Newly diagnosed with breast cancer

Hi Im Wendie diagnosed with cancer last week 7th Jan 09.
Im 43 and still reeling. They said I will require a mastectomy but for me the wait of 4 weeks for the surgery is to long What can I do about it I keep getting the fob off? I am told the surgeons list is full up till the 3rd Feb when they have only offered me a mastectomy. Even though they called me in today to discuss immediate reconstruction. Feeling powerless.

Hi Wendie
Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care chat forums. I am sure you will soon receive lots of helpful support and advice from the many informed users of this site.

You may find BCC’s resource pack helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed. The pack is free of charge as are all our publications. If you would like a copy just follow the link below:
breastcancercare.org.uk//content.php?page_id=7514

If you feel it might help to talk to someone in confidence then please give the helpline a call, the staff here are all either breast care nurses or people who have personal experience of breast care issues. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 the lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

wendie - I said hi on the other thread that magel started, so hi again! I too was diagnosed on 7th - don’t think we’ll be forgetting that date for a while - I too am 43, do you have kids? The clinic I was at in Telford (Shropshire) was full with 85 people worrying - its such a common thing, and so many people have said so treatable now - including my consultant, mary xx

sorry I meant to say re the waitjing it’s awful isn’t it - 3 weeks for me when he told me, 2 now, have pre-op assessment next week then in on 28th for wle & nodes sampling…I rang the helpline last thursday when I was on my own in the house for the first time - -sounds daft - all 20mins - but I was terrified and just needed to hear a voice - the lady I spoke to was lovely…

Hi Wendie,

Really sorry that you’ve had to start the year this way, but I know that you will get some good support here.

We’re about the same age, but my treatment has been different to yours, (chemo before surgery) Early on I elected to change hospitals. The transfer happened to be over Easter, so I had a few weeks delay where I was effectively under the care of no one! The wait seemed endless. It is so totally frustrating and scary to feel stranded when all you want to do is get on with your treatment!

I’m guessing that 4 weeks is within the current treatment guidelines. Is it possible that the holidays have caused a bit of a backlog for the surgeons at your hospital? You could ring one or two of the help lines (here or Cancerbackup) just to confirm that you are not waiting too long.

Are you satisfied with the info and/or options you have been given about your surgery and recon?
If not, ask for another meeting with your BC nurse or even your surgeon. I had a segmental mast. so I’m not much use to you, hopefully someone else can offer up some more specific advice on this.

Most everyone will tell you that waiting around is the hardest thing in all of this. It never gets easier, you just start to learn to cope with it. Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

Lomalinda XXX

Hi WendieW

I was diagnosed 16 Dec, WLE and nodes Christmas Eve, starting chemo end of the month. Whatever stage we’re all at, the waiting is the worst. No doubt about it. Like Lomalinda says, are you happy you’ve had enough discussion with your doc/surgeon? It sounds like you feel you’re being cornered into mastectomy. You shouldn’t. You should either know and be satisfied that this is the option that is best for you, or know that you have the option to choose mastectomy even if they suggest a lumpectomy is all you need, or similar. You also do not have to be pushed into reconstruction. As far as I know you can choose absolutely no recon, or you can choose to wait and recon later. If you feel cornered, tell them. I would favour the nicely but firmly and clearly route. :). Maybe start with the bc nurse. The nurses are marvellous.

Having said that, waiting is the hardest part for all of us, no matter what stage we’re at. You’re right, you feel absolutely powerless. Not a feeling I like at all. You’re best route to feeling more in control is to make sure you understand, and make them explain, every option, every treatment, and while you’re doing that, breathe, roll your shoulders, relax, and know that you’re stronger than this thing. Way stronger!