Ongoing Mental Torture

Diagnosed in past few months with grade 3 lobular. Have had partial mastectomy & sentinel node biopsy(positive lymph nodes)followed by axillary clearance (awaiting results)& resection of original margins. Bone scans & CT scans show no visible spread.
Since diagnosis have been unable to focus on anything but the condition - every waking minute is mental torture (being aware I am a ticking timebomb, not knowing when the grande finale will be, & how I will suffer in the meantime) & life is not worth living. I live on my own so have no distractions. Additionally my best friend has deserted me since I told her my condition which has been a further shock. My GP said he could prescribe pills to help control my anxiety but there was nothing to help with the mental torture. I have not been given any support at the hospital - efforts are concentrated at treating the condition rather than the patient. Breast care nurses will listen to what I have to say but I get nothing back from them. I am completely lost & don’t know where to turn to get the help I need. The only time I get any peace from it all is when I am asleep & consequently I just want to go asleep & not wake up. Is there any help out there for me?

Hi there phloxylady

Firstly, welcome to the forums, you will receive lots of support, information and tips here.

Understandably, you’re feeling anxious at the moment and this is completely normal.

If you feel it will help to talk to someone, please call our helpline, they’re open today until 2pm and Monday to Friday 9-5. They’re great listeners but can also point you in the direction of other sources of help, support and advice.

The number is 0808 800 6000.

I’m sure others will be along very soon too.

Best wishes


Hi Phloxylady - I can confirm the BCC helpline is brilliant they were so good to me when I had a real issue and not only listened but gave me good practical advice so please give it a try.

I really know how you are feeling and the worry you have night and day thinking the worst and go to really dark places. Breast Cancer is a rotton horrid disease to have. The fact your CT scans are clear is a really positive thing and there is no spread. The waiting for the pathology results is probably the worst as you are in a bit of a limbo waiting your treatment plan.

There is tons that they can throw at the cancer and they will - once they have the pathology results they will get you started on that - and to be honest that does make you feel better in that you are doing something practively to ‘fight’ the cancer. If you look at the threads on this website you will find many many ladies who have been diagnosed with exactly the same of you, have gone through their treatment and are leading, active healthy lives - BC in itself doesn’t mean ‘the end’.

In respect of your ‘best friend’ its seems that some people just cannot handle someone close to them being diagnosed - i have been lucky in that my friends have been magnificent - but again I know from this site a lot of ladies have lost their best friends… well to be honest she probably wasn’t much of a friend in any case if she deserted you at this time! You will meet lots of lovely lovely ladies on here who are so friendly and supportive and you will make lots of new friends I am sure.

I am unsure of where you live, but there are many support groups around the country and ladies on here get together quite regularly to give each other emotional support and generally have a laugh or two. The helpline will also identify support groups out there.

I was diagnosed a year ago, have had some real ups and downs but now I am feeling so much better in that I feel I am moving forward and living a life which is probably a lot richer than my old life as I appreciate things so much more… It will get better and much much easier I promise… take care and lots of virtual hugs…xxxx


sorry to hear you are in such a dark place at thd moment. My bcn was pretty useless at the emotional stuff too, but did refer me to a consultant psychiatrist who specialises in helping people dealing with serious illnesses, cancer dx etc and that’s been fantastic. Maybe you could ask for a similar referral? The helpline here is great, definitely try them, and the Samaritans have really helped a friend of mine when bcc line was shut. They are just there if you need to talk. Don’t feel bad about feelng like you do, it’s a totally normal reaction to the events that have taken place, you just need to access support that should really already hVe been offered to you. You will get there. Big hugs


Hello Phloxylady. I completely agree with everything Saffronseed has said - it does feel like a black hole and waiting for results is terrible. I felt much more in control and positive when I knew what my treatment plan was and I could get on with it. I was diagnosed in September and have had real ups and downs and looking back I can’t believe how well I have coped. You can do it you have got through so much already. My BC nurse is also not supportive, which I think is unusual, and I have had to search out help for myself like you. This site is brilliant, the publications I sent for are really good and the helpline fantastic. You are not alone. I have one friend who cannot cope with my BC (I think this is quite usual) but have other friends and work colleagues who are great.

It will get easier …
Keep in touch and don’t google too much.

Please be assurred you are not alone. All your worries are very normal at the beginning. I was diagnosed with invasive lobular grade 3, node involvement so full clearance, back in 2008.
Like the others have said before- find out about your local BC support group- mine was brilliant and although I don’t go along now I have made very good friends with 3 ladies who I met there.

Your friends behaviour is very upsetting for you but not surprising. I had a very similar situation with my brother and Father!! I think they were so terrified of the situation that they just stayed away-this was more upsetting to me! After several months of treatment I wrote them a letter explaining that I understood their fear … it was a turning point from then on.
Please call the helpline - they are a fantastic support.
Take care and have rest- you are still in shock probably.
Big hug
Bethy x

Phloxylady, I’d like to join in and send you a virtual hug. The waiting for results thing is the absolute pits, and it’s not surprising that you’re feeling so dark at the moment.

If you say what part of the country you’re in you might get some specific suggestions for practical help. For example, my local hospital has a support centre attached to the cancer treatment section that offers help with filling in forms, massages, counselling, all sorts of things. Does your hospital have that kind of thing? That could be a direct question you can ask your BCN. Somewhere else on the site I read about The Haven, another charity that has centres where this kind of help is also available. Tell us where you are and someone on here will doubtless be just up the road from you - there are sadly so many of us.

Don’t feel bad about accepting chemical help for the anxiety, you might find that a prescription will help you take the edge off it enough for you to be able to take some direct steps.

It’s very sad about your friend, but you will be surprised at how many new friends you will make, though of course we’d all prefer not to be forced to make these changes in our lives.

Come on the forums and rant and rage as much as you like, and we will understand.


When I was dx my bed was the only place I felt safe. I spent hours staring at the tree outside and had panic attacks when asked to do anything. You are not alone. You are grieving for your lost peace of mind, coming to terms with a whole new world and facing lots of fears.
My advice would be go get your gp to refer you to a Macmillan nurse, she will have access to all sorts of support. Through them I got complimentary therapies, had financial advise, emotional support, my husband got counselling and we were put in touch with a family councillor for my children. Since then my oncologist has referred me to a clinical psychologist, who is great. Now is the time to cash in all of your chips and get maximum support. Phone the helpline at bcc, or the Macmillan helpline. It helps enormously to say it out loud. I also found it really useful to write down how I felt. It helped me realise when I started to feel better.

Being honest about how you feel is a great start.

Sorry about your friend. Some people just can’t cope.