Thank you for your mail, sorry for the delay in my reply.
I have been offered accommodation at a hotel in Southampton but was advised by my breast nurse not to take up the offer as she thought I would be lonely, my appointment could be at 9am and I could be back at the hotel by 10am, and then I would be alone all day, so that decision is on hold at the moment, but the option is still there. At the moment,because of lockdown, the ferries, hovercrafts to the mainland have been drastically reduced, I am hoping that as soon as it’s over the ferry timetables are reinstated, it’s one less worry to cope with.
Take care Ann, lovely to hear from you.love Lesley xx
Thank you for your 2 mails, sorry I have been slow in replying, the weeks go by so fast. Firstly my condolences to your husband and yourself on the loss of your brother in law, it’s sad at any time but all the more poignant the loser it gets to Christmas.
I am glad that your lymph nodes were clear Jane but sorry to hear that your margins were not, but next time your surgeon will get the little b..... for good, the next couple of weeks will fly by and your op will soon be here and done. I can understand about the self isolation but sadly it’s something we have to do before going into hospital.
i haven’t heard about my radiotherapy yet, I spoke to the breast care nurse yesterday as I too have a lump above and through the scar but like yours they also told me it’s possibly tissue, they also told metro watch incase it got hot and red because of infection, but it’s not so I think all’s good there, they also told me it can take up to 4 weeks from referral for radiotherapy, so I can give them another couple of weeks.Mind you, because of lockdown our ferries and hovercrafts have been drastically reduced so I would find it difficult to get there at the moment.
Like yourself Jane, I too have had great support from everyone, family friends and this site, it would have been worse without you all.
Take care and please keep in touch
Love Lesley xx
Have you heard any more about your radiotherapy? I hope you are continuing to recover from the op and doing all the exercises!
I went for my results yesterday. The lymph nodes (3) were clear, however the margins on my tumour were not and I have to have another operation in the next 2 to 3 weeks. I'm just glad that my surgeon is persisting in getting rid of it all. The worst downside is that we will have to self isolate for another 2 weeks before the surgery and therefore, almost certainly, my husband and I will not be able to go to the funeral of his brother who died last week. Because we had to self isolate before my last op, my husband didn't get to see his brother until just before the end. Sometimes it all gets to be too much to cope with.
Anyway, cope with it we will. Have had great support from family, friends and this site. Thank you all.
Have you heard from your oncologist yet about your radiotherapy? It would be much better for you if it could all happen in 1 week - much less stressful I should think. Do you wait until after your radiotherapy before starting on Tamoxifen?
I am OK except that there is a lump under the operation site. I phoned my Breast Nurse and she says it can happen when the surgeon draws the tissue together after the excision. Also, the skin near there and going to my nipple is numb. Have you had anything like this?
Now just waiting for my results on Wednesday and looking forward to having a proper bath after they remove the steri strips!
Look after yourself,
Hi Lesley, I understand your travel issues and wonder if you could check if the hospital has some long stay apartments that would make it much easier for you. I had 25 rads and by the end was extremely fatigued so I was very pleased my hubby drove me to appointments. Also, by the end of 5 weeks the housekeeping was out of the window and we were eating at restaurants and takeaways! I was never given the same appointment time, nor was there a guarantee that things would run smoothly. Once or twice (!) the machines broke down, or people couldn’t lay in the right position, so on a couple of occasions it was a real marathon. Thankfully there is a Maggies Centre on site where I took refuge!!
Might be worthwhile checking hospitality out as it sounds a right old slog to me, and not what you need really. Best wishes. Ann
From one granny to another ...welcome. You are quite right about asking the right question of the right person, and no question can ,or should be ,classed as silly or a nuisance given the circumstances. Yes, it’s your body and your decision and I applaud your proactive approach and your common sense . I found my pre assessment invaluable as I was given lots of information and advice, including booklets and paperwork which allowed me to re-read at leisure and ensured I was fully prepared and enabled for this. I also had swollen lymph nodes so I had a full node clearance just to be on the safe side. Isn’t modern medicine marvellous with special dyes, plastic surgery and other intricate procedures like mammograms which help discover the cancer, get rid of it and then continue with our lives.🥰
For all you ladies waiting for procedures I can tell you the waiting is hard, and once you have started with your procedures you will be able to focus your strength and determination on a good outcome. As you can see from this forum there are so many of us who have come through what you are going to do, and are getting on with life. The thing to remember ladies, is that we are living with and surviving cancer, not dying from it. Best of luck, everyone. 🍀💐👍💝
Hello again Jane,
I am so pleased that your operation is over and that you are home again. Glad to hear that your surgeon thought it had gone well and I wish you well for your results on Wednesday.
