But I'm only 31...

Vivianna Member Posts: 23
January 2016 I found a breast lump but I just shrugged it off, most of my friends had them, no big deal right? Being in the medical industry I knew I had to do the responsible thing so I went to get an ultrasound which showed a query cyst like structure. I didn't think anything of it, the size of the lump would go up and down with my period and my GP said it was very likely, nothing to worry about because of my age. Fast forward to October and the lump still there...another scan showed that it had grown and now was the time for a needle biopsy. Did I mention I am ridiculously needle phobic??? No thanks, I opted for an excisional biopsy so that I wouldn't have to worry about it. (A friend of mine from school had just passed away last year after a long battle with breast cancer...freaking out is putting it lightly!). I got the results back on the 22nd of December (2 days before flying home for xmas), I was so sure it was going to be nothing...the surgeon said I had over a 90% chance of it being benign, I was so sure that I told my husband not to come, to be told "I'm sorry its not good news" I remember the moment clearly, shock/confusion/panic! My first thought was-I'm glad Andrews not here...what if this is my last Christmas with Andy and our family? How can this happen? The next 3hours were a blur, I had so many appointments lined up, I had to go see a fertility specialist because chemo would kill my chances of getting pregnant (we had been trying for the last 6months), I decided not to tell anyone except my boss for time off. One of the hardest things Ive ever had to do because I didn't want to ruin Christmas for everyone. The fertility specialist was nice but the examinations were so invasive and so much information was bombarding me from all sides, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I feel slightly less panicked now, ive had time to process and I've told my immediate family which has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I have even been brave enough to inject myself everyday in preparation for IVF...I know this is a small thing considering whats to come but I'm afraid the needle phobia won't listen to reason. Ive decided to go with a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using a prosthesis but my first hurdle will be a sentinel node biopsy to make sure the cancer hasn't spread yet...and a portacath insertion so that will make the whole needle thing easier. I just wish there was someone out there my age that has gone through/going through this now...my spirits are pretty low


  • Hopes_and_Dreams
    Hopes_and_Dreams Member Posts: 760
    Oh Vivienne Vanessa, I was so sorry to read your post, you have such a lot to deal with at the moment.  You will find such a lot of support and information on this site, I'm so glad to you have found us. I'm not your age but sadly there are many wonderful women in this forum who are and I'm sure you will hear from them too.
    I also went through several years of IVF so completely understand the roller coaster of emotions which comes with fertility treatment. It's wonderful that you have the chance to have a family in the future. 
    Things will move quickly and you will feel you have no control. Make sure you order the BCNA My Journey Kit - it is full of clear, easy to understand information including a booklet for our partners. My husband really struggled and spoke with a BCNA counsellor which helped. It also has a record to jot down upcoming appointments.
    I kept a notebook and wrote down every question I thought of, no matter how stupid.  I took it to all my appointments because I could guarantee I'd forget to ask something with the  information overload!! It really helps to have someone with you.
    It seems impossible now, but you will feel better once you have surgery booked and a treatment plan in place. 
    I had a left nipple sparing mastectomy with immediate silicon implant 5 months ago.  I was fortunate that the 3 sentinel nodes taken were clear so chemo wasn't needed.
    Please let us know how you are doing. We are all here for you.  Sending a hug, Jane xx

  • socoda
    socoda Member Posts: 1,767
    Hi Vivianne Vanessa, There are many young women on the network here who will be able to assist you and have also gone through or are going through the same issues regarding fertility etc. You are certainly not alone in this. Excellent that you have the needle phobia under control enough to inject for IVF - that's a pretty huge achievement :). It is certainly a tidal wave of information that gets thrown at you in an extremely short amount of time and is a lot to take in (it does get better).  When are you scheduled for your surgery? I too had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using silicone implant so if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I have no doubt that the other young ladies on the network will be on to assist you and you are going through a very scary period of time BUT you will get through it and you will find strengths that you never knew you had. Have you ordered your my journey kit yet? If not here is the link :- 
    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/my-journey-kit/order-my-journey-kit. Let us know how you are doing, and know we are all here to help support you through this. Big hugs. Xx Cath
  • Jess_BCNA
    Jess_BCNA Member Posts: 475
    Hi Vivianne, I just wanted to also jump in to say hello and welcome to the online network, and to let you know that if you need any help working you way around online to please just let me know. 

    I am not sure if you have had much time to have a look around as yet, but I did just want to let you know of some resources that might help, The My Journey Kit contains information, a journal, and other helpful resources. It's free and you can order it online here.

