"I am sorry but you have breast cancer"...

Posted by Mandy Forteath on 22 Mar 2014, 06:53PM

These are the words WE have all heard at different times from different health professionals.

Over the past week I have heard three different women trivialise their diagnosis- why you ask?

Well because they "only needed a lumpectomy followed by minimal ongoing treatment ( in one case, and radiation for the other two) they somehow feel their diagnosis ranks lower on the "Breast Cancer Richter Scale". (my own little choice of words, girls!)

I am sorry but I disagree totally- we are all in the same boat when we hear those damned words "... you have breast cancer."

May you all travel well, experience less side effects of whatever you are undergoing, and be able to enjoy life again. But, the most important thing I can wish you is that you be KIND to yourselves.

2 members recommend this post


Robyn W's picture

Well said Mandy.We are all the same most definitely

How true

adean's picture

You are so right Mandy, the hardest part is the part it plays on your mind and your emotions sometimes that's harder than all the rest. Adean x

True words

margiemoo's picture

Yes thats right - because even so the worry will be whether it will return - every test from now on will bring the stress to me of what if it returns - it will be a constant battle. I am only at the beginning of my breast cancer journey - I have had my lumpectomy but will learn my treatment plan this week. 

We are here, Margie

Mandy Forteath's picture

And I hope the online support helps you this week and in the future. It is funny that some old sayings still apply- "a trouble shared is a trouble halved".
Breast cancer is different in every case because we are ALL different but as you wrote, we all have the same fears and worries.
I am ten years down the track in May, so take strength from my journey even though my story is not your story.


margiemoo's picture

Hi Mandy 

one of the things I love about this site is that I read about people who HAVE survived and been on this journey. It certainly gives me hope, and the support here is wonderful. I certainly will need that support over the next few months and appreciate it very much. and sharing with people who have been there is a help. xx

Well said Mandy

VivW's picture

Cancer is cancer, I had a friend tell me because I looked good, that I really wasn't sick. I just said no??? you think?? I HAVE CANCER, wanted to say "You stupid person".  My lumpectomy and radiation  was followed by total hysterectomy and ooperectomy. 

The local breast care nurse, even though she was a part of my multi disc team didn't bother to contact me?? Was that because I had a lumpectomy and then radiation with no chemo, didn't this rank on her richter scale?

We also get missed on the whole reconstruction issue, apparently I should be happy that I only lost 30% of my breast, the lopsidedness creates so many problems on its own.

And final whinge, after being hurled into early menopause and put onto Arimidex, most days are tough.  No part of this journey is easy.

Feeling good now that I have had my say.

Thanks Mandy for putting this out there.




Glad to be of service

Mandy Forteath's picture

and it is the "elephant in the room"! We can all relate to your words.

Hope today is a better one for you, Viv.

My chin is up, Mandy

Mandy Forteath


  • Name:  Mrs Mandy Forteath
  • About:  I experienced strong support from family and friends, and am happy to "give back" support. I am part of the Launceston Support Group

My diagnosis

  • Breast cancer experience: 
    I have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Diagnosis type: 
    Early Breast Cancer
  • Diagnosis date:  27/05/2004


  • Hobbies: 
    Cooking, Photography, Reading
  • Breast cancer-related interests: 
    Clinical trials, Depression and psychological impacts, Rural and remote issues, Workplace and career, Medical research

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