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Having biopsy this week, very frightened

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  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    I had my surgeon consult this morning and as expected, ultrasound-guided wire localized lumpectomy under twilight sedation was recommended. I have a tentative date of 7/29 for that but am waiting to hear back confirmation from the scheduler. I'm feeling very annoyed at needing a pre-op physical within 30 days because I just had my annual 4 weeks ago (when all this started) but apparently that's somehow not recent enough and I might have developed a dangerous condition in the ensuing 3 weeks despite having been to 20 billion doctor appointments in that span. Otherwise I could have the lumpectomy next week but my PCP doesn't have availability before that. I would bet my insurance is going to balk.

    This forum did give me the push I needed to have a good conversation with my PCP about my anxiety. It was a natural conversation because she had scheduled a follow-up to my U/S specifically to see what state I was in. She administered screening tools and I failed on both anxiety and depression (unsurprisingly) so we are trialing Zoloft.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Feeling for you gamzu! This is a lot to wrap your head around with lots of appointments and lots of waiting. It makes it more difficult. You will get through this though.....

  • MsMonster
    MsMonster Member Posts: 15
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    Gamzu710 — I just wanted to mention— I also had a core biopsy of ADH and a lumpectomy. My final pathology turned out to be LCIS & ALH. I wanted to let you know it doesn’t always upgrade (I was terrified of that as well).

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Well, tomorrow the triathlon begins. I have my pre-op physical tomorrow, then required Covid test Tuesday, then excisional biopsy next Thursday. At least I hope so, because it's still showing up as "expected" in my patient portal visit schedule and I haven't received the final confirmation phone call with pre-op procedures yet. But the physical and the Covid test are pre-requisites so maybe that's why. I'm a bit worried about the possibility of an asymptomatic positive on the Covid test; I'm fully vaccinated but this delta variant is changing the game a bit. I've temporarily gone back to KN95 masks for the moment but it kind of is what it is at this point and we're all in the same boat.

    I just want this over with and am feeling increasingly angry at nobody in particular that all the anguish I went through with the first needle biopsy was not enough and now I have to go through it all again.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    The anger is having to deal with all of this - while this is different than typical grief per se it sounds like that's some of what you're experiencing. Hang in there as best you can - I know you are.... one step at a time, huh? Hopefully your COVID test is negative so you don't have a delay! Sending gentle hugs and support your way....

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Just reading yours reminded me of what i felt. In may i had what i would call an ache in my left breast. It lasted a couple days, then went away. Twice it happened, then in the shower i felt the mass. What i thought? I gained at least 15 pounds and now weight 30 more than normal, as i too work from home on a computer. All i know is the support i have on this sight from people who have been there, remind me i have hope. The friends i have spoken with are there too. Another friend on her told me to join. She has had cancer since 2019. I will follow you and keep you in my prayers. I am just getting an MRI and second U/S and finding out what steps come next. Together we can all walk down this road.

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    In the category of "you can't make this nonsense up," I was literally driving away from the pre-op covid testing site this morning when my colleague called to let me know that there was a positive case at work yesterday and we were both significant secondary exposures. I've had a mild sore throat since Saturday and while I got a PCR test on Sunday that came back negative, we all know about the reliability of those early on. And having had a very professional test this morning, I'm not sure the first one was deep enough. Hoping for the second test to match the first! I got final confirmation and arrival procedures from my surgeon this morning so I'm trying to focus my brain in gear to get this thing over with.

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Covid test is negative! Last hurdle cleared for Thursday.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Sooo glad your test was negative. Best Thursday!!!

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    I'm back from the procedure. They put the IV in the vein on my wrist under my thumb, which was pretty uncomfortable, but eh. Wire localization was done when I was already out, so reading people's stories about that part ended up being pointless. I felt a little shakier in recovery than I was anticipating but when they brought me a snack I was with it enough to explain to them that I keep kosher and needed to see the packaging first (they did have something I could eat). Not feeling foggy now, just a bit tired, but I've been sleeping maybe 5 hours a night this week for work reasons so that's not exactly surprising. Somewhat sore but not bad and hoping Extra-Strength Tylenol is enough as I hate prescription painkillers.

    Now the wait for results but I'm relieved this part is over.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Sounds like the procedure went well and your initial recovery is going well too gamzu.... Happy for you on that! Now the waiting for results starts as you stated.... hopefully you'll have info back before long... Please keep us posted....

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Well, I've just seen the pathology report in my patient portal, though I haven't gotten the phone call yet. The curse of patient portals. I'm in the unlucky small percentage that get upgraded from ADH to IDC. Triple-positive. <1cm and looks like clean margins from what I can understand of the pathology report but obviously I have not had any other scans yet so there could be another larger tumor somewhere. The muscle strain I thought was due to bad posture is suddenly taking a more sinister tone.

    I've already told my parents, as in the worst possible timing I am on vacation with them and there's no way to cushion the blow. I wish I hadn't looked at the results but there's no way to undo that now. I always knew this was a possibility but am feeling very unbalanced. Oddly the thing foremost in my mind right now is that I am already slightly underweight and have no idea how I will cope with the toxic drugs coming my way. I'm afraid I will waste away without meaning to as I have zero cushion.

  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
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    Hi Gamzu,

    I'm sorry you had to see that on vacation without the benefit of discussion yet with your oncology team. I did the same thing and it was awful! I remember the power of those emotions as I read it. Please don't worry yet, and wait for your MO team to work up a plan for you. I was convinced it was everywhere which turned out to be not the case at all, but our brains just go there.

