Surgery results this morning

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I’ve been to hospital this morning for my follow-up appointment after surgery. I had a mastectomy - two grade 2 tumours - and sentinel node removal/biopsy on the 13th June. 

I’ve been doing so well, recovery wise, but this morning’s appointment has completely taken the wind out of my sails; the sentinel lymph node has cancer cells in it, so I’ve been referred to the oncology department to discuss chemo & hormone therapy. When they gave me my diagnosis on the 3rd June they seemed quite hopeful I’d just need hormone therapy. 

Feel in shock and now I’m frightened. I feel my consultant is quite vague, he has never actually told me what type of breast cancer I have and I only discovered this from the notes sent to my GP. (Invasive Ductual Carcinoma.) I still haven’t received a stage either. Has anyone else had a similar experience??

  • Hi RuthyNorthEast

    Sorry to hear that you were given news you didn't want to hear at your appointment.  It's not unusual for things to change after an operation.  When I had my lumpectomy last year they discovered cancer in my sentinel node which I wasn't expecting.  I then had to have a further operation to remove the rest of the nodes in my arm which thankfully turned out ok.  Like you I wasn't give a stage for my cancer just the grade which was Grade 2.

    While the thoughts of chemo is frightening though not easy it is doable.  I had four cycles of chemo over about 3 months and while I did have a few side effects they didn't impact me too much. Everyone reacts differently to treatment.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your oncologist's appointment and with whatever treatment your oncologist puts you on.

    Best wishes


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  • Hi I know exactly how you feel and it’s not nice. I got my diagnosis and opted for a lumpectomy, I had the surgery a few weeks ago and was confident going back for the results and I got quite a shock too. I still had the cancer around the margins plus 2 other tumours that they didn’t know what type of cancer it was. Same as you one of the lymph nodes had cancer!  Back for more surgery and more results but I’m having a hard time believing them, I don’t feel like it’s gone.

    starting chemo on 16th and then radiation and hormone therapy. You’re not on your own but I can’t give you any advice because I don’t know any more than you.

    keep your chin up and just keep asking questions xx

  • Thanks for replying Daisy and Ruth.

    I’m concerned they’re not scheduling more surgery to remove any more lymph nodes, which just frightens me - as in my head it might’ve gone further?

    My consultant explained that the cells were contained in the lymph node, which is why I don’t need any more removing, but my head is jumping to wild conclusions. 

    And, as we all know, more awful waiting now. 

  • Did they give you your Oncotype score? I had micro mets in my sentinel node, 12mm tumour. Came back as grade 3 but my Oncotype score was 13 so chemo was not required. 15 radiotherapy treatments and 5yrs hormone treatment. 

  • The waiting in between appointments is awful…. I don’t really understand much about the lymph nodes except I had 3 removed and one was cancerous.   it’s nice to hear something positive about chemo, that is doable thank you.

  • I’m joining you if that’s ok

    lumpectomy and snb last week

    surgeon just called to tell me margin not clear so I have to go back for another operation next week and 1/4 node had cancer so now possible chemo st oncotype score which I have to wait three weeks for.

    feel like I’m back at square one. And freaking out a bit. Now just assuming the worst but very much hoping for positive stories ! 

  • No, there hasn’t been any mention of Oncotype score - which is another thing! Been wondering about this as so many people are mentioning it!

    I’m so sorry we’re all in this rubbishy club, together xx

  • Also ruthy just to say I know exactly how you are feeling. It’s like someone has moved the goal posts.