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All TopicsForum: Just Diagnosed → Topic: how long between diagnosis and surgery?

Topic: how long between diagnosis and surgery?

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 09:52PM

Mallory107 wrote:

Need some advice here on my timeframe.  This seems to be taking forever and it is driving me absolutely crazy. 

mammogram  10/12, biopsy 10/18, results  10/21 cancer in left breast

first meeting with surgeon 10/28 where I was told it was one spot of DCIS at 0 stage and another spot of IDC 1.4 cm at stage 1  Est+/Pro+ Her- grade 2.  There was another suspicious spot of calcifications to which the surgeon sent me for an MRI which showed nothing.  To be sure I got the spot biopsied and it turned out to be cancer as well. 

Met again with the surgeon on 11/15 where she suggested a mastectomy. 

Met with a plastic surgeon on 12/1 and decided to do the implant reconstruction.  She said that her secretary would coordinate with the breast surgeon to get me a date for surgery.  I still haven't heard from either for the date.  I am going crazy with this.  It is esp hard during the holiday season.  I have so many obligations-not the least of which is my kids Christmas!!!  I just feel like I am one in a number to them and they don't give a hoot how close to Christmas they get with this.  I am also super worried that it is spreading while they wait-like if they would have operated a month ago it would not be in the nodes and now it will be b/c of their delay.  They tell me this is not the case but it is hard to believe.  Meanwhile I have lost a ton of weight (kind of yay) and many hours of sleep worrying about this.  I am in limbo here and just want to start this so I can get on with my life.

So what do  you guys think-does this seem like an excessively long amount of time to wait?  Do you think it is putting me in danger?  If they make it for 12/23 would I be crazy to put it off until after the holiday(I have 2 little boys)?  Lastly-the closer we get to Christmas I am worried that the senior people in the hospital will have that time off and the "B" team will be there for me-the newest and most inexperienced of the staff.  Am I crazy here?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Posts 1 - 15 (15 total)

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Dec 7, 2011 10:32PM Trisha-Anne wrote:

Hi Mallory

I don't think it's an emergency to have breast cancer.  I had my biopsy on 14 Sept and didn't didn't have my mastecomy until 14 October.  My cancer was quite aggressive, and the breast surgeon advised me that a wait of that long wasn't of any consequence. 

It gives you time to sort yourself out and get things straight in your mind.  Of course I wouldn't put it off too long, that wouldn't be good.  But I don't know what the "guidelines" are for this, or even if there are any.

I'm sure there will be someone come along who will know if there is.

Meanwhile - don't stress yourself - I know easier said than done.  I too lost a lot of weight in between diagnosis and treatment - but unlike you - I slept like a baby - I was exhausted from all the worry.

Let us know how you get on.

((((hugs)))))

Trish

I have made a long journey and been to a strange land and I've seen the dark man very close ... Thomas Wolfe

Dx 9/17/2010, ILC, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 7, 2011 10:36PM SpecialK wrote:

I had my biopsy on 9/22/10 and didn't have BMX until 11/1/10 - I know it is hard not to worry, but you really do have time.  Good luck!

Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Grade 3Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 11/01/2010 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 12/06/2010 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 12/21/2010 Reconstruction (Left)Surgery 01/07/2011 Reconstruction (Left)Surgery 01/21/2011 Reconstruction (Left)Chemotherapy 02/17/2011 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 02/17/2011 HerceptinSurgery 07/20/2011 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Left)Hormonal Therapy 08/01/2011 FemaraSurgery 02/24/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 06/20/2012 ArimidexSurgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (Both)Hormonal Therapy 07/18/2013 FemaraSurgery 03/07/2014 Reconstruction (Both)Surgery 04/02/2014 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Left)
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Dec 7, 2011 10:48PM encoremom wrote:

I don't think your wait is all that unusual and I was also told that waiting to get a treatment plan and surgery wouldn't cause any harm.  I had my biopsy 7/31/08 and BMX 10/6/08 due to getting a second opinion and to coordinate the breast and plastic surgeons' schedules.  I bet it is difficult to think about all this over Christmas with little ones!  Call one of the doctor's schedulers to see if you can find out what's going on.  I know there were times when I had to be proactive like that because I was going crazy waiting.  Sending good thoughts your way.. 

Debbie - BMX, DIEP and Arimidex.

Dx 8/8/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2011 10:55PM dawn31337 wrote:

Mine was a month.  Count on a year going through this crap, from surgery to chemo to reconstruction.  A year at best.  I can give you a project plan (mpp) if anyone needs one.  I did EVERYTHING I could do to make it less than a year.  For some of you it will work, for me it didn't. In the grand scheme of things though one year isn't a make or break thing.  For that one year, you only go through the rotten for < 2 months.  So 83% of the time, you will feel fine.  That's a win.

