Newly Diagnosed - 2 little ones - 36 years old

Hi there. I was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. It was a huge shock to me even though I have quite a large lump in my breast. My babies are just turned 2 and 10 months old. The most difficult thing I have found was telling people.

I have been push push pushing the hospital and now 8 weeks after i found the lump I go to the hospital on Monday to get an appointment with the surgeon and plastic surgeon.

The only option is a mastectomy and reconstruction. I am DCIS stage 0 although been told it could have spread won’t know until the pathology of the breast.

I am 36 years old.

I have been recommended for the 8 hour operation with reconstruction. CAn I have any reassurance as to how people have got on with this? I am really quite nervous.

I am also getting a lot of numbness in my arms now and feel like my lump is growing. Thank god I just have to wait till monday to find out when my surgery apointement is.

Grateful for any support, advice! Oh and I forgot to mention my husband left me 6 months ago so its been a bloody hard 6 months…

Dear Sheriffh

So sorry that you have had to join us but the warmest of welcomes to you. Unfortunately I have not had to go down the mastectomy route myself but was diagnosed with Grade 3 (bordering Grade 4) aggressive IDC this week after having WLE/SNB two weeks ago. I have to face chemo next and then rads in 6 months time.

I can so understand your nerves, this is a very difficult time for us all. BC is a very hard disease to come to terms with and it takes time you cannot take it in easily.

I am so sorry you are facing this alone and with two small children as well. You need support so do involve family and friends as much as you can but its good you have found us here as we can help you every step of the way.

Lots of people will be a long soon to welcome you and please do keep posting.

A hug coming your way
Tracy xxx

Hi Sherrifh,

Welcome to the forum, but im sorry you have a reason to post on here. It is a great site and has helped me alot since I was diagnosed.
I am 34 and was diagnosed in Dec with Grade3 ductal carnicoma, stage 1, with spread to my lymph nodes so I had a WLE and a axillary node clearance, I am currently half way through chemo. I also have a 19 month old girl so I totally know how you feel with regards little ones.

I am sorry I cannot give reassurance about the masectomy/reconstruction but I can give you advice that it will get easier, once you have a treatment plan in place and your medical team will work with you to get you the best treatment you need.

Keep posting on here as there are some great people with great advice and with me posting will bump this thread up so someone will come along with advice with regards the masectomy etc…

I am soo sorry about your break up with your husband, have you got support around you?

Please feel free to PM me if I can help atall please send a message.

Try to keep smiling : )

Sending cyber (((hugs))) to you

Donna xxx

So sorry you find yourself here withthe rest of us but you will find loads of support and reassurance form lots and lots of people.x
I was dx in november with dcis and also grade 2 idc. I was offered a lumpectomy but was told it was very uncertain how widespread my dcis was and I would probably have more surgery. I went for the mx with immediate recon, tram flap surgery. I have 2 boys, older than your kids but still only 8 and 5. I am now about to have number 5 out of 6 chemo. It is a hard operation I wont lie to you, but it is very very doable as long as you have support when you come out of hospital. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and I’m really glad I chose this Option. Please feel free to pm me if you have questions or I can help in any way.
Lots of love to you xxxx

Hi there. This is rubbish isn’t it for you I am so sorry. This forum is great for getting info from people who are going through the same. I am 41 had a mx and ld flap recon last November and am very pleased with the result. You can find info about recons from this website they have a very good publication. It was a long op and I was in hospital for 6 days and needed someone at home for a week or so to help with the kids - altho mine are teenagers!! It took me about 4 weeks to recover. It’s also worth asking your surgeon or bcn to show you pictures of what your breast and scars will look like - my surgeon was happy to show me and somewhere on his PowerPoint slideshow is a picture of mine before and after shot! I do still have to be careful what I lift and I do get back ache if i do too much (the flap bit is muscle from my back) but this should ease in time as i get stronger now my chemo has finished. Feel free to pm me if you need more info

all the very best. Keep posting


I thought it might be helpful to post a link to the Breast Reconstruction Booklet, as mentioned above (thanks Rachel):

And also a short animation from the BCC website illustrating various types of reconstruction:

I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes,
Anna, BCC Facilitator

hi sherrifh
sorry you found you way here but welcome
im 41 was dx with dcis grade 3 but im not having mastectomy i had a wle and node removed only 2 weeks ago nodes were clear and they got the dcis out i will however be having chemo and then rads dont know how much or for how long as of yet i know you have had a hard time but know you are not alone this is a good site to find out info and to talk to other that are going through the very same
all the best
maz xxx

Hi there, i am 39 with 2 children and recently diagnosed with bc. i had a mastectomy and lymph nodes removed…the surgery wasn’t too bad, i was just feeling sickly after. spent 4 days in hospital but they were trying to get rid of me after 2 haha. didn’t have reconstruction as they recommended it after i have radiotherapy . just had my first chemo last fri and been ill ever since, with sickness so just hoping by my next lot that they can sort the sickness out xx take care x

Thanks Ladies. My name is Helene by the way. Its great to hear all your stories and so sad that we are all here. But great that theres the support. I will look at all the information, hints and tips you have given me. I still don’t quite know how I am feeling. I am away into see the surgeon on Monday to get advice from them about what i should be doing.

