Back in November I was recalled from my first ever mammogram, a few months short of my 50th birthday. I had no inkling anything was amiss until that point but got my diagnosis the same day (on my own - the first day of Lockdown 2). The staff at the specialist breast centre couldn’t have been kinder and they set the tone for the months ahead.
On Christmas Eve I had a wire-guided wide local excision (lumpectomy) and sentinel node biopsy, followed by a re- excision at the end of January. The lesion taken out was 33mm x 15mm and there was spread into one lymph node. The cancer was ER+ and PR+
Having initially thought that surgery and radiotherapy would be sufficient the news that chemotherapy is needed has been difficult to adjust to. Suddenly treatment has become much more long-term and there are more decisions to be made about what might be reasonable in terms of managing work over the months ahead etc.
That said, I’ve yet to shed any tears. If I’m honest I guess I’m still slightly numb from the events of the last three months and have gone into practical, researching & list- writing mode/trying to keep things cheery at home/continuing to work as much as possible - there will probably be a flood of tears when the Adrenalin recedes...
To anyone about to have a lumpectomy I’d say please try not to worry! It was much easier to manage than I thought it was going to be (apart from excessive sickness the first time, which meant I had to stay in overnight until Christmas Day!) and the exercises really are worth persevering with. My recovery from the second surgery was so speedy I had to get my fit note rescinded so I could get back to work much sooner than planned.
For me I’m now just waiting to meet the oncologist tomorrow and then I’m venturing to the wig shop on Thursday - not words I ever thought I’d be writing! I’m still uncertain about whether or not to try scalp-cooling but am coming down on the side of giving it a go.
Hi, your story sounds same as mine, invasive ductal cancer ER positive, HER negative, 23mm stage 2 one lymph node positive. I was diagnosed 36 hours before Christmas Day and age 51, my Oncotype DX result is 17 so low risk recurrence etc but I’m seeing Oncologist Monday. Had mentally prepared for radiotherapy and hormone treatment until positive lymph node now in dilemma as even with low risk Oncotype there’s still a risk unsure if I should ask about chemo don’t want regrets in years to come
It’s great that your result is low but I totally get your concern about possible future regrets. Why not simply ask the question and get advice from as many different professionals as possible. Ultimately it will be your decision but I find that being well informed about the options - and they are really are options for you to consider & choose from - gives ownership.
Hi Handbag lover thanks for the post. My journey is somewhat backwards to you. I’m having 18 weeks of chemo first prior to a lumpectomy so it’s comforting to hear that you dealt with that so well fingers crossed I will too after some recovery time from the chemo.
Meant to add with regards the cold cap, I would recommend giving it a go, it does depend on the type of chemo drugs you have and everyone is different, but I’ve had 12 weeks now and I would say have managed to keep around 70% of my hair. The first 15 mins the first time is difficult but preserve and you just get used to it, it’s just another part of the treatment. Best of luck with it all! Xxx
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
We’re here to provide physical, financial and emotional support.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2020
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: 668265007