My lovely mum has just been diagnosed with bc

I found out ten days ago that my lovely mum has been diagnosed with bc. The whole family have been going through all the usual emotions anger, sadness etc etc. But are trying to be upbeat and positive for the sake of my mum. She is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. She is totally selfless, (she will buy a big issue magazine of every seller she sees in one afternoon. My husbands mum died of breast cancer, many years ago, and the first thing she said to him was “I am so sorry to have this, it must be a horrible reminded of your poor mother”. Comments like that humble me to how well she is coping with this.

She was diagnosed via a mammogram. She had one three years ago and it was clear. She was told to come back as they had found something suspicious and they were concerned. She had a biopsy and it was found she had a 4 cm 2nd stage invasive cancer. This has been caused by HRT. They were going to do surgery, but have put her on a drug which begins with L, (hopefully someone will know what it is called). They have said if they did the surgery now a full masectomy would be required, but if she takes this for three months, it should hopefully reduce the tumour so that she will only need a lumpectomy. My sister and mines initial response was just get “it out” but after a nights sleep think maybe this is the way to go. They have done tests and have found that she is very compatible with this drug and the chances of this working are 8 out of 10 which is very good statistics. They will check her after six weeks to make sure it is working and then after about three months they will do the surgery. She will also need radiotherapy and not chemotherapy. They have done an ultra sound on the area and have said the nodes look unaffected. But obviously they will not know for sure until they have opened her up which is three months down the line. We are worried that doing this will prevent them finding out for three months if the nodes have been infected. Also they have not mentioned a body scan to see if the cancer has moved to any other parts of the body. Can anybody please give me some advise as quite frankly I am petrafied and the thought of loosing my mum is destroying me. Thanks for reading this.

Much love.

Jules xxxxx

Dear Jules

This must be a very difficult time for you and your family, I just wanted to say that you or your mum may find it helpful to talk things through with one of our helpliners, they can offer you support and a ‘listening ear’. The number is 0808 800 6000 and it’s open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Can I also put my post in the newly diagnosed bit, as I want to try and get as much information as possible, and I feel people who have/are going through it will be able to give me lots of information and hope.

Thank you.

Jules xx

hi jules

im jo, i have been a regular post reader here since my mum was diagnosed with this awful disease in aug 07, i have found this forum to be of great comfort and provided me with lots of good information and tips.

just a little about my mum- mums found the lump around june and was given the appointment for the one stop breast clinic where she had a biopsy and the following week she was given the terrible news, since then she has had WLE, lymph node sampling (which was clear), chemotherapy and radiotherapy. she cann’t be given any hormaonal based drugs as her tumour was triple negative.

to begin with the news was devestating, i couldn’t help but get all these terrible scenarios in my head, people of these forums would say it all gets better once the treatment plan is devised, of course i never really believed it, but it really did, and slowley but surley mum mum and i are getting life back to some kind of normaity.

i am not sure about the drug that your mum will be taken, i have heard of chemo being given before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor, but i don’t know much about the other drugs given, im sure so of the othere ladies reading this post will be able to inform you though. i do hwever know that by giving any drug to reduce tumor before surgery to help prevent masectomy is now being followed by most hospitl trusts. if this drug is shown to shrink the tumour then it would also shrink any tumor which had got to the lymph nodes (i think) i did also ask about my mum not being given any other scans, tests ect, and the consultant told me, that unless the lymph nodes are involved then they don’t regularly do any more tests as if the tumor has not went through thr lymphatic system it is unlikley to have traveled elswhere, and any microscopic cancer cells which are lurking about wouldn’t be seen anyway.

sorry i can’t be of more help, but im sure others will help you out to. i does get a bit easier, take care.
love jo

Thank you Jo, I am so glad I have found this site, there are some lovely people on here and it is truly inspirational. It is great to hear that your mum is beginning to feel better.

The thing that worries me is what if it is in the nodes, we wont know for three months and it could be running havoc round her body. That is something that scares me so much.

