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517119 tn?1285874992

Scared sick

Last Wed. a breast surgeon told me I might have cancer and if I do I need to get a masectomy. I found a lump on the outside of my left breast the beginning of this month. I was expecting my period and I just had stopped nursing 2 months ago so I thought it was hormonal. It didn't go away so I called my gyno and she sent me to get an ultrasound. While getting the test they had me immediately go get a mammogram. They found a 2 cm mass and pre-calcifications (as the gyno said) all around it. So I saw a breast surgeon 2 days later and he was very blunt. He said he "didn't like what he saw" and did a needle biopsy right then in the office. I won't know the results until next Wed whether it's cancer or not. I am freaking out - and so is my mother. I have 4 little kids under 9 years old. I am so scared of leaving them. I know that nothing is firm yet but by the way the surgeon talks it doesn't look good. He said that if it's not bc then he will do a lumpectomy but a huge amount of the breast will be taken out. I will also need chemo and/or radiation. If it is bc then I need a masectomy. For 3 days I have been nauseous and can't eat - all I want to do is sleep so I don't have to think about it. My husband was on a business trip while this was happening and I have been here alone with my kids. My mom has been over trying to help take care of us all but she is so upset it's not good for me - I have to tell her it will be ok. The first day after he did the biopsy they never told me to take it easy  when I got home (I did laundry and picked up the baby)  so that night I had to change the bandage by myself and I nearly passed out on the  bathroom floor. I kept getting cold sweats and feeling like I could throw up. That has subsided but I guess it was my mental state controlling my body. My breast is all purple and bruised. I just don't know what to do. I keep thinking of my kids and all the plans we had - they are getting done school soon so that wont be an issue but my husband works so much and he isn't home a whole lot so I will have to depend on friends and family. I feel like I just want to hibernate in my house. I dont want to go out or see anyone. I feel like my body has betrayed me. I nursed all these babies for a year each - I thought that was supposed to cut the bc risk by 10% each. Ha! What a load. The other thing is that 20 years ago I had a lump there and bleeding from the nipple. The breast surgeon I went to - who was apparently one of the best in Philadelphia - took me off the pill and I never had a problem again. But why didnt my gyno tell me to get a mammogram earlier? Was this lump hiding all this time and because of my hormonal shifts and stress (from moving into a new-yet unfinished completely- house) flared it up? I am so crazed with worry. I really needed to let it out. I read Tracy's whole post and found it very informative and the women that responded were just wonderful.

31 Responses
325698 tn?1216332354
i dont want to scare you even further, but my experience was almost identical.  i had a bleeding discharge, took me off of the pill and told me i was fine...3 yrs later, i had bc and a mastectomy.

now for the good news!  it is okay, really....i dont lie (except about shopping to my husband..)  you need to go thru your stages of grief and freakout....BUT then you need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and fix it....im not saying this to be mean but just to give you a reality check.....

you have kids...they still need you...a loss of a breast doesnt make you any less of a woman, wife or good mother.  you CAN do this...depression isnt going to make it go away or any easier to deal with.  you ARE strong...you are  a woman...and we can do anything!!!!

my mantra was ''suck it up''...and to look at the funny side...you have to find the humor in it...after you do that, then hopefully you will find the goodness and the joy in every other thing in your life.

im here for you and so are a lot of other people...take one step at a time and deep breaths...

please dont hide yourself from everyone who cares about you..you need them and they will want to help you...let them.

sorry if this seems a bit rambly...i dont mean to be brash or rude..i just want you to be okay...not only physically but mentally too...its a lot to process in a short period of time..but you CAN do it...i promise.

im here for you!

517119 tn?1285874992
Thank you so much for responding. I just found this website this morning and found it very encouraging. In the past 4 days I have been getting better a accepting the reality of it- especially if it is bc. But man, if I felt queasy just dealing with a needle biopsy, I'm just thinking how I'm gonna deal with surgery and chemo and radiation- which the dr has said I am going to need alot of. I dont know exactly what "alot" means. It is all so new to me. I have never been really close to anyone who has gone through it. I dont know what to expect.

