Just diagnosed, overwhelmed!


Diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer after a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy, followed by an agonising week waiting. I'm not sure what I feel apart from a weird sense of relief after the stress of waiting to have it confirmed and a kind of numbness. Did anyone else feel this way? I expected to dissolve into tears but nope, not happening. Hope things are going well for everyone.


28 Replies

  • So sorry to read of your diagnosis, yes I was like that 3 years ago, I had 10 days between biopsies and diagnosis and in that time I got used to the fact I had cancer, think I would have been more shocked if nothing serious had shown up!!! Do you know yet what treatments you'll be going through, just remember we're all here for you as we've all been on a similiar journey, I'll be thinking of you in the coming days xxx

  • Thank you for replying so quickly, I agree, not sure what I would have done if it had been clear! Having the lump removed and lymph node biopsies mid October, then Radio, chemo/drugs won't be decided until all the reports are back from surgery.

    I am sure I will have lots of daft questions once I get further along.


  • Firstly, no question on this forum is daft, if you're not sure on something post it, I'm sure one of us will have an answer for you, I had lumpectomies October 2013, went to Oncology where I was offered the chance for my cancer to take part in a trial to possibly avoid chemo, it did take part, trial worked for me so no chemo, the test my cancer had has now been implemented in this country, 3 weeks radiotherapy January 2014, now on Tamaxofen, clear mammograms in 2014 & 2015, had this years 2 weeks ago so just awaiting the results xx

  • I have to agree. When I was told I had cancer, the week of waiting for the result mentally prepared mw for the result. I felt as though it was all quite surreal. It hasn't really changed either to be honest. It will be 1 year on Oct 2nd since my diagnosis. I hope you make a full recovery xx

  • Hi Bugie65, sorry to hear of your diagnosis but it's all in hand now. You will be well looked after and all the best options will be put to you and discussed and explained. This was my exact diagnosis a year ago last June. i can remember the ground opening up in front of me when he told me, because everyone told me it would be fine and it would be benign and that it was nothing.. mine didnt even feel really like a lump, so i was lulled into a false sense of security.

    It's completely normal for you to be numb and not able to accept the news, but just know that this week will be one the worst parts.. You'll get on the converyor belt (treatment, surgery, radiation, whatever you need) and just get on with it in order to get out the other side quicker, and it passes quicker than you would think.. It's possibly going to be when all the treatment is finished and you are pronounced to be well and free of it that it will all come up and hit you.. put measures in place for that. talk to people and have someone you can share all your feelings with day or night on the end of a phone or email (and please use this forum it is the most wonderful support you will have because there is no 'sideways sympathetic head' and people not knowing what to say to you, it's all honest advice and wonderful information, i dont know where i would be now without all the wonderful support, and questions answered over the last year)

    I have been through mastectomy and Chemo, and am now discharged from oncology and apart from a couple of small surgeries (cosmetic only) coming up i apparently just go for regular mammograms now and get on with my life and take tamoxifen once a day for few years.... this will be you too very soon.. it's an experience, and not one you would have chosen, but you'll get used to the idea and you'll put it behind you soon. xxxx we are all here when you have your questions lined up.

  • Hello Budgie. So sorry to hear your news but know that feeling well, moments of calm and then when you least expect it the tears do come, as does the anger eventually! The waiting is the worst part.

    We are all here for you and we are survivors. I went through that agonizing wait a year ago so totally understand how you felt.

    Good luck with your treatment xx

  • i was exactly the same. i did my crying during the week of waiting for the results. once i was told i went into " right, lets get this sorted mode". and you can and you will. its a long tough journey but you will make it. good luck xx

  • Yes last year felt exactly the same, the wait was the worse, once you know you can then deal with it and you will be ok, all the treatment isn't great but doable. Have you now got to choose what surgery you want? I had ductal cancer, had a massecomy with implant.

    All the best on your journey you will get through it and be fine xx

  • Hi I was diagnosed last week. I was shocked and a bit tearful during the first week but now (week 3) I'm back to normal. Looking at wigs and waiting for chemore to start next week. Still working and carrying on as usual. Although not told anyone besides my husband. Not looking forward to all that attention I must admit. The best news is you can still drink during treatment yay! Best of luck. XXX

  • Haha must be week 2!!!!

