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Just had my diagnosis

51 REPLIES 51
Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Cat

My Daughter got the book Mummy's lump but when reading it to my Grand daughter changed it to Nana. The children have been great and taken it all in their stride. Joshua is 6 and read it himself but it gave him a good understanding about what has happened to me.

I had dinner with them the other evening and Libby who is 3, said "Eat all your dinner up Nana and your hair will grow". Bless!!

Take care

Vicky X

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi cat

BCC have published a booklet called 'Talking to your children about breast cancer' which you may find helpful, depending on how old they are we also have a book called 'Mummy's lump', here are the links for both so you can check them out and see which would be appropriate for you:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

Take care
Lucy

lala
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

I was worried telling the kids. My nurse said don't overload them with info tell them you found a lump saw a dr. had some tests etc. this worked with mine but they are older than yours 14, 15. Hope you find the courage to tell them soon I felt guilty for hiding it from them. Good luck with going back to work I havent managed that yet. Keep in touch x

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Thanks. I think the kids suspect something is up but are not sure what, so it is probably better to tell them sooner rather than later. I am going back to work next week until I find out what and when the treatment will be. thats another worry as my OH was made redundant last year and as yet has not found another job so I am the only earner at the moment. But as OH said he would rather we lost everything and me be alive and healthy, so I should not worry, we could always start again. Easier said then done!

lala
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Cat
Not being able to think is normal. I was just dx in Dec and worried about telling my teenagers but they were very mature and so far haven't asked any unanswerable questions.I still can't think straight so you are not alone! xx

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and support. My husband has been great and also my mum who i was dreading telling as my dad and brother have both died from different cancers but she was great. The next step is telling the children aged 4, 9 and 12, but will tackle that in time when I feel a bit stronger emotionally.

mimsy
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Dear Cat 107,
I was diagnosed a year ago with invasive ductal cancer. Everything happened in sequence, although at first my mind rushed ahead with the "what-ifs". First I had a lumpectomy, and lymph node removal (2 out of 12 were positive for cancer),then a few weeks later, a total body scan to see if there was any spread (there wasn`t).
Because of the lymph nodes I had chemotherapy from Jan to June last year and then radiotherapy from June to August.
What I am trying to say is that it is all treatable, and everything will happen in order. You will have tests and scans and although we want to know everything NOW, you find stuff out gradually. The waiting for results is horrible, but, chances are the tests will be precautionary and the results will be much better than you expect.
This time last year I was petrified someone was going to stamp me with a "sell by" date.I no longer feel like that and just count myself fortunate to be one of the "lucky buggers" who may survive this horrible disease.
I found a nightly glass of wine to be very beneficial,it relaxed me, helped me sleep, and as Pam on "Gavin and Stacey" says "takes the edge off"!
So, I wish you well,and hope everything goes well for you in the coming weeks.Come on here and scream as often as you like!
Mimsy

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Cat

So sorry this has happened to you and there is not anything very comforting that I can say. Some people find it easier to cope if they talk it over with someone or cry, but it is not always possible if you are trying to be strong for your loved ones. Maybe you have a good friend you could talk to?

Some people feel a little better when the treatment plan is discussed and it may be that this will help you. Life does go on, you will probably get strength from somewhere to cope - most of us go thru it in a kind of daze! If you can manageit get some one to help you gather and understand information and be aware of your choices. and assert yourself, or get someone to speak up for you. My experience is that they are more interested with processing you through the system and will not explain anything unless you ask.

Lots of people will encourage you in their posts and I hope that you soon find friends at the same stage. I am quite a way down the road from you, almost a year since I finished chemo, my hair is back, I am on tamox and the reconstructed breast is still unfinished so it does not feel over yet.

BC can be a long haul - take care of yourself and be as informed as possible.

Wishing you sleep and comfort

Love

Jane x

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Dear cat, welcome to the BCC forums.

I am sure you will receive lots of support and information from your fellow forum users very soon. I have posted a link below to our new resource pack which you may find helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed. You can also order more information publications on the same page by clicking on the links on the same page under the 'quick order list'.

