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Breast Cancer in men

Initial reactions to getting a breast cancer diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be a frightening and shocking experience, but reactions vary from person to person. Here men discuss the impact a breast cancer diagnosis had on them.

A lot of the men described feeling very shocked when they first heard that they had cancer. It was common to feel a range of emotions at the same time, including shock, fear for the future, anger, denial and even relief at knowing what was wrong. Sometimes these reactions were immediate, sometimes they came later.
 

BT said he had never been as frightened as when he got in to his car just after receiving his...

BT said he had never been as frightened as when he got in to his car just after receiving his...

Age at interview: 65
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 64
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 What happened is that they diagnosed it, and then [name of the surgeon] brought in a Macmillan nurse and he said “from now on she’s in charge, she’ll take you through everything and do everything”.

So, she talked me through it then she said, “Do you understand?” I’m being blasé and you know, I said, “Yes I understand it”. She says, “You don’t”. I said, “Oh yes I do”. She says, “You don’t”. She said, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do”, she says “next Tuesday” - this was on the Friday. She says, “Next Tuesday I’ll come up to your house. If you can get your family together and we’ll go through it. And if you’ve looked at the back of that breast cancer thing, there are questions. She says, “Write down”, she said “when you get home”, she said “peace and quiet, write down any questions you’ve got and I’ll try my best to answer them“. “Okay” I said, fair enough. So we arranged that. I walked out to car and that’s when it hit. Oh! And I’ve never been as frightened. I’ve had some injuries and that, but I’ll never been as frightened. And the first reaction is, I’m going to die. I mean the big C, it terrify- well as I say, it hit me about an hour later. And I actually sat in the car, I was- I went to hospital and then I were going to go to work. I actually sat in the car for about three quarters an hour, I daren’t move, I were just a wreck. And then I decided well I aren’t going to go to work and, better come home. So I thought, well I’d better ring home first because if I just pull up, there’ll be panic set in. So I rung home, explained the situation then came home.
 

Tom described the intense panic he felt when he was told his diagnosis. This lasted for a couple...

Tom described the intense panic he felt when he was told his diagnosis. This lasted for a couple...

Age at interview: 54
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 50
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And it’s extremely frightening having cancer, something I haven’t mentioned, which I should’ve mentioned was that when it was diagnosed, I had extremely severe sort of panic response.

 
Right.
 
In which I could scarcely breathe for a couple of weeks. It was really distressing. In fact it was the most distressing, taking into account the whole trajectory of having cancer.
 
And so you described this feeling of extreme panic and not being to breathe. How long did that last and how did that- when did that begin to change and...?
 
I think that sort of started to go away as the surgery approached. And after the surgery was over there was- it had gone. So it was between being initially diagnosed for a couple of weeks say. And it wasn’t associated with a conscious sense of panic or anxiety. It was just a visceral, violent response to the shock. So I actually had a pain right in the centre of my chest. Which really didn’t go away. And a sense of being- laboured breathing.
 
That sounds extremely unpleasant.
 
It was very unpleasant, yeah.
 

Mike was stunned, upset and angry when he heard he had cancer. It was a ‘double whammy’ because...

Mike was stunned, upset and angry when he heard he had cancer. It was a ‘double whammy’ because...

Age at interview: 59
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 59
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I remember looking at my wife and we were absolutely stunned, totally stunned. I didn’t know what to say. I think the first words that I uttered, “How bad is it?” Not such as, “How long have I got?” “How bad is it?” So he said, “Well, I need to tell you, it’s grade two.” So I said, “Well, what’s grade two?” “Well, grade one is so big and grade two is so big and it’s also gone to your lymph.” So… I was, well, I was deeply distressed, deeply shocked. There was a breast cancer nurse there and she was very good. Obviously, you know, the whole world suddenly fell underneath me because I was also put in a position with my place of employment where I’d been working for 16 years and they were, in the early part of the year were, you know, discussing redundancy for me. This was a family business but we won’t go into that, and I didn’t need both double whammies one on top of each other.
 
Can you still remember that raw emotions that you had at the time?
 
