Newly diagnosed

Hi everyone, i was newly diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer last week, i’m told it’s a small lump, about 1cm & I’m booked to have a wide local excision with axillary sampling on 11th July & radiotherapy afterwards. It was such a shock but i’m slowly getting my head around it. I’m taking one step at a time & trying to stay positive. There are a few seconds of the day now where it doesn’t invade my mind, not many though. Im lucky that i have a supportive husband & family, don’t know what i’d do without them. Look forward to chatting to u all, Heather x

Hi Heather,
I’m so glad you have a supportive family that will help you lots. The WLE isn’t too bad, I felt a whole lot better once I’d got the surgery out of the way though I was pretty bruised.
You sound very positive which is generally a good thing, but remember you’re allowed to be upset and have a bit of a rant now and again if you feel like it. So be kind to yourself - that includes recovering from the op. It’s easy to forget the emotional cost of diagnosis and surgery, and if you’re anything like me you’ll feel shattered for a while afterwards. I had lots of siestas, and tried not to overdo it!
There’s so much support on here it’s amazing, so stay in touch and let us know how you get on.
Big hugs
xx

hi, welcome to the club. The WLE and SNB last week, the lump was 1.5 cm round. I have not seen the scars yet cos the dressings dont come off till next week but the dressings are not that big so fingers crossed it not going to look that bad.

two things you might want to consider.

Dont know how well endowed you are but the best thing I did was get a properly fitted comfortable sports bra with seperate cups and soft straps. A bit expensive and i will throw it away afterwards because I explained to the lady that it was post surgery and to be worn in bed and she fitted it to support me for that rather than for jogging (and anyway i dont jog) I wear it 24/7 and am alway relieved to put it back on after showering.

the other thing i did was print the excerise sheet off this site and did them 10 days before surgery. I though i would learn them before so that it would be easier to start them they day after if I already knew them and also I would have a bench mark of how well i could do them and something to work towards after the op–just did them twice a day. Well when the phsyio saw me on the ward the morning after surgery she was amazed at my range of movement. She wondered if the exercises had strenthened the muscles and put them in better health. I have certainly had no problems with the post surgery regime (they give you different ones to do at my hospital) and am doing so well that they have said next week I can jump to the three week ones instead of staying on my current set. So you might want to try that if you have time

and as bubble trouble says, try and organise the weeks afterwards so that if you need to sleep or just put your feet up you can.

thank you for your comments & good advice. I will be taking it easy after the op,for a start i don’t react very well to general anaesthetics so that’s another problem. My work have been great & told me to take whatever i need re time off & not to worry about anything which is great for peace of mind there.
I did cry at diagnosis & the day after when i had to tell family & friends but haven’t felt the need to cry again yet, i’m sure that time will come again very soon though & i’ll just go with it.
I was thinking about a sports bra so i’ll go out tomorrow & buy one,now i know that they do actually help… And i’ll definately try the exercises,i can see why that might help but would never have thought of doing them beforehand.
I hope ur all doing ok, it’s horrible for us to have to be in this situation, i wouldn’t wish on anyone but it’s so great to be able to get advice & chat on here so thank u,love Heather xx

Best of luck Heather, once you know what you’re dealing with it’s much easier to deal with it. I second the sports bra thing, and good idea about the separate cups bit too. If you have one that lets them move sideways, you might even find it helpful to shove a sock between your boobs at night to help reduce movement even further. Not a glamorous look but to be frank, wearing a sports bra to bed isn’t either.

Hi Heather,
I’ve just joined your club.2cm invasive Ca,due for a mammoplasty 19th July.First time I’ve been happy to have large boobs-plenty of tissue to reshape,apparently.Looking on the bright side I get to have a breast reduction on the NHS, and now have something in common with Kylie!!!Joking aside it’s great to talk and share worries/woes,I look forward to chatting to you all getting your support and advice.Heather all the very best for all that’s ahead-we’ll be starting the journey together-look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
kate
Ps keep positive,keep smiling xx

Hi, I’m 47 and two weeks ago I thought I was fit and healthy - I am really active, have never really been ill, had an op, or even flu!

