Breast cancer
posted by Fairyandbutterfly
14 June 2022

Axillary clearance and chemo ahead. I'm 39 with an almost 8 yr old and a 3 year old. I feeling completely detailed after yesterday's lumpectomy and node results.

Last reply: 5 months ago

I don't know what to feel think, say or do.
I turned 39 in April and as a present I was told I have breast cancer.
I had a lumpectomy on May 31st and nodes were removed. They thought tumour was 2cm and that it didn't look like any nodes were effected.
I got my results yesterday.
Tumour was 3.4cm and 5 of the 6 nodes have cancer in them. I now have to have every single node removed armpit. I think its called axillary clearance. I was told I'm borderline stage 2/3 but that can go up based on results of axillary clearance.
Chemo will start about 6 weeks after this next op. And last for 6 months(maybe more, maybe less).
I have 2 young girls. Amira, meaning princess, is nearly 8 and a huge worrier and over thinks everything (like me) and Yara, meaning little Butterfly, is 3 and a huge Mammys girl and was breastfed up until 2 weeks before my first op. I havent told either of them yet what's going on. I was hoping to have lumpectomy and radio therapy as was thought initially based off ultrasound and scans. Now I will have to tell them.
Have you advice about how to tell a complete worrier and Mammys girl almost 8 yr old.
I don't know how or what to say. And also I'll have to say something to my 3 yr old. How do a explain things but not have it scary?
I'm scared. Amira will be 8 on Friday and all thats going through my head is .... Will I be alive for 9th?
Its so over whelming for me. I also have a tumour consistent with looks to be a meningioma which is parked aside for now. I feel like I've a huge mountain to climb and I don't know how to do it and still be a mammy. My husband works long hours. He's gone from 5.30 am til about 6.30pm so I do everything else, school runs,(about 25/30 min from home) activities (about 35 mins from home) and playdates, parties etc. Plus all in the house. We've cats, dog and chickens.

Is there anyone who is in similar situation to me? How did you manage everything? How sick were you? Have you recovered? Did it get worse?
I feel alone, I don't know anyone similar age with young family with this horrible diagnosis.

Plus since my op, I cane home to a 5 day tummy bug inn3 yr old then I got uti and the bug, now I'm over them and she gets a uti (started antibiotics yesterday
evening) yesterday (yes day of results) and 40.2 degrees fever I'm struggling to keep down.
How do ye manage cancer, chemo and surgeries with young family?
Sorry for long post. I feel completely derailed and overwhelmed.

Thank you for reading.



commented by lotusflower
14 June 2022

5 months ago

Hi Fairy&butterfly, you have certainly had a dose recently, and no wonder you are feeling overwhelmed, but you will get through this we all felt like that initially but just take one step at a time and you and your lovely family will get through this. This website has a section on telling your children so that can be your first port of call - the Irish Cancer helpline is such a valuable support so give them a call also. Every thing will fall into place, school runs will get sorted as will all the other day to day responsibilities, for now you getting better is your most important focus so take all the help & support you can get. Wishing you well, you are stronger than you know x

commented by n_d_2022
18 June 2022

5 months ago

i'm so sorry to read your story, cancer is a horrible journey and so overwhelming at times. I'm on a breast cancer journey too, although my diagnosis and treatment is different to yours. I'm nearly finished my chemo, i had to have 8 cycles, and have one left. i'll be having my surgery afterwards. I have 3 kids, a 9 year old, 7 year old and 3 year old and i was so worried about how to tell them. like previous poster mentioned, i read the information here on how to talk to children. i also bought a book on amazon called Cancer Party which explains the facts but in a very child friendly way with great illustrations. my 9 year old is also a worrier, but we read this book together and he read it himself a lot afterwards and it really helped him to wrap his head around it. i downloaded a free book on the kindle to read with my 3 year old that someone recommended called Mummys lump. again it's a good way to bring up the information with the kids, especially to tell them about physical changes that will happen to you before chemo starts (e.g. losing hair, needed to spend time in bed recovering etc.).
the best advice i was given was to be honest with them and leave them space to ask questions. my children surprised me how much they took it in their stride and they've been brilliant. i lost all my hair but we have a laugh about it together a lot of the time and they call me baldy :) the older 2 don't like my bald head too much but my 3 year old doesnt care.
i also came across a fantastic support group on Facebook for women under 45 with breast cancer. they have a 'secret' community too which you apply to join. it tells you how on the main page but essentially you send them a message with a little bit of information about your story and they will let you into the community. it's a UK & Ireland based page and you will find many women who have similar situation to you who will offer support and advice. the main page is this one:

in the 'about' section of this page they give you instructions on how to join the secret group.

best of luck with everything. it's a tough journey but you are strong and you will get through this. xxx

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