I was diagnosed just before Christmas 2010 and had to tell my daughter on the evening just after we'd collected her for the Christmas holiday that I had breast cancer and was going to have my operation on Christmas Eve, a week later. This was her first year at uni.
It was, quite honestly, the worst thing I think I've ever had to do and one I hope I'll never have to repeat.
We were lucky because although she's 200 miles away at UCLan my parents are only about half an hour away from there. Without them I don't know if she'd have coped in the early days. I was glad that by the time she went back after Christmas I was recovering from my op, so although she didn't want to leave me she knew that I was OK.
Being away meant that she didn't see me at my worst during chemo, for which I was very grateful, and I made sure that we used Skype and that I was always upbeat when I spoke to her.
She told her tutors who were brilliant and gave her time off at one point to come home and take part in a fund raising charity concert organised by friends. She also confided a lot in her friends, several of whose mums had had BC as well (although she hadn't known thaat before). The uni counselling service was available if she needed it but TBH I think she was far happier just talking to her friends, visiting her grandparents more often than she would have done otherwise and knowing that the support was there if she needed it.
Do make sure that her tutors know, and also encourage her to chat to her friends - it's very likely that at least one of them will have experience of this and might be able to give her some support. I'm also certain that her uni will have a counselling/support service that she can go to if she thinks it would be useful to her.
It's a rotten situation when they're so far away but maybe you could view it as a good thing, keeping her away from the epicentre of your treatment. I'm sure that in the end it was less stressful for my daughter not to be around during my worst days, both for me and her.
All the very best of luck to you and your family,
I haven't yet found such a group for my daughter in her 2nd year near Chelmsford. I was diagnosed in Aug 09 and have had mx with immediate diep recon, 3 further surgeries to other side and recon, have now developed lymphoedema in right leg, left breast and now have to have major spinal surgery as something not related to my bc. The uni have been absolutley great and very understanding, however it would appear to be more a group that she herself has found at uni whilst making new friends etc. I do think that she would have benefited from a dedicated support group for students in similar situations though, but know of nothing like this for them. I do know that my daughter went off and sought her own counselling just after I was diagnosed and before she went off to uni which she found really useful. Maybe this is something your daughter could explore, I am sure the uni would have, or know of where she could access some help if needed.
Do hope that you both get the necessary help to see you through this difficult time.
I got DX on 21 Sept and had WLE/SNB on Friday. We live in Yorkshire and my daughter is at Uni in down South. She's very upset about me and I'm worried about how this will affect her as she's in her last year and already has enough stress from that.
Are there other students/young people out there with mums (or Dads) with BC? I couldn't see one on this site, but I think there must be others who could use some support from the only people who really understand what they're going through.