Shock of diagnosis

I am 47 & recently diagnosed with breast cancer & in lymph nodes. I have had first round of chemo therapy & am at home recovering. I just feel so depressed & frightened. I’m not hungry & just sit I bed which is not like me but I can’t help it. X

Hi Silvia,


I am the same age as you exactly, and was also diagnosed recently. You sound so unhappy, and I wanted to reply to you and let you there are others feeling the same way as you and who understand. You’ve not mentioned much about your actual diagnosis, so I don’t know if you have had chemo after surgery or not? I really think it might help to call the helpline number at the top of this website, or even sign up for the ‘someone like me’ service…you can email them from a link also somewhere on the front page of the website…and they find someone to call you to talk through your current feelings. 


Not feeling hungry and just sitting around is part of the shock, you can and will come through it…and feeling unwell from the chemo can’t help either. I lost nearly a stone in the few weeks leading up to and after diagnosis. Read on here, and use this as a safe place where you can tell people about your feelings and share them. There are also ‘chemo threads’ where you can relate to others in a similar position. 


take care and stick with us here, so many understand 




Thank you so much for replying I am more grateful than you can imagine. I am just so scared & even though the doctors have said I won’t die if this it’s so hard to believe this truly. I am having 8 rounds of chemo then total removal of breast perhaps both. I can’t even breathe sometimes & I feel pain everywhere. I will look at chemo threads & your suggestions. I just want to be able to live through this. Thank you it helped to read your response. X

Hi Silvia so sorry you’re feeling like this at the moment. Have you got family or friends around. I’ve found particularly close friends very helpful while going through this. But if you haven’t we are all here for you. You will get through this, you’re just having a tough time of it at the moment. Anita xx

Hi Silvia, me again…


I so so feel for you right now, and could give you a massive hug if I was there. We could cry together and then make a nice cup of tea and find some things to smile and laugh about. Those things are still there Silvia, all the reason to be glad and happy, it’s just right now you are under a blanket of despair.


Something that helped me a few weeks ago, related to this whole ‘diagnosis’ thing. We hear the ‘C’ word and that terrifies us, and then people start talking graphs and expectancies of being free of ‘C’ in the coming years. This is a really nasty situation to be in, and is an affront to the natural human spirit of survival. So, I started thinking about it…my surgeon was saying things similar to yours that they would ‘sort it’ and ‘it’d be fine’…if I made up a survival graph for anyone else who didn’t have a diagnosis then what would that be like. My neighbour, or the woman in the supermarket who had diabetes and was obese with asthma…or even the postman or the cyclist going through town or the old man on the corner who keeps going up that ladder!..what would those be like, their expectancies? It could be that any one of them had a much worse chance of being struck with an illness or having an accident ( not that I wish it on anyone you understand) in the near future. None of us know what is around the corner? what I am saying is that it is having a diagnosis that causes the anguish…it starts you focusing on things you really don’t want to. However, those without a diagnosis are obvious to the risks to their health and therefore feel ‘safe’. 

Another example…my Dad in his 70s was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He had a dreaded diagnosis, and lots of people asked about his prognosis and asked directly ‘how long he had’. It was deeply distressing. 9 years later and he is still alive and some of those who asked about his prognosis have passed on.

YOU have every chance of having a long and happy life, especially as your cancer was noticed and treated! You went to get checked, and now they will keep a very good eye on you in the future. Look on this board Silvia, there are many women here who haven’t  just got primary BC, but have been living with secondaries for years and years . Treatments have changed, things are better than ever before for those who are diagnosed. 


charys x

Hi Charys
Thank you for your response. It did help a lot in the respect I had never thought about it like you put it. I just hear your bravery & wish I could share a tiny piece of it at the moment. I am struggling I guess as the chemo seems to have taken my appetite & I normally love my food. I feel like I can’t face people not like me usually & I feel guilty for being so miserable. Do you think I will get to the point whereby my life will be normal again. I understand some things will change but just want to continue my little ordinary life again? I hope to be brave as you. Reading your response helped ver much & I keep reading it to remind me that I can get there thank you so much. I think your dad is a brave man too &!he is lucky to have a courageous kind daughter like you. I wish I could focus on the people who have lived for years after being cleared of breast cancer & from reading I see there are lots. You are right medicine has come a long way & it is still advancing. Thank you so much for your post. Please keep them coming. You have really helped where i didn’t think I would reply I really wanted to when you posted for me. Thank you x

