newbie and confused - needing help

hello - my name is julie.
I have never joined a forum before, so apologies in advance for spelling, grammar, abbreviations etc.
i was dx with bc on 2nd march 2011.
i had a left mastectomy on 8th march 2011.
i had my first chemo FEC at the Christie in m/c on 13th Arpil 2011.
i have had some councelling and have taken my lovely OH along every time i go for an appointment to take everything in, but something is just niggling me about the copy letter i have received from the hospital about my operation, diagnosis and reading some posts on this forum. Could someone please spare a couple of minutes to read this and see what you think?
my histology report showed a 9cm diameter invasive lobular carcinoma as well as ductal carcinoma in-situ. a 2nd lesion in the same area measured 2cm in diameter invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2. 10 out of 31 lymph nodes showed metastatic disease. the oestrogen receptor status on the core biopsy on the 9cm lump was positive at 90%. Progesterone receptors also positive at 90%. Herceptin test negative and EGFR also negative.
after typing all that i suppose i feel silly because i know i the specialists, friends and family have said they have taken away all the cancer and am just looking for reasurrance and to talk - even if it is on the laptop! to someone else with a similar diagnosis xx thank you

Hi Julie

It’s all a bit overwhelming at first and there’s a lot of new language to take in when you’re in a state of great upset. I can’t comment on your diagnosis I’m afraid, but you’ve been treated with great speed which is fantastic. Have you tried talking to your breast care nurse? Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you aren’t born with this kind of knowledge and not knowing is much more frightening than knowing. Loads of people say that the waiting to find out is the worst as you don’t know what it is you’re facing. I’m sure someone with more knowledge than me will come along with some information for you. You’re in my thoughts.


Hello juju341,

Welcome to the forums and sorry you find yourself here. However you will find lots of reassurance and support from everyone. There will be those who are in exactly the same boat as you and others who will be feeling the same way. This is the place to rant, rave, ask questions and you don’t have to be ‘brave’ like you might be doing for all your family and friends!

You are already on your way through and it sounds like you have had some good, fast treatment, but it can be disconcerting if you feel anxious that everything has been done that should be done!

Your path report looks fairly straightforward, was there something that you didn’t understand?

Your bcn should be able to give you further information and you could also call the helpline here to get more clarification.

We all have slightly different types of tumours and therefore different treatments and what would suit one person wouldn’t necessarily be right for another.

Could say more specifically what was niggling you?

All the best


Hi Julie

Just wanted to say hi and add that BCC do a great booklet on understanding your path report and there are usually experienced nurses on the helpline who might be able to help.
Take care

Hi Julie

Firstly, welcome to the forums, I’m sorry to read of your diagnosis, the first few days and weeks are always difficult when coming to terms with things.

I’ve given here the link to our Resource Pack for those people newly diagnosed. The pack filled with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available. … tionId/82/

Also, do give the helpline a ring if you need any further support or information. They’re on 0808 800 6000. Open 9-5 Monday to Friday and 9-2 Saturday.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi julie and welcome,

I,m also at the Christie ( having 6th fec on thurs)but after having my first chemo i moved to Oldham christie as it was easier for me. I,ve met a few of the BC nurses at manchester and they really are very good. Don’t worry about asking them anything you need to know, they will explain everything. Thinking of you

Maria x

Hi Julie, Im 2yrs since my MX and feeling marvellous, yet I remember the consultants letter to my GP which read very similar to yours, I too had 2 tumours but only 5 lymph nodes but it was that word “metastatic” that put the fear into me. I was initially put on Femara then Tamoxifen a few months later, Im still trailing behind in the energy levels, have a siesta most days but I know exactly how you feel, I was certain that they hadnt got it all, I must have drove my hubby mad, even a slight headache was a brain tumour in those early days! So try and believe what the white coats tell you, I was under the Christy team at Tameside hospital and hand on heart, I`ve never been told a lie by my docs. God bless, love Mags xx

Hi Julie
I really feel for you - this bc is scary business. I too found my results difficult to deal with. Do go and talk to your BCN, take a copy of the letter and ask her to run through it with you. Ask all your questions! Alternatively, I have phoned the BCC helpline on a few occasions (at first I was unsure to do this) and they were really good, knowledgeable. You may want to consider this.
Your treatment sofar has been really fast, that’s great!
This site is wonderful, so much cyber-support, shared experiences, tips, help and knowledge.
Hugs, Nikki x

Hi, just wanted to say hello and welvome to the forum. I was dx last march8th at oldham and had lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. Now on tamoxifen. Are you having fec and taxotere chemos or just fec? I had all my treatment at oldham, they have their own chemo suite which is small, personal, quick and friendly. Fantastic nurses. I thouroughly recomend the oldham christie radiotherapy centre if you are anywhere near it. Its brand new and i found it fantastic, you are a name not a number.

You will get through this awful time, your mind does start adjusting. In the meantime be very very kind to yourself


hi, im another confused newbie. diagnosed on 31/03/2011. have bcnserving surgery on 11/04. am feeling slightly sore. its nice to know that someone understands.

good evening ladies

thank you so much for all the replies. i am going to send for the pack tonight. After i was first dx i was put on tamoxifen until a week before my first FEC then told to stop taking it. i am having 3 x FEC and and 3 x TAX, followed by radiotherapy at Hope Hospital (Salford Royal). everything has happened so quickly, i sometimes still cant believe this is happening. my hubby has been great, trying to reassure me all the time (telling me to stop googling and get on a proper website!)- i have had trouble believing and trusting people at the hospital. i think this is because when i first went to the doctors with a very obvious lump in Jan 11 who just dismissed it as hormonal or age and asked should i maybe have a mammogram was told no as bc does not run in my family. 4 weeks later i returned saying i was not happy, and the rest is history. i have been assured that those few weeks wouldn’t have made much difference anyway, but still…The nurses and doctors at The Christie are lovely, and very reassuring. I’m so glad i joined this forum now. feel like i could go on and on… thank you again for advice, i will be back

Hi, I was diagnosed may 2010 had lumpectomy, chemo, rads and now on tamoxifen. It may all seem scary but you are not alone, I have to say that the people on this forum are amazing and everytime that I have had a worry there is always someone who has a word of wisdom or has been there and can put your mind at ease. Best not to let things worry you, anytime you feel you need reassurence just come to the forum. Best of luck with everything and hope it all goes well

Hi Juju,
Receiving the letters we are copied into is always hard. I have used the helpline to clarify my reports on several occasions and the person I have spoken to has been really helpful. Often the things that are in the report are unremarkable for the surgeon but not for us and I find I want to know what the implications are. You could try your BC nurse as these are trained to discuss the histology also. I found a chat with mine helped me to come to an understanding about the treatment I had been given thus far.
It is a nasty business and you are coping with chemo as well. Do ring the helpline if you haven’t done so already.
Sending best wishes,

Hi Juju,

Just to reiterate what Avenue Sue has suggested, do phone the helpline here, they’re here to support you. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-2

Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

good evening ladies

thank you for all your replys and kind thoughts. i will order the info pack and make a phone call to my bcn tomorrow and carry on making my way through as much of the information on this website as i can.