After going to my GP last week, on Monday I had a mammogram (my first but not as bad as I expected) an ultrasound and a core biopsy. Warning bells!!!

Today I returned for the results having come to terms with the probability that I would be told I needed a lumpectomy and possible treatment (the consultant had said she was pretty sure it was cancer at the first meeting), only to hear the news that it is a largish, grade 3 tumour and I will need a mastectomy, and lymph removal.

I’m scared, lonely and just can’t believe it’s happening.

I have no partner and can’t tell my Mum cos she’s old and frail and confused. It would worry her if she understood, and I’m not sure she would.

Hi Doglover99 and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the support you will receive here soon from your fellow users please feel free to call our helpline where you can talk through your concerns with one of our team in confidence, the lines are open today 9-2 and weekdays 9-5 on 0808 800 6000.

I am posting a link to the BCC newly diagnosed resource publication which you may find useful:

breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/diagnosed-with-breast-cancer/*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/82/

Take care
Lucy

Hi Heather and Doglover

So sorry you’ve had to join this club.

Doglover, my dx was similar to yours. I had an mx, node removal and immediate recon in January. I also live alone and all my family are on the other side of the country. The emotions are difficult to deal with, but I found that thinking about and sorting the practicalities helped. I started sorting my support network and preparing for being under the weather and not as mobile.

For a couple of reasons, but mainly so that I wasn’t alone post op, I had my surgery in Suffolk and stayed with my sis for a couple of weeks after, but I think I could have managed by myself. When I got home, I had loads of easy meals in the freezer and friends and neighbours who would shop, put the bins out, lift heavy things for me - don’t under estimate how difficult it can be to change the sheets on the bed for a week or two!

I was amazed at the offers of help I had from some very unlikely sources - don’t be shy - take them with open arms if you need them.

If it’s difficult to get emotional support from nearest and dearest, you will find plenty on here. I find just reading about other people’s experiences helps and has given me loads of good coping tips.

Good luck to you both - come back with any question, no matter how minor it seems, and someone will help.

Take care
Dx

Ditto

Doglover, just a friendly welcome from me, and a cyberhug too. I know what you mean about telling elderly parents, I still haven’t told my dad and I was diagnosed in December last year. I’ve avoided having to see him but talk on the phone, and have only kept hold of my wig (which I don’t wear) in case I do have to see him before I get a regular hairdo back.

Give the helpline a ring, they’re brilliant. And the practical suggestions of DJ are really good too. You will be surprised by the amount of support you end up with and where it comes from, but don’t be too disappointed if people you would have expected to get support from just don’t step up to the mark.

And use the forums as much as you like, there will always be someone along who knows what you’re going through.

Thanks for your good wishes.

My first instinct was to go for immediate reconstruction, but I was advised not to because it could delay treatment?

I have been told by a friend that has been through similar but on a smaller scale that you can have something called a cold cap if you need chemo and then you don’t lose your hair. Is that commonly used? If not, why not?

People that I have told - just a select few good friends - have been wonderful, but the main message - Think positive - is SOOOO difficult at the moment. And when you say goodbye to your friends, it’s just you and “That Word” again. I find I’m on the brink of tears all the time, and keep thinking - there must be something I can do to change this… But there isn’t.

Sorry to be such a misery. I was on anti-depressants to help cope with long term caring for my Mum (now in hospital awaiting a place in a nursing home) - perhaps I should get them upped. I’ve never liked taking pills but hey - looks like it’s gonna be that way for a bit.

Thanks for all your help,

Doglover XX

Hi Doglover & Heather sorry to have to welcome you to the club I think all has been said really just take each day as it comes try not to look ahead as so much can change once you have the full facts & a treatment plan in place you will start to feel more in control. You will always get lots of support here

thinking of you both
Mekala x

Called in to hospital this morning. Mum is very poorly. I think it may be a waiting game.

