Cant believe this is happening

Joyfull2b
Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
edited January 2020 in Waiting for Test Results

Hi everyone. I am so glad to have found this forum as I am in the middle of a new nightmare.

So two weeks ago I had my yearly mammo . Unfortunately it had been two years since the last. I got called from my dr that my breasts were very dense and I needed an US. Ok. Anxiety begins increasing. So I have the US exactly 5 days later. Two days later (today) I get a call that I now need an MRI. They have found a 12mm something and they don't know if it's a mass or dense tissue.

I am scheduled for the MRI one week from today. My Christmas is ruined and I am barely holding it together for the sake of my family. I am so scared and I can't even wrap my head around the "what if". This is so new. I don't know if 12mm is huge, not so big, or really not good odds . If it is the "c" word, will I be here next year, will it progress so quickly that I won't have time to prepare my loved ones??

I know no one is a doctor here, but I'm just wanting to hear from others who have been where I am, and what you did to prepare yourself and calm yourself until the answers come in.

Thank you in advance . I hope I'm making sense


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Comments

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,434
    edited December 2019

    Take a deep breath. And don't jump to conclusions. And especially don't go to the worst case scenario.

    Most callbacks do not result in a diagnosis of cancer. Even if it's determined that you need a biopsy, that doesn't mean you are likely to be diagnosed with cancer -most biopsies are benign. So you are jumping several steps ahead, assuming the worst, and most likely scaring yourself for no reason at all.

    Take a look at this chart. You are in the "Diagnostic Workup" stage.

    image

    And if it is cancer? 12mm, or 1.2cm, is a small tumor. There are other factors that come into play, but most often a 1.2cm tumor is a Stage I cancer. The current survival rate at 5 years for Stage I breast cancer is just a fraction under 100%. The 10 year survival rate for Stage I is over 90%.

    There is nothing you can do to change what's ahead, and worrying certainly won't change a thing. The best thing you can do for yourself is distract yourself. So go off and enjoy Christmas. The odds are very high that whatever happens, you will be just fine.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2019

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I am just not the person who can calm their mind once it gets going. Now that I know 12 mm is in fact a 1.2 cm tumor, I am completely numb. I ammaking a resolution to not read any more medical sites until I've heard something definitive. Being a woman really sucks!!!!!!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,434
    edited December 2019

    Why are you numb at hearing that the area being investigated is 1.2cm? That's less than half an inch. You said that "I don't know if 12mm is huge, not so big, or really not good odds" and what I explained is that 12mm is small and usually turns out to be Stage I with very good odds.

    And remember, what was seen on imaging might be normal breast tissue. Whatever it is can't be identified on the mammogram and ultrasound because you have dense breast tissue, so you are being sent for the MRI. If it looked concerning on either the mammogram or ultrasound, you would have been sent for a biopsy.


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,816
    edited December 2019

    Joyful - call your doc and get some anti anxiety meds. No need to be numb or crazy. Beesie has given you VERY positive statistics.

    Also - good idea not to read on google. BCO however does have a lot of helpful information and support.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,923
    edited December 2019

    I don't know if you have a partner and/or children, but please don't Grinch all over their holidays. Do fun stuff! Watch National Lampoon Christmas. Go look at lights. Play upbeat Christmas music. Don't let next week steal this week.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2019

    I do have a family still at home. I am trying not to let this rob me of today. I do appreciate all of the responses, but ask for some patience as this is new and scary to me! Even if it turns out to be nothing, Lord willing, it is still for me- unchartered territory. It has been a really horrible fall/winter for our family. In October they found a mass on my ovary which turned out benign , then after t-giving my husband had a heart attack. Now this. I guess I'm just running on empty emotionally and needing to catch a break from anxiety.