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

If you would like to speak to someone in confidence to talk things through please do call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, the line is open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2, our team of specialist nurses and trained helpliners can offer you support and information. Hope this helps.

Best wishes
Lucy

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

I have just been diagnosed with bc today. i am in total shock. They said it was ductal cancer most probably invasive as they found cancer cells in my lymph gland. I have 2 tumors. I am so worried I can't think straight. They also did a biopsy today and I am feeling sore but also paranoid that every cough, back pain, headache etc means the cancer has already spread. Is this normal? I was in such shock today i couldn't take in anything they said except they hoped to have the biopsy result by wednesday so they could discuss my treatment at the next meeting.

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Donnamaria and welcome to the BCC forums.

Please feel free to call our confidential helpline for a chat with one of our specialist nurses or trained helpliners, you can talk through your concerns and they are there to offer you support and information. The freephone number is 0808 800 6000 open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 9-2.

Take care
Lucy (BCC)

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

hi everyone my mother had breast cancer and passed away 12years ago i have been having mamm's for 12 years due to the fact she caught cancer when she was 38 and only lived 10 years after i am now 40 and had my routine mammo dec only to get a call back and have more mamms and biopsy's which they have found abnormal cells and calcifications quite wide spread which will turn to cancer at any time in the future i cant wait until they turn to cancer because of my history so they are giving me lots of information of everything i can do some of my process can be have one or both breasts off and other stuff they are talking about i was wondering if anyone could just shed a light on anything i should be asking cus i am booked in for my operation on the first of feb cus doc's don't wont to leave it to long just ancase i do have cancer cells which where missed from the biopsy's i am worried, scared just need someone to shed a bit of light on things to ask before i meet my nurse to ask her loads of question's

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello!

Well it went ok but took hours with the new patient chat and having the hours' break between doses. Quite worn out by it all. Just nauseous and weary today - have arranged for my toddler to be taken off my hands so I can rest lots.

Having it in my hand wasn't too bad but yes think will alot easier when they fit the PICC lone in a couple of weeks, thakns for that bit of positive info Julia.

Not sure if I'm up to giving myself the injection in my stomach today - think my get the district nurse in!
Love
LucindaXX

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Lucinda

Hope the chemo went well. Havind a portacath, or whatever they plan to fit, will make the chemo easier, as they wont have to insert a cannula every time, as they do with me!

Take care

Julia xx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello again!

sory not been posting for a while. Beem feeling like a recluse for past few weeks and not been up to much.

I'm srating my chemo tomorrow and am nervous but trying to be postitive. Had a call yesterday from a oncology nurse to say I shoud've been in to have a special tube fitted in my upper arm to have the durgs administered. They had forgotten to tell me so we're using my vein in my hand tomorrow then having the tube fitted later,

A huge thank you for the support I've been given from you lovely ladies and to all those who contributed to the tips for getting though chemo.

Lots of love
LucindaXX

brighteyes
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

hi shamsia

I to had right mastectomy with full node clearance in august, 5th chemo tomorrow finish on 14th Jan then rads one month and herceptin for one yr. Will have recon at some point and have left side done too "risk reducing"> i have 2 kids 4 and 8 who have pulled me through this whole pile of pants kicking and screaming but they are fab. Like you if they are happy i am happy.

keep posting helenx

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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi all
I am 36 years old and had a bleeding nipple in August. I was told it was probably just a polyps and had the duct surgically removed. On investigation the hospital found DCIS that extensive and high grade. Nothing showed up on my mammograms and the doctor could feel no lumps. I had a right mastectomy anyway when they found a 2cm Grade 2 tumour in the tissue. After senttnel node biopsy it had spread to 2/5 lymph nodes so I will be having all my right armpit nodes removed on 30th Dec. In Jan/Feb I will be starting chemotherapy. It would be grear to share chemo experiences with anybody. I also have a 7 year old son who is a happy child as long as I'm ok. xxxx

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Sabraan

Yup - shock and grief seem to go hand in hand with bc - but we all experience it on this journey and you are not alone .. ever, please know that.

