Hello. I'm new here. I'm 42 and was diagnosed 5 days ago with breast cancer.

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Hello,

Trying to navigate my way around things since being diagnosed 5 days ago. 

I'm 42 and found a lump in my breast on Sunday 12/11/23.  Went to the GP at 8am on Monday 13/11/23 convinced I had just pulled something at the gym.  Emergency referral to the breast clinic, 9 biopsys (6 with no anesthetic, ouch!) 2 mammograms and an ultrasound later and on Friday 1/12/23 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Completely shocked as no known family history. 

I've been told it's in 2 areas of the breast and in one lynphnode.  It's oestrogen based and HER2+ (I'm still trying to learn the lingo).

I'm having a CT scan and MRI next week, will start chemo just before or after Christmas and mastectomy and reconstruction in about 5 months.  Theuce done a referral to hair clinic and genetics.

It's been a strange few days, getting my head around it all,  telling people, making plans.  I'm trying to be super positive as I've been told that they are treating me with "curative intent" and recovery should take 1 year so I feel very lucky. But at the moment it's felling verry surreal.

My Macmillan nurse is lovely.   Everyone around me is being lovely and supportive.A few weeks ago I was cracking on with my life, thriving in my job, an avid gym goer and enjoyed an active social life. I've never had any health issues  never snoked, rsrely drink and follow a Mediterranean pescetarian diet.  So now im getting my head around that fact that I'm sick.

I'm coping by being proactive  organising the house, cancelling my gym membership,  making plans at my work, putting my dressy clothes away,  telling everyone that I'm feeling positive about it and treating it as my "year off", but deep down I'm also scared about what the next 12 months is going to bring.  But I'm trying not to show this to those around me.

  1. I don't know anyone who has gone through anything like this so I'm hoping to be able to get and give support from this community during this new chapter of my life.

  • Apologies for the typos everyone See no evil

  • Hi Dolly D!

    I was diagnosed earlier this year at 40. It feels so surreal when you are diagnosed - just like you I was thriving at my job, socialising and I felt fab!! It all came to a grinding halt when I found that dreaded lump!

    Sounds like you have a great attitude and support around you! 

    6 months on I have made peace with my diagnosis and accepted this as my reality. I’ve also found that there is no need to put away the dressy clothes and stop the socialising- you will have way more good days than bad days - so on those good days- put on those heels and dressy clothes and go out! I had 6 rounds of chemo - other than fatigue and nausea for a couple of days on the first 3 rounds - I had no other symptoms so I could do a lot of living in between treatments.

    cancer teaches us that life can change in an instant - so even when we are having treatment, we should try to continue to live the best possible life we can!! 

    keep us posted on how you are getting on - you are clearly a very positive person - which is fab!

    xx

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely positive message and thank you fir your kinnd words.  I really appreciate it. Heart

    As soon as I read your message I ran over to show my partner. You really have given me a lot of hope knowing that your journey has been positive and you've been able to still go out etc and have a life inbetween chemo. 

    Also reassuring to know how your experience of side affects after chemo.

    It sounds like we have had very similar circumstances and you also have such a positive approach to this which I love. 

    I absolutely agree with what you said about how this teaches us to live our best possible lives.  Just after my dishnosis my Macmillan nurse said to me; " I can see you already love and appreciate life but after this experience you'll love it even more and you'll be a stronger person for it".  Her words have really stuck in my head.

    Wishing you all the best with your recovery. Heart️ and thank you again xxx

  • Im similar, 2 areas, im 46, dont know much else but had a mastectomy yesterday. It was my choice- lumpectomy january was mentioned but asked for mastectomy and slotted in yesterday by consultant. 

    lump- 27/10- found by nurse not me randomly (was there with cattarh - just mentioned hassle with weird breast fullness/rash on right breast but lump in left was found) 

    tests-21/11

    results -30/11 and 4/11 

    mastectomy -7/12

    So am recovering quite well today. Just waiting for the crash - I'm so well but I'm tired but wired - cant relax. Ive been placed on fast forward and cant press pause! 

