What IF?????


I have been thinking over the past few days about
“What would have happened IF i didn’t go to the docs in Dec 07 for a lump in my breast. Where would i be???” Dead i expect! but the thought of it is so hard to believe. I feel bereaved about what i’ve gone through and i mourn for who i was and want a part of me back but i also know that everything i have gone through has given me more time.

I’m reflecting on the journey i’ve been on but still find it hard to believe and the thought of what if the doc told me i was being stupid what if i didnt go, what if what if what if

The questions are going around in my head and i keep looking at my 3 girls thinking what i;ve put them through the past year.

Will the fear ever leave me and let me live?

Hi Sukes

I’ve been through many what ifs and have imagined where I would be now. I was diagnosed at the end of November 2007 and for me, it was a case of being caught by screening - there was no lump whatsoever. Had I not attended that screening session, I would have been a lot further down the road when I would have eventually been diagnosed.

I have a history of having several cysts in my breasts in my 40s and scarily, had I found a lump, I would have shoved it down the agenda thinking it was another cyst.

I just think I’m incredibly lucky to have been caught. I recall looking at my screening appointment letter on the morning it was due and taking it with me to work - I was on a course about the new 14-19 education agenda, it was Friday and my appointment was in the afternoon (course graveyard slot) and I decided I’d probably go along to the appointment because then I could go home afterwards!! Had I had what I might have considered an important meeting to attend, I know I wouldn’t have made that appointment.

I was in the process of changing my job and home in January 2008. I was due to move back to London and had everything sorted. To find myself diagnosed was truly shocking - I had to give up the new job and home and organise everything so I could stay where I am both job and home ie. on the south coast. There are a lot of people I feel truly grateful to who helped me on my way.

I think all of us live in fear - how can we not? We know that this is an unpredictable disease and I guess that only time will move us on. Since diagnosis I’ve re-evaluated my life, have developed some new interests (amazing what time off work during surgery and chemo can produce!!) and can only hope. Hey - I’m 55 tomorrow and would love to get to the same age my Mum is now - almost 87. I think hope is the word … !!

So my What If is about all of that - new job, diagnosed eventually and an appointment I might not have attended. All scary stuff!

Take care


Firstly i would like to wish you a wonderful day tomorrow and hope you have a fab birthday.

I too think about my visit to the docs on a late friday and think what if she didnt refer me to the hospital. The doc said she was 99.9% sure it was a fybrodema.

I too have re-evaluated my life. B4 i just want to be rich rich rich and successful and now well i just want to live. I have taken up growing my own veggies which is really rewarding and exciting as i now appreciate every form of life where as b4 i wouldnt think twice of killing a bug or plant.

I know i am wishing my life away and constantly want time to go by so i can see my tiny tots grow up. To think my youngest was 18months at the time is shocking. If i didnt get this checked out i might not be here today see he celebrating her 3rd birthday in may.

it just so sucks.

Hi All

I too have loads of what if’s.

I found a tiny lump Oct 05 went straight to dr’s, who referred me immed to BC, tests were inconclusive. Luckily next day scan dr was a breast surgeon who only did one day per week at my local hosp and insisted I return 4 weeks later when he was in again. Scan again inconclusive so immed further tests, ended up 3 weeks later with 8cm tumout and 15/20 lymph nodes a really crap prognosis.

Full mastectomy and SNB rather then chemo first + Onc went before the local board to get me exceptional treatment of FEC, Tax + herceptin 6 months prior to NICE approval.

My what if’s are, what had my GP went with gut instinct that lump was innocent, he told me only acting as urgant purely as government guidlines, same as BS cons, he also told me 99% certain all OK yet due to governmant guidelines I had to have triple test, when this was inconlusive luckily 3rd dr insisted I return to him. The day of diagnoses me and husband sat in room listening to BC, BCN and some one from theatre literally arguing over treatment V emergency surgery and scheduling as now very close to christmas, BC won with emergency surgery Again what if chemo first and it didn’t work??

I am now nearly 3.5 yrs NED and they are all amazed, that includes GP’s, Onc, BCN, BS and even PS, I am doing well, infact today got told by Onc that I am now going annual which is huge hurdle for me.