After I posted the first note I took a shower and really looked at the purple scars and tiny wound that has stopped bleeding from the biopsy. I told myself in the mirror that I will live, I will get through this, I will never take my life for granted again. I will be here to  see my grandchildren. Live strong right!?

Suck it up is a great mantra! When I was feeling faint the other night - I was all by myself with just my kids asleep at 11pm - I thought - oh God what would happen if I had to call 911 - it scared me bad. But I crawled out and kept saying "I'm alright, I'm ok" and I was. But I just can't fathom yet what I'm going to have to go through. It just seems so surreal.

I guess after I start the process of it all - then maybe the humor can come it. I do try to look at the funny side of everything. My sister has told my mom that she will take family leave from work and come to NJ from WI to help with the kids. My sis-in-law lives 3 minutes up the street and my mom will take care of is all so thank goodness I have them and good friends who can help.

Thank you for your kind words and for being there. I am so used to doing everything myself it is difficult for me to depend on others. But gosh - if I can get through 4 c-sections hopefully I can get through this.

Avatar universal
Hi. Just wanted to let you know, I am here for support anytime as I am going through lots of scares myself. I will put you on Prayway-go to it as well. Right now, I have been encountering lumpy breasts thinking they were due to bf like you said. Now, I am so scared I can't see straight. I have breast discharge upon testing my breasts and a lump near my armpit, but this was looked at by sevearl drs and they thought it was unrelated. I went to a recent dr and she said she didn't see anything, but wanted to send me to a surgeon to see what he wants to do-tests, etc.. I had blood work for hormones done and they were fine, which is actually scary too. If it isn't hormones, I am wondering what else this could be. To put your mind at ease on this, my dentist basically had me in tears over a jaw lesion last month-hinting BIG time that he thought it was the C word. I had an oral surgeon look at this and do a biopsy, in which he thinks is ok, still waiting for the results. Apparently, though, I had a piece of bone that was showing a similar marking of a mass, but it was scary. I will keep praying for you. You will be ok-just tell yourself that. Please write anytime.
Avatar universal
BTW, were your breasts lumpy all around or in just one area? I have lumps everywhere and can't differentiate between them, except one area feels way more extended. I am really nervous.
314692 tn?1214084110
Hi Jen,

Guess who?? It's me Tracey. I am so glad that you were able to read the response I got from all of these wonderful ladies on this site.

Okay Jen first things first. We dont know yet for sure if it will come back positive, I think the not knowing is what makes us the most crazy. But yet again we dont know for sure if it is indeed breast cancer.

If it is breast cancer I PROMISE YOU that you will be fine. When I was waiting for the biopsy results to come back I was a BASKET CASE sick with worry!! I cried and cried and cried!! I also prayed alot. The not knowing drove me insane, until the day of my results a calmness came over me and I realized that all the worry that I had wasted my time with would not change my results. I realized that okay if I do have this I am a strong women and I can get through it. When the doctor told me you tested positive for breast cancer , a still peace came over me because the not knowing was over and now I could start the process of ridding my body of this disease. I felt a sense of power because I knew that from that point on the disease would no longer be in control. I also have faith that God will hold my hand through it all. I really love what you said about living, because you know what Jen, whether you are dealt this hand or not, you will live! I asked my doctor point blank "is this a death sentence", her response was no. I remeber thinking okay lets do this!!!

My tumor was 3cm. I am now half way through chemo. I will then have surgery and radiation. I look back to my diagnosis and it seemed like an out of body experience, but it's not, it's where I am at this chapter in my life and just like all these FABULOUS ladies I will get through it. I have good days of happiness and days of sadness, sick days and healthy days but no matter what kind of day im having one thing remains the same. I am getting through it!

