I'm further (at the very bottom of Blightown) and still don't have the item to repair my weapons at bonfires. And I'm still wearing all of my starter armor, only thing I've upgraded is weapon and shield.
You absolutely have to escape, no chance of survival with a broken weapon. Whether by the depth or up the waterwheel, its up to you. Its really not that hard to dash through the mobs. --- Future Lalafell Lancer~ Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru