New here. Just been diagnosed with TNBC

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Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a week before christmas following an examination, an ultrasound and a biopsy on a lump that I was assured was "absolutely nothing more than a cyst".

I was sent for a mammogram and another ultrasound to check that the cancer hasn't spread to the lymph nodes or anywhere else. I was then assured by the same doctor "the lump is very small and nothing to worry about - It will be a quick 1hr surgery to remove, followed by a blast of radiotherapy".

2 days after Christmas I was informed by the same doctor that I have triple negative breast cancer and that this was no longer the case. Because it's TNBC, what looks like normal tissue could in fact be cancer, which means they can't say for sure what stage I am. It looks like I'm not even at a stage at this point but because we don't know for sure if it has spread, it could be stage 1 or 2, and they recommend 6 rounds of chemo before my surgery to remove.

I'm genuinely so confused and all I do is replay the words "cancer" and "chemo" and frankly, I'm absolutely terrified.

This is a whole new world to me. I've never heard of triple negative breast cancer until now. I don't really understand what it means. I haven't tried to look it up because I'm scared of what I'll read.

I don't know if what I'm feeling is normal, but I'm all over the place. One minute I'm crying, thinking about my kids, and the next I'm laughing, trying to stay as positive as I can. It's been like a nightmare I can't wake up from. 

Sorry for the long winded intro... night time is always so much worse.

Any insight would be so appreciated. I don't know anyone personally who has been/going through anything similar that I can talk to. 

Sending so much love to anyone who needs it right now x

  • Hi Pumpkin Piece, so sorry that you have tnbc, it is a terrible shock to get this news. I was diagnosed early December and start chemo on the 8th of January.

    Totally get the extreme emotions you are going through, it's so mentally exhausting and devastating thoughts come flooding through, especially in the night. I've had alot of trouble sleeping, but this is easing now I have a treatment plan and am trying to focus on that and trust my doctor's that I'm on the right path to get rid of the cancer.

    There are lots of lovely people on this community that have gone through this and done well, so I try on focus on that. Don't Google tnbc as alot of info is out of date and doesn't cover latest treatments. There is info on the Macmillan site to get an overview. Plus keep asking questions on here, everyone is so open and helpful.

    Hope your chemo goes well x

    • Hi Pumpkin Piece. Sorry to hear this. My story is similar to yours. Initially told the lump was more than likely a cyst but do a biopsy anyhow. 2 weeks later told it was stage 3 tnbc dutal invasive about 2.6 cm. Had mri,ct, more mammograms and biopsies to then be told they can sort it out with a lumpectomy ( which was done 3 weeks ago). Go back to find out my fate next week. It’s a worrying time. Wobbles are to be expected. Plans can change. Trust your doctor but do t be scared to ask for more clarification if you need it. You will get through this. Take care and look after yourself 
  • Hi  

    You’re right not to google TNBC as there’s a lot of out of date information out there. I did and it was a tough month of crying. Use these websites as they are up to date and provide good information. 

    Triple negative breast cancer https://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/diagnosis/types-of-breast-cancer/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ 

    Triple negative breast cancer | Macmillan Cancer Support https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/breast-cancer/triple-negative-breast-cancer 

    The treatment often falls one of two ways for TNBC. Chemo, surgery, radiotherapy OR surgery, chemo, radiotherapy. The first is often used when they want to shrink the cancer before tackling. 

    I was diagnosed in May 2023 and have had surgery and then chemo so far. I found the first month the hardest as I was in shock and all over the place. Once my treatment actually started it was so much better. I had something to focus on and felt like I was tackling the issue rather than waiting around and doing nothing. 

    Good luck with your journey! You’ve got this! 

  • Hi Pumpkin Pieces

    Welcome to the forum and II am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed.  I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer over three years ago and like you I hadn’t’t head of triple negative breast cancer before I was diagnosed. I had chemo first which shrunk mt tumour and then surgery, I also had radiotherapy. I made a complete recovery from it.

    What you are feeling is perfectly normal, it’s a shock to get a breast cancer diagnosis.

    Wishing you the best of luck with whatever comes next for you.

    Best wishes

    Daisy53

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi

    My story is very similar. Found a lump, biopsy, lumpectomy and was told DCIS, results found a triple negative hiding in the lump. Lymph node removal showed no spread. Just started chemo with radio to follow. 

    All emotions are natural and it is a horrible roller-coaster as you lurch from appointment to appointment.

    Like you, all I could think was cancer/chemo and was frankly terrified.

    Take it a day at a time. Be kind to yourself and keep your eyes on the end. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. It's just going to be a stormy journey there Heart

  • Hi there

    Being all over the place is totally understandable. I went through different stages of being scared, being angry, crying (still do). I was diagnosed in January 2023 with two TBNC tumours. I've had 16 lots of chemo and immunotherapy, surgery in November and am due to start radiotherapy at the end of January. Basically 2023 have been taken up with treatment . It's been a long road and everyone reacts differently. But it worked for me. Post surgery pathology shows no sign of any cancer. I had 21 lymph nodes removed and they are all clear. The chemo routine does get easier and everyone reacts differently so just take it a day at a time and be kind to yourself. Treatment moves on and changes all the time. When I saw my oncologist last he had just been to a global conference on breast cancer in Texas and had changed his mind about a few aspects of my treatment based on the current data presented. So don't google! Listen to the experts

    Are you being offered immunotherapy? It was only approved for use in TNBC patients by the NHS in November 2022 so hopefully you are.

    I wish you all the best x