Yeah, very much so. It felt like my stomach had… it’s like you’ve been on one of these ghost train rides and suddenly something like that, my stomach suddenly sort of hit the floor. And I was speechless. I didn’t actually burst into tears. I just, that was just… didn’t know what to say. I did burst into tears a few days later with the shock of it, and of course, I think what it is, I’ve had counselling for some time, is that yes, you are angry, you are emotionally upset, you are very angry, why me? Well… it’s, that is, I suppose that’s nature. That’s the way it goes, but yes, you do feel anger, yeah. What have I done? What have I done to deserve it? Why hasn’t that murderer who’s committed, who’s spending time, you know, 25 years in prison, the one… the Yorkshire Ripper, why hasn’t it happened to him? He’s killed and done all these terrible things, what have I done? I haven’t done anything to anybody, but you can’t dwell on that. It is an emotional thing right at the very beginning, and I think also talking to the counsellor that I have been talking to has got me through it, has really sort of put my mind at ease, whereas basically just stop thinking of the negative side of things, you’ve got to start thinking of the positive, and this is what I have been trying to do, and sometimes you can’t help… going back and regressing back into the negativity. It does happen, it’s just human nature, but I haven’t got to a point that I’ve had to go and see my doctor and have antidepressants. No. I’ve had to combat it the difficult way. My wife’s been, my family’s been very, very supportive, and if you haven’t got supportive families then, you know, that’s… that’s very difficult.
 
 
 
The shock of hearing the news could be all the more dramatic if men had otherwise been feeling well.
 

Robert had been feeling fine and thought his GP was overreacting when he referred him. It helped...

Robert had been feeling fine and thought his GP was overreacting when he referred him. It helped...

Age at interview: 70
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 70
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When you went to the GP and he said he was referring you on, did you have any suspicions then? Coz obviously, he, or did you feel like you were ..?
 
I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, no – I didn’t really. Coz I felt fine. I never… I thought, is he overreacting a bit – but I didn’t really think there was anything to worry about. [My friend was] telling me, “You’ve nothing to worry about,” I mean, that definitely – so it came as a real shock, it really did. That took a wee while to cope with, to come to terms with. That was probably the worst time – coming to terms with it, you know?
 
Right. What was difficult about that?
 
Just the, you know, the fact that I had cancer. Although I never sort of, I didn’t think I was going to die because they were very, the consultant was very positive when I went, you know, at the beginning and you know, they said there was a very, you know, high cure – that’s not the right word.
 
 
Some men described an even greater sense of shock when they were diagnosed because they didn’t know that it was even possible for men to get breast cancer (see ‘Men’s awareness of breast cancer in men before their diagnosis’).
 

David didn’t know men could get breast cancer so was really shocked when he got his diagnosis. He...

David didn’t know men could get breast cancer so was really shocked when he got his diagnosis. He...

Age at interview: 57
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 52
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 The specialist, was sort of sat at her desk and sat down by the side. “Right, mister, how are you doing?” “I’m fine, yeah.” We just had a chat and I noticed out the corner of my eye these people coming in from all directions, you know, until there were about five people stood around me and then she got down, she says, “Yeah, you know, you found this lump, we did a… ultrasound, a mammogram, fine needle core biopsy”, you know, “We’re sad to tell you you’ve got breast cancer.” I’m just… what? “Men don’t get…” “oh yes, you do, and you’ve got it”. So you’re just thinking… all you’re hearing is the cancer. I mean, all the people I’ve ever known had cancer, they died within a short period, and that’s all your thinking, not knowing how bad it is and not knowing that, as I said, men could get breast cancer. She’s telling me all that was gonna be going on, you’ll be having an operation and blah, blah, blah and you’ll be doing until we open you up, and you’re just thinking cancer, cancer, cancer. That’s all you hear is the cancer. How do you tell your loved ones you’ve got cancer? You know? It’s a lump, for God’s sake. I’ve had lumps all over the place and they’ve been nothing. Anyway, eventually you’re told that you’ll be having a mastectomy, a full mastectomy to the right side, depending until we open you up how bad it is what, you know taking the lymph nodes and whatever else, so yeah, fine, and you’re eventually given a load of leaflets and taken away to, you know, with a breast care nurse to give you the booklet with all these leaflets, “Take these leaflets away, [name]” and, you know, “this’ll tell you all you need to know.” So fine. You’re given, you know, after about half an hour or whatever, you’re walking out the hospital, walking back to my car and just sat in my car just going… how long have I got? Simple as. How do you tell, you know? I’ve got to phone [wife] who’s at work and I’ve got to phone the children who are both at work and I’ve got to go back to work meself and tell the people there I’ve got… you know, I’ve got a damn cancer. And your world just falls apart, really. As I say, I sat in my car about twenty minutes, something like that, before I went better phone, got on the mobile and phoned [my wife]. Got everybody told and we met, met at home to decide the future. I say it was the 19th of December so it’s just before Christmas. I thought well, what kind of Christmas are we gonna have, you know? And New Year as well, I wonder if this is gonna be the last one, etc, and then you’re just on edge then all the way through the operation. 