We have very similar diagnosis and having had 1st chemo Thursday let me reassure you it really wasnt as bad as I had anticipated it to be. Biggles and everyone else is so right - this is do-able. Take each day as it comes and once you've seen teh oncologist and you have a plan in place it really does help. Don't make any expectations of yourself for a while and be kind to yourself.

Thinking of you

Love and Hugs Leigh x

Sam_BCC
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Sabraan

As well as the support you are receiving from the other forum users BCC have a helpline where you can talk with a trained member of staff who will offer you a listening ear as well as support and information. Sometimes just talking about how you feel and sharing your concerns with someone can help little. The number to call is
0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi, i have had chemo, dmx, rads and will start hormone therapy new year after i have ovaries removed....you think you will not get through it all, but take one stage at a time and you will be fine, try and put your head in the right place (i have two kids, 11 and 7, they have helped me be strong) and you will find that it may not be as bad as you think!!!!!!! Good luck xx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello again! Well I found out my tumour was 28mm and a grade 3 which shocked me though I don't know why. I had cancer in one of my lymph glands too. I'm seeing the oncologist on Monday and my doc recommended chemo, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Not looking forward to any of them to be honest and am still in a state of grief about the loss of my breast.

I know I'm lucky to have had the cancer taken out of me but still feel like a freak. Silly I know but i'm working through it.

The posts on coping with the different treatments are proving very useful too.

All the best
XX

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Yes, getting a treatment plan was really reassuring to me. Hope today's appointment goes well...

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

it is the worst bit goin for the results,once you know your treatment plan things will be alot better,hope your results go ok love dawn xxxxxx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello ladies!

I had my op and it was seemed a success though I was told incorrectly in recovery that my lymph glands were clear!

Also I apprently lost alot of blood so my blood pressure was too low for a couple of days and I wasn't allowed home til it was back up. And I reacted badly to the anaesthetic and spent several hours post op vomiting up all my pain killers!

I have my histology appointment tomorrow which I'm trying to remain positive about but am actually dreading.

I also still have a drain in and can't have it out until my output is 30mls a day or less. So far it's only gone down to 125mls so got to put up with it for a while yet.

But - I am glad it's over and hope the cancer's been beaten for now.

XXX

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Good luck - look forward to hearing from you when you're out of hospital.

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello again! Well my op's tomorrow so wish me luck ladies!! Trying to think positive and not get too scared.

Will be on the forum again soon I hope once I'm out of hospital.

XX

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Thanks for that poddle. I'm trying to remain positive but am so dreading the surgery. I got my ex to take lots of photos of me a couple of days ago to remember my breasts as they are now.

I'm going through alot of personal heartache on top of my diagnosis so am really struggling. Sometimes I feel like my head's going to explode with all the the horrible thoughts in it.

I'm taking some comfort from the posts that say the first few weeks are in some ways the worst as you've had the shock of your life and are so traumatised.

I'm staying with my mum for the weekend as I would've been on my own otherwise and couldn't face it.

Lots of love to all the women on this site, whatever stage they're going through.

XX

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

I'm really pleased that the consultation went well. Treatments really have improved in the last few years - better anaesthetics, better post-operative painkillers, to mention just two.

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Sabraan

I am also having the tummy tuck reconstruction after all the Rads/Chemo etc is over. My breast surgeon likes to leave it about a year following a first surgery (in my case lumpectomy in October) so will be having it hopefully around Oct 2010 - and you are right 2 4 1 a tummy tuck and new boob in time for Xmas 2010 - something well worth looking forward to. In between we just have to take whatevers coming, try and stay positive and when it all becomes a bit too much, let it go, hit the chocolate and try not to be too hard on ourselves - we never wanted this to happen:)
Love and Hugs Leigh xx

PS Hi everyone - hope each one of you is doing okay xxxx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello again lovely ladies!

I've seen my consultant and have decided to go for the tummy tuck reconstruction after all my treatments. Nipple saving is not an option because of the amount of DCIS I have - my breast is full of it apparently and I decided I didn't want an implant.

