Recently diagnosed at 28 !

baybeeh_gurlbaybeeh_gurl Member Posts: 12
I thought i would drop by and say hello and share my experience so far

I first noticed a lump on my left breast on the areola in May but completely ignored it thinking that it is just a cyst/inflammation due to the location of the lump, lack of family history for it to be cancer and i thought "surely i wouldn't have breast cancer at my age?"- but boy was i wrong. In late August, my partner encouraged me to see my GP about it and since then my life has been turned upside down.

I was diagnosed on 9/9/16 and a week later i went into surgery to get a lumpectomy and axillary node clearance. They removed 12 lymph nodes and only 1 was affected. My cancer is also a grade 3 and Estrogen +, Progesterone + and HER2 -
Unfortunately my surgical margin has not been clear and I will have to go back to surgery with a possibility of a mastectomy this time.

Being faced with the idea of a looming death has been the scariest so far. But the saddest I have experienced is the idea that I may not be able to conceive naturally and I am currently looking at fertility preservation before starting chemo. I am looking into genetic testing to see if my genes mutated and I now carry the cancer gene.

I am trying to keep strong but I have given in to my tears and sadness on days. I am worried about chemo and for someone who likes to be control, the idea of the unknown is scary. I hate the idea of being a burden to my partner who will now also take a role of being a carer. We've only been together for 6 months and all i want to do with him is travel, explore the world and experience the romance of being in love. But I am lucky he has been supportive and still sticking by me.

I am surprised at the number of people under 35 who are being diagnosed more frequently recently- is there something in the waters? I have always thought this was a disease for the older woman but if there's one lesson I've learnt, is that this cancer doesn't discriminate and can happen to anyone at whatever age.
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Comments

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,504
    Sorry to hear of the diagnosis. At least you passed teens and dang near through the twenties before it appeared. It doesn't necessarily mean a shorter life span, just means after treatment you have to keep a watchful eye on things thereafter and maybe a few extra tests than most. Well wishes for your second op. I found the second one which for me was a node clearance was actually easier as I wasn't sick after the anaesthetic the second time around.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 754

    Hi there

    This is not a good thing to happen to anyone but it's particularly daunting when you are just planning your life (rather than having lived a fair bit of it like me).

    But while your concerns are real, take some heart. Lots of us don't die. As a breast care nurse said to me right at the beginning of my diagnosis ( 4 years ago) if you have to have cancer, breast cancer is the best one to have as your chances of surviving are better. Fertility is an enormous worry to carry - I had my only child at 36 and while I had a few thoughts about do I want to? I never gave a thought to what if I can't??  Suddenly facing that possible limitation is a big thing indeed. As everyone will tell you, don't try and work out all the answers at once. Or now. Things will evolve and become clearer, or even different. Especially about transference of any genes. I know of one acquaintance who had treatment and successfully had her healthy baby after treatment.  As my surgeon says, we still don't know what causes cancer but we are getting a lot better at treating it.

    Your partner cares for you so he will want you to get well. You are not a burden, you are part of his life as he is of yours. Together you can make this a bit easier. Take a deep breath- I had a mastectomy, 17 lymph nodes removed, chemo, Herceptin (HER positive) but my partner never had to become my carer. Had to deal with my frustrations a few times, and a teary night when I accidentally fried my wig ( : ) ) but we went overseas 2 years after treatment, I didn't stop work and I managed OK. How you respond to treatment varies enormously, but it doesn't automatically mean being a burden or the end of love. It's a test you don't want or ask for, but life is a bit like that.  6 -12 months of treatment looms like for ever, but it will pass.

    This site can be a great help. Particularly for venting (very therapeutic!). Taking things day by day is hard for everyone, but it's the only way to do it. Try not to worry about the things that haven't happened and focus on how to deal with the things  that are real now. True friends and family can be a big support but you may have to tell them what you need, or how you want them to be (they get scared and uncertain too).

    Will be thinking of you, take care, take heart.

    Alison


  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 190
    Hi there.

    i am only 30 and I agree is there something in the waters?

    mine was found after I was starting to cease breastfeeding my son. My husband has been very supportive but I am very able to do almost all daily tasks including that of looking after my son. I too still wonder about my fertility but having being lucky enough to have my son, if it's not in the stars for me post chemo, I am content with him. I would suggest freezing some eggs. I had chemo before surgery and unfortunately I could not freeze eggs due to them wanting to start chemo very quickly.

    i often get frustrated but have taken the diagnosis as a new learning experience and lease on life. Find the article from the daily telegraph someone shared on here and give it a read. It's the perspective of a woman which resonates with me highly. And although it sucks being so young, hopefully you will respond to the chemo well. I am still actively walking a few times a week and doing yoga and eating very well to complement it all.