I am waiting to hear from the oncologist in Southampton regarding the radiotherapy, apparently it can now be 5 sessions in a week and then it’s done, but also can be longer - 5 session per week for 3 weeks, so it all depends on what the oncologists plans for me are. Obviously I am hoping for the former, mainly due to the fact that I have to travel across the Solent each day and would rather do that for 1 week than 3, as you say it’s going to be very tiring, but I won’t be the first to have to do it and undoubtedly not the last either. Then after the radiotherapy it's 5 years (possibly more) on Tamoxifen, but it’s a small price to pay, and I am so thankful.
Take care Jane, please let me know how your results go.
Love Lesley xxx
So glad to hear your good results. It's so stressful waiting and you must be very relieved. It was good that they managed to do your surgery so soon after your diagnosis. So that means radiotherapy and tamoxifen? Do you have to travel to the mainland every day for your radiotherapy and how long does that go on for? I can see you being exhausted again!
I had my surgery last Thursday. I only went to the hospital at 12.30 and, because my surgery didn't start until about 4 and I only got back to the ward at 8.10pm, I stayed in for the night. I'm not sorry, because I was so dozy afterwards I don't think my husband could have coped with looking after me that night. I saw the surgeon briefly afterwards and he seemed to think it had gone well. I won't get the results until Wednesday 11th, when I go back to the breast clinic.
Don't feel too bad. Have managed on paracetamol but can't seem to find a comfortable position to sleep in. I am interestingly coloured from the bruising but it doesn't hurt. The operation site is tender rather than painful if I touch it. Have been faithfully doing all the exercises but find it difficult to remember not to lift things above my shoulder with my right hand - I am so right handed! Also difficult to wash and not wet the dressing.
Anyway, we oldies are surviving. Am so glad I went to that last mammogram!
Look after yourself,
Thank you for your letter, I am hoping that you are now home safe and sound after your operation and that you are recovering well, you’re probably feeling a bit sore but you will feel better as each day passes.
My results appointment went well, the surgeon told me the margins were clear after the removal of the tumour and the lymph nodes removed (2) came-back as negative which was good news. The next step is radiotherapy which probably will start-in around 4 weeks time, one bug bare is I have to travel to the mainland to have the treatment, but hey ho I can cope with that, don’t know the time frame yet, but after the radiotherapy they are putting me on Tamoxifen for at least 5 years possibly longer, I am so thankful that I had that mammogram, it was estimated to be 8mm but when it was removed it was 16mm, so it appears that it had doubled in size within a few weeks.
Anyway, Jane, I look forward to hearing from you, whenever you feel well enough.
Rest up, take care,
Love Lesley xxx
Thank you for your very long reply. I'm glad to hear that your operation went well and that you are recovering. Presumably you are still not allowed to lift heavy weights (my breast cancer nurse has told me 4 weeks!).
Tomorrow I go to the Nuclear Medicine Clinic to have a radioactive injection to highlight the sentinel nodes. I don't think I am having a wire because, when they did the core biopsy at the Breast Assessment Centre, they inserted what they called a clip where the tumour is. My surgeon says that this is because, when the tumour is small, the core biopsy can almost destroy the tumour so that it is difficult to find in the operation. The clip shows where it is. Anyway, I will let you know. As far as I know I will be staying in overnight (my appointment is 12.30) but may be going home the same day, depending on when the surgeon gets round to me. I'm going prepared!
I find that I am sleeping badly. Most of the time I am OK but periodically have little wobbles.
I know you are getting your results tomorrow and I will be thinking of you. Please let us know how you get on. I'm glad your partner is looking after you so well. It makes such a difference to have all that support.
Look after yourself,
Thank you for your reply, no worries about delay, just write when you’re free. I understand totally about the need for wire free bras after the op,I already had a sports bra but found another front opening one(Velcro) on E Bay which I have found very comfy, I also wear them at the moment at night (keeps you uptogether).