Jen my dear I say all of this to say that no matter what the result cards hold for you, I can assure you that you will be stronger. You and I will come out of this better than we could ever imagine.

If by chance you have breast cancer I want you to know that this is a sisterhood. It really is. No one wants to be a part of this club but once you are here you cant imagine not knowing the wonderful sisters who will reach out to you through this journey. And it is just that. A journey to full recovery and great health. No matter what,  you will get there! I promise.

God bless you and your precious children

Your Friend,

517119 tn?1285874992
Thanks for responding and your support - I found the large mass about a month ago a week before my period. It was hard and it hurt - but I thought it was just hormonal - pms- stuff. I drink a mocha a day with caffeine  so I thought it could have been that too. But I didn't wait to call the dr - I called in the middle of my period and they waited for me to be over it to get an ultrasound. It was then I got the mammogram and the dr called me that day and told me about the other calcifications.

So I never felt any other lumps around it - maybe they are too small to feel - and I am so sore now from the biopsy (I have blue and yellow bruising) that I can't even touch the area.  But I might be able to feel the little nodes if I push hard enough.

Have you gotten a mammogram? I would definitely do that. Make sure you tell your dr that you want one. I never had one until the other day and I turned 40 last Dec. I am so angry that the insurance companies and Dr's nowadays tell women that they shouldn't get a mammo until 40 now - 10 years ago the age used to be 35. Maybe if I had pushed a little harder I could have gotten one earlier - and they would have found this lump before it got this big.  Apparently there was a report on tv the other night (my mom told me) that more and more younger people are getting all kinds of cancer. It has to be environmental - what we eat, drink, inhale. There are so many pesticides on the fruit we eat - I am so paranoid about giving my children this stuff - especially milk - all those hormones will throw them into early puberty and who knows what else can happen.

Sorry I rant but I am so angry at the way our country has gone downhill with the way we feed ourselves all these chemicals.

Please get the mammogram and give yourself peace of mind. It is better to find out now when its early.
517119 tn?1285874992
Hi Tracey

So glad to hear from you. I cried when I read your forum - it was so similar to my feelings. What great support and advice you got from these brave and strong women.

I have been crying too - everyday. The first 3 days I couldn't eat - I have lost 8 lbs since last Wed. A heck of a way to lose that unwanted baby weight huh?

You are so right- I will live - and live long and strong. Everyday is getting a little easier to deal with this. I am expecting the worst because I am a pessimist. I figure if I expect bc and it is then I am prepared. If it isn't then I am relieved. But the mornings are the worst - not knowing. This morning I woke up early before anyone else and I meditated on my yoga mat. I kept saying to myself "I will live strong, I will live long" and it seemed to help ease my mind - for a little while. I find that I feel nauseous in the morning and I need to go outside for air to clear my head.

I feel like I poisoned myself - isn't that weird? Like everything I have eaten, drank or smoked contributed to this. I feel so stupid that I haven't taken better care of myself for my children. They are so little and need me. I had to tell my 9 year old about what was going on - he heard me say cancer to my mom. He seems to be handling it ok. I don't think he understands everything but I'm trying to prepare him for the worst. He is really bright so hopefully he will be able to handle it. We were supposed to go on a vacation down the shore - rented a house for a week  - at the end of June- now I don't know what is going to happen. Will I feel ok? Will I be having treatments? I wish I could figure this all out now. I hate not knowing- I've always been a planner - for everything - so this really threw me. Life comes at you fast doesn't it?

How are you handling chemo? Are you sick? Nauseous? Are you getting a lumpectomy or mastectomy? Just one side? I feel like if they say I need a mastectomy then I would want both sides done - just so I never have to go through this again. I have read some of the other posts that alot of the women who had one side done wished they would have had the other side done at the same time. I want to look symmetrical you know? Of course you know. I am so overwhelmed by all this it makes my head spin.