    I wish you all all the best for your treatment and if you ever want to chat just let me know!
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,806
    Welcome although so sorry you needed to join this site. Know that although chemo sux .....it is totally doable. The one bit of advice I can add to the other ladies advice is to accept that in this journey ... we are not in control. We can make decisions. ..but we just don't  know how we will react to chemo etc. So ...plans are week by week. Once treatment is over and you start feeling better then you can start to make your travel plans again. Hope all goes smoothly for you. Take care. Kath x
  • Jess_BCNAJess_BCNA BCNAModerator Posts: 476
    Hi there @baybeeh_gurl - Just wanted to jump in to say welcome to the online network and if you need any help finding your way around or accessing support,  please just let us know :-) jess x
  • KarenhappyquilterKarenhappyquilter Member Posts: 187
    So sorry for your bad news. I agree with Kath, chemo is quite doable.  Loosing that sense that you are in control is a difficult part of cancer treatment.  I got frustrated at times by this.  I shaved my head partly because it was something I could decide to do.   Right now your partner will be looking after you.  In the future you can repay that kindness.  Many people like being kind a helpful.  It could bring you even closer together.  Wishing you the best of luck, Karen 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,238
    Ohhh!!! Im so sorry to hear of your Story! What struck me was through the tears, sadness and fear I can feel this very very resilient, strong young Woman!!! Everything you feel is so incredibly normal and so validated and dont let anyone tell you differently. This is YOUR life and YOUR journey!!! As others have said and I think they all said it so well...losing CONTROL is the hardest part of all of this. I too shaved my head to be in control of at least that...as it went on, I couldnt work and that broke me a little...but then I realized this was what was going to be my journey. Once I let it play out the way it should, I actually was OK, Strange??? but I didnt worry about work anymore, eventhough financially I had to, but I put me first above it for the first time in my life, and this is a lesson I had to learn through this for me. 

    You also mentioned of being in a new relationship and I want to tell you, Im a single parent of 2 beautiful kids 17 and 19year olds and so so blessed...BUT like you I met someone exactly 6 months before diagnosis. FEARFUL OMG why on earth would this man stick around, I was shattered, but guess what??? we've been together 2 years now. He never flinched, he shaved his head when I lost my hair...he couldnt be there all the time but when he was I never doubted his love. We were quite the pair last September, he donated a kidney to a daughter and I was in Chemo...we laugh now!!!! but have faith is all I can say that things are going to be OK, they will work out! So so hard!! But you will learn things about yourself you never knew, I know you can do it, but one step at a time. We're all here to encourage!! Biggest Hugs you can do this!
    Melinda xo
  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 190
    @melclarity 100% agree about putting yourself first. Even with having my little boy, I am number one at this time so having my family and friends help with him has been amazing.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,238
    @ccasper thats great!  Its a massive lesson for us all, and so important. Ive always put me last so I've learnt my worth and showed my kids that I'm selfless but also learnt to love me so much more I'm important! Beautiful part of this journey.  X
  • MiraMira I live in my computer .... Member Posts: 258
    edited October 2016
    Hi Baybeeh_gurl,  I can't add much to what the others have said but I just want to wish you all the best with your treatment. I hope it goes as smoothly as mine did.  Remember, you are just as healthy now as you were the day before they told you it was cancer, the difference is that now you know about it and can take the appropriate actions :)
  • Ro10Ro10 Sunshine Coast, QLDMember Posts: 59
    Hi @baybeeh_gurl , sorry that you have had to join this forum but please know there are some wonderful, supportive, inspiring people on here that will make you feel like you can get through everything. I was only diagnosed about 6 weeks ago and I'm 34 years old. I've had some surgery and am about to start chemotherapy in 2 days. I initially was terrified when I was diagnosed but as I learnt more information and facts, I became more accepting of the situation. The reality is, A LOT of people survive breast cancer so it's definitely not a death sentence and like my surgeon said, it's a good time to be getting breast cancer as there is a lot of new treatment and information around as a result of many years of research and trials. I am lucky enough to have had a beautiful little girl before I was diagnosed so like @ccasper said, I will take my chances with fertility after all my treatment. My surgeon and oncologist both think it's very possible I will be able to have another child after all this though, especially as I'm still quite young. 
    Best of luck with your journey and remember there are a lot of people here that can offer supportive, advice and guidance through your journey. 
    Rochelle xx
  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 190
    @Ro10 I didn't realize we were in such a similar situation. Good luck for chemo! I start my second half tomorrow! How old is your little girl??
  • Ro10Ro10 Sunshine Coast, QLDMember Posts: 59
    @ccasper my little girl is 14 months old. I've actually been following you a bit on here as we are a similar age and both have young children. I'm actually hoping I cope as well as you have with the chemo. I'm starting my first round this Friday. I'm doing 4 rounds of AC and 12 rounds of taxol. Is that similar to your treatment?
  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 190
    Aw our bubs are the same age! So cute. Same chemo as me. I am having carboplatin as well as my oncologist feels it will be a good addition as mine is triple negative. So hopefully I respond well to that. Is yours triple negative also if you don't mind me asking?
  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 190
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