But it was good to see him again as I only saw him when I was given my diagnosis 2 and a half weeks ago and if I hadn't booked today's appointment with him, I wouldn't have met him again until I was on the operating table! I wanted to get the measure of him and have him go over my test results again when I wasn't in an incoherent state sobbing my way through two boxes of tissues!!

He says I'm going to meet ladies who have had the differing reconstructions so I can see what they're like in the flesh as it were to make my final decision!

Feeling bit better about the operation now - was as positive as you can be about having a breast removed!!

I gathered the short time between diagnosis and my op is to do with the amount of DCIS I have, so am trying to be positive about it and think how I'll be up on my feet and able to do light weight stuff in time for Christmas. Maybe!
XX

truffle_shuff
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi, for what its worth, i am now 8 months post ld flap immediate reconn. It took me an age to decide what was best for me, each appointment I changed my mind, the team were great, talked me through every aspect. Nearing the op the ps even left the list free for the op date and told me to ring her when I had decided if she was to work a full day for the reconn , or if she could go early just giving me a mast.
To be honest her down to earth patient approach, made the decision click with me.

will be ever grateful for the guidance I got.

Take care xx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello!

Spoke to my BCN and she said that aesthetically my recon would look better if I left it til all my treatments were over although they do offer the immediate one with the pump thingy that you have Fairyem. Part of the difficulty is i've been assigned teh BCN who works for the other consultant in the unit so she doesn't really know how my one works as such and can't tell me much about his recons etc. But I'm seeing him today and a friend is coming with me which will be a real novelty and very lovely.

I'll post the conclusions of our talk with him later. Only 6 days to go til my op!!

fairyem
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi,

Personally I've not heard of recons interferring with other treatments. However it has been explained to me that as I'm having chemo and radiotherapy, there is no point doing the proper recon as all the treatment can mangle things a bit. The reason being, when you have an implant in, your body encapsulates it and the radiotherapy can make this go quite hard so will probably need replacing. My surgeon sees it that there is no point making your nice new boob to then zap it. She prefers to do a temp one then about 6m to a year afterwards do a proper one.

I've had my first fill in my temp implant now and granted there's still a way to go but we're getting there.

Hope you're doing ok. If you're ever unsure do ask your BCN. It does seem that all hospitals work so differently.

Take Care
Em x

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Oh, you poor thing - my heart goes out to you. I was a total mess after my diagnosis but it does get better. And actually, you do sound really clued up about research such as timings of operations - much more than I was before my operation.

Let us know how you get on. Would it help to chat to your GP?

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Thank you everyone for your replies - this forum is helping me so much!

Been having a very down weekend - not helped by being on my own most of the time with a fretful toddler full of cold!

Really confused about my surgery now and whether I can have an immediate reconstruction after all your helpful advice - having been told definitely not by my BCN as it interfers with any subsequent therapies. Going to try and call my BCN again tomorrow to ask her some more questions. I'm also seeing my consultant on Tuesday to ask him lots of questions.

Just feel like I'm on a conveyor belt heading towards my operation date which seems to be getting faster and am so scared!!

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Re: Just had my diagnosis

It makes total sense. I remember telling my sister shortly after my diagnosis that if I'd had a sharp enough knife I would cut out the tumour myself. Slightly overdramatic (!) but I really meant it at the time. I hated the feeling that my body was nurturing something that was wanting to harm me. However, the surgeon that operated on me said that he felt he could delay operating on me for up to six months and still have the same result. I also had visions that the breast cancer cells were trying to trampoline into my lymph nodes. With an almost entirely straight face my BCN reassured me that cancer cells don't trampoline but usually replicate very slowly.

Confusion is a very natural state, I'm afraid. No two cases of breast cancer are ever quite the same, it is true, but you can definitely have chemotherapy if you have immediate reconstruction for I was almost certainly going to have it, until the sentinel node biopsy came back clear and the tumour tested as oestrogen receptive and hormone therapy was seen as enough treatment.

Radiotherapy can present more problems with regard to immediate reconstruction but in my case one of the reasons I had a mastectomy was because I'm very fair-skinned and the Multi-Disciplinary Team (surgeon, oncologist, radiologist and nurse who all sit round and discuss your case to decide on the best treatment) felt that I might burn badly and a mastectomy would give clear enough margins around the tumour to ensure that I wouldn't need radiotherapy. It might be an idea to call the helpline here because they would much more about radiotherapy etc.

