Diagnosed 10 days ago - MRI shows tumor 4 times larger...yikes
Hello everyone, I am so pleased and relieved to find this site. I appreciate all of you and look forward to down the road in this journey when I'm able to take this present focus off myself and be there more for others, as I see so many of you do. I posted on another thread, I didn't realize I could start my own thread. I think I read somewhere that we can't start our own topic or something... Thank you to Melissa Dallas and Livin Life for your advice.
I am pasting what I wrote on another's thread as it is lengthy. I tried to summarize as best as I could.
I am so new to all of this - feeling like I've stepped into a web of uncertainty and scary potentials. On December 17 I went in for a re-do Mammogram. This was for a recall after a screening Mammogram I did last January. I was leery about doing the screening Mammogram almost a year ago now because of my history of this same area of my left breast which has troubled radiologists since the late 90s when I had a screening Mammogram and then an ultrasound but it was decided it was just dense breast tissue. Then in 2013, I had the whole shebang which ended up as a excision biopsy and after several days of scared waiting it was determined to be nonmalignant.
Fast forward to last January which was the next screening mammogram I had after 7 years. yes too many years between, but in my mind and thoughts during that time I felt that area of my left breast is just "funny" and will bother them and they will want to go in there digging again - only to find nothing of concern. Because as I figure most of us probably believe - it can't be cancer.
So finally I went in for the re-do, one year later, not concerned all this time of there being any real need for that re-do. Part of the reason I did it though is my insurance deductible is met this year. To briefly mention, it has been a crazy year medically for me - someone who has always had excellent health. Started off in September, a broken foot requiring surgery, then worsening reflux and hiatal hernia requiring surgery on Dec 7. In-between there i was having severe chest pain and went through a whole series of heart evaluations - ending with a cardiac catheterization which showed the heart of a 20 year old!! (I'm 63) It turns out the reflux and hiatal hernia can cause esophageal spasms which can feel like a heart attack. Nice to know I have a good heart though!
Back to December 17. Many films of that left breast, then ultrasound, then radiologist coming in talking about a "mass" that appears suspicious, and strongly recommended a biopsy. She said it appeared slightly larger than what they were seeing last January. She called me the next morning with the news that it was cancer, and in My chart connected with hospital my system, it shows Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 2 with size 0.8 mm.
On Christmas eve I went in for an MRI which showed the tumor to be 3 cm. This was quite a shock - a big difference and tough news for myself and my husband. It also showed in the report in My chart that the tumor extends to 5 mm from the pectoral muscle, not showing clear invasion of it but that the muscle is displaced.
Yesterday my tissue pathology report showed up as estrogen and progesterone positive, Her2 negative (thank goodness - from what I've read/seen so far). I have taken 100 mg Progesterone for 11 years, and a slight smidgen of Estrogen compound formula skin cream for 7 years. Stopped the cream last night and will call my MD today for advice on weaning off Progesterone. I am concerned how I will sleep without it since I take it at night and it definitely helps with sleep. Also concerned about side effects of hormonal therapy which I assume I will be doing, and the effects of eradicating every bit of those natural hormones from my body...
My surgery consult is scheduled Tuesday. My only unknown now, for staging where I am at, is lymph node involvement. I'm now worried about the tumor having a year left alone, and what it might have done in all that time.
My daughter asked me if I'm upset at myself for not going in sooner for the recall Mammogram. And I'm really not. I understand why I didn't, after my terrifying experience all for naught back in 2013. But hindsight does us no good anyway.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, to you who did. Any thoughts are appreciated.