  • keepthefaith
    keepthefaith Member Posts: 856
    edited December 2019

    Joyful, Sorry you are going through this right now. It is hard to stay calm, but even an MRI is not going to give you a definitive answer. It a biopsy is warranted, that would tell you. As others have said, you are jumping way ahead of yourself. Give yourself credit for going in and getting your tests done. Sometimes, you have to go to your appts afraid and that's okay. I would suggest trying to stay busy, go for walks, meditate, read, watch funny movies, exercise, whatever...You can do this! Sometimes we just don't know how strong we are, until we have to be.

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 735
    edited December 2019

    Stay in the moment. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. If you can't stop your mind, and you must do the what if game ….guess what? You're still going to end up in the same spot. In this moment. Live it, enjoy it. Believe!!!! You can do it!!!

  • summerangel
    summerangel Member Posts: 182
    edited December 2019

    Joyful, keep repeating this to yourself: "The current survival rate at 5 years for Stage I breast cancer is just a fraction under 100%. The 10 year survival rate for Stage I is over 90%." There are over 3 million breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States alone. Most of us get treated and then live out the rest of our lives with no recurrence.

  • marinochka
    marinochka Member Posts: 82
    edited December 2019

    Joyful, i know how you feel. I was diagnosed on November 4...sent for more biopsies...was hysterical and drowning in anxiety.

    And i don't know yet what is coming...i don't have result of pathology report after the surgery. But so far the worst thing was to deal with this anxiety...it is like burning you inside. I am now trying to deal with my anxiety first, talk to myself, work and walk...think about loved ones...anything what helps. and i also got lexapro and started taking it. when you don't have emotional resources(and you described that you had a hard time this year and you are exhausted) it is ok to have some medication to help you out, because i could not eat and could not sleep...and it does not help to function or/and go thru treatment. It does not mean that i feel well in terms of anxiety all the time...but i work on that, this is in my control to a certain degree. ...

    let me give you a virtual hug...you will be ok...keep saying it to yourself.

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
    edited December 2019

    Joyfull2b we've all walked this path, and we are offering our perspective and comfort from our own experiences. See if you can flip this in your head and realize actually right now you're in a good spot. You don't have bad news! You're just waiting, and it may well be you are one of the ones who get good news. And even if you don't get the good news we all hope for you, you've still got us walking with you offering our comfort.

    Take it.


  • teddy88
    teddy88 Member Posts: 14
    edited December 2019

    Hi Joyfull2B - Just acknowledging your follow-on post in which you describe a fright over ovarian issues, hubby suffering a heart attack and now this latest scare. All in a compressed time period. And if you - like me - didn’t spend much time thinking about all these larger life issues til they starting pelting down on your head (job loss, breast cancer all at once for me) its very hard for sure. The others have given you some very good stats to consider. Hope that helps with the worry a bit. And I just want to say that it sounds like you made it gracefully through everything life threw at you this Fall. Not easy.
    If this is something, you will make it through. If it’s nothing, you will breathe a sigh of relief and move forward. But I appreciate the cold fear that comes with these life situations, and want to acknowledge that being in a heightened state of fear for a few months is really, really hard. Yet, you made it through and will make it through the next round. You are doing great, are strong and can do it! Much love and luck and Merry Christmas. Remember all those people and things you do have today that bring you happiness, and enjoy them. And own the strength you have shown this far in a rough year. Much Love, Belle xo

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,923
    edited December 2019

    When you're having a rough year, that's when you have to make even more of an effort to not let it drag you down. Set a purposeful balance; for every negative, plan a positive. I did it instinctively last year (with some unintentional coaching from Hubby) and got through my mother's death, breast cancer, kidney cancer, and a few other personal crises. If I hadn't done the fun things, I'd have been a wreck by the end of the year.

  • 1redgirl
    1redgirl Member Posts: 94
    edited December 2019

    Joyful -‘ I just feel badly you are so distraught. Timing is terrible as it is Xmas Eve. If you were my friend, I would just want you to be you and hopefully knowing whatever is ahead friends and family will be there for you as support. Truth is this is out of your hands. Whatever it is it is. Maybe a good cry. Maybe a talk with God. Best to you

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2019

    Everyone on here has been a light for me, and I thank each and every one for their encouragement! I have no one to really confide my fears in as I don't want to worry my kids and husband who is still recuperating from his bypass surgery.

