Just diagnosed

JenpriJenpri Member Posts: 10
Hello everyone. I received my diagnosis of breast cancer last Monday. Completely floored me and totally unexpected. I am 41 and just finished breast feeding my third child. Just discovered a lump last week. I have invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2. Yet to know the staging but there is evidence it has gone to a lymph. No spread beyond there, although still waiting for a bone scan result. The tumour is 4-5cm. I have the positive hormone receptors.

I am so fearful, especially for my husband and three daughters (8,4,1). I know there is a big fight ahead. I’m just wanting to reach out to others that are going through this with very young children.

Thank you, Jen x


  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 2,383
    edited January 20
    Hi @JenPritchard
    sorry you have need to join us.... there is a Young women with BC group i will put the link here for you ... http//onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/10-young-women when you click on this link it will show the group there is a join button on the right hand side.

    we are a supportive group here on the online forum all members here will also chat and give you support. 

    Do you have a breast care nurse yet ?  I will also put the links to a few things here to make it easier for you to find. 

    The what and how thread. helps you find your way around the forum.



    Breast Care Nurses



    My Journey Kits and other resources.




    Knitted knockers Australia


    Life is such a fragile thing, you can do this it is hard to begin with but you have already gotten on the roller coaster ride so now hang on and know we are here to ask questions and happy to let you vent, cry scream we get it. 



  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 Member Posts: 747
    Hello @JenPritchard
    Welcome to this wonderful supportive forum.  None of us ever expected to get BC but we have and we cope, as you will.
    @SoldierCrab has given you a heap of information above so do follow it up, especially joining the group for young women.
    No doubt some will see your post and be in touch to support you.  There is always someone online who can answer questions and ''listen'' to your vents with compassion.
    Trust in your medical team, keep asking questions of them (always take a list and someone with you to appointments) and if unsure ask, ask, ask.  It is your body so don't be afraid to expect answers.
    You are in our thoughts as you begin the road ahead - but you are a woman and you are stronger than you think !
    Summer   <3
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    Hi there @JenPritchard welcome to the forum. I was diagnosed may 2016 aged 43 with  bc but mine was different to yours as mine was triple negative but I had grade 3 stage 2a. We have 2 kids but older than yours one 21 and one 19.  It is always unexpected and takes us all by surprise. Rest assured it is doable and there will be plenty of others on here with young families who can give you all the advice you need and answer all your questions. You and your hubby will find the strength you need to get through it and kids are surprisingly adaptable and they will be the distraction you need and give you their unconditional love. My best advice for you is to  Take it a day at a time, Try not to google anything,  Get the advice from your team, but also listen to your gut too. Once you have a plan of attack you will feel better about things. It’s normal to feel frightened and anxious but don’t be afraid to ask us all questions thats what we are here for. And if friends or family offer to give you a hand with the kids the housework or cooking a meal  please take it that’s what they are there for.  You will soon find out who your true friends are that’s for sure and you might even get some support from those you least expected it from too.  Keep us posted.  Biggest hug. Margie xx 
  • Melsie97Melsie97 Peakhurst NSWMember Posts: 67
    Hi @JenPritchard. I was diagnosed a day before my 40th Birthday in 2016. Mine was Grade 3, Stage 3B with 17/18 lymph nodes positive.
     My boys were 11 and 9 at the time. We were honest with them from the start about everything. The know my doctors names, what I’m going for and we’ve always told them they can ask anything they want. My littlest one spent 3 months sleeping at the end of our bed whilst our older one was very angry. We told it was ok to be angry but it was not an excuse to behave badly. They are both still scared in and off. You can get a kids brouchure from the Cancer Council to help explain it to the kids. I wore a scarves when I lost my hair and the kids chose them, so I had Pokemon and Wonder Women. 
    Kids are very resilient, and while unfortunate it our cancer diagnosis becomes every day part of life xx
  • Sunshine0206Sunshine0206 Member Posts: 134

    I’m 41 too. Hormone and her2 positive. Similar size tumour. 2 positive of 9 nodes removed. I have a 5 year old. I’m just coming out the other side of chemo- 3 weekly treatments to go. Then on to radiation/tamoxifen and continuing herceptin until November.

    Happy to invox/message if you would like.

