Worried I have breast cancer

Hi, I have an appointment at the breast clinic on Wednesday and I’m terrified I’m going to get band news. My mum was diagnosed with breast canceat last year at the age of 59. I am 34 and have a huge hard lump in my breast/armpit. It causes me horrendous pain and I getting myself in a state that it is cancer. I have 2 small children and I’m terrified I’m not going to be able to look after them. it’s been 9 days since I saw the doctor and the waiting around I is driving me crazy. I can’t get the negative thoughts it my head. 3 more days until my appointment and then if I have too have a biopsy I will have to wait again for the results. can anyone help? How do you cope with the not knowing and all the waiting? X

Hello Glitzybitz99

Welcome to the forums, this must be a very worrying time for you, I’m sure the users of the site will be along to support you soon.

Whilst waiting for replies maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hope that when you see the doctor they can put your mind at rest that its nothing or if you need further tests they turn out to be clear.
I dont have the answer to your question, but what I can tell you was the waiting for the results was the worst bit for me, I really couldn’t deal with it at all. I have had surgery and am now having chemo (Im 41 with 3 children) and its not been fun at all but still that first bit was the worst time for me. My sister is younger than me and also has had b.c and she told me the very same thing its doesnt get worse than the waiting for results etc and for me its turned out to be true so far. Your mind just playes awful tricks on you.
Try to keep busy and occupied which with your little ones which probably wont be hard!
Goood luck and let me know how you get along
Mandy xxx

Posted on behalf of new user Laura

Hi Glitzy,
So sorry you’re going through this awful time. I was diagnosed a year ago so remember the dreadful fear that envelopes you whilst waiting for the first appointement. I can only tell you about my experience and hope it helps even a little.
I had my breast appointment and biopsy on a friday and a mammogram and ultrasound the following tuesday, with my preliminary results on wednesday (and more biopsies). But in your hospital they may do the mammo etc on the same day - so that at least you don’t have yet another trip to make.
Yes, the waiting is the worst - actually much worse than when you get the diagnosis. I know that sounds odd, but you build it up so much that when the diagnosis comes, all your emotions are then able to flood out - whether they be sadness or relief (which I really hope is the case for you). The support you get from the doctors and nurses is amazing - they meet people going through this trauma all the time and are so tender and caring, with lots of good advice. And they understand that you’re in shock too, so don’t be afraid to ask for any information over and again, or to cry buckets.
Also, at the first appointment the doc may tell you to bring someone with you for your results. This freaked me out as I just thought the worst, but when I got there I saw most people had brought someone - I think it’s beause you’re so worried that you can barely take in information, and so it helps to have the other person there, and not that the news is going to be the worst possible.
How to get through the waiting (sorry I’ve blathered on!)? Well, I watched so much tv to numb myself - show after show, box sets, anything that would distract me. And I’d have a couple of glasses of wine each night to numb me further. I don’t drink much now, but at the time just needed to stop my mind from going over all the bad thoughts. And I tried to stay away from too much googling about cancer - you always find bad news if you look hard enough, so I’d definitely advise watching funny films instead of reading sad blogs or sites about what the lump could be. And don’t listen to sad songs, only power ballads! After diagnosis I had an MRI scan, and when I was in the machine they played some morose song that made me cry. You’re supposed to stay still during an MRI, which isn’t easy with tears rolling down your face. When I got out I said they should play a bit of Beyonce or something, so that’s what I recommend for you now!
Also, I waited until I was diagnosed before telling any family or friends, but wish that I’d said something beforehand. My other half knew and was great, but now I look back it would have been nice to talk out my fears with my female friends or mum. Since being diagnosed they’ve been so supportive and caring that had I been brave enough to tell them, I know that support would have started earlier. Mind you, at the time I was constantly trying to block it out rather that think about it so that’s why I said nothing.
But here I am a year later, after chemo, radio, on herceptin and tamoxifen and although it’s been a rollercoaster (but the treatment was never as bad as I thought it would be) and still scary, it’s also changed my life, friendships and relationships in many good ways. I’m closer than ever to my mum, daughter, partner and friends, I’m writing a blog and doing a course - all things that wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the last year. I’m saying this so that in your darkest moments you know that there are still things to look forward to, despite all the worry and trauma.
Wishing you all the luck in the world, and please let us know how you get on.