 
Another factor which could affect men’s initial response was their past experiences of cancer in family and friends. If family members or friends had died from cancer, some men wondered whether they were going to die. RG said, “It’s almost as though the world stops.”
 

Stuart felt gobsmacked and faint when he was told he might have breast cancer but then regained...

Stuart felt gobsmacked and faint when he was told he might have breast cancer but then regained...

Age at interview: 40
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 36
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I had the appointment, went in, and of course, being a specialist they knew sort of something wasn’t right straight away, but they didn’t tell me that straight away, they sort of took me through somewhere else, had the mammogram, then they looked at it and then they took me into another room and said, “Yes, we’ll do a biopsy.” Did that, and then after that, about ten minutes later, they took me through to another room, sort of nice powder-coloured lilac room. And still didn’t think it was gonna be bad news but my wife thought “why are they taking us in here?” and that’s when they sort of sat us down and said, “Well, we think it’s breast cancer, but we’ve got to wait for the result of the biopsy just to be 100 percent sure.” Of course, that sort of hit me, I was… gobsmacked. I didn’t know what to say. I went… I can remember obviously being the summer it was hot and I felt really faint. I had to lay down in the hospital [laughs]. My wife was crying obviously cos of the news and my son was with us as well, my eldest, [son], in the room as well, and… so he heard everything that was being said, and he was just sort of comforting [my wife] and… there’s me sort of laid back and them getting me a cup of tea, putting the fan on, this sort of thing, so it was a real bolt out the blue and it was one of my wife’s biggest fears, to be told that she’s got breast cancer, and it was me that was being told, so it was a real sort of shock. After sort of regaining my composure and that and… and sort of taking it on board, I then sort of started talking to the nurse about what had happened and the surgeon was there as well. [name of surgeon] and… said, “What happens next? What’s the sort of timescale?” and this sort of thing, and they said, “Well, we get the result back but we can start planning things now, the worst sort of scenario.” And they said, “Obviously if it is cancer then you’ll have to have a mastectomy”, and then obviously going on from there, different treatments depending on what we find. So… I said “OK, fair enough.”

 
When you were given your breast cancer diagnosis and obviously it came as a terrible shock, do you think it was because, or maybe it was both, that it was a breast cancer diagnosis or it was just a cancer diagnosis?
 
I think a cancer diagnosis in the first instance because that word to anybody is just fear, isn’t it, really? And… from my own experience my granddad died of cancer, and it was lung cancer, and I can remember seeing him in hospital and how ill he was and it’s things like that that can affect you as well. You think “oh, God”, you know, could that be me somewhere down the line? But happily it wasn’t and the advances these days with drugs and technology and things like that are so great that you’ve got a far better chance of survival when you’ve got cancer than you did, you know, 25 years ago or whatever. 
Dan talked about how he was already suspicious that something might be wrong when he was sitting in the breast clinic.  He described a mix of emotions but put on a brave face whilst he was getting his diagnosis.
 

Dan suspected something might be wrong when he was waiting in the hospital. The doctor was...

Dan suspected something might be wrong when he was waiting in the hospital. The doctor was...

Age at interview: 52
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 50
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 When we went to the hospital, where I was sitting, there are all patients, breast cancer patients – then I was thinking, “I think I’ve got something wrong here,” yes.

 
Why did you think that then?
 
I don’t know – the atmosphere and the place, and when I went in, the doctor that was looking after me, he was taking his time – so I did suspect that there is something cooking inside.
 
And how did you feel about that?
 
I took it lightly REPEATS. The next day, the next time, when I went there, it was confirmed and I was smiling. I was smiling – the doctor asked me, “What’s the problem with you?” I said, “Well, because I’m in safe hands – I’m ok.” So, but I kept on smiling, right? Only my wife, she cried – I don’t know why she cried but then I slowly, gradually, some time, I realised what’s going on and then I had, I went through the same, how we call it, same feeling as other people do feel about cancer and I never knew that it will be, one day it will be me.
 
