Recently diagnosed with breast cancer.... just need to speak...

Hi everyone,

I am so grateful ? to find this forum.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 3rd May 2023 (Invasive ductal carcinoma, Grade 3, Oestrogen receptor positive, HER2 negative). the Wide local excision of breast lesion and Sentinel node surgery took place on the 8th June and I was discharged on the same day. It is without a doubt a huge shock to the system when you are diagnosed and I can feel in each and everyone’s story we all feel/felt the same. It is absolutely life changing and its very comforting to know we are not alone, and all in this together!

Although there are many more positives after diagnosis, the negative thoughts do still creep in. Nothing really prepares you for the discussions to be had with family members. I am a single Mum to two adult children, who aren’t handling my diagnosis well… its like the elephant in the room. My partner is in denial and avoids discussing it too(he did attend the pre-op appointment with me as I wanted and needed the support) My Mum who lives overseas and was also diagnosed at the same age as me, 58 years, had a mastectomy is now 83 and is a warrior, a humungus inspiration to me.

I went for my follow up appointment with my Consultant last Thursday and she advised that as the cancer does not reach the cut medial margin and they have not removed an adequate rim of tissue around the tumor there needs to be further surgery on the 7th July, and that if after this cancer is found to be in situ  the third op would be a mastectomy. The lymph nodes were found to be clear, and an Oncotype test has been arranged to determine whether chemotherapy is necessary.

Today marks three weeks since the surgery. Up until today I have coped fine, felt strong and told everyone so. I have had sleepless nights waking up and worrying but have managed to remain my calm, positive and happy self. The Breast Cancer nurses at the hospital are so supportive and compassionate as are all the consultants I have dealt with.

This morning my world crashed I felt like I had literally hit a brick wall, doing 100mph! I felt anxious, hopeless, irritable, can’t focus, frustrated and have not had an appetite for days and have felt like I am slowly heading on a downward spiral down a very black hole. My biggest negative in all of this is that I have had to take time of from the job that I love, an animal wildlife hospital,  I have amazing colleagues they message me every day, and that is a positive.

I had decided to do some research on support groups this afternoon, as I am (“normally”) very positive and upbeat, and am always able ti see the happy in everything, but not today. I am feeling scared, tearful and very alone in this. I have read so many courageous messages on this forum this afternoon, with such wonderfully supportive and caring responses including all the hugs, I know this is where I needed to be. Thankyou to everyone for being there for everyone ?

The message here is crystal clear “we are not alone”. We are all walking this walk together, there will be highs and definitely lows, this will pass, & its very comforting to know. Bizarrely I feel less stressed and a little lighter for being able to talk so freely about it now and to be able to say the words that no one around me really wants me too and finds hard to hear. After taking some of the advice that I have read I will be making an appointment with my GP tomorrow to talk about my anxiety.

Thank you for listening and for all the inspiration, comfort and strength. x

Big love and even bigger hugs x


Welcome to the forum , I felt very much the same as you when I found the forum 8 years ago now when first diagnosed , it’s a great relief to find you are not alone in this and people understand . Cancer can seem like living m a parallel universe sometimes  can’t it ? Lots of support and advice here if you need it x

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Welcome! This is the best club no one wants to join ? We all do understand though and know that at the beginning, it’s always hardest. Just waiting for results, wondering what treatment you may need, how it will make you feel, can wreak havoc on the mind. It will get better though. If you have any questions, please let us know but on another note, thanks so much for mentioning your Mom!! It’s always wonderful to hear about long term survivors and how wonderful that she’s right there with you.

Dear Lavender Days,

We have all been there and now we are there for you, After reading your post, I was thinking what an inspiration your mum has been to you however also feel what a positive lady you are must be following in her footsteps as we do with our mothers they are best teachers, we don’t always realise it at the time.

The hardest part for me when I was diagnosed telling my children who are both adults, but they’re still your kids and we still like to protect them, my husband was quite understanding, but didn’t understand me at the time and what I was going through, however we got there in the end.

Wishing you well with lots of health and happiness ahead, for a good outcome with your treatment, please keep posting and let us know how you’re getting on.

As you said we are not alone 

Biggest hugs Tili ???

Hi… I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer (and I don’t even want to find the bit of paper with the description on it!)… but I know it is relatively small and doesn’t appear to be in the lymph nodes. I am booked for surgery on Sept 11th to remove lump, some healthy tissue and the first lymph node so they can see it all under a microscope. Six weeks later I will have three months of chemo (the hair losing type) and then 6 months after that, I will have radio therapy.

It’s interesting to notice what I’m noticing! A whole range of emotions and ‘it will be what it is’ narratives! But the part that caught me about your post was how you felt about the work that you love. How have you found ways round that? I absolutely love what I do (leadership development type work) and I’m pretty certain the chemo probably means I won’t be able to do the part that I particularly love, which is directly working with groups of leaders - it’s intensive, emotional and surprisingly physically demanding. Plus in involves a lot of travel. Any anything else I do at work relates to being able to do that. Or requires me to be cognitively sharp (a challenge at the best of times what with ADHD and being peri-menopausal!). I feel sure it’ll come back, as will my hair. I just feel so lost about it, all the same. I’m also aware that I will need to start arranging Plan Bs sooner rather than later. It’s not the kind of work where I can decided on the day… it’ll require a lot of other people pulling together to get things covered. And I’m just not sure if I’m ready to have those conversations, or be cryptic about it.

Given the grand scheme of things - I feel incredibly lucky. And this feels like a first world problem. But it is what it is, I guess

Very much looking forward to being part of something bigger, within this forum. Thank you for the space xxx


Welcome to the forum ! You go through many emotions when first diagnosed , it can change from day to day how you feel emotionally but it really does help to talk to people who’ve been through or are going through this too . I hid my cancer related paperwork under the front passenger seat in the car , didn’t want that horrible stuff in my house !!! When I went to have my operation the lady in the next bed told me she kept hers at her Mums house for the same reason !!
Working during chemo very much depends on your job , the amount of flexibility it has and how much you can control your working hours and your contact with people during the times you are most vulnerable . It does sound like this may be a big ask with your job . Is there any part of it that would involve less demands ( I know this may also be less rewarding ) ?
It’s hard talking to people about your diagnosis when it’s so new maybe give yourself a little bit of time to process it than talk to your employers about this ?