also Glitzy,dont know about evryone else but my lump was absolutely painless and Laura`s post is spot on,good luck

Thank you so much Laura, although I have tears streaming down my face now you have made me feel better. So sorry that you have been through chemo, radio, etc. you sound so positive! My mum was what we call ‘lucky’ as she didn’t have chemo, just had 4 weeks of radiotherapy after her lumpectomy and then a few months later was told she was in remission, so although we thought our world had ended when she was diagnosed, just a year later it feels like it never happened and she is absolutely fine, thank goodness. Now it’s my turn sat waiting for my appointment and it is literally driving me insane. i keep looking at my boys who are just 16 months and 3 years old and think how on earth will I cope if I can’t look after them? I have a wonderful supportive family that would do everything they could for me but I just can’t get the thoughts out my head that I would be letting my babies down if I got ill. I don’t think I’d be this worried if mum hadn’t had cancer last year, I am trying to be positive but like you say I have been stupidly googling everything I can think of to try and find some reassurance but all it’s doing its making me more worried. It’s feels like weeks since the doctor referred me but its only been 11 days. I feel like I’m going insane with the worry. Thank you so so much for your lovely reply, how inspirational you are! What is the course you are doing and how did you cope through the chemotherapy? That is what scares me the most x

Thank you Di x

Hi Mandy, thank you for your lovely reply and your words of support and I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through treatment. It must be so difficult with 3 children,how are they about it or are they too young to understand? I find it interesting that 2 of you have both said the waiting is worse than actually finding out you have cancer. How did you feel when you aware diagnosed if you don’t mind me asking? Sorry, I don’t want to upset any of you by asking personal questions x

Hi Glitzybitz
I don’t post much but I have read your post and wanted to reply. I totally agree with what has been said the waiting is definitely the worse part. I am nearly 2 years from diagnosis but it is still very real in my mind and seems like yesterday - I cried buckets but on the night before my results I had made up my mind that I had cancer and if my results said otherwise then that was a bonus. That was my way of coping not everybody’s way but then everyone is different.
I have two boys who were 6 and 11 at the time -my breast cancer nurse gave me mummy’s lump book so it may be suitable for your three year old. My boys are the reason I never gave up they gave me the strength to fight x
Keep yourself busy as the others have said and DON’T GOOGLE !!! Use this Site for information.
Wishing you all the best for Wednesday and please come back and let us know how you get on.
Lizz x

Hi Glitzybitz99

Here is a link to the publication Mummy’s Lump that Biff mentioned.


Best wishes


Thank you for replying Biff and thank you for your words of advise. I will definitely report back after my appointment on Wednesday. I hope you are doing well after your treatment? X

