Home Newly diagnosed

New diagnosis, have had mastectomy

TeePeeTeePee PerthMember Posts: 31
edited October 2018 in Newly diagnosed
Hi All
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 24 August. Core Biopsy and FNA showed that I had cancer in the tumour, in the milk ducts and lymph nodes. I freaked out at that but saw surgeon 24 hours later who was quite reassuring that she didn't feel like it had spread (I was otherwise fit and healthy). Had bone scan and CT's and she was right, it hadn't spread.

Had mastectomy on right breast and full lymph node clearance on 6 Sept, just at home recovering now. Surgeon follow up appt this Thursday to find out all of the pathology results, hopefully meet Oncologist and find out 'the plan'  So back to waiting again. Initially thought I would have reconstruction but I've been reading some posts on a FB page and it's freaking me out.

 'm a single Mum with 3 kids (9, 11 and 15), and while initially they were freaked out they seem ok now (they're back to just leaving everything for me to do 🙄).


  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,200
    Good luck on Thursday @TeePee. Mxx
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,938
    Hi @TeePee and welcome. It's such a shock, isn't it? Once you know your treatment plan, things will settle a bit. I was diagnosed just before Christmas and have now finished active treatment. I have kids not too different in age to yours - 11, 12 & 15 at time of diagnosis.  I have been honest with them and apart from the odd wobble, they have managed well.  It is important though (and particularly as you're a single mum) that they understand that they need to help you.  You (and they) might be surprised at just how much support they can be.
  • Riki_BCNARiki_BCNA Staff Posts: 323
    Hello @TeePee welcome also. In addition, to the wonderful support and valuable insights provided by the online community, please don't hesitate to call the BCNA Helpline on 1800 500 258 to speak with a cancer nurse if you have any questions or concerns
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    Hi @TeePee. Welcome to this forum. I hope you find it as warm and supportive as I have.

    Can I suggest you ask to join the Choosing Breast Reconstruction group here? I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction at the end of April and that closed group was a tremendous help to me. It can be very confronting, but it's wonderful to work through a very particular set of concerns with women who have been there and are honest about it.

    Hang in there. It will get easier once you know your treatment plan. Be honest and open with your kids, age appropriately, and they'll be OK. Don't let them backslide! My being incapacitated on and off during my treatment taught my four a new set of independent skills that they've maintained because I haven't gone back to the way it was before!

    Accept all the help you're offered, and be kind to yourself. K xox
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,935
    All the best for your Path report on Thurs, @TeePee - then you'll have a clearer idea of your ongoing treatment.

    If you can, take a buddy with you for moral support AND an extra set of ears (or record it on your phone so you can go over it later on if needed - I did both!)

    Yep - accept any help from family & friends that is offered!!  Pre-Cooked meals from one friend was a real bonus for me!

    Hoping you are recovering well from your surgery xx
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,373
    hi TeePee 
    here is a helpful few links 

    Below are a couple of links to help you find your way around the forum and also how to find a breast care nurse and how to order a MY journey Kit if you haven't got one yet. 

    It can be a whirlwind when we first get a diagnosed.... Breathe and take it one step at a time. 

    Navigating the online community formerly the what and how thread.


    Breast Care Nurses


    My Journey Kits and other resources. 


    BCNA Helpline 1800 500 258

    If you have any questions, concerns or require any further information or support please call 1800 500 258. BCNA’s helpline will now be open from 9am-6pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm Fridays.  


    How to understand your pathology reports


  • Suzi_S61Suzi_S61 Member Posts: 68
    Hi TeePee, I am sorry to hear you have had to go through this. I too was diagnosed with BC in August. I have had a left breast mastectomy and axillary clearance and seen radiotherapist and waiting to see oncologist this week. My experience has been a mixture of being surrounded by supportive wonderful people including medical staff and breast care nurses and this online forum. I am lucky my children are all adults (most of the time haha). They have had mixed reactions. Sometimes they seem to be coping with the information and other times its a bit overwhelming for them. I think when children are younger they mostly deal with the facts. Not to say they won't be worried but they are very resilient.
    My surgeon didn't feel I needed to record any information but he explained everything and gave me pamphlets to bring home. He did an amazing job with surgery. I don't need to see him for 3 months now. 
    I found the My Journey Kit very informative and helpful. My BS also ruled out Breast Reconstruction for me for 18 months as he wants me to heal completely and ensure I don't get BC in my right breast. His thinking was based on the fact if I have a tummy tuck it can only happen once. Your situation may be completely different to mine. We are all unique in our own way. I hope your journey is smooth and successful. Always here if you want to chat. I found the Breastcare Nurses extremely valuable. Still seeing them at my oncologist appointment and in 3 weeks to help with a fitting for a wig. It's a bit of a roller coaster ride emotionally but there is an enormous amount of support here for you. Best wishes.
  • TeePeeTeePee PerthMember Posts: 31
    Thanks @Suzi_S61. It's been a month today since my diagnosis and 2 weeks post surgery. I saw both my surgeon and oncologist this week. I have Triple Negative, grade 3 stage 2a, multifocal invasive ductal, the largest measuring 1.5cm, and cancer in two nodes (out of 11).

