Scared and shocked - can’t stop crying

Hi Everyone, well I’m a member of the club nobody wants to be in and I’m so scared :worried:.

Brief summary - went to breast clinic about 11 years ago with painful breasts and nipple discharge - had all the relevant tests and given the all clear.

Roll on to 2024 and age 46 about to start HRT, mentioned to my GP practice nurse that I was still experiencing the same symptoms so she referred me back to the breast unit for reassurance.

I was so sure everything would be fine I went to my appointment alone! Won’t make that mistake again :grimacing:. I had a mammogram, examination and biopsies from two areas on my right breast. They told me at the end of the appointment it was breast cancer. I was sat there all by myself to be told that news.

I’m seeing the surgeon on Friday with the results and to make a plan but I have a
ill defined mass measuring 22mm x 19mm and a increased area of density measuring 24mm x 13mm (apparently this one could be ok and normal for me).

Left breast and lymph nodes both sides appear normal on ultrasound, examination and mammogram.

I guess I just wondered if anyone had anything similar to me and can offer any reassurance - I’m so scared I can’t stop crying.


Hi @jayne1210 I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a shock. I am not exactly in the same position as you in that I am older (mid-60s) and was never offered HRT so the removal of that opportunity was never a disappointment for me. But I did merrily roll along to my usual 3 year mammogram thinking, I’ll just tick this box. Alas, a tumour was found in the right breast and I was also told there and then that it was cancer but the biopsy would determine what sort.

I think everyone in this situation feels that the waiting for results is the hardest part so it’s good that you will soon have that appointment. Once you know what your treatment plan is likely to be, although it’s never confirmed until after surgery, you’ll feel more in control of the situation. Until then, try if you can, to keep busy to stop your mind going to all of the dark places it goes to when you don’t know the facts. We all do it but it really isn’t helpful. Stay off Google, it knows nothing about your individual situation so whatever you read will be irrelevant, all you’ll find is generalised stuff that, even if once true, is likely to be out of date.

Great news that the lymphs appear clear and old leftie is fine too. Keep making a note of questions to ask at the appointment. Obviously you’ll be taking someone with you but it would be most helpful if you ask if you can record what is said on your phone as it can be hard to remember everything.

This is fixable, literally tens of thousands of women who have been through it, and out the other side, are testament to that. Anyway, you have found us now and we’ll be there to support, answer questions and absorb the rants, as and when. Do let us know how you got on at the results appointment.


Hi @jayne1210 It’s hideous and it’s terrifying. I was diagnosed on 9th November 2023 so I’m a little way ahead of you but am still awaiting results of my 3rd attempt for them to get clear margins and lymph node clearance. I started a thread called HER2+ and Need Some Buddies. I was crying out in exactly the same way you are right now. There are some amazing ladies on there who are hauling me through. Please join us. @Tigress is bang on that you are undoubtedly in the hardest part right now. The shock and the waiting are nothing short of a living hell when your world is just turned upside down but it’s true that thousands upon thousands of women go through this and come out the other side. We will too. I’m going to see if I can send you a link to our thread because there is lots of good advice on there.

Love and hugs to you,



Hi @jayne1210

I am so sorry that you find yourself here and that you’re going through so much.

The forum is full of kind, helpful people like @Tigress and @salbert and I hope you find the support you are looking for.

Please know that our nurses are here for you any time, here on the forum on the Ask our Nurses your questions or over the phone 0808 800 6000.

We’re thinking of you.

Sending our warmest,


Aww thank you ladies so much for replying, I feel like I’m not alone in this and have you all that I can chat to.
I actually spoke to a lovely nurse though the helpline this morning who told me about this amazing forum :heart:.

One question I will be asking is ‘when can I have surgery?’ It’s horrible knowing it’s there that I just want it gone.

Can I ask you ladies how long you had to wait for surgery following your diagnosis?


Hi @jayne1210

You can and must chat to us. This has become a lifeline to me.

