New Diagnosis

JoanneA Member Posts: 1
edited October 2016 in Newly diagnosed
Hi ladies,

My name is Jo and I'm 44 years old and it's been just over 6 weeks since my diagnosis with invasive ductal carcinoma. When I first went to my GP, I had no idea that my life was going to be turned upside down for the second time this year.

My sister had passed away only the month before on the 7th of May following a 14 month long battle with a stage 4 brain tumour. Brain cancer is an insidious disease that robbed us of a beautiful, positive, caring and gorgeous sister, mother, friend and wife.

I guess in a way her illness was what prompted me not to ignore what I thought was something different about my left breast. I thought I could feel a small lump and when I laid on my stomach in bed, my left side felt different to my right. My GP couldn't be sure she could feel anything but wanted me to have a mammogram and ultrasound just to rule anything out. As soon as they did the mammogram you could see the cancer clearly on the screen and when they wanted to take extra scans and the sonographer says "make an appointment with your GP tomorrow", you know the news isn't good.

Since then, it's been a whirlwind of scans, tests and surgery. The first surgery was a lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy. My surgeon was fantastic, he was very reassuring and I was positive that we'd get good results, since the ultrasound hadn't picked up any node involvement. Naively i thought as soon as I had surgery and radiotherapy I'd be back to work in no time.

I was stunned and shattered at my post op appointment when my pathology results came back with good clearances on the tumour but 3/3 lymph nodes were positive for cancer. I had Stage 2 Grade 2 Breast Cancer. It now meant more surgery for an axillary clearance and then the next step would be chemo. So much for the blasé attitude I had going into the appointment. I was devastated.

It's now been 2 weeks since my 2nd surgery and the results came back to show no other lymph nodes were affected. I know this was great news but it didn't really change anything about my treatment or my apprehensiveness about starting chemo soon.

At the moment I feel like I'm in limbo, my oncologist appointment isn't until next Thursday, so I'm just hanging out until then. I'm not used to sitting around waiting.

Maybe that's what this cancer journey is about...slow down and remember what is most important in life. I just wish my sister was by my side to hold my hand like I did for her.


  • Merlins mum
    Merlins mum Member Posts: 443
    edited March 2015
    As others will tell you, the waiting is the hardest bit. Chemo sucks but it is doable. Don't freak out too much about it. There is tons of advice on this site to make the journey as smooth as possible. Hang in there on this site. You will get so much support.
    With love
  • Robyn W
    Robyn W Member Posts: 1,932
    edited March 2015
    I am so sorry for the loss of your sister so recently.Another lady on here lost her mum the day after her diagnosis.I hope that she may see your post and offer some strategies to help you cope.I had the same cancer diagnosis as you.I had a mastectomy and chemo and that was 12 months ago this month.I am now on tamoxifen and feel great. Just take it one day at a time.DONT worry about chemo.I was terrified of it and as I found out,there was no need to be so worried. Stay connected to this site,because the advice you will get on here is truly what will get you through this journey.Take care and try not to worry TOO MUCH. xoxRobyn
  • Hazel M
    Hazel M Member Posts: 708
    edited March 2015

    So sorry to hear about your sister, I'm sure she will be watching over you. I'm so sorry if that sounds weird but that is what I believe. The waiting is the worst, we always seem to be waiting for one test result after another. My best advice is to take one day at a time, don't think too far down the track. As Robyn said the chemo is doable. I'm nearly 4 months post chemo and doing well. This process does make you think of what's important and what's not. Sending big hugs to you,

    Hazel xx