  • Hi Budgie, you sound like all of us tbh, it's always a shock even if you suspect it's bc. I was strangely calm also, was trying to keep it together for the kids and my husband, who i think went into the meeting with consultant for results thinking all was fine and it was a waste of time...

    When we know what's ahead and have a plan it gets easier to deal with in an odd way...

    The time will fluctuate between going really fast then really slow, I was diagnosed last May which feels like years and years ago!

    The shower was my friend, could have a mini breakdown in there and come out looking ok (If you feel the need for a blub, which you might when the shock wears off a bit)

    Do you know what treatment your having yet?

    Big hugs,

    Nix x

  • Welcome budgie. I too was diagnosed with an invasive ductal carcinoma last July, the 9 days I had to wait for biopsy results was by far the worst bit, its the not knowing what you're up against! I had chemo straight away, mastectomy then radiotherapy. Like others have said its not pleasant but doable, you will get through then look back and wonder what the hell happened. I wish you well with it all and just post any questions, concerns etc...here as someone will already have the t-shirt!

  • Hi Budgie65. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. You are not alone in feeling this way. I had the same diagnosis in July and since then have had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and am starting my chemo on Thursday . I too expected to be a jibbering wreck( and sometimes question why I am not) but the only time I have cried was at the thought of telling my adult children. I am certain that at some point it will hit me and I will have some very low days but meanwhile I am focusing on the positives in my life and preparing for whatever I have to deal with next. I have a wig trial today and a bra fitting tomorrow ( oh the joys!!).

    Like all the other lovely ladies say, keep positive and focused on the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how far away it may sometimes seem. If you hit a rough spot then get on here and share it, there will always be someone who has felt like you do.

    Good luck with your recovery X X

  • We all seem to have the same thoughts. The only time I cried was when I received the news that my scan was clear after all my treatment. It's so much better to know the diagnosis whether good or bad.

    Do remember to write down all your questions before you go for your hospital appointments of that haven't been answered here. You will then have more questions so do come back here but you will also be given phone numbers to ring and speak to staff at the hospital too

    I know we are all different but I have found my friends and family kept me going through all my treatment. I kept in touch with most of them by a group email and then phone for some others. You will possibly find that some people might have problems knowing what to say so email is good for them. They might not be in touch so regularly but it is not because they do not care

    Must away now as I could go on and on. We will all be thinking about you so please comeback and let us know how you get on. This site is brilliant. Best wishes xx

  • The day after my diagnosis I rang Penny Brohn and luckily there was a place left on their residential course a week later. This was between biopsy and surgery . I spent a lot of the two days crying but it was so good to be around others who had been where I was and to hear lots of good advice and be looked after so well. It helped me prepare for how to tell my family and how important it is to look after the mind and spirit which will affect how the body heals. This site too is always full of kind and encouraging comments. All the best.

  • Mine was completely different from your diagnosis, I went for a mammogram and they filled it with a scan and then I was told by my consultant I had a cancer - that was such a good way for him to describe it as immediately it was an item in my mind that I could get rid of! I immediately had the biopsy which to this day I still maintain was the worst part. As some else said, get on that conveyor belt and have all the treatment they throw at you. Deal with each bit at a time and don't even think about the next bit until it's time to have it. I had chemo every 3 weeks a total of 8 bouts and we made an effort of going out or going away between each one when I was feeling well.

    I didn't have the agonising wait but I did go into the hospital feeling I was well and came out a couple of hours later knowing I had cancer - that took some dealing with but I did it I'm still here 12 yrs later and currently sitting in the sun in Portugal writing this to you.

    Good Luck with all your treatment, stay strong and ask away with those questions. I was lucky as I had my first 4 chemos at home so I had the undivided attention of cancer nurses for 2 hours so I could ask them any questions I wanted and I did !

  • Hi Heather, you give us all so much hope. Good luck for a wonderful rest of your life. It's kind of you to take time to support us 'breast cancer newbies'. 🌺❤️

  • Hi Budgie I was diagnosed last August, although I was pretty sure I had cancer so it didn't come as a shock. I never cried either, just thought oh well, get on with curing it then. The worst part was telling my children who were 17 and 14, but they coped ok. I finished my treatment in April. Best wishes to you xxx

  • You are at the start of a journey and I can only urge you not to be scared. I had a terrible dx but am alive and well 5 yrs on. BC is very treatable these days. Believe you will be fine xx

  • So sorry to hear your news,but it's the not knowing that's the worst,now you know what your dealing with and what options you have to consider,I was diagnosed on 8/09/15,since then I've a mastectomy(the consultant wanted to do a lumpectomy,with radiotherapy,and chemo if necessary) I wanted a mastectomy for my own piece of mind,which was agreed,and had 7 lymph nodes removed,and no radio or chemotherapy.i was so lucky. I had reconstruction on 17/04/16 and on 11/10/16 I go for the first of my annual check ups.