Hi Glitzy,
The course I’m doing is in biology & chemistry, with the idea of going to Uni to study nutrition. After I was diagnosed, about the only thing I felt in control of was what I could put in my gob (apart from during chemo, but I’ll come on to that). This led me to finding out lots of info on food and nutrition, changing my diet and basically becoming obsessed with eating healthily. I say that, but of course I go absolutely crazy for sticky toffee pudding or chocolate fondant when I go out for dinner (and chips, burgers, in fact anything I don’t usually eat!!)
On to the chemo, I honestly found it so much easier than I thought I would. I was terrified of being totally debilitated, ie, head down the bog, wasting away to a stick, exhausted & generally useless. But the first one was fine - virtually no side effects at all apart from a bit of tiredness. It was xmas a few days later & I drove the family to & from our xmas get together & stayed up till midnight. And then on new year’s eve I went to a wedding & danced the night away - and felt totally normal.
Now the thing with chemo is that the side effects tend to build up over time, so my hair started to fall out after the second one. I puked once after the second one (& never again). I felt a bit light headed alot of the time, and this along with the rabid hunger (from steroids) was the worst thing. I wanted to eat really healthily, but found myself craving crisps, chocolate and comfort food, rather than quinoa! So I didn’t give myself a hard time, just made sure I still had fruit & veggies, but ate crisps if I really, really wanted them. In fact, the nurses said alot of people get malnourshed during chemo, but that wasn’t my experience! And you can get constipated too - but flaxseed (ground) & porridge take care of that!
In my experience, alot of the worry I felt was pyschological rather than physical, so the thought of all that chemo in me and why it had to be there was more terrifying than how it revealed itself. Ok, so my nails got a bit blackened, but I painted them. The hair fell out, so I wore a wig & nice scarves. I was hungry, so I ate. I was light headed, so I sat down alot! And throughout it I tried to remember that it was there to kill off any rogue cancer cells drifting around my body.
You do have to be careful about your immune system on chemo. I got an infection and was in hospital for 3 days - but the worst thing about that was the hospiital itself & their poor treatment, rather than the infection (it just gave me a high temp, but it was treated really easily). And then after that I had to give myself injections for a few days after each chemo to boost the white blood cells (which didn’t hurt). Actually at the time I remember thinking the worst thing was the constant hospital-like smell that seemed to be around all the time!
If you are ill, then I think what you’ll find is that the terror of it is actually worse than the treatment. I didn’t work during chemo or radio, but know someone who runs her own business & has a young child, so had to. But I did cook most of the time (but must give a shout out to my lovely mum who brought me heaps of things to eat for the days after each chemo), and I went out and about, for walks & shopping when I felt up to it.
So I would say to try to rely on the help and friendship of others. My friend and I made plans to bake, watch films and go for walks during my treatment - and it really helped. And your family and kids love you, so they’ll all be there rallying around you. It’s hard not to feel guilty where kids are concerned. My daughter’s 22 and an adult, but I can’t bear the thought of not being around for her. But I also tell myelf that whetever happens everyone will be fine, because this has caused so much joy alongside the sadness and I would hate for everyone I love to have to deal with more sadness for too long.
And don’t worry about not being able to do stuff for your kids. Take what help you can get, but (if the diagnosis is cancer) I think you’ll surprise yourself at how much energy and determination you have to get things done.
You haven’t mentioned mastectomies or radiotherapy - but in case these things are buzzing round your head, a mastectomy doesn’t hurt (in fact at no time have I felt any pain from any treatment at all). Again, psychologically it’s hard, but you get used to it because you just have to. You get given a prosthesis & no-one can tell the difference. And then you start waiting for reconstruction! And radio didn’t hurt at all, takes a few minutes and just made my chest a little red, but they give you loads of cream for it.
I don’t know where you live, but if you have a Haven or Maggie’s Centre near you, then I’d recommend paying them a visit. The Haven is a breast cancer charity, where they do talks, have groups, give therapies & basically offer loads of support (like counselling) and you can meet women going through the same experience.
I watched every episode of Location, Location, Location on the iplayer during my pre-appointment period just to zone out daily - I’m not sure I can ever face Phil or Kirsty again!
Good luck again, I’ll be sending you happy vibes and crossing everything that the news is good.

Hi Glitzy
I was just wondering how you got on?

Hi, I’m so sorry for the delay. Everything turend out fine, I had an ultra sound and the rather large lump is apparently glandular Tissue. I am going back next Monday for another check but came out with a big smile on my face. I am already a fund raiser for breast cancer care, I’ve raised £1911 in 14 months by donating 2.5% of all my sales from my jewellery business and now I want to do more to raise money and awareness so I’m going to contact the breast cancer care team and find out what else I can do to help.
thank you to everyone who replied to my post and for your support while I was worrying. I hope you are all doing ok x x

I am in the same position as you. I am 33. I have an appointment on Wednesday for an ultrasound and mammo. I had a lump removed a few years back which had ADH. I have been getting annual scans and mammograms.
I went last month for an ultrasound and they could not find anything. Since then my breast has swollen and the lump is 3 times the size. Its very painful and the pain radiates up my arm pit.
The not knowing is driving me crazy :frowning:
Hugs and positive thoughts to you.

Dear hunkin

I am so sorry you find yourself in this position. Other forum members frequently say the waiting is the worst.

You could also give our Helpline a call to talk over your concerns. They can offer lots of information and support. The number is 0808 800 6000. They are open from 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays.

Very best wishes


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