26 & in complete shock

Julianna Member Posts: 2
edited August 2021 in Newly diagnosed
I never thought I would hear the words.. let alone at 26. I have been recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Triple Postive beast cancer after finding a 3.5cm lump in my left breast & lymph node spread after further testing. Although I have family history, my Aunty & grandma were diagnosed with estrogen Postive breast cancer. I guess I wanted to reach out & see if anyone has been diagnosed under 30 with a HER2+ with little family history… I just feel so alone, I’m the youngest person at the cancer clinic. 

I am two chemotherapy sessions in & I feel like I’ve been in survival mode since I heard the words. 
So much to wrap my head around - losing my hair, not working, being so sick, seeing my family so upset.. 
willing to take any suggestions on processing my new normal! 


  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,374
    Ah, @Julianna that just sucks. No wonder you are struggling to get your head around the whole thing. 

    There are some younger women on the forum now, and many from years ago have motored through your situation and gotten back on their feet.

    Me, I'm an old biddy with a different variety of what I call Tit Pox from you, but I'm still around 16 years after first  being told I was not in a good position. I've done this twice now, and would like to say it gets easier, but there is a reason we don't want this shit of a disease. 

    Hang in there, and I hope you can connect with someone closer to your own age. MXX
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,371
    Oh @Julianna, this is just shit, isn't it. I am sorry you are going through this. I am old (59) compared to you.

    I can't imagine being your age and dealing with this. You are so brave and strong. It is great you have reached out here. This group are amazing and hopefully someone closer to your age will check in over the next few days .

    It is very overwhelming at the start. Everything happens so fast and it is hard to process it all. Are you in contact with a counsellor? It might help you get through this as they could offer some strategies to help with all this. Maybe check with your oncologist or breast nurse. 

    I see you are in Brisbane and now in lockdown. I am from Brisbane and was first diagnosed during lockdown last year. I had surgery, chemo and radium and I am doing well now. 

    You will get through this, step by step. Be kind to yourself, eat good food, get a little exercise if you can and keep reaching out to get support from family, friends and all of us here. Big hugs 🌻
  • noosa_blue150
    noosa_blue150 Member Posts: 211
    Theres a group called young women  here on the right ——I’d think if you post there you should be able,to,get feedback and info from others in your age group,? Sending you hugs and wishing you well , you’re so young to,face this wretched disease .
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 955
    @Julianna I am so sorry to see you here.  I'm 54.  I've had 2 surgeries. Chemotherapy and radiation.  I'm on medication now for 10 years.
    I hope there are some younger women who reach out to you.  This is a wonderful forum to ask for help. Sending you hugs.  Xxx
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,610
    Follow this link and hopefully you will connect with someone closer to your age

  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 344
    Yes ditto everyone else. Sorry you are going through it. Im 49. X
  • Mazbeth
    Mazbeth Member Posts: 199
    Hi @Julianna I am so sorry that you have been diagnosed. I am in Brisbane too, I am 54 and whilst I am a lot older, I am very willing to help you out if you need. In the absolute crap fest, I went to a Look Good Feel Better program and met 4 other girls - I was definitely the oldest - but we are all now over 1 year post chemo and are great friends. The youngest in our little group was 28 at diagnosis so I have some idea of how you are feeling in terms of your age. I definitely recommend joining the group on here for young women. Have you got a breast care nurse? 
    I suspect you are in the middle of the AC chemo which is tough, but you will get through this. Please make sure you let the team know when you have side effects so they can give you something to help. 
    Do you think talking to a professional would help? I know that I found it extremely helpful as I really struggled to process everything and I needed to be able to talk openly and honestly with someone who was removed from the situation. My family and friends were amazing, but I needed someone who was objective. 
    You will also find young women on Instagram - I follow a few and I know they are quite a global community of support. You only have to message them and I am sure you will get a response. 
    Everything you are feeling is normal. You are going to get through this, one little bit at a time. Please message me if I can help. We are all here for you, ask any questions you need to. Take care x
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,181
    Hi @juliana it is an unfortunate fact that breast cancer does not discriminate in terms of age. I am older too (63) but some things are universal.Starting with the shock and disbelief you are feeling.
    There is a lot of useful  general info on this website and the forum.
    I found keeping a journal helping d me on a number of levels , including keeping a record of all  my critical dates and things like drugs , vital health statistics ( weight for example).
    Alsohow I was feeling .
    And one of the best pieces of advice I received was it’s ok to cry .
    Also be kind to yourself.

