Update - mainly for me, but feel free if helpful

3 minute read time.

So, here we are 6 weeks post diagnosis with TNBC.

I reflect upon how things are going physically, mentally treatment wise 

So it's nearly Christmas Christmas tree I swing between don't give a F***, and I must continue to be well behaved matriarch and carry on as normal.

My lumpectomy is scheduled 6 days before Christmas, so everything I can bare to do is done, wrapped and finished.

 Those who don't know, congratulate me on being so organised Rolling eyes.

Bringing me to current treatment plan, BRACA is finally back and negative, thank god for me and those family members around me xx

Lumpectomy is scheduled, 2 small TNBC are scheduled to be outed !!

The day before the op I have the pleasure of a radioactive injection into my breast (can't remember if she said nipple ??) to enable location of the sentinel lymph node in theatre the next day.

Then on the morning of surgery another blissful trip to radiology to have the tumours "skewered like a kebab" onto a wire to improve the chances of getting them out with the desired clear margins during the surgery.

But of course this is all only a minor surgical procedure and I'll be out by lunchtime Scream

Psychological state - still pretty awful, gave up on trying to establish some sort of sleep pattern with occasional Zopiclone, reluctantly doled out by GP and cut to the heavy duty stuff, Mirtazapine, sedating SSRI, not ideal, but had enabled some sleep and a sort of floaty unreality for part of the next day.

Also had acupuncture at the local alternative/support cancer centre. Absolutely incredible what happens when you get cancer Rofl

Also obtained incredibly hard to get dentists appointment, by saying I needed any potential dental issues sorting prior to chemotherapy.

No one seems to have decided whether I'm having chemotherapy or not, but I have no shame, and say whatever is necessary if it means something I'm worried about gets sorted. However slight misfire leads Screamto me having a dental extraction in the chair, which had previously been thought necessary in hospital Scream !!!

Getting much better at telling people , don't cry much, found an ex colleague, same age who also had TNBC, so feel at last I've found a cancer mate.

Husband continues to be amazing, kids don't really understand the impact on us, because we've only given them edited highlights of what it's doing to us.

Had the most depressing shopping trip ever, for post surgery bras. Not my usual embroidered lace, wired, push up, frippery with matching knickers. 

Black and grey, ugly, soft, front zipped unpleasantness. Hate them and pray I won't have to wear for long. Vanity continues at usual level

Lengthy discussions with my surgeon (she must think I'm mad as a box of frogs) about which incision is least likely to affect nipple function, she's long suffering and smiles kindly at me, fingers cFingers crossedssed she's as good as everyone says Fingers crossed

So I'm ready - for Christmas and to have a lump lopped out of my boob.

Dreading it and wanting it ASAP, all at the same time. Have developed anxiety each time we approach the hospital, can't believe I worked at the dammed place for 20+ years, now can barely walk through the front doors.

Sort of learning that preop investigations do not equal post op decisions and that the goal posts shift and change continuously.

Had my pre op, and when the sweet little nurse who couldn't bring herself to say cancer, told me no alcohol for 4 days before surgery,nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Continue to try and limit alcohol intake (bearing in mind it's my number one candidate for why I got here in the first place). 

But hoping to spend the next few days before my op in a blissful unawareness, combination of alcohol and SSRI.

Try to avoid negative thoughts about my body and poor left boob. Think of it like an injured little bird, rather than an evil being that is to be banished !!

Hopefully post op I'll be in better shape and more coherent, so many good things, people around me, but struggling to be grateful currently.

See you on the other side in my s****y grey bra !!!!

  • The magnetic tracer is injected close to the nipple but not into the nipple. It feels like a bee sting but passes fairly quickly. 

    With TNBC I would put my money on a random mutation rather than the effect of alcohol intake. 

    All the best for your surgery. Chemo generally seems to be recommended for everything except very small tumours with no LVI and no lymph nodes involved. So post-op decision based on pathology. 

    Good to hear the BRCA tests came back negative. Another significant sub-group within TNBC are tumours that use the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway to ‘hide’ from the immune system. That’s what I have. It does open up the prospect of immunotherapy (Pembrolizumab or Atezolizumab) if your tumours are large enough to pass the entry criteria. I have had pembrolizumab in the metastatic setting. 

  • Guessing you may be a HCP too ???

    Expecting chemo and in a weird way panicking they may not offer it if histology looks good and tumours small.

    Been a "pull your big girl pants up" HCP for 30 years, but this has turned me into.a self pitying mess. Hopefully I'll man up soon xx

  • Can they tell from the pre op biopsies if the TNBC is PD1/PDL1 or only from the full histology post op ??

  • Hi, I had left side mastectomy on 19th December and I’m now waiting for pathology reports and treatment plan, keeping fingers crossed!!

  • Hi Vibby 

    love your blog - so full of emotions and humour all in one. 
    I’m 67 so also thought I was too old for TNBC. but turns out I’m not! But I am too old for an NHS BRACA test so Im worried about my daughter (and granddaughter only 4 but still). Only option is a private test. I’m so glad you don’t have the gene. 
    Hope 2024 is going as well as possible and you’re treatment is progressing well