Sometimes there are very valid reasons to not to have immediate reconstruction (such as the position of the tumour) but it's also true that some surgeons don't do immediate reconstruction just because they have never learned how or don't like doing it.

My implant looks and moves around in a pretty similar way to my real one, although the real one droops a bit and I'm going to have it lifted at some point next year so they match.

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello ladies and thank you for your advice - it is very gratefully received. I've been told by my BCN and consultant that immediate recon is not possible because I may have to have radiotherapy and/or chemo after my op and a recon would interfer with that. Is that not the case then?!

Bit confused now but gonna call my BCN tomorrow anyway so will ask her.

I'm leaning more towards a recon using fat from my stomach which I gather gives you a more life like breast as it gains and loses weight the same as the rest of your body and moves in a more life like way which implants don't - especially when you lie on your back! Is that also not so?

This is a very hard situation to be in sin't it? I'm still pretty wobbly emotionally, trying to learn as much as I can about this to make informed choices and am booked into the hospital for my surgery in less than two weeks!!

Obviously I don't want to be rushed into a decision but at the same time I do have feeling that I just want the surgery done with so I know the cancer is (hopefully!) out of me. Does that make sense?!

XX

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Re: Just had my diagnosis

And here I ramble on (sorry...). I'd say that one question you should definitely ask the surgeon is how many immediate reconstructions he does a year. As gardengirl says, if he regularly does DIEPs or another variety, he might have good reasons for not wanting to offer that to you. However, if he says he doesn't ever do immediate reconstruction, that would be a clear indication (to me at least) that a second opinion might be a good idea.

Before my operation, I asked lots of people's advice and found it really useful although it didn't occur to me until afterwards that my GP might have been a really good person to consult (doh!) - a good one should be clued into all the various treatments available locally.

ps. I recovered really fast from my mastectomy - I was amazed. Also, the first thing my BCN told me was that breast cancer is basically the most survivable cancer. I now have a 90 per cent chance of surviving the next 10 years (That statistic is based on treatment available ten years ago and treatment has made huge strides in the last few years).

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Sabraan,

Sorry about your diagnosis but wishing you all the best in your treatment. Try to keep positive, if you can. I really believe it helps.

Just wanted to add my thoughts from my own experiences:

Ask loads of questions of your consultant and breast care nurses - I always have a notebook with me so I don't forget anything! I also printed out relevant queries/info/etc from this site to take with me!

I also agree with poddle's advice about feeling comfortable with your medical people. My BCN had no problem at all if I had wanted a second opinion. Don't feel rushed into anything. I was lucky in that I felt very positive about my mastectomy/recon surgeon from the start, and that he is based at my local hospital.(Just wish I had had him for my previous op...)

My BCN showed me photos of recons that the surgeon had done, which was helpful. (I also saw a book called 'The Boudicca Within' - a compilation of photos of women with recons; the BCN team had a copy).

Immediate recons aren't suitable for everyone, I think it depends on your treatment and how the recon is done. There are different techniques, implant types (if required) etc. Sometimes it is advised to have a recon later on.

I had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction (LD flap - ie using back muscle, and implant) 4 weeks ago and doing fine. Previously had lumpectomy (and lymph nodes removed) but did not get clear margins so needed mastectomy. I had 2 grade 3 tumours, 16mm and 7mm, plus a fair amount of DCIS. Also eostrogen positive (good news as it gives another treatment option). I am having tamoxifen (the hormone treatment) and have been asked if I also want chemo (apparently not that much benefit to me so has not been recommended one way or the other).

I wasn't offered the nipple-sparing recon, I think this must be new/not so widely available. My tumours were also close to the nipple. I had skin-sparing type, and had to have a small (-ish!) implant as well as I did not have enough flesh to make the recon on its own. My surgeon said I should be thinking about nipple reconstruction in a few months, with the tatooing to get the colour. (The man is a perfectionist and wants to see the job done properly!)