Love jules xx

Hello Jules,

My mum was diagnosed between christmas and Newyear with BC and it has made a horrendous start to the year. She is currently about half way through her treatment and has good days and bad days. I would like to say I am coping and as far as my mum will ever be concerned i am however it is so tough on the rest of the family and luckily my fiancee is a tremendous support.

I was actaully directed to this forum by my mum as it has been a great support to her and it really has been for me. I have been given some great food for thought from people who are going through cancer and are able to tell me what my mum might need from me that she might not tell me.

You are definitly among freinds and support here!!


if it is in the nodes, the tablets which she is taking to shrink the tumour should also shrink it in the nodes, (im sure that is correct), because i have read about ladies who have large tumors, which the medical staff tell them it has most certinly moved to the nodes, have had chemo before the operation to shrink the tumour and there have been no evidence of disease in the nodes as the chemo has taken it away, hope this makes sence, so if the drung doesn’t shrink the tumor, which they will find out in 3 weeks wheather it is working or not they may change the desision on whether to continue or just to operate.

even if the tumor is found to be in the nodes, then further tests may be required. it doesn’t always mean the worse outcome, as breast cancer prognosis is based on a whole lot more, and there are many many ladies who im sure you will read about who have had lots of node invasion and are disease free many years down the line.

love jo

hope this helps you feel a little better

sorry i said 3 weeks i ment 6

Thank you Jo and Foxter, it really helps speaking to others who are going through the same thing.


Hi Jules,
I’m really sorry about your mum’s dx, this is a horrible time for you both. My mum was dx Dec 06 after she found a large lump under her arm, turned out to be her lymph nodes - BC had spread from her breast. She had 6 rounds of chemo before surgery to shrink the tumour, and because there was node involvement. She was also told if they had operated first she would definitely need a mastectomy, but after the chemo she had a lumpectomy. She then had 15 rads and is now on Arimadex and Herceptin. I remember feeling very worried about her nodes, about not knowing (for 6 months) how many nodes were involved etc so I understand why you’re anxious. I don’t know what drug she’s on but I guess they must be confident from the ultrasound that the nodes were clear. And if the drug shrinks the tumour I assume it would also shrink or kill any cancer cells in the nodes. Maybe after surgery if they find node involvement your mum will have chemo? I don’t know if this is how it works. My mum didn’t have any body scans to check for spread, from what I understand this isn’t done as routine, mostly with younger women or where mets are suspected. But again, I remember ringing the BCC helpline terrified it had already spread and I was going to lose my mum.
All I can say to you is that it does get easier. For a good while your mum’s dx will occupy every thought and it is completely normal to feel scared. I used to obsessively hunt for prognosis statistics on the internet, which made me feel worse. You and your family will get through this one way or another, although that might sound very hard to believe right now. Try not to let yourself think in worst case scenarios, but maybe if you and your sister are worried you could talk to your mum’s oncologist or breast care nurse.
Take care, love and hugs,
Zoe x x

Thank you penguin, I feel a little better having people around me on here who understand. Most of my friends are being briliant, but one has really upset me. She has told me its too soon to get upset, and that I should not cry etc until i know its the worst. I don’t think I am wrong crying and feeling upset when the person I love more than anything, is diagnosed with the disease nobody wants to hear. I feel I have to justify being upset to this girl and its making me feel really angry.

much love.

Jules xxx

Aww, Jules, your friend is probably trying to help but sounds a bit blunt and tactless! No-one can tell you that you should not cry, and it’s much better to feel like this now than keep it all inside. You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. I have found that something like this brings out the best and worst in people. People I didn’t know that well have been amazing and people I considered to be my best friends have been cr*p!
Zoe x x

You are so right Penguin, some people have been absolutely fantastic, some who I have not expected to be so kind have been brilliant, and others have well just be dreadful. My friend who upset me has always been a bit hard, she keeps telling me she would not be this upset, but how the hell does she know, her mum is well. Is it normal that little things, either send me into floods of tears or anger.

