New triple negative diagnosis for mum

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Hi. First time sharer and first time experiencing cancer in a loved one. We were told on the 2nd of October that my mum most likely had breast cancer, and waited two weeks for the biopsy results, which came back as Triple negative breast cancer. I was so convinced that it was going to be some horrible mistake and come back as fat necrosis that I really don’t know what to do with myself. We got her official diagnosis two days before I was supposed to move out. I have lived at home for a year after graduating Uni but now I feel so guilty that I am not home with her and wish I could have postponed my move. 

I just can’t really wrap my head around how this has happened or how it could possibly be happening to MY family. I’m sure this is something everyone feels but I really just cannot process the fact this is happening. I feel so confused. I’m in this weird frame of mind where I find it terrifying to talk about and don’t want to talk about it, but it’s literally all I’m thinking about at any given time. 

Mum started chemo a week ago (still can’t believe it’s all happened so quickly!) and has had a pretty bad week. Some more bits lit up in her MRI under her armpit and they had to do another ultrasound. It feels like we’re being thrust on this horrible roller coaster and everything is happening so quickly and it’s so scary. They have said her results show it hasn’t spread, so we were pleased about that, but before we could take a sigh of relief,  she’s been so constipated she felt horrifically ill and was under observation all day today. I have come home to drive her to chemo tomorrow and I can’t even hug her properly because she’s so sore from the port-a-cath. I feel like I don’t even know how to act around my own mum. 

I feel so helpless and out of my depth. I find myself breaking down in tears practically whenever I’m alone and my dad is crying whenever I ask him how he’s doing and I just want everything to stop. I’ve never seen her looking so unwell and fragile and I don’t understand how at the beginning of October she was totally fine. I feel like I’m lying to people because I can’t believe it’s really happening to us or that someone is going to jump out and say it was all some kind of sick joke. 

Sorry for the long message. Feeling very confused and overwhelmed. Would appreciate some words of comfort that I will eventually know what to do and how to respond. 

  • Hello  and a warm welcome to the MacMillan Community.

    I am so sorry to read about your mum and the cancer diagnosis she has received. It can be a very stressful time for the family and I fully understand your concerns.

    The Community is divided up into forums or chat rooms and I would advise you to join a forum(s) where there are people who have the same kind of cancer and can give you help and guidance. We do have the Triple negative breast cancer forum .To join this group just click on the link I have provided and when the page opens up just click on "join" on the black banner at the bottom of the page. You can then either copy and paste or repost your original post.

    There is our Carers only forum where you may well find plenty of help and advice as you said your mum was "looking unwell". To join this group the details are as for the breast cancer group above.

    I do hope the above helps, if I can do anything else for you please let me know. I wish you and your family well.


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  • Morning Chatham

    i am so sorry your mum and your family are going through this horrible time. But it does get better. I am 62 I was diagnosed last December. I have had a mastectomy, 6 rounds of chemo, 15 rounds of radiotherapy which I had to travel by boat to because I live on an island so the weather played a big part as to wether I could get there. I am now on bone infusions every 6 months and medication. It does get so much better!! I have started to live my life again as will your mum. I am not running marathons but I am happy to walk the dogs every day, see friends and enjoy life. My hair is growing back curly. We are having a family party in a few weeks to celebrate my one year diagnosis anniversary. I hope my story helps you and your mum. There is a light at the end of this horrible tunnel you and your family will get there. Seek as much help as you can, the Macmillan nurses are fabulous to talk to. Sending hugs. X

  • Thank you  I really appreciate it Cupid do you have any advice or little tips which would be a nice surprise for her? (Particularly in terms of making her more comfortable etc.) the usual chocolate isn’t quite cutting it! 

    Thank you for taking the time to get back to me and share your story!

  • Thanks  I really appreciate that. I have joined the triple negative breast cancer forum and will keep my eye on it! 

    thanks again

  • Hi Chatham

    The only things I can suggest are to paint her nails during chemo. I lost all mine so I wish I knew to paint them first with a dark colour. I found fizzy water great for the horrible taste you get during chemo. There are no set rules, eat when she feels she can I lived off cake for months but it’s ok just to have little and often. But try to drink lots of water to help with constipation We are all have different ways of coping, I found I needed to be on my own sometimes but I didn’t want to upset the family by asking for space. In the end I just took myself off to bed to get peace and quiet. You both will find your own way through it and you will be ok. Xx

  • Thank you  I will definitely get some nice dark nail polish, love this tip! Thanks for all your advice xx