I have also read about the timimg re the menstrual cycle; I don't know if anything has been proven and, personally, I wouldn't worry about it.

I also took advantage of contacting the peer support service here. I had a lovely lady call me to share her experience with me and we chatted for ages on the phone - I found it really helpful, and am very grateful to her.

Hey, I have rambled on, sorry, but there are lots of people here who can share their thoughts and experiences and offer advice.

My best wishes, with love 🙂

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Looking back at your original post about advice, from my vantage point two years on, I'd also say it's really worth making sure you have a consultant/surgeon that you like and respect because you'll be seeing them for at least five years! I now only see mine every six months but it was a lot more at the beginning.

Good signs include surgeons who show you photographs of their previous operations and take plenty of time to answer your questions/concerns. They shouldn't mind if you ask for a second opinion (a car/house purchase analogy was given to me by one medic with regard to second opinions). If he (or she!) thinks you'll need to see an oncologist, ask them which they recommend. (The best bit of advice the surgeon gave me was to avoid being fobbed off with a registrar. Even though I'm at the non-serious end of breast cancer, I always see the consultant - again, six monthly.)

BCNs are in a tricky position. They can't steer your decisions but they can pursue your requests. (My story for example: the surgeon who suggested my skin-sparing option had to take a week off for personal reasons during which another surgeon from a linked hospital swooped in and decided to take over my case. His only option for me was a mastectomy with reconstruction a year later. After a sleepless night (one of many at the time...), I went into see the BCN and said "I would not be happy to be operated on by xxxx". She then grinned broadly and said: "NOW I can do something about it," and I was returned to my original surgeon.

Having never been ill before, it was an example of how convoluted medicine can be. I think you can legitimately ask her if there are surgeons at your hospital or a nearby one who offer immediate reconstruction and she would tell you if there are good reasons why you shouldn't have one.

Oestrogen receptive is generally a good thing (I am) - it means that you can add hormone treatment to your options. But it still doesn't make the waiting easier.

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello Poddle

Found out today my tumour is 19mm from the scan and it's oestrogen receptive as the majority are.

I hadn't heard about that kind of reconsruction, I'm seeing my consultant next week to ask him all the questions I was in too much shock to ask him when I had my diagnosis, so will definitely ask him about it.

My BCN didn't mention it as an option so I doubt I'll be able to have it. I was very interested to read about having a 'nipple' tattooed onto your reconstructed breast - I'm definitely asking for that whenever I have my new boob created!

Anyway, thank you for your reply and those of everyone else who has replied to my initial post. And yes, waiting for my op is very hard.

XX

Guest user
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Re: Just had my diagnosis

I had a large Grade 2 tumour (3cm) with a large area of DCIS two years ago and was advised against a lumpectomy. However, I had a fairly new type of mastectomy that meant that I had an immediate reconstruction using an implant but not any back muscles. The terminology is 'skin-sparing' and mine was 'nipple-sparing' as well (even though the tumour was very close to the nipple).

I think it's generally not thought suitable for people who are likely to need radiotherapy as well (the implant can harden, although my BCN said it wasn't a particular problem, they just change the implant) but it might be worth asking your BCN to see if any of the surgeons at your hospital do that particular operation - surgeons can vary enormously in approach, although, as you say, the important thing is to have the operation.

Good luck - I found the pre-operation period by far the worst. Do PM me if you'd like to ask me anything...

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Tessa

It'll be nice to think another woman's going throught the same op on the day that I am! I'm not in paid work - at home with my hectic toddler so don't have much time for brooding. I do have alot of fears though and am dreading only having one breast though I keep telling myself it's worth it to be cancer free - hopefully!

This site has been very useful and has lots of useful tips - like what to take into hospital. But mainly it's very encouraging to know other people have been there and understand.