    Oh what a time this is, but I am doing better today thanks to you all, but mostly because of Gods grace that is helping me right now! Exactly one week from today and maybe I will have some answers one way or another. Thank you again to all of you dear ladies!! You are all in my prayers as well !

  • windingshores
    windingshores Member Posts: 160
    edited December 2019

    This is called "catastrophizing" and many of us do it. You have been dealing with a lot and may be more prone to catastrophize as a result. In my life, I had a few cancer scares that turned out to be nothing. Then a BiRads 5 imaging session that turned out to be something. Still here 5 years later. 1.2cm is the same thing as 12mm and is small. It may indeed be related to dense breast tissue, or a cyst, or some other things. You really can get some Ativan from your doc if anxiety is a problem.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2019

    Thank you for putting a name to my anxiety. I am googling catastrophizing.
    Today in the mail I received the official letter from the radiologist. I don't know why, but my gyno only told me about the 12 mm nodule on the right breast. The letter today states my left also has a 5mm nodule. Feel like I've been gutted all over again! Wow this is really getting crazy. It is SO HARD to hope for the best, yet prepare yourself for what might be at the same time. You are right, I very well may need something to help get through this.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,434
    edited December 2019

    Actually having more than one nodule and having them in both breasts is a good sign. It's more likely that someone will have multiples of benign masses like cysts and fibroadenomas than it is to have multiple cancerous masses at the same time. That's probably why you are being sent for the MRI rather than a biopsy.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020

    So I was supposed to have an MRI one week ago. I got a call the day before saying my insurance wouldn't cover it. I kind of freaked out bc I knew this was something that couldn't be brushed off. I called my NP and she was so helpful. She referred me to a surgeon & I was scheduled exactly one week later (today)

    So I went in mildly optimistic that he would just say let's watch it and see. (I had brought my US disk & past 3 mammos for him to see) Well, no such luck. He has decided that I need to have a core needle biopsy. Again, one week from today, with no results expected for yet another week.

    Weird thing is I haven't cried. I'm not sure what emotion I'm feeling other than utter terror. I go back back & forth, vacillating from unrealistic fears to realistic fears of the unknown. I mean, I'm not guaranteed a good out come in this. I'm scared. I have a 29 yr old son on the spectrum , and I'm the only one he'll really interact with. I have to be strong for him while I'm feeling out of control with anxiety.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,923
    edited January 2020

    Remember, everyone here has been through this. By the way, I never cried or got emotional at any point. My attitude was more, "Okay, there's a problem, that sucks, take care of it." I probably freaked out a little the first time I had cancer several years ago (but still didn't cry); now it's just something annoying that happens. Also remember, get those fun things scheduled, too!

  • windingshores
    windingshores Member Posts: 160
    edited January 2020

    I also have a kid with special needs. I think that ramps up the anxiety for us. Again, chances are you will be fine. The hardest part is getting through the testing and the waiting for results. It doesn't hurt at all to get a small number of Ativan, and even someone to talk to, while you are going through this.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020

    Thank you so much, ladies. I hate it that any of us are here, but the way you are helping somehow gives this crap we are facing some purpose. You are all so strong that it gives me strength and I am very grateful.

  • Kron007
    Kron007 Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2020

    I am in a similar situation. I had a mammogram 12/12, which my dr sat on for a week, with a nodule in each as well as a suspicious calcification in the left, but needed an MRI. It was scheduled for 12/24, but then rescheduled for 3 days later. I am claustrophobic so that was interesting. I happened to have another appt with my dr the day the results were expected and was with my dr as she scanned the report and said I needed a biopsy. Then I read it when I got home and it actually says the spot is in a different location and someone should review all this. So I call my dr back to see what I should do and she never called me back! So then I decided to get a 2nd opinion at a cancer center. That was supposed to be tomorrow, but the mammogram and ultrasounds images haven't been sent yetso it's on Thursday now. I'm so frustrated with this whole situation and have renewed my xanex prescription for a little peace.