Thank you for your kind words, prayers and support. All of the women on this site do seem like sisters. And I need all the sisters I can get!

I wish you great health as well - thanks again


314692 tn?1214084110
Hello Jen,

Okay I will start by saying that you and your little boy are both beautiful!

Yes the mornings were the worst for me to. It's like terror and worry would wake me up in the morning and I could not go back to sleep for anything. Sometimes the mornings are still rough because the first thoughts are WOW this really is not just a bad nighmare, it really is happening to me! But then I have to thank God that I did wake up , so the battle continues and for that I am greatful.

When I was waiting for the results I couldnt eat either and just like you i lost weight in the process. The not knowing makes us CRAZY!! This may sound strange but when you find out I think you are gonna feel better no matter what because knowledge is POWER!

The women on this forum are WONDERFUL! They have taken care of me as they will you. Just know that if you turn out to have breast cancer you are NOT alone!!! There are so many hands reaching out to you. My hand included.

Let me also tell you Jen, I remember when I got diagnosed the FIRST thing the doc told me was that this was NOT my fault. So please dont think that. You did NOT poison yourself!! And again we dont know what your diagnosis is gonna be yet. Once you know you will feel a little more in control of things, knowing is far better than NOT knowing for both mental and physical reasons.

Okay onto the chemo question. I dont think I am a good person to ask about chemo. What I am getting ready to share is what I have gone through, that by NO means will be what your experience. First of all I am er-,pr+,her2+, Stage 2b, my tumor was 3.3 cm and they know I have atleast 1 node involved. I am doing chemo first, then surgery, and finally radiation. Because I am her2+ I will have to have a drug called herceptin once every 3 weeks for A YEAR starting next month. Because I am young like you 40, my doc wants to be agressive in fighting this. She started me out on a dose dense chemo schedule which is a round every other week. Starting in June I will only have four more rounds of another kind of chemo called taxatere.

As for getting sick I cant lie yes I was sick! The first round was the worse for me. But I must tell you Jen I have a REALLY REALLY REALLY sensitive stomach!! The second was better, and the third made me sick but not bad like the first. I get my 4th round on WED so I am keeping a positive mind that it wont be bad. I never threw up but my stomach just hurt really bad I feel tired and achy at times.

Since starting chemo my tumor has shrunk a whole cm. So the verdict is still out on a lumpectomy or mastectomy, but I would just assume rid myself of the offending breast and the other breast because I dont want to be in this place again and I want them to look the same. But I dont know I will figure all that out when the time comes and the docs give me their input. And yes it is just in the one breast not the other.

I know this is all overwhelming and your head will spin, but cha know what Jen when you get your diagnoses the ball is back in your court. Look at it this way if you find out that you have this disease then it is no longer SNEAKING around in your breast. You will KNOW about it, and again knowledge is POWER. Look at getting your results as a way of regaining your power. You are gonna be just fine. I promise.

Your sister,


Avatar universal
hi,  sorry to hear youare going through this, but so am i.  i had bc almost 7 yrs ago.  i had a lump which unfortunatly was  breast cancer.  afer every mammo, i seem to need another biopsy for calcification clusters.  i get myself worked up every time and so far every other biopsy has been fine, even the suspisious looking calcifications.  i now face another biopsy on june 16th.  so, once again, i feel like my life could be turned upside down.  i guess we all have to "suck it up".  its hard and i know first hand how hard it is.  i try not to dwell because it doesnt help.  so, im trying really hard this time to worry only if i have to.  good luck to you.  
517119 tn?1285874992
Hi Tracey,

I'm so glad to hear from you. Your letters really let me know that I'm not alone. But boy, do I feel that way. Thanks for the compliment - that is a picture of Connor my 4 year old at his school. I have a 9 year old boy Alex and a 5 year boy Stephen and I had Ava, my precious baby girl last year -she is 15 months now. I look at them and think - I have to be here for them, I have to be strong. But I don't even want to go out of the house. I am forcing myself to take them out today to the craft store so they can keep creating (they love clay!) My best friend called and left a message yesterday to invite us all to a bar-b-q and I don't even want to talk to her let alone see anyone else but my family. I feel like I need to hibernate. Did you feel like that at first?

