Newly diagnosed... feeling scared, emotional, exhausted, sometimes hopeful!

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, and I’m sorry if it’s a bit of a ramble! Just wanted to reach out to a new community and ask for a virtual hug!

I’d noticed a small lump top of my left breast mid December, had my initial Breast Clinic appointment 2 weeks later and had an ultrasound guided biopsy the same day. I received the results of the biopsy and my breast cancer diagnosis on Friday… I kinda had an inkling that they’d found something as I was called up at the end of the day on Thursday and given an appointment the following morning. Gah. Still felt hit by a tonne of bricks when the consultant gave me the news though.

I’m still getting my head around the information I’ve had so far, but so far it’s been described as a ER+ HER- invasive breast cancer with lobular features, the tumour is 16mm and does not look like it has spread into the lymph nodes in my armpit according to the US and biopsy, but need some further tests to check this. I have to have an MRI and a mammogram with contrast later next week to ascertain the specific treatment plan. So far I’ve been told that I will need to have surgery (not sure if it will be lumpectomy or mastectomy yet), radiotherapy and hormonal therapy, and won’t know about whether I need chemo until I have these other scans. The consultant was very positive about curative treatment as it’s stage 1. The breast nurse was lovely and supportive, and I’ve had some time this weekend to read through the written information she’s given me this weekend. 

Just wanted to say a little about me personally. I have anxiety and the last year has been a struggle mental health-wise. I like to run, walk, cycle and do yoga as exercise - it’s so important for me to be able to get outside and move, I do it more for clearing my clogged head than the physical benefits to be honest. I am a healthcare worker (allied health therapist) and work in acute hospital care with adults, so stress and anxiety has been at all-time high this last year with this feckin’ pandemic. I live with my long-term partner of 13 years, so very grateful to have immediate support available and he has been wonderful so far. I’m 34 and we don’t have children, although in the last year I had been thinking more about whether having children is something I might want (finally!), so I’m worried now about the hormone therapy (and possible chemo) impacting this, on top of my biological age from the baby-making perspective. I’m originally from Scotland but have been living down in SE England for over 10 years. My family live in Scotland. We have been wanting to move back up north for a while now, but keep encountering barriers to this, this diagnosis being the latest one. 

I have told my partner and my immediate family only about the diagnosis. I want to wait until I have more information about treatment until I tell my closest friends - scattered all over the world but easily contactable by Zoom / Whatsapp. One of my friends is a breast cancer survivor (she was diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 30/31). 

I’ve been feeling all over the place this weekend. Have had periods of calm, positive clarity, and then other periods of extreme anxiety with spiralling and intrusive thoughts and feeling panicky and overwhelmed. Struggling with the uncertainty of it all at the moment, I’m hoping that those feelings will settle a bit once I have a clearer treatment plan. I feel a sense of guilt as well: feeling guilty that I’m going to be a burden on my partner and how it will affect him, feeling sad about my family being far away and how they are coping (my dad in particular hasn’t taken the initial news well), feeling guilty that I’m going to have to leave my work colleagues to deal with the ongoing onslaught of the pandemic, with such stretched staffing and emotional and physical fatigue. I feel like I’m letting people down, but I know deep down that I need to put myself first. Also feeling very anxious about dealing with this and undergoing treatment with COVID-19, so would be grateful for any advice from others about how they have been coping with their treatment under these conditions. What a world we live in at the moment eh?! I’m also a bit scared about the surgery, I’ve never had anything other than local anaesthetic for minor things before myself. I’m not so much worried about waking up in the middle of it, I think I’m scared about having a bad reaction to it.

Just wanted a bit of reassurance and any advice about coping with the rollercoaster of emotions and feelings, I’m sure this is going to be the way it is for a while! I will be asking my nurse about counselling as I think this will help me, and hope I can come on here to vent / laugh / cry with you all as well! 

Sorry for the rambled garble! Look forward to hearing from you.


Hi nicklespickles - and welcome to this club that none of us wanted to join, but here we are! It’s an amazingly lovely and supportive community, I’m so glad I found it and hopefully you’ll feel the same. Best place for those ‘stupid’ (they’re not) questions that just get stuck in your head, big or small, there’ll be someone here who can say “Oh, me too!” and leave you feeling less alone through this gawdawful period of uncertainty and yup, hit with a brick wall feeling!