I got diagnosed on November 9th and was in surgery on Wednesday 15th. Unfortunately I’ve also had to go back in December and again last Tuesday but hopefully that’s the last time. Fingers crossed. I come under Surrey and Sussex Healthcare and they differ from one area to the next. Also it seems that some consultants do treatment first and others surgery first. Good advice I got on the HER2 and need some buddies thread was that it is important to remember that everyone’s story is different.

I can literally feel the difference in the demeanour of the ladies who are further along the path and have got over the shock and are ploughing on with their treatment. We will get there too.

With the crying thing, I say let it out. And then again and again and again because it’s all part of processing it. I have cried buckets and the week before last I was driving along in the dark and decided to scream my head off and yell and wail until I got it all out. If that’s not your thing then no worries. There are no rules when it comes to dealing with crap like this.



I like a good scream in the car on a motorway myself. I did this when I went back to work as soon as I could after my diagnosis in late 2003. I found myself driving five days a week from my home near Stratford London to the outskirts of East Maidstone. I had to claw my way back as I had a mortgage to pay. I went there after I had completed my surgery and radiotherapy so that was something. I cried a lot on my own but not in front of any work colleagues as I needed a calm cancer free time which is what work did for me. I am retired now so I can make as much fuss as I like at home. I was rediagnosed with early breast cancer after 19 years clear. Very annoying. But at 68 I am well into retirement. I can cry and scream to my heart’s content. The dog makes much more noise than me though.


Hi Jayne. Im so sorry this happened to you. I’m 46 too and also went with confidence to my appointment alone only to be told it was highly likely to be cancer. My lump is 2.8cm. At the results appointment 2 weeks later, I took my husband. I was diagnosed with a grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. They didnt think nodes were involved.

Anyway today I had my surgery. I was petrified of anaesthetic and pain, but I hope I can reassure you…I’m barely in any pain and the staff were incredible and so understanding. I expect when you get your results, something similar will be on the treatment plan.

I agree, it’s not a club I wanted to join, but my experience so far has been positive, surprising and filled with compassion. I feel humbled. I hope my journey continues in this way and that yours does too. Feel free to ask me any questions as your info sounds similar.

I hope the wait for your biopsy results isnt too long. X


Oh that sounds very reassuring, hope you can take it easy and get lots of rest to recover. Can I ask how long you had to wait from diagnosis to surgery? Do you know if you need further treatment or does it depend on the biopsy from your surgery? I know everyone is different and all treatment plans are tailored to that individual.
Another thing for me is that I work in the NHS Trust where I’m having my treatment :grimacing: I’m trying to continue working until we have a plan but it’s mentally so tough.

1 Like

Oh and @jayne1210, it was about 4.5 weeks between diagnosis and surgery. It maybe faster for you. Fingers crossed. X

1 Like

I kept working between diagnosis and surgery as a teacher. It was good for me to keep busy. I won’t know the resullts from surgery for 4 weeks. Hoping for clear margins but at least now I now what surgery is like, I hopefully won’t be so scared. Good luck and let us know what Friday brings x

1 Like

I am really sorry you’re going through this.
I also work in the same nhs trust to the team looking after me and knew many of them personally. I know how passionate and hard working they are which helped me but I was never going to be able to keep it quiet.
I went alone to the clinic, hoping it would be fine but told there and then it was cancer. The sonographer, also known to me, even showed me on the scan.
You’ll have good and bad days, hopeful then hopeless but once you get a plan and get things moving, I found it helped.
Dont take everything as fact though til after surgery. My size changed, two tumours turned into three, no lymph’s affected changed to two… that devastated me. So my advice is, let them do what they need, get all the results before holding onto details, until then, it’s fluid/best known information.
You will sleep a full night again, you will be happy, you will plan for things… life will get better-just a few rollercoaster rides in between.
Everyone is here for you through the ride
Big hugs


Hi Jayne. I got diagnosed on 05/01/24 and I had a lumpectomy this afternoon and some lymph nodes removed to be tested. The nurses and doctor were amazing and I had visits from all the staff to check I was ok and I went under at 1pm and was discharged by 5pm. They give you lots of medication so don’t be afraid to ask if you are in pain. They loaded me up with morphine before I went home! I was very stressed in the run up if I’m honest and I found trying to keep in my same routine whilst I was waiting was very helpful. I also found these forums and hearing over people’s experiences invaluable xx


Hi Laura,
Thank you for reaching out. I literally used to work opposite the breast unit and walked past it every day. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be a patient there.
How is your treatment going? Have you had surgery recently?
I’m still working, but luckily my boss has been amazing and is letting me work from home until I know more on Friday.
I just want it removed as soon as possible. I’m sure everyone says that though.

