Waiting "Impatiently"

I am 41 and was diagnosed IDC end of March.

Initially only biopsied biggest lump despite mammogram showing ‘lumps’. Initial ultrasound didn’t show anything obvious in armpit. MRI showed 2 lumps in different quadrants. Primary one 5cm. Surgeon originally discussed lumpectomy. Then biopsy of 2nd lump was confirmed also cancer.

6 weeks later had mastectomy and sentinel lobe biopsy. Results: Grade 2; ER+; HER2-; 1 of four nodes positive. Had to return for surgery for axillary lymph node clearance.

Now one week post surgery. Waiting for lymph node results. Waiting for first appt with oncologist. Told likely be July before I start chemo. Naturally I feel like 3 months from process of diagnosis (and surgery) to start chemotherapy is a lifetime to wait.

I know it varies for each individual case. Friend living in another area has neen recently diagnosed and had all biopsies and scans within 2 weeks and is starting chemo next week. Though she is grade 3. Maybe my treatment has been pretty prompt? How long does each part of the process take for others? How long do people wait for surgery and chemo? I feel as though the ‘one month’ guideline always evades me.

Hi Docdeedee
I was diagnosed on 10/5 and have been for biopsies and MRI. Surgery is planned for 16/6. I guess any treatment won’t start until late June or even July. Good luck for all your treatments xx

I started chemotherapy 5.5 weeks after surgery, but I requested a week’s delay as I felt I wasn’t quite ready.  I wanted to be as fit as possible before starting.  Time from diagnosis to mastectomy was just under 6 weeks but there was a bit of to & fro because I also had additional biopsies and SNB prior to mastectomy.  The MDT discussions were crucial and they only meet once a week and have to wait on results of tests.  I thought it was all quite quick but you’re right, every case is different!  Best of luck with your treatment. xx

Yesterday I got a phone call to go for lymph node results on Fri. Was expecting to have to wait longer. Probably find out when oncology appt will be too. Best wishes for your surgery and treatment. Thanks for replying.


My initial mammogram was April last year and after a series of scans, biopsies and an MRI, didn’t have surgery until June. Nothing I could do about that at the time, but annoyingly ,the cancer doubled in size ( lobular, grade 3) and rather than a straight forward lumpectomy, the nipple had to be removed and then placed back again because the cancer cells were pulling on it. But I’m OK about that now.

I then had chemo 6 weeks later. When I questioned my oncologist about the wait, she said that there was a 12 week window! So maybe a month is abit optimistic.

I managed to get through chemo in 3 months ( 4 cycles, every 3 weeks) . Everyone s treatment is different though. And then only a month later, rads. I had 20 zaps, which took 4 weeks.

And that’s my BC story! I think it probably takes a year from start to finish. 

But just to say, it was all worth it. Just had my first mammogram and it was all clear.

The waiting is definitely the worse part.

Best wishes xx

Great to hear all clear now. That sounds terrifying how it grew while you waited.

After my mastectomy they confirmed that in addition to the 5cm tumour and another tumour up to 8cm was DCIS.