IDC stage IIa 2cm,grade3,TN, 1/6 nodes. BLM 10/15/10,4xAC;4xdd T Done!!! BRCA1/2 neg TE exchange 4/12. DONE! Nipple 7/18, didn't heal right...new implant on left 8/17.New TE on left 8/24.Exchange 12/13.Good to know NED! Tattoo 6/21

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Dec 8, 2011 06:55AM, edited Dec 8, 2011 06:55AM by beachymom

Welcome to a spot no one wants to be, so glad you found this site though. Lots of great info and support here.

My journey started in early September and my surgery was Oct. 25. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I too had trouble eating and sleeping. My BS gave me a script for anxiety and something to help me sleep without asking, she said it's there if you need them! I needed them!

I'm no expert but if I had little ones, I would wait until after the holidays if they scheduled you that close to Christmas. Perhaps you could make an appointment with the breast surgeon and discuss your feelings on this. See what he/she has to say. My surgery was coordinated with the plastics office while I waiting a the scheduler's desk. 

Good luck to you, keep us posted with your dates.

Keely

Diag 9/13/11; BMX with immediate TE's 10/25/11; cancer both sides, left IDC, right ILC; 0/2 nodes; 0/1 nodes; no chemo; no rads; 4/12/12 Exchange to Mentor 650 Moderate Profile

Dx 9/13/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 8, 2011 07:01AM sewingnut wrote:

I also waited a month for SX. I was diagnosed in December 2010 but waited until Jan this year for SX. Being the practical one I wanted to have everything on this years deductable.

Dx 12/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 8, 2011 08:35AM Kate33 wrote:

Mallory- I know it seems wrong to wait.  You just want it out of you and it feels like a ticking time bomb!  But, in reality, it probably took a very long time to grow as big as it has and a month or so is not going to make much of a difference if at all.  (Now if you were stage 4 it would be a different story.)  I only had DCIS, not IDC, but was DX 12/09 and didn't have MX until 3/10 because that's how long I had to wait to get into a BS who did nipple sparing.  Try not to get too stressed and use the time to really prepare- research, maybe get second opinions, prepare your home for post-MX, arrange child care, etc.  I think it will actually be better to have the surgery after the holidays.  If you had it before you'd be trying to do all the things we do to make the holidays special for our kids and it would be very difficult.  Enjoy this time with your kids and when your surgery date arrives you will be prepared.  Good luck with everything.  (((hugs)))

Kate33 "Yes, they're fake (@)(@) the real ones tried to kill me."

Dx 12/27/2009, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodesSurgery 03/08/2010 Mastectomy (Both)
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Dec 8, 2011 09:24AM MaxineO wrote:

Mallory- I had my diagnosis 12/1 and didn't have MX until 2/11.  Getting a second opinion (and all the new tests) and coordinating with a PS took a while.  My BS has a saying that BC is a psychological emergency, not a medical emergency.  That gave me some comfort.

It is true that the holidays don't mean a lot for scheduling from docs. I had one that said he could do it 12/24 and I'd go home 12/25.  If 12/23 works for you, go ahead and do it. Celebrate with your kids before the surgery.  It's only one year, and you'll have many more regular Christamases.

Frankly, I wonder how docs can take any time off in December with everyone trying to get all their procedures in before the new deductible!

Best of luck to you.

Dx 12/1/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 1, 4/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 8, 2011 01:32PM gingergirl2 wrote:

 Mine was a little more than 2 months. The doctor would have done it sooner, but we had
vacation plans and I didn't want to have a long driving trip after  surgery.

If you are really concerned about it, call your doctor and discuss it. I had a double mastectomy in August (no radiation or chemo needed, yea!). I'm sorry you are so stressed, but the surgery is not nearly as bad as you probably think it will be.

I still have the surgery ahead to replace the expanders with implants.     He wanted to do it at the beginning of December, but like you, I had things to do and I don't like surgery ;).

 Hang in there, you'll get through this.

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Dec 8, 2011 01:50PM SheChirple wrote:

Timelines vary, but months is certainly not a long delay.

Mammo: 9/12/2011

Biopsy: 09/29

Results: 10/14

Multiple consultations for decision making purposes...

Surgery: BMX, SNB with TE implants 11/28.

Follow up with final pathology 12/6.

The rest is yet to come.  The surgeons were all very upfront with me about timelines.  The plastic surgeon, specifically, prepared for a for 2 year journey from date of surgery to final acceptable results.  He plans on plenty of disappointments, nip and tuck, revisions, exchange and more tip tucks to get a good result.  I think he was the most realistic of all those I talked to.  He pointed out that even if all is as good as it gets, there WILL be nip and tuck and revisions along the way.  Be prepared.  He gave me his commitment to my care and recovery if I gave him time.  So....2 years it is. I will be 50 on 3/12/2014.  It is my goal to be the "new and improved me" by that date.