    I start dose dense chemo on 15 October with 4 sessions every 2 weeks for part A and then part B will be different. I'll have the gene test before I start and if it's positive I'll have a hysterectomy also.

    After the initial shock I feel quite calm about it - everyone else seems to be freaking out and focusing in on the next 6 months and how hard it's going to be and I seem to be consoling everyone that it's going to be ok. Maybe I'm in denial about it all - I occasionally have to remind myself I have cancer - but I'm just taking it one day at a time, no point stressing about what's going to happen during chemo until it happens.

    How are you going with your recovery from the mastectomy and axilla clearance? I'm still quite sore and my arm doesn't have as much movement as I'd like. I need to get some physio but it's tricky being school holidays now and everyone is busy...and my eldest turns 16 on Wednesday! I feel so under prepared for it...and I can't drive and go out shopping!! 🙄

    And I'm meant to be away on holidays now...I'm so bummed about that 😔
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    BC screws with so many of our plans eh @TeePee? Last summer was stuffed by mine. And I threw my son's 18th birthday party between my lumpectomy and re-excision, without telling a soul (except for the people under my roof) as I wanted the focus to be on him. So I feel you re the 16th birthday! Good luck. K xox
  • Shellbelle_75Shellbelle_75 Member Posts: 65
    Hi @TeePee I just wanted to touch base and say I am sorry to have to meet you in these circumstances but I also live in WA just the SW I have the triple negative factor also and the multi focal diagnosis 
    I have just had a right mastectomy and auxiliary node clearance a week ago and I am waiting on pathology results and healing from surgery also.
    just wanted to touch base and say hi as I am looking for people to connect with people who have the triple negative factor which scares me a lot!
    I have a grade 2 not sure on Stage yet
    I have a sense of calm most times with occasional panic ..... as now I just want to commit to treatment and fighting this.
    take care 
  • Suzi_S61Suzi_S61 Member Posts: 68
    Hi TeePee, did they give you an information sheet on arm exercises?  I have been doing them since the day after surgery. Just bending and stretching and standing away from the wall and walking your hand up as far as you can face on and sideways. The stretching really helps. If its painful only push it as far as you can and then relax and just keep trying. It will get more flex in it over time. Mycarmpit was completely numb but I am slowly getting sensation back 3 weeks after surgery. It still feels wierd in the evening a partly numb partly sore sensation under my actual arm. I am pretty sure its nerve pain. I just take some panadol and massage seems to help a lot. 
    We are definitely all different in how we recover. Even our individual stories. I too have been very positive about this whole thing. People keep saying it's okay to cry and looking at me with those sympathy eyes. I have seen my Mum go through this and lost her when she was 39. Shocking isn't it but I have been lucky to come this far unscathed. I always felt like this was the demon I would have to face one day. I am a very strong minded and stubborn woman. People think I am vulnerable but only when it comes to other peoples care. I believe while I can walk and talk I am going okay. 
    I am sorry you are in a bit of pain. Hopefully that will ease with time. Make sure you tell your surgeon or contact your Breast Nurse they may be able to suggest things to help. 
    I am seeing my oncologist tomorrow. 
  • TeePeeTeePee PerthMember Posts: 31
    Hi @Shellbelle_75 welcome and I'm also sorry to meet in these circumstances. Jeepers, we're almost twins with out diagnosis!

    I'm pretty much the same as you, I just want to get on and get this done. I feel like some of my friends and family are more panicked about this than I am. They keep telling me how hard the next 6 months are going to be, but im not dwelling on it too much yet and what's going to happen, plenty of time for that when it happens!

    We're a few hours apart but please do Dm me if you want to chat further.

  • Spiv1803Spiv1803 Member Posts: 126
    Wow @TeePee, I'm just about one year ahead of you  
    Very similar diagnosis, and I'm in Perth too. Message me any time 
  • Shellbelle_75Shellbelle_75 Member Posts: 65
    @TeePee and @Spiv1803 Thankyou both so much for reaching out, really we are all fairly similar hey? And all in WA YAY 😀 
    @TeePee I totally agree I just want to get things started now the constant doom and gloom at times by well meaning people of what the next 6-12 months or several years maybe at times does my head in. I get it I have triple negative BC it’s crap it’s frightening and I wish it wasn’t the case but geez Louise the only way I am going to get better or best this bloody thing is with action...... 
    sometimes dealing with others grief and shock is actually harder than your own 😔
    @Spiv1803 it’s great to know you are a year down the track I would love to hear your thoughts on treatments and where things are at for you if you where comfortable 
    soul sisters ladies on a TNBC case 
    sad situation but could be a support blessing for all of us x
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