New to the community

Hi all. I'm Lesley, living with my lovely husband in the Suffolk countryside. We have a 13 year old daughter and 16 year old son (doing GCSEs right now), plus an elderly garden chicken called Meg. I'm under 5' tall so that's why my teens say I'm almost life size.

I was recalled after thickening showed on my routing mammogram 27.4.17. More mammograms, ultrasounds and 4 biopsies 11.5.17 then diagnosed with early breast cancer on 19.5.17. I'll be having a wide area excision 7.6.17 then they think just radiotherapy and hormone therapy after that. Feeling like I'm on a rollercoaster arms over my head (seems to be the position of the moment) screaming and laughing in equal measure.

14 Replies

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  • Hi Lesley, welcome to our exclusive group none of us want to be in. Your journey mirrors mine, I had the first mammogram in my life 3/9/13, was recalled for further investigation 16/9, actually diagnosed Thursday 26, lumpectomies the following Wednesday which removed all my cancer, went to Oncology 4/11 expecting to be told about chemo but instead was told I was suitable for a trial they were running at the time and for which I was suitable, it gave me a one in three chance on not having chemo, and it worked, I had 3 weeks January 2014, have been on tamoxifen since the end of 2013 and will be until next year when I'm down for a review although in March 2014 I was discharged from Oncology, my cancer journey was exactly 6/12 3 September - 3 March, I've had clear mammograms in 2014/15/16. I wish you luck on your journey and when you have any questions please post them as I'm sure someone on this forum will have an answer for you x

  • Thanks for the welcome Jennymary. Though we don't want to be here I know this community will be essential to my recovery and progress. Thank you for sharing your story with me it's so positive and I am staying hopeful for my outcomes too x

  • Hi there

    I'm feeling as fit and healthy now as before my diagnosis in july 2015 with grade 3 stage 2 BC, hormone fuelled!

    I've had the full menu, chemo, mastectomy, radiotherapy, herceptin injections, reconstruction and I'm on tamoxifen for 10 years, just a year and a half in on that so a way to go yet!

    Know what you mean about the rollercoaster, felt like i was never going to get off it at one point, but here I am starting to feel like its becoming a distant memory, holiday booked, new job...

    I feel relatively unscathed even when i look at my reconstruction and new short hairstyle. Feel like I look at life with fresh eyes, have more confidence. I wish you well with your journey, and it is a journey with no right or wrong way to feel, just take each day as it comes, i found thinking too far ahead hard to do so lived from appointment to appointment and with every one that I had and all seemed positive I began to think outside my bubble of grief for myself. Even though I've had the thing that most people live in fear of having, I feel like it wasn't that bad, there are much worse off people out there than me.

    You sound like you have enough to keep you busy, kids etc..you will get through this. Take care xx

  • That's so wonderful to hear. I am a very positive person, but I feel like someone just took the stabilisers off the bike I thought I was riding really well, now I'm wobbling about and my steering seems to have gone! It's so good to hear that view from someone looking back. Thank you cazlav you've really steadied my wobble xx

  • Dynamite comes in little packages Lesley so I'm sure you will blast this awful thing into orbit. I am a wife to a very loving and caring husband and mother to three amazing children 23, 18 and 17. My 17 and 18 year old will be starting leaving cert exams in a weeks time (equivalent to A levels) we are in Ireland. I can both empathise and sympathise with you as I know that feeling all too well. My advise would be to take one day at a time and know that now this cancer has been identified, and thankfully, identified early, that you are already on the road to recovery. I have to say, each time I heard someone who has not been in our shoes tell me to stay positive etc I would want to shake them by the neck, however, having a 'positive' outlook and taking time out for yourself, keeping busy with hobbies etc will help. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on 2 Oct 2015. In all I endured nine and a half months of chemo, a double mastectomy with lymphnode clearance, more chemo and finally radiotherapy. I am still on 3 monthly visits to oncology. I am determined to beat this. You will have good and bad days. On the bad days have a damn good cry then find something that you enjoy to do, watch a favourite film, get yourself the book you wanted etc. That picks up your spirit and keeps you 'sane'. Talk to people, allow people to help you. However if you are like me and you get utterly fed up of people who haven't a clue what you are going through telling you to 'be positive' my advise is nod, smile and back away slowly. I understand prison food isn't that great! In the meantime, all the best with your treatment and recovery. Stay strong and take care.