Good luck with your op too and will be thinking of you too!
Lucinda XX

janey123
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Lucinda,
Just read your posts, I was diagnosed on 13th Nov (yes a Friday...) with ductal bc and am also due a nastectomy on 7th Dec and axillary clearance. Am still trying to get my head round it, working up till then and probably doing too much but thats me...Good luck with your op, wil be thinking of you...
Tessa xx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello Julia and Em - Thank you for posting replies. No I haven't had a sentinal node biopsy - had to look that one up! I've just had the neddle test, mammogram and scan at Frenchay near Bristol. The staff I met at the breast clinc were very nice and I've been offered 3 free reflexology sessions which I'm booking in asap! I don't know how big my tumour is but a lumpectomy wasn't even considered so maybe it's quite big. The consultant said he's going to remove some of my lymph glands as part of the MX and see if they're affected too.

I couldn't take in all the information on Monday as I was in total shock and was on my own so no one was there to remember it for me. I've booked anothe visit with my consultant before my op, which is in a couple of weeks, just so he can tell me it all again and I can ask lots of questions.

Lucinda XX

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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi Emm, I hadn't seen your postings on the forums for a while and wondered what had become of you. I think you had your original WLE/ SNB around the same time as me back in Aug/Sept. I am so sorry to see that you have now had to undergo further surgery on your lymph nodes and a mx. You certainly have been through the mill. My thoughts and best wishes are with you for your chemo and reconstruction. I am nearing the end of my rads and doing well.

vitual hugs Chris (laurasue) x

fairyem
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hi,

I had 2 ops- a lumpectomy and then margin clearance before my mx and to be fair I've been in no more pain with this than the last 2 ops, the only thing holding me back is where I'm not allowed to lift anything more than a cup of tea whilst my implant is settling in and also as they haven't been able to fill it up yet. Plus having 3 general anaestetics within 2 months has made me a little sleepy. All doable though. Are they doing a sentinal node biopsy or anthing? That's what hurt the most for me but again, all doable and take whatever drugs they offer you. Mine was grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma 25mm then they found more little lumps and some DCIS, plus one node was positive so they went back in and took the lot out.

Thankfully I only have myself to look after as we haven't had kids yet (I'm 29 and we got married just after my diagnosis and before first op!) but all I can say is take whatever help you can get. You will need to rest big style after the op, the more you rest, the quicker you will heal and be back to normal and the quicker this will all be over.

Keep us posted on your progress and see what you can get from your hospital. The nurses at my hospital (Gloucester) are fab and really know their stuff. My consultant is fab too. Then at the hospital where I live, where I will have chemo (Cheltenham) there's a support unit where I can have reflexology and relaxation sessions and get loads of advice. Plus get yourself booked into a look good feel good sesh, you get loads of freebies and faffed over for an afternoon. A really good book I recommend is 'Cancer Vixen'. It's a comic style book and written by someone going through this.

Hope you're doing OK

Em x

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Re: Just had my diagnosis

Sabraan

Sorry to hear your news. At least you are now more informed and know what you have in store. I haven't had mx but am currently on chemo, which is do-able. Mine was a grade three, so more agressive than yours. Positive mental attitude is the key, but no-one can teach you that. I found that having the treatment plan really helps you focus.

Take care

Julia xx

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello again!

Well, I've spoekn to my nurse and I have a grade 2 tumour as well as DCIS. I was told that both are extensive enough that a lumpectomy is not an option. Getting rather freaked out by it all now and trying to hold it all together in order to cope with my little girl as well as my teen is so hard.

Apprantly my mammogram was very clear so I'd derive no benefit from having a thermal image. Likewise my nurse said they trialed adjusting the operation times to fit the menstrual cycle but there was no apparant benefit.

So it looks like I'm going to have to have the MX on the 7th very likely followed by chemo and/or radiation therapy.

XX

Sabraan
Member

Re: Just had my diagnosis

Hello Em
Thank you for your prompt reply!

I think my mammogram and needle test results were fairly clear but like you I've done some research and one of the cancer websites I found mentions thermal imaging as being something to consider. It says that women around my age (I'm 44) have denser breast tissue which makes it harder to gain clear results from mammograms sometimes.

As to the timing of the operation, studies done at Guys Hospital show that operations have a better rate of cancer eradication if done when progesterone is high rather than oestragen, that is in the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Yes I'm going to opt for a reconstruction after any chemo or radiation therapy is done with.
XX