offer these services but I’d be surprised. Ask about Macmillan, Maggie’s and The Haven. These each provide free support services, including counselling and alternative therapies like acupuncture, as well as group activities. There is a Macmillan course, Moving Forward, that can be helpful.


One of the nurses posted this article in a reply a while back and I’m passing it on as often as I can (twice today). I think it should be set as regular homework:  

Repeated reading of it has helped get me grounded and the fear of recurrence is easily pushed to the back of my mind now, except when I get sent for yet more tests by my oncologist and then I have to work at it. The period after treatment finishes in incredibly confusing after the cushion of an oncology team pushing you from appointment to appointment, when at least you knew what was going on. Being let loose is scary and yet everyone appears to expect us to be elated and magically all better. Huh! However, you mention panic and I would say if it’s got to that level then she needs to contact her breast care nurse urgently for support and maybe consult her GP. It’s not a great idea to let that become an established reaction to stress. An alternative would be to ring the number above - the nurses here are wonderfully reassuring (I speak from experience) and practical.


On a practical note, thinking of anxiety and panic, there are some useful ‘videos’ on YouTube - you just plug in the earphones and do as you’re told. I enjoyed Progressive Hypnosis’s Manifest Healing which is very soothing; my husband enjoyed Michael Sealey’s hypnosis for x,y or z (use the search facility). During treatment, I listened to them several times a day to keep grounded or detach myself from the awfulness of what was happening to me! They played an important part in my treatment.


I hope there’s some suggestions here that may help you and your daughter. I wish you both well,

Jan x