    P.S. - my dr is fired.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020

    kron007 I'm sorry this is happening to you too. I believe/know that part of my anxiety is stemming from this dribbling out of med care. If it's something horrible then I want it out yesterday! I keep wondering if it is something, then all of this waiting to take care of it is somehow making the out come worse! Idk. This honestly feels like a bad dream. I wish you peace as you play the waiting game. ((Hug)


  • mom2bunky
    mom2bunky Member Posts: 54
    edited January 2020

    Hugs Kron and Joyfull. The waiting is absolutely the worst part of this entire ordeal. You are in the darkest place. Soon you will have answers, whether they're the ones you want or not, and a plan will be put in place and you will start to have some control again. We've all been there. Thinking of you...

  • oceanbum
    oceanbum Member Posts: 3,644
    edited January 2020

    Hi Kron and Joyfull. Just wanted to reinforce what everyone else has already said. The waiting is the worst part. Until you have answers and know what you are dealing with, the what ifs are unbearable. My breast surgeon told me to only google reputable sites while I was waiting for answers. She said there is a lot of information out there on the internet - some of it good, some of it bad. So stick to reputable sites and talking to women who have been through it before. I found this site to be amazing when I was on my journey. So you have found a wonderful place for info and support. We've all been there, we know what you're going through. We know the fears, the frustrations, the feeling of being out of control. But once you find out what you are dealing with and have a plan things will begin to fall into place and you will begin to feel like you can do this. This is your fight and you can beat it. You will find an inner strength that you didn't know you had.

    Sending hugs to you both.

  • Joyfull2b
    Joyfull2b Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020

    thank you oceanbum and momtobunky. Great advice & encouragement from both of you ! I am actually staying away from Dr. Google until I need to find out exactly what I'm dealing with. The only thing I have looked up is the core needle biopsy. It's good to be prepared, but I still kind of wish I hadn't. It seems like since I'm having the core and not the fine needle, that it must be a bit more serious of a mass? This is just how my mind goes- always wondering the why's & thinking the worst.
    So anyways , today was bright and sunny and I tried to get out as much as possible. It sure helped but I know as soon as nightfall hits, I'll be a basket case again. Going to find a funny movie for my son and I tonight. Keeping the countdown clock going! 6 more days until the biopsy, and then exactly one week from that to my follow up that could totally change my and my family's life forever!

  • Yogatyme
    Yogatyme Member Posts: 1,793
    edited January 2020

    Joyfull, a core biopsy doesn’t necessarily mean a more serious mass. It could be determined by the characteristics of the spot. I had core biopsies in both breasts. One was a 7 mm tumor and the other a fibroadenoma. My tumor was stage 1A and very small, so not indicative of something more serious. The radiologist showed me how it worked and triggered it once before we even got started so I would know the sound it would make. He also let me know each time he “fired” it so I could be prepared. There was no pain....they give you a local anesthetic at the biopsy site. Hang tight!!

  • keepthefaith
    keepthefaith Member Posts: 856
    edited January 2020

    joyful, sorry you are having to wait and wait some more. The unknown is hard to bear. For whatever reason, my biopsy was when I freaked out .... I had high anxiety, popped a xanax ...a dear friend went with me. There were volunteers at the breast center to literally hold my hands and keep me distracted while the Dr did the biopsy. No pain, just pressure. Make sure you ice after and you may want to get an open front sports-type bra to wear for a few days, for compression. I never cried until I told my adult son...eh. And, haven't cried since. Worry, yes, I worry at times. Best wishes to you and Kron! ((HUGS))

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,434
    edited January 2020

    Fine needle biopsies are really only effective on cysts, pulling up the fluid from inside the cyst. If the mass is solid or something is seem within the breast tissue, a core needle biopsy is standard. For an effective biopsy, the Radiologist needs to retrieve enough tissue to analyze. A fine needle biopsy just doesn't do the trick because it can't retrieve much solid matter.