why am i waiting

hi im newish to this site although i did gatecrash the live chat last thursday when i had no idea what i was doing as i’m not brilliant with computers and i have never been in a chat room before. However i think this is where i should be for discussions so i’ll get started. I first discovered my lump on May 11th 08 and has a quick referral to breast clinic on 3rd june diagnosed breast cancer on 6th june scheduled surgery 3rd july so far so good until routine blood for operation showed me to be anaemic. Have undergone investigations for this and they have come back clear and so hopefully tablets and diet will bring me back to normal by the time i see specialist again on 15th July and then surgery on 23rd July. Sorry about the length of this but what i’m trying to get to is that by then i will have been hanging around for seven weeks in limbo with this cancer diagnosis and all the mental cruelty that involves,without getting anywhere and in the back of my mind i torment myself that my chances of beating it are decreaing. I just want to get going and wonder if theres anyone here that has had surgery delayed because of anaemia.i’ve searched many links but so far i feel unique! would love to hear from you

Hi Anxious,

Agree the waiting is so so hard. I didn’t have delays due to anaemia, but the tests to get a final diagnosis took 9 weeks and then 2 weeks wait for surgery and then 3 weeks for the pathology results, It is all hard to reconcile - we are told to go to GP immediately if we find a lump and then the referral, diagnosis and treatments drag on. Whenever I raised this my surgeon would say " a week here or there will not affect the final outcome".

I suppose if you look at it that the cancer could have been developing for many months before it was big enough for you to be able to feel. Your best chance of a good recovery from the surgery is if you are as healthy as poss beforehand. I do feel for you with another 3 weeks to wait for surgery. You can ask your GP for something to help you sleep if that’s a problem. I tried to keep as busy as poss to keep my mind off it all - not always successful. I went to work the few days before my operation - for the company more than anything, I certainly wasn’t being productive.

What surgery are you having? Lumpectomy/Mastectomy/Reconstruction?

Best Wishes

Hi Amxious

Sorry that you ahve had to join us here on the forums, as has been said before it’s the club no-one wants to have to join but the members are fantastic.

I’ve not had surgery delayed due to anemia but I have had anemia previously - mine was easily resolved with iron tablets.

With regards to your thoughts on the delay and this decreasing your chances of beating the cancer - I can understand this. When I was told by my GP that the wait for an appointment with the breast clinic in this area was approx 4 weeks I thought I would be dead and buried in that time so I used my works private medical insurance and was dx and had had surgery in less time than I would have waited for an NHS referral. I believed that every day the cancer was left it would grow and spread and get stronger, after all we are constantly being told that if we find a lump we must go to the GP immediately and not put it off. I spoke with the BCN toweards the end of my rads and said I was glad I was able to go private for dx and surgery and avoided the 4 week delay… she said that it was good for the pyschological side of things but a delay of 4 weeks would have made no difference whatsoever to the physcial side of the cancer.

The waiting is horrendous I know but please try not to worry too much about the delay and good luck for your next surgery date.

Hi Anxious

I too had a 4 week delay for surgery not because of anaemia but because I caught a chest infection from a work colleague, but the hardest part for me was the waiting after the op for the final diagnosis, it took 7 weeks. Apparently I have something rare and had to be referred to Barts in London. My op(lumpectomy) was done 11th Feb 08. Barts then recommended a sentinel node biopsy which I had done 12th june, I got the results last week and my nodes are clear and I am now waiting for an appointment to go for my planning session for a 5 week course of radio therapy. All in all I had to wait 8 weeks from biopsy to surgery and its been 20 weeks since my surgery and although the waiting has played havoc with my nerves, temperament and sleep pattern I have been assured over and over that it wont make any difference to the outcome . So try not to worry too much over the delay and good luck for the 23rd xx

Dear anxious I waited six months between finding my lump and having my diagnosis so I know all about delays. I then waited about four months for radiotherapy due to having an infection which meant I couldn’t have radio immediately after surgery. I discovered after reading that breast cancer takes ages and ages to reach a visible size. It is to some extent dependent on rate of division. One mutant cell divides into two, two become four, then each cell keeps doubling so eventually there are billions of cells at which point it is about 1 cm. I have seen estimates that this takes ten years. So waiting a month or two is not as important as we are told.

A lot depends on the individual biology of the tumour and whether it is likely to spread or not, one way of predicting this is via the lymph nodes. Women with negative lymph nodes are less likely to have cancers that spread. I had no lymph node spread despite the delay in diagnosis. I also had a rare form of cancer and I also went to Barts, they must see a lot of rare cancers. I read on the internet every case and all seemed to have died within 7 years. But I am still here today. It’s only 5 years on but I don’t think I will be dead in 2 years time


I think mole is right… and so are other people re being fit…

Eat well, rest and so on

me? diagnosed nov 07, mastectomty and lymph nodes, finishing chemo, rads and tamoxifen to come.

Look forward, never look back

take care j

Hi Anxious here thank you so much for your comments i read a lot of pages on this site but so far havent answered as i feel i’m not experienced enough to offer my thoughts but i have learnt a lot already and it’s nice to be amongst people who really understand. To answer Misha i’m having a lumpectomy and funnily enough i sleep very well nothing much gets in the way of me and my sleep which is a relief as at least i can switch off then.please excuse the format and punctuation as i’m not too sure how to set paragraphs on the computer im sure in time this is one positive ill get from this dx!