Sister just been diagnosed

Hi all i am very concerned as my younger sister age 42 has just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer after finding a lump in her right breast she went straight to her GP and was refered to hospital after mamagram,ultrasound scan and core biopsy’s she was told last tuesday she has got braest cancer in both breasts and her right side limph nodes and she is to have a dbl mastectomy on the 29th Feb less than 3 weeks away, she still ahs to have bone scan and Ct scan hopefully b4 the op is this normal? we asked her consultant about reconstriction and he has said reconstriction cannot happen till 2 years later, we have made an appointment with the cancer nurse for this Tuesday to discuss a second opinion but am worried that this wont happen in time b4 the op date, has anyone else asked for a second opinion b4 surgery? i am trying to be my sisters backbone and rock as she has a 6 year old little boy who is autistic.
I am also concerned as my Aunt died from breast cancer and now not only worried sick for my sister but now feel that i also could be at risk i am 48 years old and have in the past (20 years ago) had a lump removed from my right breast it was b9 but thats still a worry.
I hall go with my sister to all her apointments and treatment and surgery as she is so frightened. I am trying to b strong around her but inside i am very upset and worried.
Could anyone help me or suggest any questions we need to ask the cancer nurse about all aspects of the cancer such as stage grade etc, this might help us understand things a little more. I look forward to reading any response’s or suggestions. x

The scans before treatment are pretty normal. The teams need to know firstly if it is cancer, if it is what type and if it has started to spread. The diagnosis and type is initially from the biopsy, but they will get more details from the path report after surgery.

The scans are to look for evidence of spread. They are normal.

This initial stage I don’t see much benefit in getting a second opinion. They have the diagnosis that she has cancer, the questions are what treatment and the order.

Immediate reconstruction is less common where there is likely to be other treatments like chemo or radiotherapy.

You are doing a good thing supporting your sister, and even without your concerns about being at risk yourself it will be a tough journey for you as well.

For your concerns, one of the best things you can do is go and talk to your GP. Discuss your concerns about the family history. There are ests for certain genes that may be worth considering that may help decide if you want to take direct steps yourself to try to reduce your risks.


Thanks for your reply, i am going with my sister on tuesday to talk to the cancer nurse about why she is having to wait 2 years for reconstruction and try to find out what stage/grade the cancer is and if there will be other treatments after surgery. I am going to talk to my GP about my concerns with this being in our family and check to see if there are any tests i can have. But as you say right now my concerns are with my sister and to be there for her when ever she needs me. I will catch up after tuesday and if we find out anything more. thanks again.x

We do like to get updates!

When my wife was diagnosed, we were getting ready for a family wedding and she had a Karen Millen dress ready for it. She was given the choice between surgery first or chemo first, but surgery first would have been a mastectomy. She was going for the MX right up until she was told no immediate reconstruction.

I have been lucky to avoid MX for my cancer, but there are others who have posted in the last year (but are not particularly active on the forums any more) who had the same advice. Passing on what they said, it was because IF there is a recurrence (please note the IF) it can be more difficult to spot it if there’s a reconstruction or implant, and it can also be heartbreaking to have a recon from back or tummy that then has to be removed, with no further possibility of that type of recon a second time. So the suggestion is to leave recon for a couple of years so that recurrence is much less likely and the choice of what type of recon is wider.

Hope that helps, and that those who have had that happen will be along shortly.

Hi Janben63

I’m sorry to read of your sister’s recent diagnosis. As well as the support you are receiving here from the other users you might find it helpful to talk things through with a trained member of staff on the BCC helpline. Here you can share your concerns and discuss any questions you may have about your sister diagnosis with somone who will offer you emotional support as well as practical information.
The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm and Saturday 9 to 2pm.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi just thought i would update about my sister’s latest apointment with the cancer nurse at the hospital, we have been told that the cancer is stage 2 bilatial (not sure of the spelling sorry) and that the reason there has not been offered reconstruction is because if chemo or raidio theropy is needed after her mastectomy’s this could cause problems, so now she has decided not to have a 2nd opinion just go ahead with the surgery as planned 29th feb, she also now has her bone scan apointment monday 20th feb and her ct scan on tues 21st so hopefully the results will be back b4 surgery, I am worried about these tests but unfortunatly this has to b done. I will keep being strong 4 my wonderful sis and pray the news is good. Thanks for all your coments and advice this site is somehow helping me deal with this awful time. thanks again.x

The tests are worrying, but the other side is that good results really are good. Fingers crossed for you.

Hi all, I am just back from Hospital only 1 hour ago after my sister had her dbl mx today,I am so glad today is over and all has gone well so far, she got her ct scan results through just b4 her surgery all good just need to wait for bone scan results,
What a day she had to be at the hospital at 11am this morning the admissions ward, we sat in the so called lounge (well a corridor with seats along with others waiting for all kinds of ops from hip replacemnts to toe nail removal) we sat there till 3.40pm when we walked with her to the theatre doors, we then waited in her ward till 7pm when she came back from her surgery and stayed till 8.15pm with her till i was sure she was ok and settled for the night, going to see her tom and hope to find things are going well, will keep you informed soon. thanks.

hi there. wow, what a support you are being for your sister. I had a mx a week ago today and have recovered really well (i’m 37). Having my family near me has been invaluable. the scar from the op is really neat even after one week. expect your sis to have mixed emotions tomoz: shock, relief, tearfulness. I woke up thinking how awful it was that i lost part of my body at 37 and had cancer, but then thought… actually I might not have cancer anymore. Let your sis talk and cry - let her talk about her worst fears and worries and just listen to her. it seems you have been a great support for her. Also remind her that she is not alone. there are LOADS of young women going through this. i have a 2yr old boy too and understand how hard it is. x x