    I was thriving at my job, its all come to a shocking stop. Now though I feel like I need time to cope and get information on what Im dealing with. I was thinking like you, just an year off. But Im realising that I need to stop thinking ahead and concentrate on now and nothing more. But thats me- its a steep and hard learning curve.

    xxx

    Ninsim Heart

  • Hi   I'm really sorry that you're going through this.   I'm glad to read that you're not feeling too bad after the mastectomy and I hope that continues for you and you have a speedy recovery from the op.

    Have they said when you'll be starting your chemo?   I'm doing it the opposite way round so chemo first then op.

    I agree  its going to be a learning curve. We will have good days and not so good days. Definitely taking each day at a time is a good idea.   Some days this week I've been hour by hour.

    Sending you a big hug   xx 

  • Waiting on tests to confirm, I just know nothing much up to now, will know more next week hopefully in regards to radio / chemo plan. Sleep and relaxation is my main battle. I've had an emotional crash yesterday and today, ill take a sleeping tablet tonight. Just the effort of being ok not sustainable without a few down days. Feeling better eating lunch now - i've gone down from 11st 3lb to 10st 1lb in a month - just through lost appetite

    Ninsim Heart

  •    I've had to create a new account to reply as for some strange reason I can't log on with my original one.

    We absolutely will have up and down days and that's okay.  Try not to put any pressure on yourself and if you're having a down or emotional day then you're absolutely allowed to. Everyone is going to deal with things differently.   

    What is your Macmillan nurse like?  Could you maybe have a chat with her about it?   I used the online chat function on the Macmillan website last week to chat to a nurse out of hours and it was really helpful. 

    Hopefully you'll feel a bit better once you have more of an idea of a plan in place next week.

    I had my MRI and CT scan this week and should hear from my nurse on Friday about plans going forward.   I still need to meet with the  clinical oncologist to discuss my chemo plan which  I'm hoping might happen next week Fingers crossed  I'm finding the waiting and not knowing is really difficult. 

    What I'm doing is trying to focus on what's currently in my control like nutrition.   So I'm filling myself up full of nutritional immune boosting foods and making myself eat even when I don't feel like it as I see it as preparing my body to fight back.   My thinking might not work for everyone, we will all find our ways of coping, but I'm finding that it's something that is really helping me.  I'm researching things I can do to prepare myself before chemo and it's giving me a little bit if a feeling of having some control if that makes sense?

    I'm sorry to read that you're struggling with eating ahd sleeping. Please do try to eat evem of its small bites as your body will need the energy to help you to recover faster.

    I have always struggled with insomnia and I use an antihistamine called Phenergan which I swear by.  Its the only thing I've found that works for me.

    How is your healing going from the mastectomy?

    xx

  • Healing well as far as i can tell. Moving well, no pain- havent had any pain really just a bit sore under the arm but nothing much.

    I am eating just quarter what i used to. Truth is that I needed to lose weight - hadnt quite thought of this diet though as the way! Im still overweight on the nhs bmi so i dont think its much to worry about.

    Need to try to control things better.

    Might try a nap now. I'm just shattered today!

    Ninsim Heart

  •   thats really good to know that you're recovering well and not experiencing much pain.   That's what I've been really worried about.  My partner had a lumpectomy years ago before we were together and she keeps telling me how painful it was sland that it took ger weeks to recover so I've been thinking a mastectomy would be even more painful.  So you're giving me hope!

    I hope you managed to get a nap Slight smile

  • I had an hours nap - it felt like a big victory.

    Weird that my original account plus yours played up and we had to create a new one. I think the site was updated recently so possibly thats why.

    Hope you had an ok day. I had my hair cut to above shoulder length today. Its ok, - greasy dry conditioner clad mess gone (it took the hairdresser 3 washes!!). It will be a total mess with grey roots now but thats the way its got to be. Geez my skin is a mess, i look terrible no make up due to the excema. But Im here, my family love me lumps, bumps, no breast mess - so just need to put up with it and thats that

    Ninsim Heart