    Take somebody with you as it gets a bit confusing and you forget some of the things your told,write down any questions,lat least now your being treated.

    Good luck and I hope all turns out as well as it can.xxx

  • Hi sorry about your news, yes I did the very same last year, I was in had opp chemo & radiotherpy all done & dusted by October 7 months from start to finish back in work November keep positive you will be ok. Good luck 😘

  • Thank you all so much for your replies, it means a lot that so many of you have taken the time to respond. I'm sorry if I don't reply to everyone individually but I will read them all and am already feeling better. I am having a lumpectomy next month (although there isn't a lump really) followed by radiotherapy, chemo is undecided yet but it does look to be hormone receptor positive. I have only told my family and line manager so far who have all been lovely and very supportive, not feeling like broadcasting to the world yet. I will probably be back with more questions at the weekend, hope everyone is okay.


  • Your diagnosis and proposed treatment sounds identical to mine. I'm just a little further down the road. I had the Lumpectomy and the 'gateway' node removed last Friday, one week ago.

    Like you radiotherapy is next, after the surgery has healed and chemo or anything else will depend on the results after they look at what has been removed. Mine is also hormone receptor positive and it'll be hormone suppressing drugs for 10 years I am told.

    Emotionally I have been all over the place. I cried but not about that, about other things but it was just an outlet really. Not so much cried as sniffled a bit really. I have been at times manically upbeat or frozen with fear or peaceful and positive.

    I dreaded how it was going to look and feel to have my breast deformed, my motherhood, my womanhood, my sexuality changed forever.

    Well it's all doable I'm discovering. Most of all I want to live and am appreciating every single thing. There were strange little things which nobody really explained which I kind of wish I'd known beforehand. Like the blue dye they flood you with which doesn't just stain your breast skin but makes you pee bright electric blue for a few days. That was a surprise!

    You don't say how big your tumour is or which part of the breast it's in but it's worth considering that beforehand to get an idea of how much and where the removal will be and how it'll look. The first day after I couldn't look, the second day I looked but although it didn't look like 'my' breast anymore it still looked like one - just smaller and flatter. I personally just feel better that the cancer has been taken away. It felt alien and 'wrong' and now I am strongly up for clearing any lingering dodgy bits out of my body and my life, and feel very strong and proactive about that.

    I'm most astonished of all to discover that this experience has been as much about positives as negatives. Strength, amazing supportive lovely people, others not so lovely who perhaps I realise now were never real friends but I feel free of now. Life feels so rich and special now, clearer and brighter.

  • Never cried before or after diagnosis stay strong and fight good luck x

  • I await a similar possible prognosis on Tuesday. You are being brave. Do you have a plan for treatment sorted out? I think it's the uncertainty that does your head in for sure. I've been feeling quite nauseous with the whole waiting, testing thing and whenever I think of getting the results on Tueday, my head spins. But outwardly, no tears but, support for those supporting me. My husband just came out of hospital after a knee replacement, so keeping busy with him now, helps. Good luck. Let us know how you are feeling. It is overwhelming. ❤️🌺

  • Hi Jacbowden,

    I feel for you, I think the waiting was worse than the result to be honest! I am having a lumpectomy in 3 weeks, followed by radiotherapy but won't know about chemo or hormone treatment until my follow 4 weeks after the op. I would advise taking someone with you to the results appointment if you can, or a pen and paper for notes. Having said that, they were very good at explaining everything, first the surgeon and then a separate questions session with the nurse afterwards. They also gave me an info pack to bring away and read later. Try and grab some time for you if you can and good luck with your results, hope all goes well.


  • Hi there I was Diagnosed in june this year l remember that feeling am still in shock, l did cry when l was told but the results but coping ok. whats next the treatment for you now...

  • Best wishes to you. At least they know now and can get on with the treatment. The not knowing and having to wait is very, very stressful.

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