Jules xx

She would not be this upset?? Well it’s not about her it’s about your mum and you! She can’t truly know how you feel unless she has been through it herself, but she could try and be more understanding. Sounds like she’s not being a very supportive friend, could you maybe distance yourself from her a bit? You’re emotionally vulnerable right now and have got enough to cope with without comments like that to wind you up. It’s completely normal to feel all over the place, I expect your mum’s bad news is still sinking in. Other people may disagree but I think the bit my family found the hardest was the initial diagnosis. It’s such a shock (even if you try and prepare yourself for bad news) and you have so many questions - the unknown can be very frightening.
Zoe x x

Thank you Zoe, I have found the comments really unhelpful, and they have made me so angry. Tonight I sent her a text telling her I had joined this site, and how supportive people were and that what I was feeling was very normal, and that nobody knows until they go through this themself how they would feel, react etc. I am waiting a reply, but telling her and gettting it off my chest has made me feel better about it.

My father and sister had a long discussion today with my mum. They have decided to get a further opinion on this at the Royal Marsden as they are not quite happy with everything that has been said. They are going to the gp tomorrow to ask for a referral. Patients charter in hand. Why does it all have to be such a battle.

Jules xxx

Hi Jules,
How are you today? Did your friend text you back? I hope she keeps her unhelpful comments to herself from now on!
Did your mum get a referral to the Royal Mardsen? Where is she being treated at the moment? If your mum isn’t happy with what she’s been told it’s definitely worth getting a 2nd opinion.
Zoe x x

Hi there Zoe

I am not to bad thank you this morning, I am feeling glad that it is Easter as have a few days off. My friend chose to ignore my text, surprise surprise. But then again when she asked me how I was on Monday and I told her how things were going with mum and how I was feeling, the next text was “how was your weekend”, she blatantly did not acknowledge how I was feeling. We are supposed to be meeting for a drink tomorrow night, but to be honest I am so angry with her lack of tact and insensitivity that I not going.

My mum is treated at a place in Kent. It is not so much that she is not happy, it was more they told her what they were going to do and didn’t really give her any choice, even though there are options. I am praying that she gets a second opinion at the Royal Marsden.

How are you today.

Jules xxx

Hi Jules,
I have heard great things about the RM so fingers crossed.
If you go for a drink with your friend you might end up feeling worse. Some people, well, lots of people actually, find ‘cancer’ a bit of a forbidden topic. They don’t know what to say so they either say nothing and ignore you or say somthing insensitive. My (ex) ‘best friend’ didn’t contact me for 7 months after my mum’s dx, and I was also pregnant, so we got into a text argument about why she hadn’t been in touch and she texted ‘I hope this is not a game of sympathy vote’. I really hope your friend redeems herself but sometimes you are better off without certain people. (It doesn’t make it any easier at a time when you really need your friends though).
I’m fine thanks, me and my baby are enjoying our last morning of peace before his brother finishes nursery for the easter hols!
Zoe x x

My mum has managed to get an appointment at the GP’s surgery this morning. I must admit I was worried that with it being Maundy Thursday there would be no appointments until half way through next week. I am praying that they refer her.

Your ex friend sounds disgusting. What a way to carryon. If you were supposed to be a close friend, I would really hate to be one of her enemies. I don’t blame you for severing ties with her.

The friend in question has a daughter who has depression. Her daughter had talked about suicide and one minute my friend was saying that she felt really worried about her daughter, the next moment she was telling us she had an audition for Big Brother. I said if you get on that programme how on earth will your daughter manage with you not being contactable for three months, her reply was “I have a life too”. So I think the main reason she is being the way she is is the person she worries most about is herself. I don’t think she really has any idea how much she hurts me, making me feel that I am overeacting regarding my mum.

Hope you and your family have a super Easter.

Jules xxx

It’s good your mum has an appointment this morning, let me know how she gets on.
I know what you mean, my friend was always very selfish too, I just didn’t realise how much!
Could you maybe talk to her and explain how she is making you feel? Perhaps she doesn’t realise how much she is hurting you. Everyone deals with things in different ways. Your friend might not be upset in the same situation (personally I think that would make her a little odd!) but you are upset, and she should respect that. You can’t tell someone what emotions to feel, if only life was that simple!