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Doctor just said it's cancer

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SaraJay
SaraJay Member Posts: 63
edited April 2021 in Just Diagnosed

I was hoping I wouldn't ever have to move over to this thread, but here I am.

I called my family doctor today because my biopsy results were taking a long time. He said he thotthe hospital was going to call me and that he has had the results for a week....just said it was positive for cancer and my axillary lymph node that was biopsied was also positive. I'm so terrified. I was hoping the lymph node was negative. I have an appointment at Jim Pattison breast health clinic tomorrow to meet with the surgeon etc. With the back pains I've been experiencing and other palpable lymph nodes in my body, I'm so scared of the worst.

I'm 39, single mom.

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Comments

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
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    SaraJay,

    I'm sorry. From what you had described, I was hoping you'd get good results but it sounded as though the odds weren't as favourable as they often are with biopsies.

    Hopefully you can get a copy of your pathology report tomorrow to find out more about the cancer. That's what will determine your treatment plan.

    I know it's scary, but you are not alone. We're all here with you, holding your hand, even if it's from a bit of a distance.

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
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    Aw rats, SaraJay, I was hoping for benign results. Beesie's right, we're here w/ you too giving you all kinds of virtual support.

  • tntnsd
    tntnsd Member Posts: 125
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    Oh Sarajay, I am so so sorry that the result came back, and it is not the one that we all hoping for you. Next few days/weeks will hard as you are trying to process the news, and preparing for what come next. Hopefully your doctor or nurse navigator can help to facilitate those appointments as quickly and easily as possible for you., once you meet and trust your care team, it will be much easier. Please take care of your mental health as it is very important too. We are here for you. Hang in there

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Thank you all for bring so supportive. I'm definitely very scared and this is so surreal. I'm just so worried about the lymph node being positive.

    I'm hoping for some answers tomorrow.

    With just biopsy results, will they have any details other than just "it's cancer"?

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 208
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    SaraJay,

    I'm sending you all the positive vibes I can. They should be able to tell from the biopsy the type of breast cancer, whether hormone positive, Her2 positive or triple negative. They should also be able to determine grade (basically how the cancer cells are dividing). I believe that with my biopsy and ultrasound, they were able to determine approximate size of the primary tumor. While lymph node involvement is not great, it's not the end of the world either. There are many women on this site who had lymph node involvement and have lived for decades. Hopefully, you will get a game plan set with your oncology team (including surgeon) soon and you can start making plans. Hugs

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    Sorry to hear your news:(

    They will have grade, ER and PR. Her2 is sometimes delayed. Unless you're TN, odds are you'll deal with breast surgeon first. They might order more imaging. Then after surgery, they'll refer you to bc cancer agency for next steps. You'll be in good hands at Jim Pattison.

    Hang in there, it gets better once you have a plan in place.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Apparently I'm meeting with the surgeon tomorrow Dr Janzen. Is this possibility a good sign that it's not triple negative?

  • bcincolorado
    bcincolorado Member Posts: 4,707
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    sarajay sorry you are here and good you are getting treatment. There a lot of Canadians here if you had not noticed who may be able to offer support on doctors and centers where you live there. Best wishes to you in your treatment!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,032
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    SaraJay,

    Sorry to hear the results. I think that most of us would agree that it’s a terrible punch in the gut and your mind naturally wants to work overtime and dwell in the land of what if, but it does get better. Once you have a tx plan in place you may feel a sense of relief because you have your roadmap and are ready to go.

    I don’t know how old your child/children are but please make sure that their mental/emotional health is taken care of. I am a long time elementary school teacher and have had many students over the years who have serious illness or other family trauma. Do you have other family or close friends who will be supporting you? Even though you don’t have a tx plan yet, start to identify everyone who can be supportive in almost every way i.e. meals, child care, house cleaning etc. This will also feel some sense of control over a situation which may seem totally out of control!

    I have lived with stage IV, rather normally too, for almost 10 years. No one could have predicted that things would go this way as it’s rather unlikely but the point is you never know and good may be just as likely to come as bad. Please don’t fritter away the here and now by worrying about what might happen. You can and you will cope. It won’t always be easy and I am all in favor of drugs and therapy but you will get there

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    SaraJay, not much to add except that I'm sending you a virtual hug. Once you get more details and a plan of action, it does get easier to cope with - the physical part will take over and give your mind a much-needed rest.

  • redcanoe
    redcanoe Member Posts: 72
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    Sending you a big, virtual hug. I've been thinking of you all week and hoping for different news for you. I am also a single mom in my 30s in Canada. I met with a surgeon first. The next few weeks will be a lot emotionally because there are scans and tests and patient education sessions. It's a good idea to think about your mental health now. I went on an antidepressant and it helped me a lot with anxiety. Talking with my oncology social worker helps too. I'm doing chemo now and still a very involved mom to my kids. Message me if you have any questions. I am being treated in Edmonton.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    I think Dr J would keep the appt either way so I wouldn't read that into it. All the Drs who work there are surgeons btw. She'll be able to give you a copy of the path report if you ask for it.