You are right knowledge is power-the not knowing is maddening. I feel sick to my stomach whenever I think about it. I am also trying to ween myself off of zoloft. I wanted to before this happened but now I really don't want to be on any drugs that I don't have to be. The nurse that I saw told me that she didn't think it was a good idea now but I only took it for post-partum depression. I guess she thinks I will get more depressed.

I find out on Wed the 28th my diagnosis. I will keep you all updated. I have gotten some  fabulous advice and support - especially from you. Thank you so much sister.

341137 tn?1287308643
Hi, I am sorry you are going through this.  I had a mastectomy two months ago, I also have four children 6, 8,8 and 10 and all through this, they are all I can think about, its so frightening, the thought of the children having to go through it all too.  It has driven me nuts, I have cried hysterically, lost weight like you, in fact you sound just like I was  - but I snapped back to me after the treatment - we are dealing with it and we are going to live longer for having got it sorted, we have to for our children and for ourselves.  I was going to keep off these sites for a while but cannot stop coming back on as we all need support and hopefully to give it too.  It breaks my heart that we are all going through this, but thankfully there is hope.  I am here for you too and pray that all is well.  Keep cuddling those children like I do.
469905 tn?1214172781
Hi Jen-
I am about your age and was diagnosed just this past March.  Believe me, the not knowing is the worst part about this whole ordeal.  I was extremely nervous until I knew for sure and then I was just plain mad.  The more info I gathered the more in control I felt and the better prepared I was to handle my diagnosis.  If you do have breast cancer, get a copy of the path report and then search the internet for answers.  I dissected every part of my path report and then went to www.breastcancer.org and did a seach for information.  I learned about er-/pr- and her2/neu+ and what that meant for me.  Just a word of caution though.  The first path report you receive might not be complete.  My preliminary report told me that I had DCIS and invasive ductal carcinoma, the grades, and whether the margins were clean or not.  I had to wait an additional two days to find out the hormonal status and the her2 status.  If this all sounds foreign to you don't worry.  The answers are just a click away on the computer.  

If your breast surgeon has told you that he didn't like what he saw, I think you probably need to prepare yourself for breast cancer.  This is not a death sentence and you will get through it like the rest of us.  I just started my chemo and I have handled it well so far.  I have four rounds of Cytoxin and Taxotere and I will be on Herceptin once a week for a year.  The Herceptin is a targeted drug for her2+ cancers and has very few side effects.  I haven't been nauseous at all but am waiting for my hair to fall out at anytime.  I can handle that though and I have some really cute scarves.

Try to do some light excercise.  This will help you both physically and mentally.  And then, if you do have breast cancer, change your thought process from victim to aggressor.  What would you do if a bully threatened your child?  Would you sit back and allow it to happen? NO!  You'd protect him and go after the bully and make sure he NEVER came near your child again.  That is the same way you have to look at cancer.  Go get it and make sure it never comes back again!

I have a 16 year old and a 10 year old and they both know exactly what is going on.  BUT, I have made sure that my attitude around them is upbeat and happy.  When I need to cry I use my husband's shoulder when I know that my kids won't see.  It is important that they see you handle this well. I have promised my 10 year old that when I go to have my head shaved that he can come along and we'll see what I look like with a mohawk.  I figure at first I can laugh about it and then, in my own time I will let myself cry a bit.  Then I'm going to be done.

If I can do this so can you.  Even if you have breast cancer, even if you have positive lymph nodes, even if you have to have a mastectomy (I did), you can get through this.  I wish you good luck on Wednesday.  Regardless of the outcome you will be okay.
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