I am recovering very well from my op and have not been into much discomfort, I am either a tough old bird or very lucky, i was expecting to be black and blue but I haven’t bruised. I was prescribed liquid morphine to be used when needed and paracetamol which I took regularly for 2 days, then thought I was becoming zombie like so now just take them when needed, I never had the need for the morphine at all. I didn’t stay in bed, my partner is very protective of me and wouldn’t let me do a thing, he’s relaxing a little now and I’m actually allowed to wash up occasionally, seriously, he has been brilliant. As regards the special wash liquid you were given,I didn’t have anything like that, I live on Isle of Wight.
Try not to be too anxious, the hospital staff are amazing and I’m sure will take great care of you. Do you have to have a wire inserted before your op? I did, it was all done under local anaesthetic and was pain free. It is to guide the surgeon to where exactly the tumour is especially if it is small and cannot be felt on the outside of your breast.
Anything else I can help with Jane before Thursday,please don’t hesitate to ask. Are you in just for day surgery?
Take care and rest up.
Love Lesley xxx
Sorry for the delay in replying - have been chasing my tail this week trying to obtain some suitable bras to wear after surgery - all mine are underwired!
So glad to hear the unofficial good news about your lymph nodes. You must be relieved.
So tell me, how did the operation go, and how have you been since then? Have you been staying in bed? I hope you are recovering a bit and that the bruising is going down.
I am about ten days behind you so, as you can see, am picking your brains about what to expect. Went to my face to face pre-op today and came back with some special wash to wash my hair with every other day and my body every day - did you have anything like this? (I live in Hertfordshire by the way) Am starting to get a bit anxious about it all.
Look after yourself,
Love, Jane xx
Hi Jane, Thank you for the message, surgery went well on Monday, it was a very long day, I had to have a wire insert in the breast clinic before going to day surgery, I finally went into theatre around 3pm , all the hospital staff were amazing and so kind. I have to go to out patients for the results next Wednesday, but have been told unofficially that it doesn’t appear to have spread to the lymph nodes as they came back clear from pathology. I am well and truly being spoilt and not allowed to do a thing at home, my partner Alistair is looking after me very well.
I wish you all the best for your surgery next Thursday, I will be thinking of you and hoping that all goes well for you. I think exhausted is the right word, we all seem to feel that we’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Good luck Jane and lots of love
I look forward to hearing from you whenever you feel well enough xx
I hope you are back safe and sound after the operation and not feeling too bad. It takes a while just to get over the anaesthetic I think. Allow yourself to be looked after and pampered!
I had a telephone pre-op last Thursday: face to face pre-op is this Friday: Covid test next Monday: radioactive insert on following Wednesday and then op on Thursday! I can see myself being exhausted by the time I get there!
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are.
Thank you so much for your message and good wishes for tomorrow. Iam due to go in at 8.30am and to be honest it really can’t come quick enough now. I had my pre assessment on Friday along with a Covid test(negative thank goodness).
Good luck to you also Jane on 29th and please keep in touch.
Love Lesley xx
You must have been really upset when your operation was postponed.
I'm just writing to wish you all the best for tomorrow - I will be thinking of you.
My operation is on 29th October (finally got a date!).
I was diagnosed with a small tumour a year ago and I had my lumpectomy operation in September 2019 followed by 3 weeks of radiotherapy. I can empathize with everything that you are all going through, as it was the same for me. During my journey, I spoke with some lovely nurses on the phone from MacMillan. They sent me questions to ask my consultants and gave me advice about how to handle certain situations. For example I found speaking to my children about my diagnosis difficult. I also kept a diary, which helped me. You will get through this and time will heal.
My operation has been postponed until 19th October, nightmare! I was so hoping that it would be done 12th,
Thank you for your message, it has given me a boost to read your story which as you say is very similar to mine. I am having my preassessment on Friday and operation is planned forMonday which can’t come soon enough. Thankyou for your good wishes, I will let you know how it goes. Big hug Lesleyxx
Anxiety does dreadful things to your body. The sleepiness nights, nausea, shaking, headaches, etc etc. are things that I am sure we have all experienced when having to face this unexpected and unwanted challenge. As a veteran of several decades of panic attacks I can generally recognise the physical symptoms of anxiety but I have found it difficult to ‘breathe through it’. I am now much calmer most of the time but the shock, disbelief and fear appear at some point each day. I am trusting that it will get easier once treatment starts as everyone says But we will get through it as so many people on this forum have already done and are doing right now.
