recurrence after stage III TNBC?
Not sure if this is the right place for this. I was dx stage III TNBC June 2017 with a 6cm tumor. Had neoadjuvant Taxol, tumor grew to 10cm, was switched to AC in September 2017. Tumor shrunk to about 3cm and I had a double mastectomy end of November 2017. Then had 6 weeks radiation at the beginning of 2018 (was supposed to have 4 cycles of Cisplatin but only had 2 and was taken off due to side effects). Then had 6 months of Xeloda. So a ton of treatment. Finished Xeloda in October 2018 and had exchange surgery end of November 2018.
On New Year's Eve, I felt a small lump almost exactly where my initial biopsy was. The problem is, I have no idea what my "new" breast is supposed to feel like. I've never really gotten feeling back in the entire area since my mastectomy in 2017. Even my underarm is still somewhat numb and so it all feels a bit thicker. The left breast (prophylactic mastectomy) feels great. There's not a single lump or bump. It's nice and smooth and "loose" - it's like a half inch lower than the right breast.
The right reconstructed breast is firmer, which I was told to expect due to radiation. But on the outer lower quadrant, there is a lump and the rib feels way thicker than the left side. The lump feels exactly like the lump that I found 2 years ago that grew and turned out to be cancer.
My oncologist felt the lump. She said it felt like a pea. She sent me for an MRI and to see my breast surgeon. He's out on medical leave so I saw his PA. She sent me for an ultrasound. In the end, the MRI showed BIRADS 2 but the radiologist who did the ultrasound told me there was "absolutely nothing" seen on the MRI or the ultrasound, not even scar tissue or fat necrosis. So I asked what is the lump I'm feeling then? No one gave me an answer. I would've been fine hearing, "Oh, it's just scar tissue" or "It's just fat" but to say there's nothing there when I feel it is not comforting.
It's almost 2 weeks later and the lump feels more palpable to me and the whole area feels thicker. But now I'm afraid to say anything. I feel like I'll look crazy and paranoid of recurrence.
My oncologist said recurrence around the area of the initial core biopsy a common site of recurrence. That's why she was initially concerned. For anyone who had a recurrence after mastectomy and reconstruction with silicone implant, what did it feel like - the lump and the whole area? How did you distinguish the lump from scar tissue or fat necrosis?