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Diagnosed yesterday and anxious

lunar3 Member Posts: 9
edited January 2022 in Just Diagnosed

Hi everyone,

I'm 31 and got my biopsy results yesterday. I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma that has spread to my lymph node, and the mass in my breast is about 7.5 cm long. Grade 3 but no staging yet. They said hormones are favorable for treatment, which I haven't looked into. I have had fibrocystic breast disease, so I wasn't super concerned when I went in for a mammogram, and this is all just a shock. Breast cancer does run in my family, but I thought whatever was going on was a cyst issue. Because of the holidays, I don't get any more info on when my meeting with the surgeon is until Monday, and I will need an MRI to see if it spread. I may be meeting with another surgeon next week too recommended by an obgyn family friend. I'm not sure if two opinions are a good idea or not but I think so? The nurse and obgyn who talked to the surgeon she knows said I'm likely looking at chemo to shrink the masses, a well as surgery. I have anxiety disorder and PTSD, and being examined or exposed in any way puts me very on edge, and now it looks like I'm going to have to deal with a lot of that. I have a great support system that I'm very thankful for, but I'm just so scared. I don't know exactly what I'm doing posting here, but any good vibes and advice would be appreciated. <3


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,642


    I am sorry about your dx. I am not big on giving advice but I will say that in terms of thinking ahead, try not to worry about the unknowns (easier said than done!) and just deal with what you know now. Long ago someone posted this on bco and it’s one of the truest things I’ve read:

    You don’t have to be brave, you just have to show up.”

    Finally, please make your medical team aware of your PTSD and don’t be afraid of meds to help with anxiety. We’ve been in your shoes. It’s no picnic but you will get through it. Take care.

  • lunar, I'm sorry that you've been diagnosed.

    A second opinion from another surgeon is a good idea but with your diagnosis what is more important is that you see a medical oncologist. A surgeon operates; an MO recommends and manages everything else. Do you know the hormone status of the cancer? ER, PR, and HER2. Chemo prior to surgery is common for those who have cancers that are HER2+ or triple negative (TN, which means ER-/PR-/HER2-). It is less common when the cancer is ER+/PR+/HER2-, which is the most common breast cancer subtype, but as the nurse mentioned to you, chemo may be recommended when the tumor is large, as a way to shrink the tumor before surgery. Chemo falls in the domain of the MO which is why it is so important that you see an MO - even more important in your case than seeing the surgeon.

    Good luck and let us know how your appointment goes on Monday.

  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,625

    I'm sorry to hear about someone so young being diagnosed with IDC. However, IDC is very treatable, and Grade 3 cancer responds well to chemo, which kills quickly-dividing cells. Yes, alas, there will be numerous examinations and the like, so be sure to let your doctors know about your anxiety and PTSD. Exbrnxgl is right; feel free to ask for anti-anxiety drugs to help you get through your treatment. My oncologist ordered a small stash of Ativan which I took as needed.

    It is not unusual to do chemo first. I did chemo first for a few reasons. First, my tumor was big (5 cm with a lovely satellite) and one of my nodes was positive. Secondly, my tumor tested positive for an over-expression of the HER2 protein, and at the time, the best way to get Perjeta (a targeted therapy for HER2+ cancer) was to do neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemo. Fortunately, it proved to be a good treatment for me -- after chemo, there was no active cancer left in my breast or compromised lymph node. It felt good, knowing that the chemo had been very effective against my kind of cancer. Also, I ended up getting a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy, which meant that I didn't have to do reconstruction. (I have twins with autism and needed to get back on my feet as soon as possible.)

    It's OK to be scared. Most of us have been scared at some point. Many good vibes, headed your way! ((Hugs))

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Thank you so much for your kind words of support exbrnxgrl! I love that saying and will hold it close. It's a great idea to let the medical team know about my struggles with PTSD and anxiety. I'm currently on a couple medications to manage my mental health, but I think I might need a boost now, as I have recently been in the process of dosing down on one of them. Thank you again- I really appreciate your reply. You take care too :)

  • Pumpkin1733
    Pumpkin1733 Member Posts: 1

    Good morning I just got diagnosed this week, had core biopsy and below are the results I was given over the phone.