I'm planning a big party!!

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body.

Dx 10/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 11/28/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 07/23/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 08/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)Surgery 05/24/2013 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
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Dec 9, 2011 11:24PM, edited Dec 9, 2011 11:28PM by Miles2Go

No you are not crazy, you are wise to think, ask questions, and consider opinions posted here ~ bottom line is what works for you.  Here's what I've learned.  1)  Advocate for yourself; if a physician's office is slow to call, call the office & ask for what you want/need/require.  2)  There is no merit badge for expediciency (I believe most, note qualifying word, cancer is slow growing; however ask your surgeon for his/her opinion).  3)  Eat!  My experience typing morbidity and mortality reports is people with a few extra pounds (10#) fair better after surgery than thin or underweight people.  4)  Take advantage of the time between now and the "best time" for your surgery to do whatever is necessary to make life easier for yourself and family post-op ~ I called my surgeon's office even before I met her to schedule my surgery date, due to many practical considerations (a new job start date, and more)~her assistant was kind and helpful selecting a date for me.

We all want surgery to be "over;" yet you've made an excellent observation about hospital staffing during the holiday timeframe.   I've no idea about that question; however, it's a very logical question.

My arms are around you with a hug, Mallory. 

~promises to keep, and miles to go...

Dx 9/29/2011, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 1, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 10, 2011 01:24AM coraleliz wrote:

With 2 little kids, you might want to put it off until past Xmas. The 23rd is too close. Your kids are only going to be this age once. I put my surgery off so I could go skiing with my son during his spring break. BC popped into my mind more than I would have like it to, but I found myself really appreciating my 13yr old & the words coming out of his mouth, his awkward goofiness & that he really is a good kid.........

As for getting stuck with the "B" team. It doesn't work that way at any of the hospitals I've worked at. Alot of people don't observe the holidays & others will gladly work if they can't be with family. There is also a requirement that all nurses work a certain number of holidays. There are also fewer surgeries scheduled around the holidays, which means fewer staff are required. I just don't see this as an issue.

As for the timeline, I was on a slow boat. My surgery was 7weeks after my diagnosis but coming up with a treatment plan was a slow process. Waiting to see the MO & the RO, & me just deciding. Diagnosed in Feb, BMX in Apr, RADs in July-Aug, started Tamoxifen in Oct

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 11, 2011 01:18PM mdg wrote:

Many people had to wait for surgery. I did my biopsy last Dec 8th. Found out on ther 12th it was IDC. Had a lumpectomy Dec 23rd and then a BMX on January 27th.

Maria Visit my BC Blog at http://breastcancerwontdefineme.blogspot.com/

Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/23/2010 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 01/27/2011 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 03/03/2011 Cytoxan, TaxotereHormonal Therapy 05/19/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 06/22/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 12/10/2011 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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Dec 11, 2011 01:38PM Blessings2011 wrote:

Mallory -

I felt exactly the same way!!! Got my DCIS/IDC dx on September 15th. Surgery (BMX/recon) was originally scheduled for Halloween. Not my first choice, but I got used to it. Then they had to reschedule due to the need for both surgeons (BS and PS) to be present in the OR. So it got bumped to November 8th.

Then I started to worry - o.k., I had INVASIVE cancer....wasn't it going to spread? And since they did a core needle biopsy, wasn't that really going to spread the cancer all over the place? And what if my lymph nodes had been clear on November 7th, but showed positive on November 8th, and that would mean the difference between no chemo and chemo?

AYYYY!!!

But as life often does when you're busy making plans, it got more complicated.

Right before my November 8th surgery, I got sick. Really sick, with a horrible upper respiratory infection. I thought maybe I could call it a cold and squeak through the surgery anyway, but my docs were smarter than that. They gave me a month to heal before trying again. And my imagination went into overtime!

However, my Breast Care Coordinator was wonderful, went over my biopsy results again and again, assuring me that the IDC was tiny and because it was slow-growing, very likely had been there a while. Although she couldn't be 100% sure until the final path reports, she also said it was highly unlikely that it would spread to the lymph nodes in just a month or two.

So she calmed me down, and I actually used that extra time to heal from my flu, to decorate the house for Christmas, to order gifts online and get them wrapped, and to get the house all set up (my  little healing nest) for the day I'd come home from the hospital.

I'm so glad I took the extra time. I was healthier, calmer, and more prepared. Had my BMX with TEs on Monday, December 5th, and an recuperating well at home. Don't have the final path report yet, but I do have my first Post-Op appointments this Tuesday.

It was 11 weeks from diagnosis to surgery.

Big hugs to you!!!

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/05/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/22/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 09/05/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara
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Dec 15, 2011 01:19AM, edited Dec 15, 2011 01:29AM by withlove

This Post was deleted by withlove.

My mother's BC info