Becareful with what if’s as it has spoiled speacial occassions, kids birthdays (they were 8 and 6 at diagnoses) christmas’s etc I would at first tend to burst into tears, but it is now getting easier. I am not saying I am cured, I eventually expect to die from BC but outliving my original prognosis and hearing from my Onc today has given me a burst.

Good luck all

Debs XX


its good to hear you are do ing well and onc has given you yearly appointment.

I know what you mean about special occassions. Its my eldest 9th birthday start of may and i’m planning a get together for her in the morning with friends and a family get together in the evening. I know i am doing this just as much for me as well as her because last year i wasn;t able to get out of bed for her birthday as i was on taxotere.

My brother come over today and again talked about what ifs… i just can;t stop thinking what would of happened if i didn’t go to the docs.

this whole this sucks and i hate it so much. I appreciate my eyes are now open and i see the world where as b4 i was ignorant to alot of things.

i just want to move on but how?

Hi Sukes,

It is hard to move on and look forward, especially with kids, I still fear and have nightmares of not being around to protect mine in time of need. If I’m really honest think I am more protective over them than what I would have without BC, as frightened they might forget me.

Apart from this site and a few close friends I have kept my full prognosis very quiet and really dont talk about BC unless I am close to that person, hate the thought of sad looks and gossip from colleagues or worse the school mums, so usually my “What if” talks tend to be when I hear sad news or on a downer and talking with my husband.

I have found time has helped and it may sound daft but getting pass 1st events or anniv after diagnoses, a bit like when someone is in bereavment. I also took everything in stages and found I got a kick as I ticked then off, my 2 biggest boosts were walking out the chemo room after 8 chemos and 18 herceptin and having recon.

I went to an awful deep dark place after first meeting with my onc, she literally hit me with a sledge hammer compared to the cotton wool treatment from the BS and BCN, my GP had to spend alot of time with me convincing me to have the treatment and now when I feel one of those what if moments coming, I have to try and get out fast as dont want to return that big black hole.

I have heard we all bereave at different times and stages of treatment, I did mine at the beginning. We are all different.

Around Sept07 I eventually plucked up the courage and had the confidence to book a family holiday in Florida for June 08, not a huge length of time but a turning point in that I could evenutally plan for the future.

Take it easy on yourself, your brother is worried and scared luckily for me my sister never talks about what ifs, she’s like my husband.

Debs X

For me, the what if is always about what would have happened had I not had my lump removed. I was diagnosed with a completely benign fibroid, I remember going back for the test results with my husband in tow and the surgeon saying he was pleased to tell me I did not have cancer. He added that as it was just a fibroid what did I want to do about it as it didn’t have to be removed. Call it a hunch but I just didn’t like the fact it was there and although it couldn’t be seen I could feel it. When I had it removed as a day patient 3 weeks later they found the tumour hidden underneath the middle of the fibroid, it had not been detected by any of the tests on the triple assessment. When I went to the hospital the following week I actually sent my OH to the cafe - at that point I was just having the dressings removed and thought I would be discharged from the clinic so there was no real need for him to be there. The surgeon had to get the breast care nurse to find my OH. It was weird, I was shocked but totally calm and I think it was because I had a feeling in the car on the way to the hospital that something wasn’t right.

The surgeon told me he estimated that the cancer had been there for about 6 months. I have photos taken on a family day out a few months prior to my diagnosis and it seems funny to think I must have had cancer at that point as I look so well and healthy in them. I felt a bit tired in the lead up to diagnosis, but I put that down to the fact that my dad had died at the end of the previous year and I had been handling his affairs. I did ask the surgeon what he would have done if I had said I didn’t want the fibroid removed and he said he would have steered me down the route of having it removed on account of the size and shape.

Hi Debs and cherub

I don’t discuss much with my husband and i dont want to add to his fears about what if i die who will look after him and kids. Also i don’t want to scare him of what my thoughts are. He now just doesn’t talk about it and if i ever do discuss with him he just listens in silence.

My sister well i’m very close to her but over the past few months i’m starting to feel bitter towards her over her way of living not that its any of my business but i;ve always been there for her and now its took this for me to realise shes not there as much as i thought. Im the one who always goes out of my way for her and her family and i feel sad that i have been taken advantage off. I havent discussed this with her as shes very stubborn and its her view or way or no way so i think why bother and get more stressed. Its just silly things like i’ve always picked her up and dropped her off to the airport on holidays and when i ask her i get a feable excuse or when she needs childcare i;ve always helped and when i ask shes too busy or when i buy something its i;ll have that and i stupid as i am give it yet its never the other way around.