Hi Anita thank you for replying. My other half is wonderful but I am tough work & miserable I know so it’s hard on him too. Just hearing from you helped because I felt I could cry & talk & write x

Hi Charys
I am so grateful for your kind wise words because they make sense & i am hopeful I will get there. I was even thinking about the fact that some people think there will one day soon be a cure for all cancer & that might change how I view it compared to now. I have had an email from a kind lady at a support group to call her in Monday so perhaps that will help talk. Also I will see if i can contact a breast cancer nurse as I have some information given to me but it was a blur ar the time. I will try & pop out today & instead of sitting in bed I came downstairs to have some soup. The heartburn & pains in my back & chest & breast scare me but I am hoping this is the chemo effects & anxiety combined. I keep worrying that the my have said they are giving me chemo then removal of breast but the experts believe this is correct for me as I have the oestrogen cancer so that want to kill the cells with chemo then remove the breast. I guess they know best. It’s also scarey as I lost my mum & dad to cancer both more than 10 years ago so I must remember medicine has come such a long way since then. I am sorry if I seem to burden you but your responses help to clear my head which at the moment is an emtional wreak. I am very grateful to you. My next chemo is 26th may so I am trying to eat to be strong for this. Are there any foods drinks you can suggest that work for you? Survival rates are better I know & I should remember this. Believe me I am trying so hard just the struggle is uphill at present. My other half feels helpless I know & he is desperate for me to believe I will live through this. I am trying to believe as I desperately want to live & experience life & appreciate those things I took for granted. I know I will certainly enjoy my time at home & work less hours. Thank you for getting me to chat as I think I can be a loner but your kindness brought me out x

Hi Charys
I can’t thank you enough for your response yesterday. It’s like you show me that I could allow myself to believe there could be a glimmer of hope. I don’t think I could even contemplate that previously. The cancer I have is grade 2/3 invasive ductile cancer which is HER2 positive. I keep feeling pains in my back, breast & chest. I magine it’s moving & it frightens me. I can’t believe the scans are correct even though I pray they are & that its not gone anywhere else. It’s like my head tells me bad things. Why can’t I believe the doctors & why are the pains so bad? I hate the way I keep thinking “why me?” I mean I know I’m not special so have no right to be omitted from this disease but I just feel so hurt. My dad died of stomach cancer & my my had breast cancer but recovered from this. 20 years later she got lymphoma & bone cancer but I don’t believe it was connected to the breast cancer. I just see all these happy people who don’t have cancer & I can’t help wishing I was them. Then I feel guilty for being so wallowing I self pity & I dislike who I am. I can’t bear to see people because all I think is how lucky they are with their health & their lives. How can anyone like me when I have such selfish horrid thoughts? I don’t feel like a good person anymore. Just consumed with self pity & anger. Will I ever be me again? Today I don’t feel so sick so I am going to take your advice & look to sit outside maybe even a venture out. This morning I was thinking about what you said & I did dare to think that if I make this treatment & get better after the chemo surgery & perhaps radiotherapy then by then in a few years medicine might have found a way of stopping this disease so that it won’t be as scarey as now. Thank you for giving me so many honest good thoughts to think about. I will let you know how my day goes & please don’t let this be all about me as u feel guilty of that. Let me know how you are & about yourself please. If that’s ok with you? Thank you for more than you could realise how much you help me. Silvia x