    Please try to enjoy your vacation as much as you can. I was on vacation right after my diagnosis and spent it walking outside a ton, watching uplifting movies with my family, calming my nerves and telling the cancer, "Hey, I've lived here longer than you. I'm getting healthy now. You're out of here!" I kept declaring positive thoughts (SO not easy when we're terrified but I kept it up) while waiting for the plan, because I knew my mindset would filter down and inform my cells to get with it and help me kick the cancer to the curb.

    I also began treatment very underweight (25 pounds under my normal weight!) so I can definitely encourage you there.There are tons of tips and tricks! It wasn't easy because I only ate healthy from diagnosis on but I was able to maintain and gain on healthy fats and proteins (olive oil, avocado including pureed into clean whey protein smoothies). Some protein powders are tasteless and can be added to bulk up any food or beverage. Plus, I did not mind being underweight because I wasn't presenting fat cells to the tumor and had a rare opportunity to rebuild lean from the get-go. I loved eating things I could never get away with at my normal weight (handfulls of macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, yummy stuff). So please don't worry about being underweight.

    Please enjoy your time with your parents. This is a special opportunity for you to reduce stress and pamper the healthy cells in your body so your immune system can strengthen and go after the bad cells. There are many strategies in the tool-chest which you'll know more about once you have time with your oncology team. I went an extra step and added a good integrative doctor to my team early on and she has made all the difference for me. Hugs to you and reach out anytime.

    Blessings,

    Esther

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    So sorry to hear this gamzu! Hopefully you get the call soon so you at least feel like something is happening towards the solution. Has to be hard on you and your family getting such news on vacation.... I can't imagine..... It may also be good you're there together though family often has difficulty supporting each other when their in the thick of their own processing - you each have your own thoughts and feelings you're dealing with as you sort through the shock... Please let us know once you get some next steps....

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    The surgeon’s office called and I have an appointment for Thursday to go over the results. It took a month to get the initial consult and another month to get the procedure but suddenly they can fit me in quickly. Wish I wasn’t a priority but I guess I am now.

  • 4kids4dogs
    4kids4dogs Member Posts: 22
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    i have a biopsy on friday, so i'm just beginning this journey. thanks for posting, that has helped me

    with my anxiety too. i have been waiting 3 weeks for the biopsy. waiting is soooo hard. i've been

    reading alot too. not sure if that's good or bad. i have a bi-rads of 4B. hypoechoic irregular mass

    with possible vascularity and microcalcifiications along the margin. good luck with your appointment

    tomorrow! please post and let us know!!!

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Being on vacation when I got the news was horrible; I've had to spend the last 2 days around other people trying to be polite and civilized with thoughts of my life being ruined on constant soundtrack in my head when I just wanted to run off and curl up in a hole by myself. I'm home now and have managed to have two sobbing fits so intense I nearly vomited, and I think it helped to just get it out. I hope I can keep it together at the appointment tomorrow. I am alternating between "OMG I'm so scared," "OK this is the hand you've been dealt, let's just do this," and "This is a nightmare that is happening to someone else."

    The HER2+ is causing most of my terror and I am wondering if it has spread all over between the 3-month delay in me actually going to a doctor to get checked, then the 2 months lost with the CNB that missed the actual site and had us thinking ADH. I stupidly had myself convinced that my "muscle strain" would be getting worse if it was cancer growing, not fluctuating or getting better as it has been, so I willfully ignored it; now I'm wondering if there's a big grapefruit of a tumor on my chest wall that isn't palpable and the little nasty that was found is just a satellite friend.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,969
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    gamzu,

    I am not in any way a medical professional and there are no guarantees but it is really unlikely that your cancer has spread “all over”. In general, breast cancer is slow growing and has probably been in our bodies for 5-10 years before it becoming detectable. I make no promises but I hope this removes some of your worry. Take care

  • 4kids4dogs
    4kids4dogs Member Posts: 22
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    gamzu,

    good luck today!!! thoughts and prayers for you!

    let us know ....!


    i go tomorrow for my biopsy...

  • Ilikedogs
    Ilikedogs Member Posts: 19
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    Good luck today. I hope it all goes smoothly.

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Well, I didn't hear anything unexpected. Next steps are breast MRI and diagnostic mammo to see if there are any other suspicious spots, then sentinel node biopsy, then chemo. MRI and diagnostic mammo scheduled for next week. I've also been referred for genetic testing. The chemo plan is the same no matter what but these other results would inform surgical and radiation decisions after that.

    In my first consult before the excision biopsy, I thought the surgeon was a bit rushed and brusque but today her manner was very different and she spent quite a bit more time with me. She was matter-of-fact but positive and encouraging and very much "let's take this one step at a time," so I am trying to follow her lead on that. Guess I'm jumping over to the triple-positive thread now.

  • gamzu710
    gamzu710 Member Posts: 203
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    Back again as I am once again waiting for biopsy results, this time an MRI biopsy of 2 sites. There's a third but the radiologist thought it was too dangerous to try to get to it with the position I was in. So I have to go back. Or maybe not, because if these results come back as anything, and probably even if they don't, I am leaning strongly towards BMX. The idea of going through this over and over again is awful.

    Unlike last time, this time I am totally calm about the biopsy results. The worst has already happened. Part of me is perversely hoping it's DCIS because then my surgery decision is very easy.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Wishing you the best possible with this new set of results! Yikes on the dangerousness of the other area and not wanting to risk getting to that.... I know you'll let us know when you hear something..... More waiting when you've done so much already - ugh! Hang in there!