Nicklespickles Glad you’ve reached out to Breast Cancer Now, step by step you will get through, when you have more information about treatment plan for you, then do look at the threads or joint the thread that is where you are treatments wise, ask away on here, use the number at the top, and all the support and everything Breast Cancer Now offers, remember treatments are tailored specifically for you and your team has seen it all before. It is a lot to suddenly have to process and deal with but you will and do it your own way you might not be someone who puts yourself first, but you make choices and decisions for you, no one knows your body better than you. :two_women_holding_hands: everyone at Breast Cancer Now is here for you as much or as little as you need :two_hearts: :two_hearts: :sparkles: :sparkles: Shi xx

hi there-

I was diagnosed Nov 25 with invasive lobular carcinoma, about 2 cm long, just in my left breast. My choices they gave me were: 1) have a lumpectomy, followed by radiation and then hormonal therapy or 2) have a mastectomy and then no radiation needed followed by some hormonal therapy for prevention of further issues.

I had heard that radiation can really toughen the skin and make further breast construction (if a mastectomy is wanted in the future) difficult so I went with the mastectomy and in fact, a double mastectomy just so I would not have any more mammograms or fears of future findings.

The surgery (double mastectomy with direct-to-implant breast reconstruction) was Jan 5 and I am only now starting to feel (maybe?) I did the right thing? I don’t know. I waffle from moment to moment. But they did find LCIS in my right “healthy” breast after the mastectomy so at least that confirmed my suspicions that the “drama” would never be over until I had the mastectomies.

Thankfully no cancer in my sentinel nodes so I am cancer free - just have to meet with doctors next week to talk about prophylactic hormonal treatment (such as femora or tamoxifen) and also make sure my “barbie boobs” are healing as expected.

It is no easy choice or emotion no matter what choice you make. And it is a very personal choice between you and your doctors and your family but I just wanted to let you know what you are going through sounds pretty normal to me.

Big hugs


Hello @nicklespickles  and everyone newly diagnosed. I just wanted to say a quick hello and send some caring thoughts, as your post was so lovely. I too am a health care professional (nurse) and can empathise with your feelings about ‘leaving’ your colleagues at such an awful time. I was diagnosed last October, have had surgery and am in the middle of chemotherapy now. I have been off work since the start of October and swing from just being relieved not to be there, to feeling really bad for my team (I am a team leader). It’s so tricky, isn’t it. But I hope your colleagues and managers are being as supportive as mine - they are all really clear that I need to take all the time I need, so that I can go back when better. And, really, I know that I would be of no use at all to them.

I am so sorry that you find yourself in this position, especially when you are so young. But you will have lots of treatment options and, until you know the full picture, you can’t really know what will happen. 

So really, just a virtual hug and a reminder that this forum really is the place to be. I am finding it so helpful to describe feelings that I may not choose to share with those close to me.

Take care xx

Big virtual hug to you!
I‘m sure lots of us can totally relate to what you’ve written.  Yes the initial diagnosis, follow up tests, screening and waiting are an absolute rollercoaster … my head was spinning for weeks.  Yoga and being in the moment helped a little.
I‘m sure once you have full details and a treatment plan it will help you to slow down your head.  Step by step…try not to overthink… at each stage I identified my best case scenario and worse case … this helped me not to worry about some things unnecessarily and to feel a little in control.  
I also have the guilty feeling of not working - I work in a primary school.  In the long Term it’s more important to look after our own physical and mental health …we can’t help anyone else if we aren’t fit.  We shouldn’t feel guilty.

Breath deep and slowly and take one step at a time.  Wishing you only the best!

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your replies and hugs, I’m so very grateful. It’s been very grounding to hear from you and knowing that all these feelings are totally normal and to be expected. I have to say I’ve been feeling a little more settled over the last week. I think as scans and tests are completed it feels like things are moving forward, and there’s something helpful psychologically with ‘ticking off’ things. My work have been so supportive (not that I expected anything less) and I feel more a bit more at peace with not being there. Officially signed off now so I can now focus on staying as well as I can mentally and physically. Planning on lots of yoga, reading, music, drawing and walking once I’m out of self-isolation and out of surgery - some nice things to look forward to each day. I’m sure there will be some more crap days to come but do feel a bit more settled than before.

I have now had my first follow-up with the consultant and my surgery (lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy) is scheduled in a couple of weeks time, fingers crossed. Still don’t know about chemo yet until after the surgery, and but just trying to focus on one thing at a time. 

Thank you all so much again, I appreciate you taking the time respond and reassure xx