I am blessed that I have great support from my friends and family and the fact I still get on with my husband is a positive thing too. I am looking at this like life changing experience.

I have been told that if they get the breast off and after pathology they find the cells have not spread then I would not have to have chemo or anything after, but then my health visitor said because of my age they may still give me chemo or radiotherapy. Whats your experience? I also breastfed both my babies and was told this could slow this horrible disease down. Nothing found in my lymph nodes but geen getting more pain down my right arm and up to my neck also. So desperate to get into hospital and get lump removed or rather the breast as the lump is half the size of my breast.

how soon after mx do you start chemo or radiotherapy.

Thanks alot ladies

Hi Sherrifh

I missed your first post to say welcome, so a belated welcome from me.

You will get loads of support from everyone on here, but I don’t think anyone will be able to predict the sort of treatment you get as your treatment will be tailored for you taking into account all the different things that make your case individual, such as age, what they find (they might find spots of invasive cancer, they might not), aggressiveness of your cancer, node involvement (whooppee for no nodes, that’s SUCH good news), whether what they find is receptive to hormones or Herceptin, etc etc etc.

I’m not saying you will or won’t get chemo or rads, only your doctors will be able to tell you that. BUT, IF chemo is suggested, they like to let any bits of surgery heal properly before they start chemo, as it attacks fast-growing cells (including those that would be involved in your healing). NICE guidelines say that chemo should start within 31 days, but if you aren’t healing very fast your docs may decide to delay by a few weeks to make sure you’re in the best physical health to recover. Same kind of thing with radiotherapy, they will want to be sure that you are properly healed, and are able to move your arm above your head to the required position.

The pain in your arm and neck could be because when they dig around in nodes they also upset nerves as there are lots of nerves around there, so that should settle down. Do mention the pain to your doctor or give your BCN a ring for reassurance.

Best of luck with your treatment, and I hope you have a network of people who will be able to help you in the coming weeks and months.


Sherrifh, if your cancer is ‘just’ a DCIS, then you have an excellent outlook. I understand that, for younger women, mastectomy may be recommended so that you don’t have to have radiotherapy, which usually has to go along with a lumpectomy. As yours is large, that’s another argument for mastectomy, simply because so they would have to take most of your breast to be sure of clear margins, a complete spheroid of non-cancerous tissue that has to be removed as well. Grade 0 should mean that all the cells in the tumour still look like normal breast tissue.

But they will examine whatever is removed very carefully to make sure that the original diagnosis is correct.

Further treatment will depend on factors like the cells making up the actual tumor, whether they are sensitive to oestrogen, and whether they would respond to tamoxifen or not.

Have you had some lymph nodes removed for biopsy? There are lots of nerves in with the lymph nodes, so sometimes the pain is actually in the nerve, and I’m afraid this can go on for quite a long time. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that anything else is necessarily wrong. Phone your breast care nurse if you are worried.


hi, a belated welcome from me also.

im 41 with a 15 and 6 yr old. dx in nov, completing chemo, then mx and recon, then rads, then tam.

just really to reassure you about your arm pain. it could be because they fiddled with your lymphs or it could be your lump pressing on a nerve. i had a peculiar feeling running down my arm before treatment but the chemo has virtually melted my lumps away and i dont get it now. being as they think its stage o i wouldnt think its anything sinister.

best of luck x

hi helene,the best advise has been given to earlier by the other lovely ladies,it is hard to take in,plan etc when you have little ones,iknow that!just to wish you the best of luck and love.your babies will get you through it.mine are…alex xxx

sorry i didnt read ur prev post fully,i have had surgery,wle and nodes involved and was told thurs i have to have radiotherapy and tamoxipan (which i have started)rads in bout 2 weeks.havent had my pathology report yet(tues)but feel so incredibly lucky not 2 have the i have invasive ductal,not sure bout size yet but according to ulra amd mammo,2cm wiyh love alex xxx

When i was dx i was 34 with sons of 4 and 1. Three years on, im now 37 with my boys being 7 and 4, and im well. Just to reassure you that somehow your kids get you through it, i found i never had much time to think about it. Good luck x

Hiya, I too am 36, but my ‘babies’ are older at 17 & 13, just to reassure you I was also told because of my age I would have chemo, but my onc didn’t recommend it as my bc was caught early, so don’t think just because of your age you’ll have to have chemo, there are few of us ‘just’ rads and tamoxifen ladies.

Good luck with your treatment, keep posting and I’m sure the ladies on here will help you through any tough times. X