Getting cancer?
 
Yes.
 
Why did you think that?
 
Usually you don’t get something on you – these type of things, you always hear or read somebody is getting that. So one day, when it is on me, then I realise nobody is immune, yes.
 
So when you were sitting with the consultant and he said, “I’m sorry, it’s breast cancer,” how did that make you feel?
 
I was surprised, a bit. I was surprised a bit, but I knew that it was coming since the last week – something is going on. So I expected that when it was confirmed. So that was it, and I can’t cry, I can’t weep, this is part of life now, it is true, and I have to face it – so I said I was brave, yes.
 
Have you ever cried? Have you ever gone and cried in private?
 
Yes. Not after that, but one day I was having one of my relatives were talking about, and I cried with him. Just in front of him and nobody else. And during chemos, yes, I cried secretly, yes.
The way that men were told their diagnosis could affect their initial reactions. Sometimes the medical staff were able to give some reassuring news which made it a little easier for men to cope with their emotions.
 

Steve was grateful that he had been informed of his diagnosis in a plain, straightforward manner....

Steve was grateful that he had been informed of his diagnosis in a plain, straightforward manner....

Age at interview: 58
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 58
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My own experience was that all the health professionals that I came against knew their job 100 per cent, there was no ifs and buts about it, they all said what I wanted to hear, which was great. The way that the news was broken to me about the operation, if it had been said in a loose way, I would have not accepted it, I don’t think. It was because it was plain and straightforward, to the point, “You are going to have a mastectomy, that is what is going to happen,” you know, “I haven’t got a choice in the matter,” to be quite honest with you. Well, I have, but it’s not a good choice. You either have it, or you suffer the consequences. So I was really grateful that there was no, you know, no punches spared. But it meant a lot to me, on reflection. Not necessarily on the day, because you don’t want to hear the words anyway, when somebody says you’ve got, you know, aggressive cancer – the word “aggressive” was quite poignant – but I think it’s the, the fact that everybody – the breast care nurse went though everything with me, the fact that I had more-or-less 24/7 support from her specifically, I was dealing with just her, you know, we got friendly, it was a nice environment. You didn’t, she didn’t – she wasn’t a “healthcare professional” in my mind, she was a friend at the time. And that was very important to me. So, you know, be a healthcare professional, but if you’re dealing with a patient, you’ve got to be their friend as well. Especially in this sort of, this scenario. And I work in a hospital, and I do see junior doctors, and I know that they do say the wrong things, and it’s just because they don’t get feedback. I think, once they’ve had their first wrong dialogue with a patient, they learn very quickly. But all the people I dealt with were spot on. 

 

Mohammad was shocked at first but within five minutes was calm and able to smile. The nurse came...

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Mohammad was shocked at first but within five minutes was calm and able to smile. The nurse came...

Age at interview: 45
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 40
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And he told me you got this breast cancer. We remove your right breast and all tissues, which ones might be affected in future and I said okay. That’s when I heard it. And I- this is very hard to… when you heard like this, very shocked. And I keep calm at that times. Try to, calm- when he call their colleagues, then they make arrangement for the operation. And in two three weeks I had operation. And… yeah, next day when I come back home and nurse she came home. And she tell me about the cancer, don’t believe anything and you know the- when, I have no idea what to do, what happen next. And she told me everything that "don’t worry, this is curable and treatable and you know, don’t worry".

 
Did you go by yourself to these appointments, or take somebody with you?
 
I went with my wife to the appointments. But that day when they called me, I didn’t take anybody, I went alone. Then after I take my wife with me.
 
Was your wife with you when they told you it was breast cancer?
 
No, nobody was. Just by myself.
 
So was that quite difficult being by yourself or did you prefer to hear it-?
 
First when I heard it, it feel very hard. After five minutes I’m very calm and it’s okay. I started smiling.
 
Did you get a lot of information given to you at-?
 
Yes, they give me a lot of information, yeah.
 
Written-
 
Yeah written and verbally.
A few of the men did not feel any immediate sense of shock or fear. One or two felt relieved that they now knew what was wrong and were going to get the right treatment to help them get better. 
 