    Lainey66 😜😜🌹🌷🥀

  • Lainey66 you made me laugh out loud thank you. You're right I don't think I want prison food, hospital food is bad enough! Reading all the literature I've been given is doing more harm than good at the moment. I feel so well, like there's nothing wrong with me and weeks later I'm being told all these 'things' that are unpleasant are going to happen to me "for my own good, aren't I lucky?" and it feels a bit hard to smile and nod. Great advice and wow you've gone the distance in those shoes. I really appreciate everyone who has gone ahead already and are now pointing out the pot holes so I don't fall in. xxxx

  • It is an absolute roller coaster and there will be good and bad days. Try to stay positive: you have got to it early, you have a sense of humour and a loving family that will help you through.

    My girls were 15 & 6 when I was diagnosed but I was honest with them and kept smiling and they coped ok. There may be some free counselling available for the family at your local Haven centre or through Macmillan. The thing my elder daughter was worried about was whether it was genetic and she felt awful for being selfish. However I asked the question and it's not however I may still get her tested if that's what she wants.

    Good luck with it all xx

  • That's a good point about the genetics, I haven't talked to my daughter about that and it could be something that worries her. We'll know about that after they've tested it all once they get me through the op. I am so thankful for my family and humour - I think laughter is very powerful medicine. I reached out to a counsellor at our local hospital because a few days after the diagnosis I had a real crisis about being 'disfigured', it's because I had a car accident at 25 and was dumped by my boyfriend at the time, over the 'phone. The counsellor said I'd be fine but she could see me in 5 weeks time if I still needed help after I'd talked to the breast nurse. Not the support I was looking for! I'm sure Haven will have people who understand caring and compassion, I've certainly found it here in the community xx

  • Mmm a very compassionate counsellor!! She's correct when she says you will be fine but it's the road to being "fine" you need support with. I'm sure there are more empathetic counsellors out there. Plus you have us lot on here!! 😃

  • I was lucky to work with one of my practitioner friends and she really helped me see that this rejection did not mean I go back to my old pattern of not asking for help. That I have to keep asking till I find the right support, which I really think I have found here. Honesty, reality and a bit of laughter is what I've found - feeling so much better. Thank you x

  • Hi lesley. Your story sound like mine. I found a lump end nov 2015. Had mamogram, ultrasound and byiopsy. Luckily mine was grade one so like you wide area incision and lumph nodes removed followed by radiotherapy. I dont want to scare you but unfortunatly there was more cancer lumps in the area they took away. They were small but there was 4. I was devistated. The consultant suggested that i have a mascetomy due to them not showning up in either the mamogram or ultrasound so they was not sure if there was any more. I was motrified as i was 50. When i got my head clear snd saw the plastic surgeon i was lucky enough to be able to have reconstruction straight away which i did. The reconstruction was uncomfortable as i had the muscle off my back. I think myself as lucky as i havnt had to have radiotherapy or chemo. That was 12 months ago. I have just had my nipple reconstruction. I still have my up and down days. I am on tamoxafen which i have a few side affects but it is life and i am cancer free.

  • That sounds really tough brianna29, I do hope I get dealt a lucky hand and my margins are clear. I've been offered a tattoo that looks like a nipple and they said they could make the other breast smaller to be a match. I don't have a massive bossom so I'm currently hoping to keep my 'healthy' breast as it is and just be lopsided. As you say we are lucky that this means life without cancer so even though this seems a high price I'm willing to pay it to keep going and loving my family.

  • I am just waiting for my new nipple to be tatooed. Like you i am only small busted. There is a advantage to being small busted dont need much matching up. The plastic surgeon said i could have lypomodelling to even them up but dont think i am going to bother.

  • I've just had a DIEP reconstruction in March and I must say I'm pleased with the results. The thing I'm most pleased about is the reduction on the healthy side so I'm now much less lopsided and I can wear stripes!! It's the little things 😃

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