Can’t believe this is all happening at once…

Hey Doglover and everyone else…

Doglover I am so sorry you have to experience all this stuff at once. I will like to welcome you here and I hate we all have to meet and develop relationships with each other thru this type of stuff. The forums are very helpful and it feels like family on here. Everyone is very supportive and ALWAYS have great advice and suggestions.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone pretty sure they wouldn’t mind.

I will make sure to continue to check on you. Everything will be ok just take it one day at a time. I know it’s a lot to take in at this moment but I believe you can do it!

icare xx

yes you can use a cold cap, there are other threads on here about how well it works and wether to use them. Or someone might come along with experiance to help you.

From what i can figure out it might be a post code lottery, they are expensive things for the hospital to buy.and the hospital has to have the equipment to freeze them to keep them cold. Results seem to be varied, some people cut their hair short so there is more contact. They are not comfortable, imaging having your head frozen for several hours, but lots of people on here have reported that for them they have helped keep the hair.

Hi all, well my op is tomorrow, WLE & axillary sampling. I’m getting a bit nervous now, i really should go to bed as i have to go to the hospital early. I keep wondering how different my boob is going to look. Does it leave much scarring or disfigurement with a WLE or does it depend on how big the lump is? My lump is underneath so i don’t even know where they’re going to cut.I know it must sound vain when some of u have been through much more radical surgery but i can’t help thinking about it. Love Heather x

hi,

hope you got some sleep last night. I am a real baby when it comes to anything surgical but the WLE was realy doable.

my lump was 1.5cm round and the scar is about 3 inch long, but it is hairline. on one part in the middle the scar has dissapeared, and it is only three weeks old, other bits are a bit raised, but not horrid. the node scar is smaller but a bit more unsightly, its under my arm though. no dents at all.

I was lucky with pain, I was offered morphine later but I took paracetamol with a promise i could have the morphine if i needed it. They seem to think nowadays you shoud take the tablets before the pain starts. apparantly its easier to stop it starting that to kill it. after that first tablet I never took anything again and I am a huge baby.

as for mobility, it was important to me, worked with the physio on the ward the next day and religiously did exercises and worked wiht powerball three times a day. Now I can do windmills, although i would not like to use that arm to walk the dog yet, a bit leary of sudden jerks. But then i only had one sential node taken.

Anasthetics always knock me out for weeks. I told the nurse this and either because of my age or because of this she told me complete bed rest for one week, pyjamas the next week and then go for it. And that is what i have done.

So dont worry, the breast should look much better than you think and hopefully in a few weeks you will be ready for the next step.

hi,

hope you got some sleep last night. I am a real baby when it comes to anything surgical but the WLE was realy doable.

my lump was 1.5cm round and the scar is about 3 inch long, but it is hairline. on one part in the middle the scar has dissapeared, and it is only three weeks old, other bits are a bit raised, but not horrid. the node scar is smaller but a bit more unsightly, its under my arm though. no dents at all.

I was lucky with pain, I was offered morphine later but I took paracetamol with a promise i could have the morphine if i needed it. They seem to think nowadays you shoud take the tablets before the pain starts. apparantly its easier to stop it starting that to kill it. after that first tablet I never took anything again and I am a huge baby.

as for mobility, it was important to me, worked with the physio on the ward the next day and religiously did exercises and worked wiht powerball three times a day. Now I can do windmills, although i would not like to use that arm to walk the dog yet, a bit leary of sudden jerks. But then i only had one sential node taken.

Anasthetics always knock me out for weeks. I told the nurse this and either because of my age or because of this she told me complete bed rest for one week, pyjamas the next week and then go for it. And that is what i have done.

So dont worry, the breast should look much better than you think and hopefully in a few weeks you will be ready for the next step.

Thanks O&L, i had the op yesterday, it all went well & looks fairly ok. My surgeon used glue instead of stitches & have no bandages so everything is visible. It looks very bruised but not too swollen. Im not in too much pain either, just very sore.The worst part was the anaesthetic, u said it knocks u out for weeks. Im not much better, i ended up having to stay overnight as i was so sick & dizzy,still feel a bit sick now but at least im home. Don’t know why it affects some people more than others. I’ll start the exercises tomorrow. Hope ur doing ok. love Heather xxx