I am sure you will start to feel calmer once you have your full results and treatment plan x
Thanks so much for your reply helps so much to know it is normal to have the additional tests with node involvement. I think I am having chemo first then surgery but yet to be confirmed. I may be triple negative as well will know at consultation on Friday, hoping that will be a relief. Having trouble sleeping and feel so sick alot (although the contrast with MRI maybe bit of that ) but everyone tells me it is anxiety at the moment, with all the waiting. To be fair they have acted so quickly.
Good luck with your surgery hope it all goes well and things progress after that.
Sorry you also find yourself here. I was also diagnosed after a routine mammogram (not my first, I am 64), could not feel any lump & I have a node involvement. So I can understand the emotions you are going through. Although things have moved relatively quickly for me I have had delays due to having a CT scan & due to my consultant going on annual leave. It is perfectly normal yo gave the additional tests with a lymph node involvement but it is scary. I can only say that a huge weight was lifted when my CT scan was clear other than the breast lump and node. But now waiting for surgery on Saturday & there is a constant nagging doubt about what may have happened between the scan and now. Waiting for results and treatment really is a horrible time and you are right to say that only those who have gone through it really know how it feels. And I totally know what you mean about feeling that it isn’t you - it is at times a very surreal experience.
As I said in my other post I have asked many questions of my breast care nurse and discussed just how I am feeling with her & she has been truly fantastic & supportive. I have also passed some questions on to my surgeon through his secretary as I felt they were questions more suited to him than my BCN. And I am prepared with even more for my pre-op assessment tomorrow- a different hospital, so I will be seeing different nurses. It is our body and our treatment and I would hate to think at a later date that there was something I wish I had asked. I would sooner be thought of as a nuisance now!!
Good luck with all your results and treatment. Remain as positive as you can at this stage and make full use of all the support available to you from both your medical team and the lovely people on here.
Thank you Lesley you too wishing you all the best, I think once I am on treatment plan then will be more focussed x
Sorry about your diagnosis but I’m glad you’ve found the forum. I had a similar diagnosis to yourself earlier in the year and had a lumpectomy and node biopsy followed by radiotherapy (so similar treatment plan). They inject the blue dye before I went down for surgery - it’s so that the surgeon knows which lymph nodes to carry out the biopsy on. The dye takes a little while to disappear - my surgery was in May and I still have a tiny faded bit of blue. I’m glad you’re having a follow up chat with your Breast cancer nurse. Mine has been brilliant. They know it’s a lot to take in so I think expect to need to go through it again. Worth making a list of your questions to go through with the nurse. Happy to answer any questions. Take care x
sorry that you find yourself in this position, what a shock for you to be diagnosed after your first mammogram, I can’t offer any advice I’m afraid as I am newly diagnosed myself, I didn’t feel a lump either, my surgeon told me that no one could have felt it but was picked up solely by the mammogram. I wish you all the best for your future treatment, it’s not too long until Friday and hopefully you will have some answers then. I’m sure that others on this lovely forum will be more helpful than I have been, and I send you healing thoughts and hope your treatment goes according to plan. Big hugs Lesley xxx
Hello, I was diagnosed after call back after my first mammogram in September, and given results last week, I turned 50 mid September great present. Lump in right breast 20mm and it is in one node so seems to be stage 3 for that reason. Currently in limbo process of going to various tests had MRI scan today interesting experience, blood and CT scan thursday guessing this is normal when it has spread to armpit. It is really early days and didn't feel a lump which is scary and so glad I got my mammogram invite early and no delay with covid, cant really fault the speed so far. Going through the normal emotions and sometimes think it is not me. chemo looks likely first stage, and will know more on friday when all results in. Possibly triple negative too, plus it is in family so may get genetic testing. Be nice to talk to others in same position, I have a wonderful support network but think helps talking to people having same worries and waiting anxieities. Jo x
Thank you so much for your message, sending you every good wish for your surgery on Saturday, sorry that it has been delayed for you due to various reasons and.ike you say once the surgery is over then the cancer is gone.