Wow that’s very quick from diagnosis to surgery, that’s what I’m hoping for. Did you need an MRI first or did they go straight for surgery?
Fingers crossed for clear margins :crossed_fingers:, hope you are resting up and looking after yourself.

1 Like

Hi Jayne. It was very quick which I was thankful for. I had 2 ultrasounds, biopsy and 2 mammograms but I haven’t had an MRI as of yet…not sure if or when this will get offered.

1 Like

Hi, very similar, I work next door to it and even now attend a monthly meeting which my surgeon attends. Strange to sit there knowing he has been very intimate with my body/held my life in his hands but very glad he did.
I was diagnosed in May with mastectomy surgery June. Then found lymph node was positive (had thought negative), biggest tumour 55mm (2cm bigger than thought) and found 3 instead of 2, which was devastating. Further surgery August to remove all lymph, chemo sept-jan 23, then radiotherapy February, started anastrazole then abemaciclib April.
I remember the sonographer saying I would have to swap a year of my life to get it back and he was pretty much spot on with timing.
After biopsy, I knew I wanted mastectomy-not lumpectomy or reconstruction etc, just get it out and as much as I was nervous about surgery, the want to get it out was bigger than nerves. If I could have both done, I would have.
Mastectomy was day patient, home by teatime, no pain relief needed, much better than I thought. You may just need lumpectomy which I would hope is similar but sure people here can help with.
Chemo wasn’t great but bearable.
Whatever your plan, you’ll get through it-what’s our option really? But basically we’re strong, we want to live, we’re women and can handle most things, you work for nhs and nothing much harder than that :joy:
You will get through it and be happy again… just get your plan then you can gear up.
Let us know how you get on
Big hugs


Hi ladies, so today was results day - it is bad but it could have been worse. Both biopsies have come back positive for cancer so I have two tumours in my right breast. Mine has been graded as grade 2. I’m still awaiting the HER-2 results as that depends on the next stage of treatment but mine is hormone driven by oestrogen and progesterone - been feeding the bloody things with my contraceptive pill! I’ve been told I will need a mastectomy which won’t be for 6-8 weeks :grimacing: feels like such a long time to wait! I’m having an MRI and CT next week. I’m so scared about the CT incase they find something else :sob:.
My surgeon did say the magic word ‘cure’ which I’m feeling positive about.
If anyone has similar to me I would be grateful for the support :heart:


I also have two tumours , both in my left breast . Called back after a routine mammogram in November , three biopsy’s later and diagnosed with Invasive ductal carcinoma. Oestrogen positive HEP2 negative
The waiting is the worse , your mind goes into overdrive . My advice would be to take each day as it comes , try and do something nice every day even a positive thought is good , cry if needed , it will release some stress ( I have cried every day since diagnosed ) use your breast care nurses , they are worth their weight in gold DONT google . Everyone’s cancer is unique to them so you could end up just frightening yourself , believe me I have been there …Deal with what you know for certain and don’t go into the unknown because it is just that - unknown . Use this site when you want to rant , share news or just chat , the ladies ( and gents ) on here are amazing .
I am booked in for a lumpectomy on the 6th February , the results of pathology will determine the next step but just dealing with one step at a time


Oh not to long to wait, the 6th Feb will come round very quickly :+1:t3:. Was there a reason why you were offered a lumpectomy over a mastectomy? My surgeon said mastectomy straight away. I didn’t really ask why but tbh I’m glad as it will all be gone. Going to have reconstruction at the same time probably with an implant.

1 Like