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Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

New here - introducing myself.

Sunshine143
Posted by

Hi everyone - I’m sure as most of you felt the first time you posted, I can’t believe I’m here! Scrolling through some of the discussions, though, I feel like I’m in excellent company.

I’m 34 and just diagnosed with high grade DCIS. Bit of a shock at first, as it was an incidental finding, but feeling better now I know what’s going on and am on the road to treatment. Doing my best to trust and stay positive as much as I can. 

I’ll need a mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy, as it’s quite a large area affected, and I have a small chest, so it’s really the best/only option. Currently trying to decide on which reconstruction option to go with - DIEP or implants (or no recon). For those of you who’ve gone the DIEP route, how did you find the process? I guess with that I’m worried about the amount of scarring and recovery time. Implants freak me out as well, to be honest. So much information to process.

My biggest stress, to be honest, is my family, most of whom are in the States, and are all incredulous as to why I won’t be getting a double mastectomy, which my consultant says isn’t really the done thing here, but is widespread in America. Do any of you have any experience with asking for one here and getting/not getting one? Does anyone have any advise for dealing with well meaning but very pushy, opinionated family members?! Also, if there are any other groups on here you’ve found helpful, I’d love any recommendations!

Grateful to be able to speak in a safe space here. Lots of love to all

C.J.
Posted by

Hi Sunshine143

i am 39 and also recently diagnosed. Going for a left breast mastectomy and auxiliary clearance op next week and due to coronavirus been told they will not do a reconstruction at this time. My family are also in the States! It is so hard having to go through all of this with family support so far away and during a pandemic! They feel quite helpless. I just wanted to say hi as it seems we have a bit in common! Sending love and support to you! X

Sunshine143
Posted by

Hey - thanks for your message!

I'm sorry to hear you are also going through this at such a young age - the doctors keep telling me it's not common (and maybe relatively speaking it's not), but I know of so many more people in our age group who have had/currently have it than we're led to believe. I've been paraphrasing Mean Girls, saying in relation to cancer, 'You don't want to sit with us!' .. So grateful to have joined this online community as I'm already finding so much support and encouragement.

That's great that you'll be having your surgery next week, although frustrating about the reconstruction. From what I gather, I think that just depends on where you live and the hospital's capacity and/or ability to utilize another "covid safe" space. I hope you'll be able to have it sooner than later (aka, I hope Covid goes away soon!).

What a coincidence that your family is also States-side! It's not great that they can't be here, although I think in my case anyway, it may be more difficult for them than it is for me since they don't really understand what's going on. My mom is a vulnerable person anyway, so I wouldn't feel comfortable with her flying here even if it were allowed right now. Do you have a support system here? I will keep you in my thoughts, and send lots of love and support for your operation next week <3

C.J.
Posted by

Hi again Sunshine143 

when is your surgery happening?

my mum has actually flown in from the states and is going to quarantine for 14 days in a flat nearby and then hopefully will be able to help out. I also have a baby and toddler so post surgery my husband and I need the help. Unfortunately this stupid virus is making it impossible for people like us to get all the support we should be getting at this time! How are you for support at home at the moment? 

sending you lots of positivity! 

Sunshine143
Posted by

So sorry for the delayed response - somehow only just seeing this now!

Thats great that your mother is able to be here, even if it does mean quarantining. I'm sure it'll be a huge relief and help to have her here, especially with two little ones at home. My mom is a "vulnerable" person, having had lung cancer a couple years ago + ongoing chronic respiratory issues, so even though I know she wants to be here and would ignore her health to do so, I just can't allow it. Too much of a risk for her. I have my husband with me, who has been a tremendous support, and inlaws/friends who will do what they can from a distance. Totally agree it's such a crap time support wise with the virus - I just want lots of hugs right now!

No surgery date set yet, as I still need to decide on which reconstruction option I want. Really torn about it, tbh. Hoping it'll be done by early July, if not sooner. I know you said yours is this week - what day is it (or have you already had it?!) / are you having immediate recon? Keeping you in my thoughts for a successful operation <3