Hi Silvia - just read your thread & picked up on the bit about the pain your feeling. When I was first diagnosed I mentioned to my BC nurse that I had pain in the other breast & lower back, too & she told me this is so common with recently diagnosed people. It’s not that the pains not real, as such but you start imagining all sorts of things & if your stressed & anxious pain can manifest itself in other parts of the body. If you’ve been told everything else is fine, believe it, relax, do something nice & hopefully the other pains will go away xx

Hi Charys
How your words resonated in my mind today. I felt like I was listening & I mean really hearing a lot of things you said. You are do right i dont know what is going in in those people’s lives & we all have bad moments in life. Please don’t think I would ever wish bad on anybody I would never do that but just to think that l life gives good & bad times to all made me feel slightly less mournful & victimised. I don’t mean to sound self piteous but I know you will understand what I mean. incredible for me who isn’t a very trusting person yet I believe you won’t judge me on what I am feeling or saying because of the messages we’ve shared. Somehow I trust you & that is so good to feel because I can be honest & know you will get me. Does that make sense? I don’t think I realised such caring good people like you existed. You who doesn’t gain anything by your kindness but gives so much purely because you care & understand. Now that has given me more than anything I could have imagined. I did go out today & spoke to people which at times was hard but I think because I felt physically better & mentally after reading your response more able & less guilty for the “why me & please don’t let this be happening to me” feelings I tried hard to function. I can’t help being so scared but you know how I feel so I can say that to you without feeling like I have to keep those thoughts in. Your understanding because you have been through this that it is normal to think these things & also that I can be introspective made me feel like I can feel this way & not be so terribly guilty in doing so. I still find it very difficult to think beyond the next few months but maybe that’s a day by day process at the moment. Last week when I first messaged you I thought terrible dark thoughts constantly but not so much today. That’s because of your kindness thank you. I still feel envious of people who don’t have this disease & I wish for my old life & health I had but perhaps like you said there will be a silver lining. Today I also spoke to a lady I know about my diagnosis & she told me about her aunt who had been treated for breast cancer & I know this sounds awful but I am realising how many people are affected by this so it can happen to anybody. I am going to try & sleep soon. Hope you had a good day. Did you go out? Do you have a big supportive family? I hope you enjoyed a sunny day. Take care. Thank you my friend & I truly mean that. Silvia x

Hi Anita
Thank you so much. When I read what you said about the pains & how they can manifest themselves it helped more than I can say. I was saying your text to myself a lot so when I felt these pains it made them less scarey & calmed me down. I tried to stop thinking they were cancer related. Your response made me believe perhaps I can trust what they have said so I relaxed a bit & like you said I went for a walk. How was your day? I went out & it was tough at times because I had moments of tears whilst I was out but at least I went out. Thank you so much for your kindness. X

Hi Jo
Wow what an inspiration & joy to hear your brightness. Thank you so much. Just to read how you are a year on from diagnosis & feel good means I can dare to believe I may be able to get through this. At the moment I am so afraid to believe or look beyond the new few months. So reading your message was really lovely. I have a lot to get through still but day by day like you said. How did you cope? What was your treatment if you don’t mind me asking? May I ask what was your breast cancer type? Sorry don’t answer if you don’t want to. Thanks for helping me realise that the dark negative envious thoughts about other people without this disease are ok to think & that it’s normal & that I am not an evil person. I guess it was hard to hear myself as normally I am not selfish so I resented myself for being like that as well. I am learning to accept this is a process & the thoughts will lift & a lot of that is thanks to you & this forum. I am generally a bit of a loner but it felt so helpful to reach out & experience how kind people are. Thank you so much for responding. Silvia x

Silvia if my few words have helped you I can’t tell you how happy that has made me. When I was new to this & I still am really, a few words of support from others on this forum were enough to help me through my dark times & you will have them but you’ll also have ‘normal’ days, too when you’ll just go about yr life. I don’t have a large family- just a brother who is very supportive but I have fantastic friends who’ve been with me every step of the way. Like Charys I have only told a few people as I too feel this is private & I want to be treated as I always have been not differently. So tell people you trust & who you know will be there for you. And of course us lot here going through what you are & having the same fears & worries but we’ll get there. Have a lovely day whatever you’re doing xx