  • JoeyLizJoeyLiz Member Posts: 258
    I have a 2 year old. She is surprisingly very clued on. The hardest thing was when my hair started falling out she would get it in her mouth if I had cooked and would be like “I’m eating mummy’s hair”, we explained that mummy hair was falling out and she asked if her own hair was going to fall out...
    we have told her that mummy is not feeling well and needs to rest so can’t play as long etc and she grumbles but then says “mummy not well mummy needs cuddles” it was difficult when I got my port put in as she was going through a clingy mummy week but we showed her my bandage and said mummy is sore and can’t lift you and you need to be gentle and after a couple of reminders she started asking daddy to pick her up. She still not says “mummy sore and tries to look at my port”. 
    I do feel guilty that I simply don’t feel well enough to play with her like I feel I should but at the end of the day I need to rest and get better so I can be there in the long run.
    all the best x
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 418
    Hi @JenPritchard my kids were 1 & 4 at diagnosis. My partner was basically not much help at all. I had support from my sisters a bit during chemo, but mostly I got through on my own. I coped! And so will you. I found incredible motivation and drive to keep life as normal as possible for my kids. It was hard, but kept me active and away from self pitty during treatment. Honestly, my kids barely flinched. They were fine and by taking each day as it came, so was I. I'm very proud of myself for enduring what I have. You will have some bad, dark days but it will be okay, you'll see.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 2,064
    Welcome @JenPritchard.  It's a shock, isn't it?  And believe me, everytime you think you're on top of it, each new step seems to throw you but the important thing is to look at it step by step.  I was diagnosed at the beginning of December with lobular carcinoma.  Since then I've gone from thinking it was a 2.5cm tumour with no node involvement to 2 surgeries later, a 4.5cm tumour without clear margins and 3 nodes involved.  No sooner come to terms with that and I'm having to prepare for chemo. But you do get through it and the community here are wonderful.  With regards to your kids, my advice is to be as honest as their ages allow.  They will know things are wrong and secrets are often scarier than the truth.  My kids are a bit older with the youngest being 11 but I have told them that I will tell them the truth as I know it but not the whatifs.
  • JenpriJenpri Member Posts: 10
    Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your responses. Connecting with you is helpful. My appointment is tomorrow to decide the course of action. I’m really struggling, waiting for this, finding out it is worse than initially thought. It’s hard to eat, sleep and focus on anything else. Let alone my three little girls. I feel like I’m in a nightmare and can’t wake up. I made contact with the breast care nurse on Friday. An angel.
  • Molly001Molly001 Member Posts: 418
    @JenPritchard the waiting game is the WORST. You will feel empowered once you start some sort of treatment and fear slowly gives way to strength and drive to kick it's butt. Not saying facing treatments isn't scary AF, but once the 'what ifs' are off the table, you can deal with the 'what is'.
  • CrustyCrusty QldMember Posts: 28
    Hi there im same age as you 41 with 5 kids im grade 3 stage 2a her2+ i was diagnosed in October last year and had a lumpectomy in Dec. Ive got dcis on all margins still, so im having a masectomy with recon in six months and starting chemo soon seeing oncologist tuesday. My husband is taking time off to look after kids and me, i think keeping in routine helps with playgroups and school activities etc ,ive let the other mums know so there's no surprises, i live in a small island community so where all pretty honest around here ☺.theres also mummyswish.org.au that can help with some extra support. 
    Best wishes to and your family. .
  • Rosie_BCNARosie_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 98
    Hi Jen, I am one of the cancer nurses working on the BCNA helpline and we also moderate the online network. You have already received some valuable information from the crew on the network. I wondered if anyone in your medical team had mentioned the Cancer Council publication Talking to kids about cancer? You can download the PDF version, order a hard copy or just select the relevant sections from the Cancer Council website. It has some really useful information about specific developmental stages, and the words and concepts that kids will relate to. I’ve had great feedback from people about it. Best wishes with everything and remember you can call and speak to a cancer nurses or helpline officer if you would like further information or support by calling 1800 500 258 Mon - Fri 9-5pm until until 9pm on Tuesday and Thursday (Victorian time). 
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 284
    Dear @JenPritchard , best wishes from  jennyss in Western NSW
  • Braveheart60Braveheart60 Member Posts: 10
    Hi @JenPritchard I have the same diagnosis as you, even the same 4.5cm lump. Also spread to my lymph nodes but body tests came back clear. Only had to remove part of my breast even though the tumor was large and got clear margins. Being hormone positive is a really good sign as my Dr said the Chemo is designed to work best with this type. I had a bad reaction to Chemo but that's just me and apparently rare so I'm sure you will tolerate it better. Please feel positive about the future as once the treatment has been completed, our type of cancer has a very high success rate for a cure. I hope you can lean on your husband for the days your not feeling so great but its important to remember (I just learnt this) that you feel better each day once that first week is over and almost back to normal half way through. It's very doable once you get over the fear of the unknown. Don't have children, so have to leave to others to advise on that. Lot of love and hugs coming your way. Be strong.
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