I went to india in feb and come back all positive and buzzin but as the weeks have past i feel im getting more and more frightened. scared for me for my kids for their future and yes if i die will they remember me.

if u dont mind me asking debs how old are you and your kids?

i too don’t talk to much to family about cancer as i feel they don;t understand and i don;t want them to think here she goes again blah blah blah. My old folks ended up telling the whole asian community and i have found that hard as the look of pity and droopy eyes and tilted heads with the strokes on the arm drive me mad. I have learned to throw the ball back at them and quickly change the conversation to how they are…

Cherub - thats really bad i can;t believe it. You are so lucky which i;m sure you;ve heard that b4. I too went to hospital on my own not even thinking it was cancer. Had mammogram, scan and biopsy on my own.

thanks for the comments

Hi Sukes,

I just wanted to say I know how you are feeling about your sister. Mines went abroad to work the year before I was diagnosed and I am convinced it was so she didn’t have to deal with our dad having dementia. I questioned whether it was a good time to be going abroad as our dad didn’t have long to go and she just said “well, you will have to get on with it and if he dies I’ll have to come back for the funeral”. Dad died when she was over on a visit 6 months later. Sadly I was diagnosed when she was over on a visit the following year, the day before she was due to fly home again. OH has never got over the fact she got on the plane 12 hours after I was diagnosed - he says had it been his sister he just could not have done it (his sister is 500 miles away at the other end of the country). She came back at the end of my chemo when I was in hospital isolation for a week and OH had to insist she visited as she was too busy gadding about with her friends. She also behaved as if nothing was up when I was discharged from the hospital, then went off to Italy for a painting holiday!

Nothing has been right between us since all this happened, OH used to do loads for her (work on her house, garden, etc as we all lived near each other for years). He has little time for her now and we are just like acquaintances. I found people I hadn’t seen very often for year were the most supportive, they were there in my dark days sending letters and messages. My sis was useless it was like she was running away again.

Its just silly things that bug me like almost everytime i ring she too busy to talk but when she rings i have to speak and i’m not supposed to be busy. And whats really getting om my tits well whats left of them is shes constantly moaning about cooking, cleaning, looking after kids, ironing…

i just think what the FuXX just get on with it like the rest of the world!

My hubby too has bent over backwards to help with diy work and then sent home with no food, hungry just b4 he has to go to work and that really pisses me off too.

i’m not the only one then

My daughter in law has become com pletely hostile to me since op in Nov 07. She shut me out completely during chemo and rads. We were very close before BC but since then she hardly wants to know me . It hurts but … what can you do.??? Talking about what ifs!!! I was convinced I would not see my only grandaughter who was born during my first chemo session. I am not allowed to be the grandma I would like to be but she is 15 months old and I am still here … Both daughters in law are pregnant and I am terrified I wont see the two new babies. Sometimes I find the what ifs overwhelming!!! Have just lost a friend to secondaries and another is now terminal, we were all diagnosed about the same time.

Corsa its so horrid what this disease does to your heat. You must try and stop thinking negative. i know easier said than done. What you’ve got to do is try and live for today, hard i know!

Please try not to let other peoples attitudes, fears, ignorance get you down. If your daughter in law doesnt want to talk to u thats her loss not yours.

Hugs to u

Arrrh, SUKES!! I feel your pain… I’m just coming to the end of my treatment and have my final radio tomorrow… Sometimes i cant remember what i used to be like and it scares me… I look through pictures from only a year ago and i look completely different. My hair, tan, eyebrows and breast have all gone and so has the spark in my eyes… Will it ever return?? I think having the odd bad day is good for the soul… Hopefully this funk im in wont last till the morning but im worried that once rads are finished, i’ll begin to ‘overthink’ everything! What a Head F@*k!!!

Cant be positive ALL the bloody time, its not human!!! Good health and happiness to you and your fab girls… I have a 2 year old and she’s really kept me going and i think she knows more about the human body and breasts now than a GCSE student!! Maybe she will go on to save the world from this horrible disease one day!!!

Keep smiling xxx