Hi Anita thanks for your response. It feels so much easier to speak to people on this forum about the terrible self piteous angry envious feelings I have because you don’t judge me for them. You understand them & help me realise it’s a process that I need to go through in my own time. I keep wishing that this hadn’t happened but day by day it’s sinking in. I wake up & know the nightmare is true & that I have to function. I read the messages on here this morning & I felt just that little bit more able to function. Thank you so much for responding to me x

Hi Charys
Thanks for messaging me as I imagine you are a busy lady. How are you today? Did you ever get it when you woke up in the morning & for a second forgot about the cancer & then as I do touched my short hair probably soon to fall out & remembered it’s not just a terrible dream but reality? Them my heart falls & the tension & tears start. Will that ease in time do you think? I have a wonderful other half, an amazing aunt & a brother who is struggling with it all. I do have some very caring friends but sometimes I feel lonely alone despite all these lovely people in my life. I don’t ever mean to sound ungrateful or horrid it just I can’t help remembering they don’t have the cancer. You must think I am a misery but I really am trying not to be so downcast. I have two cats who I think sense my sadness & are often following me around the house. I must admit your words about the people in the supermarket & not knowing their circumstances or future helped but it has stated in my mind & I think of it when I ge those doubts about the future. Tomorrow my other half is going into my workplace to give them my sickness certificate & he thinks I should go with him but I am scared shy & anxious about doing so. Like I said I don’t do well at opening up & don’t want all the questions it frightens me & makes it all so real & reminds me of how lovely my normal life was before this. I will decide on it tomorrow depending on how I brave I feel. I do know that you have helped this past week so much & your wisdom is staying with me like a friend on my shoulder thank you. How is your day going? I did pop out to the garden but it was a bit fresh out there. I am going to walk to the coffee shop later just to try & face the world instead of staying in my safe secluded surroundings. My neighbour came to see my yesterday & she was pleased to see mere downstairs as opposed to in the bedroom the week before. Little steps on a day by day basis. I learnt that from you too. The road ahead seems so long but day by day I hope to get there & to be able to look back on this as a journey. The chemo I had last week & will have on 26th May at least I know a little of what to expect next time. Although I imagine I will lose my hair eyebrows & eyelashes which is sad but has to happen. I want to live so I guess it’s just a consequence of the medicine to treat me. The surgery really scares me as I am very squeamish but I will have to cross that when it comes. I just can’t help the fear & terror I often feel. Did you feel like that? How did you cope? I am not very brave so this sometimes reduces to me to tears & despite wanting to be courageous I don’t often manage it. People around me are so much braver & I feel guilty about not being as courageous as them. Does this make sense? Sorry to keep going on about me I am usually much less self centred I promise. I like hearing about people a lot & it was one I of the things at work that they would joke about how everybody would come to reception where I was to tell me if their troubles because I love to listen & let other people do the talking. How I miss that. Do you have pets? I noticed you said previously. They seem to help me. Good to hear your husband & daughter are really supportive & it’s so nice when you know they are there for you. Hope you are having a nice afternoon. Will message you soon. Silvia xxx

Hi Jo
Thanks for your inspirational message. Well done to you! It was lovely to hear of the way you were so positive about breast cancer & how it’s treatable. You kind of gave me that hope that I need reminding of constantly as my other half would say. He tries to make sure I remember the doctors said that lots of wormen have breast cancer are treated in different ways for it then go on with their lives & live on happily. It’s just good to hear that from someone who has experienced it as it makes it real. I think I am having targeted treatment with chemo & then the operation to remove the breast or breasts then perhaps radio therapy. Long road but time flies everybody keeps saying. I guess I am guilty of just wanting my normal life. Did you often feel like that? I miss being me. I was the lady who people looked to for a shoulder an ear & advice. Now I feel useless as I am often the crying wreck. I am gong to go out the door today though as I have been told this will help my state of mind. How did you manage to be so brave? I hope you are having a good day. Thank you for your message it did help me to think this can be done. It’s a journey but people do it. You have showed me that. Silvia xxx

Hi Silvia, i certainly didnt feel very brave at the time i can tell you! Time and knowlege is what gets you through,i spoke to loads of lovely ladies here and tried to get as much information about my diagnosis as i could,the more appointments you have the more your confidence in a good out come grow, ive always been the go to person in our family and i hated feeling so weak and being the one who needed the help , normal
Service has now resumed and im back in charge of them all now! ?