  • Jenny_BCNA
    Jenny_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 149
    @Julianna I've sent you a private message.

    Kind regards
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,818
    I am SO sorry to see you here @Juliana - you've received a devastating diagnosis & I hope that you have lots of family & friends around you for support.  I am older too ... but joining the Young Women Group will put you in touch with those of similar age xx

    Try & keep as active as you can during your treatment - accept any help/assistance that is offered .... and keep hydrated - to help wash that chemo out!

    Personally I found that BC (breast cancer) mucked with my BRAIN more than anything else!  And that is very hard to control, as it has a mind of its own! I found that keeping BUSY, doing things is the secret .... get back into your hobbies as soon as you are able to or take up a new one - even more so now with Covid, as we can’t get together with buddies as readily as before.   :(

    It is totally 100% ok to skip between anger, denial, sadness - but if you find the sadness is overwhelming you, please seek professional help! Your GP may be able to refer you to a psychologist ... or your local Breast Cancer Centre May have help there .... where you are more likely to find a bc specific psychologist who is more familiar with BC issues.  Just talking about it openly and sharing it with a professional should be able to give you coping mechanisms ... 

    If there is anything you want to discuss in a more private manner, you can message a member (or a group of members) and chat in total privacy. 

    Try & keep your sense of humour 'up there' - we have a really good 'funnies page' (called Friday Funnies, but we add them every day!!)  Just click on the link to add pics and posts ... 
    If you are into arts & crafts, we have a 'Creative Corner' 

    If you have 'fur kids' - put their pic here & describe their funny antics ...   https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/comment/92526#Comment_92526

    When you have some time ... check out the blog by a female British Breast Surgeon who went on to develop Breast Cancer, (with recurrence.)  She was amazed at just how much it changed her life, both mentally and physically ... and validates all our own side effects & ‘aches and pains’ ... if your Onc doesn’t believe you when you discuss side effects - get THEM to read this too!  http://liz.oriordan.co.uk/

    Take care & all the best with your ongoing treatment xx
  • StrongCoffee
    StrongCoffee Member Posts: 128
    I'm 'young' in the cancer world. At 45, I don't feel it, but in the waiting room of the breast cancer clinic I could see why the doctors kept referring to me as young. I cant even imagine how much worse that feeling is for you at your age. It brings up so many different emotions for me, it can be quite overwhelming. 

    I agree that it's hard seeing your family upset too. I just didn't want to have to tell my mum, as I knew it would hit her so hard. She's a worrier on a good day. I now worry about her worrying!!!

    Mine is hormone positive, but there is someone on my husband's side who had hormone negative at 28 (don't know the full details as his family don't discuss these things very openly). She went through lumpectomy and all the treatments and had 13 years cancer free. Only to then have a brand new hormone+ cancer appear. Definitely quite unusual for that to happen, but she does have a few lifestyle factors. She's now had a double mastectomy, more chemo and on hormone blockers. 1 year later and so far so good. There is no family history at all. I know it's not the same as your situation, but hopefully it's useful information for you.

    After her first cancer, the lumpectomy, radiotherapy and chemo, she went on to have 2 more children without fertility assistance and breastfeed both of them too.
  • Jaimee_james94
    Jaimee_james94 Member Posts: 1 New Member

    I am in a very similar boat. I am 27 and found out weeks ago of my cancer diagnosis. It does feel a little more isolating with our age. I was diagnosed on the 26/8 and so far I have done my lumpectomy and lymph node removal, in the middle of IVF and starting chemo soon. Would love to have a friend in a similar boat if you wanted to have a chat sometime. :)
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,610

    There's a group on here that may offer you someone closer to your age
    "Young women — BCNA Online Network" https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/10-young-women

    Regardless of age it's a so and so!

    Do you know your type of Cancer?

    "Types of breast cancer" https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/what-is-breast-cancer/types-of-breast-cancer/

    Best wishes 
    Take care