Recent diagnosis PhD student

Erko_Girl_68 Member Posts: 31
edited May 2023 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone. I had a recent diagnosis these past two weeks with a breast surgeon in Sydney. I had fibroadenoma in my left breast for 20 years and was recently diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma with lymphatic invasion. My results say that I am in stage 2 and grade 2. I am having an MRI today and expect to be contacted for a PET as soon as possible.

It has been an awful few weeks. I am still in shock, feeling a whole bunch of emotions, and dealing with having to tell family and friends. I just submitted a PhD which has been put in for marking so I have not finished. I am also a casual research assistant but I know that contract will end sometime soon. Unfortunately, I have added financial pressure.  


  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,336
    Very sorry that you have this diagnosis and have joined our club. The club no one wants to join. Good to reach out here as there is much support from this group.

    The start of a breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming and no doubt your emotions are everywhere. I think I cried for 2 weeks when I was told my news.

    Once you have the treatment plan things will be better. Treatment is really Great these days so there is much success. It's all about taking this one day at a time and one treatment at a time.

    Take someone to all your appointments. It is hard to process everything and having someone with you really helps. 

    Keep busy doing what you love and try to stay away from Google. It really isn't helpful and just increases anxiety. Better just to go with what your medical team suggest as each breast cancer is unique. 

    Can your husband take on telling family and friends for you? It does get hard repeating the story over and over. Or perhaps set up an email distribution list so there is only one update to do.

    Not sure what help is available financially but maybe call the BCNA hotline to see what is on offer.  Treatment is public hospitals is good if you need that.

    Take deep breaths and often and try to get a few walks in as it is good preparation for surgery and helps settle the mind too. Best wishes 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,883
    Welcome @Erko_Girl_68 to this amazing group of ladies who will be here to support you as you go through what we have all been through at various times.

    Yes, your emotions do run wild and @Cath62 has given you the best advice.

    There really is no need to tell anyone until you are ready.  Perhaps wait until you know your treatment plan as that gives you answers to the questions everyone will be curious about.  You can also request specific supports at the same time.  People want to help but they don't know how to ask.

    You have not given any indication re family situation but perhaps they can be asked to take care of children, cook a few meals, mow the grass, shop, take you to appointments etc.  This all takes the burden off you and gives them something to feel they are helping.

    Keep in touch and ask anything which comes to mind.
  • Mez_BCNA
    Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921
    Hi @Erko_Girl_68 you have received wonderful guidance and responses to your post already. You have also expressed concern about financial pressures, therefore I have shared BCNA's information on this topic below:Please don't hesitate to contact the Helpline team 1800 500 258
  • Erko_Girl_68
    Erko_Girl_68 Member Posts: 31
    Thanks for your replies, everyone. I have had MRI and PET this week and will know more about my treatment plan this coming week. My husband (my family situation: husband and Blue Burmese cat) is coming with me to appointments and will be in charge of telling people when we are ready. 

    I am using the public system for treatment, I do not have the choice in that matter. However, the fact I live close to one of the best public hospitals in Australia is a blessing. 
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    Hi @Erko_Girl_68, the waiting is just the pits isn’t it.The first time I was diagnosed (2003) I was an anxious mess. I only had to wait 3days to see my surgeon but I cried the whole time. Once you get your head around it and you have a plan,you’ll start to feel abit better. I’ve used both public and private hospitals but used the surgeon of my choice- good treatment with either. I had similar grade and stage of bc to you and I’m still here 20yrs later
    Plenty of time to tell family/friends and make study/work decisions when you have all the information and treatment plans. You are at the overwhelming,rabbit caught in the headlights stage. It’s surreal and you probably wake up each morning wondering if it was all a bad dream.I don’t know whereabout in Sydney you are, but I run a support group in the Hills district. Some hospitals run supports groups too which you might find helpful. 
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,159
    Hi @Erko_Girl_68
    Great advice above
    My GP picked me in one when delivering the news of my BC “ the hardest thing will be the lack of control “.
    I took that on  and did my best to control what I could - my attitude , being as fit and healthy as I could be ( I took the opportunity to lose weight and see an exercise physiologist).
    Of course some things you can’t control - like random crying , the dark recesses your mind goes to as you try to get to sleep.
    The rational you will come to understand most women get through this on the other side , but the emotional you may have the odd wobble.
    See a psychologist or counsellor if you need to ( I found it helped).
    And though I had my treatment in the private system my fabulous Drs also operate in the public system and we are lucky to live in a country with such great public health care .
    Take care 🌺
  • Tammy9
    Tammy9 Member Posts: 7

    Ive sent you a private message.