Hi Flower20 I am so sorry to hear about your recent MX at only 37, it seems to happen younger a lot more than i actully realised, thanks for your comments, i am only doing what i feeel i must i am naturaly very careing, my sis did have a good cry the day after her op and also during the night, today she has had some pain and one of her drains fell out so she says it has stopped some of the pulling she was feeling the other one in the same side is prob going to be taken out in the morning but the other side is still draining at present so a few more days for that one. I cannot believe how she is coping with it all, very brave and strong, i will be there for her to talk and cry as and when needed, she isnt likeing the hospital food, so i am trying to think of foods she likes to take in for her tommorrow. I am hopeing and praying that all goes well for both my sis and you, coz us girls can be very strong when needed but there are also times when we just need to talk and cry, after all we r only human, i hope your well and getting better every day. Take care luv Jan.x :~)

hi jan.
I am pleased your sis is doing ok. It’s weird. the mind adjusts to the situation. i think the first few weeks are the worst because of the shock ( which I actually think is a way of protecting you to allow you adjust). She has to let this nightmare flow over her- not fight it ( by this I means don’t say I " should not be like this or that") There is nothing more she can do. She is taking all the treatments going, but other than that (other than maybe tweaking your diet- which I am not inclined to do as it was okay before this) So, this means, cry, yell, hide when she wants. She is really not alone. I never ever ever though this would happen to me and it has.

Hi All, Just a quick update on my Sister, Today she has had her drains removed and come home from hospital, and this is 5 days after her dbl MX and right side limph nodes removed, although she is very tired and week, now being home from hospital she can get some much needed sleep and nice food. I am very pleased i found this site coz all the support is helping me. thanks Luv Jan xx

Hi Jan,
I’ve just read this thread and it’s lovely that you’ve been so supportive to your sister. I wish I had a sister like you. I’ve got my 1st breast clinic on Monday so am a little anxious but it’s good to see that things will take their course and with the right support things can be OK in the end. This has been really helpful to read.
Em x

Hi Em, If you want support while going through this time i can be here for you to chat to as and when you need, i have been to all my sisters appointments and trying to help when i can even if she needs a cry or just to talk, if you look at this the way my sister has with my help, we talked about all the ifs and maybe’s and decided that this has happened and we cannot change this, so we said without the treatment whatever it is she would be very unwell so we looked at the whole thing as life saving, my sister is only 42 years old and wants to see her little boy grow up, i am very proud to say now after only 7 days and a bilateral MX and some limph nodes removed she has got through this part of it, and actually been quite lucky as she says its not been that painful, she is home still taking things easy but had her 1st shower today and is doing small things in the house like folding washing making a drink and helping her little boy do puzzels, each day that passes she says she feels better and better, so we have got her nxt appointment for her histolagy report so fingers crossed everything will be ok, she has tried wearing a bra with the comfys in but says she prefers to wear nothing as its a little tender and only early days as yet. I see her most days and talk to her on the phone whenever she needs me, all i can say is she has dealt with the whole thing so well so far, there are times when she feels tired but thats expected. As i said earlier you can private message me any time if you whant to and if i can help you any time i will try. Hope everything goes well for you take care luv Jan.xx

Hi all just an update i attended my Sisters histolgy last week and found out the cancer on her right breast and limph nodes was stage 3 they removed 16 limph nodes and 3 had cancer cells, as for the left breast it was stage 1 but it was not contained and has now spread to her left limph nodes so now the MX is over she is now gonna start Chemo nxt tuesday, having 18 weeks of chemo thats 1 dose every 3 weeks (3 doses of one sort then another 3 doses of another sort after that) follwoed by 3 weeks of raidiotheropy 15 lots, i will be taking her to each one, she was also told today that there is a chance that she could in 10 yrs time get another sort of cancer caused by the chemo but there is no chance of knowing, (this realy sucks) she also has the task now of telling her autistic son who is only 6 about her hair falling out and becoming bald without scaring him, my sis is going to have her hair cut short this week so that when it does fall out it wont be such a shock as her hair is long at the moment. I must say i am so proud of how she os dealing with all this information. Life is so unfair for those who suffer this terrible C not only do they loose their breasts but then their hair falls out and the chemo makes them feel poorly for so long, and then you get the breast care nurse saying well you will get a lie in each morning not having to wash/blow dry and style your hair, NO lady would prefer that im sure! some people say the most stupid things at inapropriate times. Of cause then she will be fitted for a wig that she will have to pay for (that i find hard to believe) us ladies have got so much to offer when we are teenagers and we all im sure never think of things like BC, but we do suffer as age creeps up.
Sorry for all the moaning i will get off my soap box now, i just felt like getting it off my mind, (i would normally say chest but thats not the thing to say today).
I was told today that i can ask for a macmillan grant to help me pay for traveling to and from hospital while taking my sis to all her treatment as i travel 40 mile round to get her in for her chemo and tests/visits to see consultants, and when she starts her radiotheropy i will be traveling 55 mile 5 days per week for 3 weeks, so i will look into that and find out how.
I must say i am not looking forward to next Tuesday 1st chemo but i will be with her every step of the way. thanks for reading my posts and all the support i will keep you all informed, in a feww jan xxxx