Derek did not feel any sense of fear when he got his diagnosis, although he did wonder what going...

Derek did not feel any sense of fear when he got his diagnosis, although he did wonder what going...

Age at interview: 69
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 68
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And you never had any of that kind of sense of fear about your breast cancer at all?

 
No, none at all.
 
Not even, not even sort of thinking before the operation or…?
 
Well when, when they actually said to me that it was definitely cancer, it didn’t frighten me at all. As I say I just sort of thought, ‘well’, you know, ‘if it is, it is’. And, but that didn’t frighten me at all but, as I say the other experience did frighten me.
 
And so you didn’t feel any of that sense of fear when the doctor first said that you perhaps should go and have a biopsy just to, have a check about it?
 
No, no, I mean I was, I was probably more curious from the point of view that, you know, being naïve thinking that you know a man with cancer. But no, there was no, no fear in it at all. ‘Cos I thought well, just take life as it comes.
 
And you weren’t worried about the operation?
 
No, considering that I’d never been in hospital. I, I wouldn’t say that I was looking forward to it, but I, I did think, oh, well it’s an experience that I haven’t had before, and you know, I mean having the anaesthetic, because I’d never had an anaesthetic before. I don’t think I’d ever been unconscious before other than when I was very young I had a tooth out with gas. But I mean that was, that’s the only thing (laugh).
 

David was on his own when he got his diagnosis. He just wanted them to remove the cancer.

David was on his own when he got his diagnosis. He just wanted them to remove the cancer.

Age at interview: 60
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 51
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 When you got your diagnosis, when they told you you had breast cancer, were you there by yourself or was someone else with you?

 
I was on my own.
 
You were on your own?
 
Yes.
 
And how did you feel when they told you that?
 
I thought it was very interesting. They were very surprised. They thought I’d be upset but I thought it was interesting.
 
Right, OK.
 
Just thought, well it’s cancer. Let’s take it out!
 
So did you just feel that you wanted it done? You wanted the cancer gone?
 
Yes.
 
And how did you feel after the operation when the cancer was gone?
 
I felt alright.

Others felt that they were numb or in denial when they initially heard the news and it was only later that the reality hit them. A few men just wanted to find out what needed to be done and to get on with the treatment.
 

RG describes feeling ‘a bit numb’. He didn’t feel emotionally prepared for the news even though...

RG describes feeling ‘a bit numb’. He didn’t feel emotionally prepared for the news even though...

Age at interview: 64
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 62
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 Can you remember how you reacted to the news?

 
I think I was a bit numb really. You know you sort of- you are prepared, you know you’re prepared intellectually, your mind is sort of prepared, but your feelings aren’t. And [laughing] and you go crikey, “Is this the end of the road?” you know.
 
Is that- was that your initial thought then, this is it?
 
No. No I don’t think it was. No I think my initial, my initial reaction was… well… the wind was taken out my sails, I just, you know you’re told something like that and, it’s almost as though the world stops you know you think crikey, you know. Yeah. I remember, this is nothing to do with that, but I remember my brother, I was with him when he’d been told that he’d got pancreatic cancer. That was, yeah. So it’s not easy. You get through it. 
 

Eddie was in a ‘haze’, dejected and ‘in denial’ when he was told he had breast cancer. He didn’t...

Eddie was in a ‘haze’, dejected and ‘in denial’ when he was told he had breast cancer. He didn’t...

Age at interview: 70
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 69
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 But there again of course I had to wait then until the fourteenth of May I think it was for a- for the results to come through. And so I returned to the hospital, saw the same consultant surgeon, and unfortunately it was one of those very strange things. I- you could suggest that she was extremely brutal with me-

 
Right.
 
-inasmuch that there again- how do you tell somebody he’s got- he, she or he’s got cancer, especially a man...
 
Yeah.
 