    There is also some more information on our website on young women and breast cancer that can also be found online here 
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,606
    Hi Vivianne
    Crumbs there is no reason behind the age we are when disgnosed. Just wanted to wish you well with treatment. There are others on site around your age and there are us. Much older same diagnosis different treatment plans. We are all here to help and support. 
    Take care xx 
  • pink_pen
    pink_pen Member Posts: 10
    Hello Vivienne Vanessa,
    reading your story brings me to tears. I can relate to what you are going through as I was diagnosed back in June 2016 after finding a lump and going back for a second referral at GP. At age 33 I felt exactly the same shocked, panic and fear.  I have just finished chemo and had my mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I am here to talk at any time. Take care. Xx
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
    Hey! Vivienne Vanessa! First of all I just want to give you the biggest hug!!! I too teared up reading your story and for no other reason other than I literally felt your pain and anguish. I'm not in my 30's either, am late 40's but have been through this twice now since 43 and I just wanted to say to you. You absolutely will get an enormous amount of support here from a network of incredibly courageous women of all ages. We are unified in something that doesnt discriminate in any sense. It's incredibly overwhelming and so important to stop and take a deep breath. Im so glad to hear you have told your immediate family. Surround yourself with people who support, love and lift you up. Most importantly, DON'T DOUBT for a second because you can and will get through this, no matter how insurmountable everything feels right now. Step at a time! Once you have your complete pathology you will have such a greater idea of what you have and what your treatment will be. Keep us up to date. Ohhh and I too am needle phobic!!! Yikes!!!!  So you are human!!! be kind to you! Hugs Melinda xo
  • rowdy
    rowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    Hi Vivienne this has brought tears to me as you could be my daughter, Since being diagnosed in 2014 I worry about my daughter as well as myself her grandmother also had bc. I'm warms my heart to see you have reached out to us on this site.We are all here to support you, we are older, younger but all the same in that we have, or gong through bc. Please visit often sending you a hug xx
  • Share
    Share Member Posts: 217

    Hi @Vivianne Vanessa - sorry seems like an empty word when you get news like this. A huge hug to you for getting the news and feeling so alone.

    No words can describe what you feel when you get a bc diagnosis. There is never a good time to be told this but at Christmas when the joy seems to be magnified everywhere and you just feel like escaping.

    So glad that you told your immediate family as they can give you so much support - rely on them and try not to keep everything in. They really want to help and possibly don't know how.

    There are many ladies on the site - I was initially diagnosed at 37 - and regardless of age you will find a great deal of  support from so many of various ages. As @iserbrown & @rowdy said, unfortunately there are ladies who like you are in their 30's and wonder what the next step is.

    I am sure that our lovely admin staff like @Jess_BCNA could also help with some others who are your age, bc diagnosis and looking to start a family.

    Take care and my best wishes to you.

    Sheryl xx    

  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    Glad you are getting stuck in to treatment. Yes it happens even at your tender age and it can be much more aggressive too so good on you for tackling it headlong. This girl Connie was diagnosed young as well and unfortunately the bc has gone in to secondary cancer but she's fighting like a trouper and her two boys are in the middle of primary school now. I think from memory there was IVF talk in her book too. I have the book and I loved it. http://www.loveyoursister.org/
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Just wanted to say hope all goes well. The beginning is so hard, the shock, the tests, the fears, regardless of age. It does break our hearts to hear of a younger women getting this dreadful disease. Know we are hear to listen, advise, commiserate and cheer you along the way. Cancer treatment is tough...but just remember. ..you are tougher ... and can get through this. Kath x
  • em_24
    em_24 Member Posts: 8
    Hi "Vivianne Vanessa", I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I just wanted to post as I am in a similar situation and it can feel very lonely and isolating. I was diagnosed in September 2016 at the age of 24, so I get your feelings of disbelief with your age. I am booked in for a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using implants on the 19th of January and freaking out about it. I had a sentinel node biopsy and lumpectomy first as my biopsy came back inconclusive. I also have a HUGE phobia of needles, my surgeon prescribed me valium basically the minute she told me I had breast cancer, as I had to have so many tests and needles, so I get the needle thing. I am petrified.. I was given midazolam for surgery so that I could not be so panicked about the drip going in, and that really helped. The beginning can be really hard, so just try to take deep breaths, because you will get through it. Please feel free to private message me if you would like. Not that I know a whole lot, but I am learning, and am happy to chat and listen anytime xxx
  • ccasper
    ccasper Dragonfly Posts: 190
    @em_24 I am having the same surgery on the 2nd of feb! Good luck xx
  • em_24
    em_24 Member Posts: 8
    @ccasper oh are you? I feel so nervous about it, thank you. Good luck to you too xx