Hi Charys
How are you? Good news about the rad sessions starting soon. The sooner you can start the sooner you will have the completed. Your test to your OH made me smile. I bet he does notice it’s just they don’t show it. Your description of how waking up & finding its not a nightmare but bare reality was so accurate. It’ is truly like a whack & then i just want to sleep it away except it won’t go away. Good to hear it will pass. I have benefitted so much for your experiences because right now it’s like living hell but just hearing it will improve makes me able to get through the day & ready for the tomorrow. I also had to have therapy for my phobia of surgery needles & GA a few years ago when I had to have knee surgery but to be honest it was nothing compared to all this now. Although perhaps in a bizarre way it did slightly prepare me for the cannula & port line I had to have put in last week. Apparently it makes administering the chemo easier than constantly looking for a vein. Even though I hate the bump on my chest & stitches in my neck they said it wold be better than trying to find veins throughout the chemo. I trust the doctors so took their advice & had it put in. Hearing how you got through it gives me courage. It’s not the thought of not having my breast or breasts it’s more the scars & surgery that scare me. It’s really not a vanity thing it’s just the whole visual waking up to the stitches that petrifies me. Yet when I read your message it rang so true that fundamentally I just want the disease gone so I’ll take whatever I have to do to get that result. See you made me see sense again! Today I seem to have suffered a lot with pain just under the breast which has me panicking again but I am trying to remember all tests results after diagnosis were that it hadn’t gone anywhere else. Did you suffer from heartburn at all? I seem to get it a lot but it could be anxiety as I am constant pent up with worry. I will mention it when I next go for chemo & perhaps they can suggest what to do to ease it. I am so scared to read about the disease as I seem to imagine lots of bad things & send myself into an emotional frenzy with it all. Perhaps I will write some questions for the oncologist who will be at the next chemo session. Did you drive yourself crazy with pains everywhere or am I a hysterical worrier? You have lots of pets! Are the dogs lovely? A snake? That’s unusual & really amazing. Also bunnies & tortoises! You must be an animal lover like me. Cats are funny because they are so clever & sense emotions so well & react to how we are. My two cats have been particularly affectionate & by my side much of the time. I feel for you as its so awful when you lose a pet. It’s like they are a member of your family. My OH says our two cats get treated better than him. Is your daughter close to you? It must be so lovely to have her with you when you struggle emotionally & you can lean on each other? Is she like you in character or like your OH or a mixture of you both? I am going to try & sleep now but sometimes struggle to doze off. Hope you had a good evening. Thank you for caring. Also for making me laugh with your funny tales about your day. Will message you soon. Silvia xxx

Hi Jo
Thanks for your message. I think after reading your message I am going to write a list of questions on preparation for the next chemo session on 26th May as the oncologist will be there. I try not to read the Internet too much as I seem to read scarey things & then can’t focus on any of the good stuff on it. I guess in time this will become easier just at present I feel pains around the breast & underneath it & panic. I get heartburn & stress which probably makes it worse. Then I hunch my body die to anxiety & I get back ache. Sorry I sound like a total moaner which really isn’t me. Did you get some symptoms due to worry & anxiety? What did you do to see them please? Good to hear that you are back to your normal role of being the go to person & got everybody back I order. Makes me hopeful that I will again be the ears for those around me who need to let off steam or have a good whinge. I am going to try & remember that time & knowledge will make this easier & that means I need to patient & take things step by step. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. This forum & the amazing ladies has helped so much as have your messages. Thank you for caring. Have a good day tomorrow. Silvia xxx