Mom Recently Diagnosed with Breast Cancer


I am new to this forum, my mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, they think they have found it before it has spread but it is grade 3 so more aggressive and triple negative. She has to have chemo for 6 months then surgery and then radiotherapy. I am so scared for her even though it will hopefully be a positive outcome. Since she had her diagnosis I have just felt sad all of the time and whenever I tell anybody that she has cancer I break down in tears. I feel guilty for feeling like this when she is actually going through it all and is terrified. I try not to show her how upset I am as I want to be strong for her.

I am 30 years old and an only child, my mom is 56 and brought me up as a single mom and I barely saw my dad so she is everything to me and I’m so scared of losing her. It’s just so unfair that anyone has to go through this. I’m terrified about the future and that it might return, I’m terrified that the treatment might not work or could end up killing her. 

I just wanted to post this in the hope that getting it off my chest will help and to speak to others who are going through the same thing. Is it normal to feel this way?  

  • I saw your post yesterday and hoped someone would respond who is in your position because I don’t quite fit the bill but! I’m a single parent with breast cancer, grade 3, HER2 positive. There is a very special bond between you when there’s just been the 2 of you, it’s perfectly normal for you to feel the way you do, it’s all really terrifying and it doesn’t matter that it’s your mum not you who has the actual cancer, in many respects you both have it because you’ll do it together. I have my cancer and I’ve seen my sister have cancer so I do understand it from both perspectives. I’ve had 6 months of chemo and am recovering from a mastectomy and reconstruction, I can’t have radiotherapy again as I had it before. Once you’ve told the people you need to what is going on it does get easier to talk about, the first conversations are hard because you’re in shock, the person you’re telling is shocked, then they’re nice to you and game over. My daughter is only 12, so obviously I can’t lean on her too much (but it’s inevitable that I have) but really the fact you’re 30 doesn’t mean too much, you’ll always be her baby. I want my daughter to still lean on me the way she’s always done and we will get through it together. So please still lean on your mum! That’s her role and I know it’ll be her everything, especially as you’re in the situation you are. The chemo will be very similar to mine, if not the same but no two women react exactly the same. It’s had very tough moments but it’s not been all bad and and oddly we’ve actually had some very funny good times in there. They can do a huge amount to help with side effects and I’ve not been the vomiting mess I thought I would be. I’d be happy to go into as many details as you’d like about my treatment or answer any questions you have if I can. But yes what you feel is normal and I hope you both get all the support you need, all the best xxx

  • Hi Anna, thank you for replying to me, I’m sorry you are going through this too. It seems like such a long road and it’s so helpful to hear from someone who is going through a similar experience, and to know that the chemo might not be as a bad as you imagine it to be, and hopefully it doesn’t make my mom feel too poorly. You are right about leaning on her, I want to support her as much as I can and I’ve been treating her like she’s going to break the last couple of weeks and I think it’s driving her mad. She has obviously been upset and scared but in between that she has been trying to live life as normally as possible and do things she would normally do to get through the time until she starts chemo.

    She is starting to look for wigs just in case she loses her hair and I am finding that really difficult as my mom is someone who likes to look nice and do her hair and make up, and she always worries about how she looks. It’s just so unfair for anyone to go through this Disappointed

    I know it’s a long road but hopefully we can get through it Fingers crossed tone1 I hope that everything goes well for you! Take care xx

  • When I was diagnosed in May it seemed like such a marathon stretching out ahead of us. I’m not saying it hasn’t been incredibly challenging cause I’d be misleading you but now, today, chemo done, surgery done, it is odd how it’s taken so long yet has gone so fast!! It really has flown by. You get into a strange rhythm of hospital appointments and scans a treatments and it builds up this strange momentum, a speed, the year has gone past both slowly and fast. I have a really nice wig which I’ve not worn once!! It was just easier and more comfortable to grab a chemo beanie, and I’ve just lived in those really, have a smart going out one Rofl having the wig does help people feel a bit more anonymous though, when you have the beanie on it’s pretty apparent what the issue is. Loosing your hair is crap I’ll be honest but also I had two deeply moving moments connected to loosing my hair that crazily I’ll treasure. Something good can come out of something bad. You can have a lot of fun wig shopping, and getting beanies, etc. unleash that dark humour because it will get the pair of you through it. Carry on sharing your worries just the same. I’ve really treasured my friends who’ve carried on moaning about the mundane, it’s made me feel normal and useful!!! Just because I’m poorly doesn’t mean I want to be excluded from being a real friend to others and some people, well intentioned do that, they don’t want to bother you when you’ve so much going on but when you’re at home, maybe not feeling great, nothing nicer than listening to the moans or worries of a lovely friend, and being able to help and still have a two way relationship rather than you just being the sick one!  You’ll get through this and you’ll be surprised at how many good memories you have bizarrely, I didn’t expect to have any but the simple pleasures do help you through. Let me know if you’ve anything you want to know about, and feel free to let off steam, writing it out helps a lot in itself, all the best xx

  • Hi BecBec,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I'm in a similar boat. Only child, raised by mum with not much to do with my dad. She was diagnosed yesterday with breast cancer, and for us her first treatment is a lumpectomy is a month. 

    I'm 35, and 31 weeks pregnant with my first baby - so feel like all I want is my mum to be there to help me be a first time mum, and instead she's having to go through this. I'm trying to be strong for her, but with the added fears of becoming a mum myself it's all a bit overwhelming. I also don't know what I'd do without her, and want my son to know her and love her like I do.

    No advice from me, but just useful to know other people are in similar situations.