... who doesn’t believe that he’s- that this really existed in relation to men. Well not any great knowledge anyway. Quite unfortunately, as the case happens. But, she just basically turned to me and said, “This is very surprising Eddie, you’ve got breast cancer”. Well (laughs) this is- I don’t- I can vaguely remember being in a haze, inasmuch that this was- a. wasn’t happening to me, I was totally dejected, I was totally in denial. And I remember saying to her, “You’ve got to be joking haven’t you? You are joking?” And she said- and then I, before she said anything I said, “You’re not are you?” That’s the first reaction is that something is wrong. In consequence, thankfully the, who was to become my breast care nurse, was also in attendance, quite for obvious reasons. I didn’t appreciate why she was there, and of course now I- soon as I was told she was there to support. And she put her arm around me and what have you. Then there was a- I suppose virtually a split second of… tearfulness. I think one tear came out. At that point I shrugged. It was something that stepped in was my father’s genes, I was brought up to be a stiff upper lip.
 
Right and so that …
 
(Overtalking) That sounds rather conceited I know, but it’s- that’s the way I was brought up. This- although this was happening to me it wasn’t.
 
Right.
 
I was completely in denial. There was no doubt about that. Having said that, I thought to myself well, basically where do we go from here? I remember at my mother’s funeral if it makes any sense at all, that my father who was standing next to me as the coffin went through the curtain, in the crematorium, he dropped- I held him up, you know, he only dropped a few- six inches or so, he was dropping to the floor. I held him up and he shrugged me off and that was exactly the same attitude. These were his genes that were now operating in me. This was something that was, you know that was, I was expected to sort of stand straight and take it. Then came the form of acceptance, a feeling of acceptance, which is a little bit unusual.
 
How long would you say it was between you feeling that sense of denial and then beginning to feel that sense of acceptance?
 
Probably the same day in actual fact.
 

Steve was ‘comfortable when he first heard, then became quite emotional when he misheard further...

Steve was ‘comfortable when he first heard, then became quite emotional when he misheard further...

Age at interview: 58
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 58
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So I had to wait, then, another three days – I think it was three or four days – called into the breast clinic again, where I saw the surgeon, and then he sort of broke the news that it was definitely aggressive breast cancer.

 
Right.
 
I don’t think I was worried at that stage, because I felt quite comfortable, you know, everything had been explained to me quite well, so I was very comfortable about it. More involvement with the breast nurse then, she sort of explained what the procedures were going to be. And then the surgeon said, “Yes, we’ve got to do a full mastectomy, basically because with men there’s very little tissue, so they have to play safe and take what they can out.
 
So as I said I waited a week, called back into the breast clinic, and that was quite an emotional time, because I thought, this is going to be the point where I either have chemotherapy or radio therapy, and I was convinced I was going to have one or the other, and it’s quite funny, cos I misheard the surgeon, when he said, “It’s all clear,” I don’t know what I thought but I – I did get quite tearful, I was quite, quite emotional, cos I’d thought, ”Oh no, this is going to be a long slog,” I really wasn’t looking forward to any more treatment, to be quite honest with you. But it was an all-clear all the way down the line, and he said, you know, “There’s no more...” I said, “Well, what sort of treatment am I going to have,” and the only treatment he said was, “Well, you’ve got to take tamoxifen for about 5 years, which will obviously, you know, stop any further cancer cells growing” – or try to – and then I sort of changed from being quite miserable to sort of quite euphoric really (laughing).
 
So it was immediately after that, and then did that carry on for a while?
 
Yeah, I mean, I was quite happy, I sort of bounced out of there, really. But I had seen people going in and coming out with probably different results, so I was a little bit concerned going in there. And then for me to totally mishear what he said, it hit me like a brick wall. It was the first real emotional impact that I’d had, all the way through the treatment and sort of diagnosis. I’d more or less taken everything as it happened quite well, to be quite honest with you, but, I mean, that was the most, it hit me like a brick, and I thought, “Oh no, this is, you know, possibly a problem.”
 
It was so straightforward, I, you know, I look back on it, and I think, well, it was, it just happened and went. So the impact with not having any sort of follow-up chemotherapy or radiotherapy, probably didn’t hit me until around Christmas time. That was quite an interesting time, cos I’d had the surgery in September, early September. When I got to Christmas, I started thinking of my family, and all the things that are sort of precious to me, and I was thinking whether or not it had gone a different way, I imagine that I hadn’t been diagnosed, or I had to have radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, I would have felt in a totally different way. But I really, I dunno what I’m really saying here, it’s sort of, the impact of it all, because I didn’t have any impact during surgery, the impact in my head hit me around Christmas time, and I really felt sort of quite you know powerfully aware that I’d had breast cancer. 


Last reviewed June 2017.
Last updated October 2013.
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