    Hang in there

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Moth, ok I'll try to ask for it. I just feel like a helpless child at this point. I'm hoping tomorrow brings a little peace in speaking with the experts and getting more information.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Redcanoe, thank you for holding me in your thoughts. I hear AB has a great medical system and BC does too. I'm definitely thinking about my mental health at this point. I also want to take some normalcy back by getting back to some running and yoga. I'm upset with myself for stopping and think it will help mentally.

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
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    SaraJay,

    I’m sorry you are facing this and sincerely hoped for a different outcome for you. Do take heart from what others have said. I was 38 when diagnosed and also had a positive node. While I ended up with MBC I was one of the rare ones after almost 16 years with no evidence of cancer. A positive node is still early stage until you hear more.

    Deep breaths. I know your mind is in a whirl right now but the doctors will help guide you through. Sending virtual hugs from the island.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Hi Sadiesservant,

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm trying my best to slow my mind. I've been mentally "preparing" myself for this for a month now...it still hits hard hearing those words. I just want it out of my body now!

    I guess tomorrow will be a start of all of the hectic appointments etc. I hope I'm able to take it a step at a time and slow my brain from where it keeps going.

    Everyone here is a wealth of knowledge and support.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    exbrnxgrl, my daughter is 12 and we have strong family support. Depending on everything, we may move in with my parents through treatment. I can't picture myself relying on her to get me through it.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
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    SaraJay so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. This is the darkest time when you know you have something to deal with, but you don't know all the details or even next steps so your brain goes into overdrive working through every possible scenario. You will get further information today that will determine the next phase - surgery or potentially chemo. There will be a lot of information to process so try to remember to get copies of your pathology report so you can review later. Ask if there is a nurse navigator that will be assisting you through appointment scheduling (they are such a help). If you feel you need to speak with a therapist, or perhaps need something for anxiety or depression please let your doctor know. Please don't be hesitant to ask for help in any manner. This isn't the time to be a hero, it is the time to take care of yourself and allow others to step in and help care for you. I wish you all the very best for a quick, tolerable (and wildly successful!) treatment path.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    I just got this pathology report from the biopsy. ER and PR positive. Waiting in HER2. I had blood work done and then a CT scan. They've referred me to BC Cancer in Surrey and the plastic surgeon. This is all I know so far. I have a bone scan tomorrow. I hope they can rush the HER2 results so we can actually get treatment started.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    SaraJay so sorry to hear this!!! Yes, hopefully you hear back on HER2 soon so you can get a plan formulated and start the following through... I'm glad you have such a supportive family! That will help you and your daughter too!

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    SaraJay, glad to see it's so strongly ER&PR+, provisional Grade 2 is also good. I hope things start moving quickly now. Once you get a firm plan in place it will all feel more manageable. You must have had an exhausting day .This stuff drains you. Hope you can relax a bit tonight.


  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 758
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    Sarajay I am so sorry for your diagnosis. I am glad you are getting scheduled for a bone scan as well. My sister has ILC. She is doing really really well so please hang in there. My diagnosis was a mixed, but you don't need to hear about me right now, I am fine, and we are here for you. Just as everyone has said, this part is the hardest.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    Thank you so much for everyone's kind and encouraging words. They truly mean a lot to me. I feel so much support already and it's only the beginning. Today was a lot to take in and a long day at the hospital. Tomorrow will also be a long day. I am grateful that it's strongly hormone receptive, as I feared TNBC. I hope my scans bring good news 🙏.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    These scans have my anxiety climbing yet again. I keep feeling new lymph nodes throughout my body and I can't help but think it's related to the cancer. I know I should stop feeling around, but now I can feel them in my neck. I know I'm finally in good hands and things will start moving soon (I hope), but I can't help the worrying about things happening with my body that I've never felt before.

  • tntnsd
    tntnsd Member Posts: 125
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    SaraJay, maybe it might help to know that anxiety sometimes can make you feel all sort of things. That was what happened to me and a few people here. I hope you can find it more easier once you talk to your doctors. I am praying for you

  • Poppy_90
    Poppy_90 Member Posts: 84
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    SarahJay,

    I just wanted to say that you are in my thoughts.

  • SaraJay
    SaraJay Member Posts: 63
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    I just decided to research ILC and am almost out of hope. I went from feeling like things could be okay until I learned that it's the least researched and common breast cancer. Also, with positive ER and PR, it's not as responsive to chemo.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
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    Big hugs SaraJay


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,409
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    SaraJay--please do yourself a favor and don't be googling or looking for more information about your diagnosis. Once your treatment plan is laid out and you begin fighting the damn disease, you will feel a new sense of calm. We all know how that first slam of "cancer" feels, and the overwhelming sadness and anxiety that you feel. It will get better, and you will feel better.

    Keep your chin up; you have been dealt a shitty card but you can still win. (Sorry for the language, but it is what it is.) Things CAN be OK. Don't give up before you get started. My very best wishes to you.