Newly diagnosed

Hi all,

I’m new to all this.

Was hoping not to find myself here but seems I’m the next one in my family to fall foul of this horrible disease. I was diagnosed last Thursday and seem to have crumbled from the confident, fun person I know into an anxious wreck. It’s comforting to read on here that I am not alone in this. Trying to work a bit but I have a decision to make about surgery option of lumpectomy or mastectomy in the next day or two and it really is difficult and causing my a lot of stress.  My surgery is planned for 30 April. No one else can really make at decision for me which I find exhausting and I would like to crawl away and hide but realise I have to face it all.


I think forward to the lymph results etc and I realise from reading the posts here that I need to keep calm and focus day by day and appointment by appointment and try not to look at what ifs…not so easy is it.


Tried to be normal and go to work…found it more difficult than I thought I would. Also went out with friends but that was a struggle. Am I acting normally? I’m hopeful that once treatment in under way I can start to try to move on a little more calmly and become stronger.


Any help appreciated



Dear Tropic_al


You are certainly not alone and are certainly acting normally. From everything I’ve read on this forum, all the emotions you describe are common with breast cancer, especially those of us newly diagnosed. We are all different and act differently at different times, but similar doubts and fears go around in all of us at some time. I also think it takes a great deal of strength to acknowledge how you are feeling. 


It was Wed 28th Mar the surgeon confirmed I had an invasive ductal carcinoma grade 3, oestrogen positive, 8/8. I’m due for a wide local excision lumpectomy on Tue 24 Apr with sentinel node biopsy and intra operative assessment of the lymph nodes. So the tumour will be removed together with a clear margin, and any lymph nodes found to be affected will be removed at the same time.


There is so much information given to you within a short space of time, that I found it very difficult to make the decision between mastectomy and lumpectomy. So when I saw the surgeon last Thursday to talk through the procedure I said I wasn’t sure what they were advising me to have. Without hesitation, she said ‘We advise patients to have a lumpectomy unless the tumour is so large it has spread around the breast, or unless the breast is so small the tumour takes up a large proportion of it.’ She drew a little diagram to show how it would be done and how a clear margin would be removed.


The surgeon also explained that there was only a slight risk that I would need to go back for further surgery if insufficient tissue was removed the first time. The only guide they have during surgery is 2D in the form of an Xray taken during the operation and their own observations, so it will be necessary to wait for lab results before confirming that all the cancerous tissue has been removed. Even so, she was confident there was only a slight risk of needing further surgery. She is a very experienced consultant and assured me it is a straightforward operation.


Different hospital units and different surgeons are likely to have different views, so what has applied to me might not be what you are advised, but I do think it’s worth being frank with your surgeon and asking them what they advise. If they’re female, you could ask them what they would choose in your situation, and if male what they would advise their wife to have.


Everyone I have spoken to in the Breast Cancer Unit, including two surgeons, has said that a mastectomy is no greater guarantee than a lumpectomy is that the cancer won’t come back. Some women feel more confident with a mastectomy, but this is more a psychological reassurance than a scientific one. 


Do talk it through with your surgeon and your cancer nurse.


Please come back to us and do try to reassure yourself that whatever you feel is perfectly reasonable. Strength is the ability to acknowledge weakness and still carry on.



Hello and welcome but as you say not a place we would want to be through choice.


Everything you are feeling is normal, once you have your treatment plan it does get easier because you know what is going to happen and when.  It is a very good idea to take one stage at a time and give yourself space to take it all in.  Please stay away from Dr Google as there is a lot of out of date and misinformation out there.


You will get loads of help and support from the wonderful ladies on here so come on whenever you want and we will always be there.


Sending you hugs


Helena xx

Thanks so much for the detailed reply. This is my problem exactly but they haven’t been quite so helpful in telling me which way is best. I have a family history of it coming back after lumpectomies with two people which you are quite right psychologically pushes me in one direction, although medical evidence suggests otherwise. It’s a minefield. I do appreciate having others around to help through this so thanks?.

Thanks Helena for the advice and the hugs…definitely needed x

Hi Tropic_al,

I think I’m similar to you - found out last Wednesday and been in shock since. Keep crying or staring into space. I have 2 kids 7 and 9 so trying to be strong for them but I’m so worried about what lies ahead. I’ve got an appointment on Monday when I hope to get more answers but the waiting is killing me. I went back to work today and managed most of the day but ended up nearly in tears in Tesco at lunchtime and cried all the way home after I left early :frowning:. You’re not alone xxx

Hello ladies and a warm welcome to the forum, not a place you want to be but I’m sure you will find lots of help and support across our various threads ?

The early weeks of diagnosis are just about the worst it gets, what you are feeling is normal. Anxiety takes hold and magnifies everything ten fold! The more information you gain over the coming weeks will really help to give you strength again and you will find yourself coping, there’s no defining moment as such but you will just realise the days are passing and You are dealing with it.


Take things slowly and only try and process what you know for certain , don’t speculate about what may or may not be ahead as this will drive you potty! You are in the please someone tell me this is a sick joke stage at the minute so don’t be hard on yourselves and expect to be carrying on as normal. The supermarket meltdown is the norm, seeing everyone carrying on around you when you just want to rampage up and down the aisles has happened to us all! 


Xx Jo 

Thanks Jo, that’s so reassuring. I’ve had real head in the sand today, by contrast, and have had a pretty normal day at work. But then it hits me again and it’s like finding out all over again. Also finding myself not telling people I don’t know very well and feeling like I’ve got a dark secret. I will feel.mucj better when I know the plan. Relying on wine, biscuits and exercise in the meantime… XX

Hi all,

back on the forum. I had a bit of a break as had surgery, a mastectomy and recon in the end so have been recovering. For me it was good to just get on with the surgery rather than spend more time deliberating the two choices. In the end I feel ok with the decision as the lump turned out to be bigger than expected and a grade higher now. I am moving onto chemotherapy in the next couple of weeks with my oncologist meeting this week so will move onto those boards. I just wanted to return here to thank everyone for their help and advice and hugs so far. 

Keeprunning- I hope you now have more of a plan and are coping ok. As I have been told many times, be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time. I am just finding my way through all of this but definitely became calmer when I had decided on my surgery and now hopefully I’ll gain more control along the way once I know my chemotherapy treatment plan. I’ll look out for you on the forum but hope you’re getting on ok so far.


Jobey68- thanks for the excellent advice, much appreciated.


See you on the other boards ladies,

Thanks for the support,