I am hoping to have a good chat with my Breast care nurse on Thursday as she is due to phone me, Thank you again for your kind words,sending you healing thoughts and big hugs. Lesley xxx
Hi Jane (PurpleGranny) - a big welcome to you too, I’m sure you will find amazing support from this forum. I wish you all the best as you go forward, and do come back at any time to ask questions or offload. Also don’t forget the lovely nurses - number at the top right of this page - if you would like further medical advice. Grannyp’s advice about asking questions is also excellent.
Hugs, Evie xx
Sorry that you find yourself here. I am in a similar situation - aged 64 & having surgery on Saturday. Relatively small lump like yourself but different in that I do know that I have node involvement. This, along with my surgeon’s holiday, has delayed the surgery a little as CT scan needed. Fortunately this was clear apart from the lump & node.
I do empathise with you on worrying about the surgery but most of the time I am able to be calm by reminding myself that once the surgery is over the cancer has gone. Any other treatment is a back up or to prevent recurrence.
I also felt very much better about the surgery and after effects after a long chat with my breast care nurse. My view is that there are no stupid questions and the specialist nurses are there to help us - & to be honest with us. Do make use of the advice and support your nurse can give you.
I do hope all goes well with your surgery and any further treatment.
Hi Jane, Thank you for your reply, I agree it’s a big shock, I only joined this amazing site yesterday and by reading other people’s posts I am beginning to realise that there are a lot of people having to deal with a lot more than me, I wish you all the best for your journey too Jane and thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes or my upcoming operation, I just want it over now so the sooner next Monday gets here the better, please keep int touch, it’s good to know someone of a similar age is going through the same treatment, Big hugs Lesley xx
I too have just been diagnosed (last Wednesday) after my final mammogram. I am 69 and don't know all the details yet. The breast assessment clinic did further tests including a biopsy and last Wednesday said I had a Grade 2 invasive tumour that didn't seem to involve the lymph nodes. So far I don't know anything about my treatment as am due to go to an appointment next Friday with the breast surgeons. It has all come as a huge shock as I feel perfectly fine at the moment.
I have found this wonderful website thanks to my Good Housekeeping magazine.
I wish you all the best in the next weeks and look forward to hearing how you are getting on.
Big hugs to you too, Jane xx
Good advice Evie, thank you, will definitely take a notebook and pen with me at my next consultation. Big hug, Lesley xx
Hi Lesley - you are absolutely right, there is way too much to take in, at a time when you feel like you have just been hit by a big truck. There is a whole new language too. My advice would be to take along a notebook with questions so you don’t forget any, and scribble down the answers at the time - I imagine because of Covid you aren’t allowed to take anyone along with you to take notes. If I didn’t write things down I would come out of the appointment and forget everything they just told me.
Do ask your nurse to explain anything you don’t understand, but what you are having is normal procedure if they haven’t already spotted any node involvement too. I didn’t have that as they could already see node involvement from my ultrasound and then the biopsy, but I have read about the dye, which I believe is blue.
Your team will hold your hands at every step of the way, and we are all here to answer any questions or just chat or listen if you want to offload. Evie xx
Hi Evie, Thank you for your reply, yes this was my first post, my cancer is a grade 2 and the operation is a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy a few weeks later. The lymph nodes appeared to be okay on the mammogram images, but the surgeon said about injecting a dye into the nipple during the op which will travel to the lymph nodes and depending on the results will maybe take some away. I am speaking to my Clinical Nurse later this week so will ask her to confirm this.......so much to take in,when you’re at your lowest.
Hi Lesley - I’m not sure if this is your first post, but welcome to this lovely forum - though I’m sorry you find yourself here. It is very normal to feel as you do - you are facing an operation and coming to terms with the shock diagnosis. Try to take one day at a time and take good care of yourself, lots of treats and accept any help offered. And most of all, keep chatting on here to any of us - or the lovely nurses, you will find their number at the top of the page. No question is too big or small or too silly, and no explanations needed, everyone knows where you are coming from.
My very best wishes to your for your operation on 12th. Hugs Evie xx
Hi all, as I say I was diagnosed on Thursdayafter a routine mammogram, it’s only 11mm, so quite small, small enough not to be felt, having my surgery on 12th of this month,and as it gets closer the more nervous I’m getting, is this normal? Look forward to hearing from you. Lesley xx