    Path results

    Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

    Ki 67 30%

    Grade 2

    Markers positive

    96% estrogen

    93% progesterone

    ~HEr 2 negative

    Have an appointment with surgeon on 1/6 I battled bladder cancer and the information I was provided was so much easier to understand. I’m not having any surgery unless they do tests to ensure it hasn’t moved into other organs. All the research I’ve done there are no clear steps.

    I feel for you as the wasting is awful, try and keep yourself busy. Hugs to you we will get through this🤗

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Thanks so much for your advice Beesie! I will talk to the nurse on Monday about how to set up an appointment with a medical oncologist. That's really helpful to know about, and I'll definitely take that step as soon as I can. I am not totally sure about the hormone type. The nurse said that it was good news that both hormones are favorable for treatment, and I think she might have said both are positive, but I am not 100% sure, (my head was spinning when we spoke and I hadn't known about all the hormone status types), so I'll clear that up on Monday as well. I so appreciate your advice and support! I'll post again on here once I talk to the nurse and see the doctor. :)

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Your hugs and good vibes are very much appreciated ElaineTherese- thank you so much for that and your words of support! Also, thank you for sharing your experience and advice. It was really helpful to read about your experience with chemo and know that it isn't an uncommon process before surgery.

    I am so, so happy to hear that your treatment was effective and that you were able to get back to caring for your family as soon as possible after surgery! I will definitely talk to my doctors about my struggles with anxiety and PTSD, and I am hoping to be able to boost back up on the medication I had been dosing down on before all this. Take care, and I'm sending you good vibes as well :)

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Good morning Pumpkin1733!

    I am deeply sorry that you're also dealing with a diagnosis this week, and I am so sorry that you've had to battle bladder cancer too. My heart is with you, and I'm sending you hugs as well! Thank you so much for reaching out and sending your support. I'll be thinking about you, sending extra good vibes on your appointment date, and am here if you want to talk about anything. Take care, and I agree, we will get through this!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,681

    We're here for you lunar3 and Pumpkin1733. Yes, the waiting is the worst. Sending you all Medicating and please message if we can help in any way.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769

    Pumpkin and Lunar I'm so sorry about your recent diagnosis.

    Lunar - I suffer with PTSD and anxiety, as exbrnxgrl said, do not be afraid of anxiety medication. I would not have been able to get through treatment without it, the anxiety attacks were almost daily. I now only take it when necessary with no difficulty as it was not habit forming. Once you have a plan of treatment things will be a bit better. The unknown is the worst part and knowing that there is a plan in place helps.

    Wishing you both the best. Sending warm thoughts and hugs!

  • msphil
    msphil Member Posts: 184

    hello sweetie you are at the right place cause we been there also we re here for you. The 2nd opinion for me as a good idea i too had 2nd opinion sand as you get all info and treatment plans things will ease in know it did for me so I knew what was going on. I come back here to Inspire those going thru with my story. My fiance and I were making wedding plans for our 2nd marriages man I had prayed for now this. Found lump in shower showed up suddenly worked in medical field first in O R. Instrument tech then had my own office at city clinic when this all started. Diagnosed with idc stage2 0/3 nodes 3mo chemo before and after Lmast got married then 7wks rads. Praise God I am now a 27yr Survivor and 27 yrs married. Hold on sweetie Hope and Positive thoughts family friends my Faith got me thru. msphil

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Thank you so much for your reply Serendipity09! I really appreciate it. I had my first meeting to start the planning process with the surgeon today, and I have scans and oncologist meetings being set up for the upcoming two weeks. It was a tough day, but I am glad that a plan is starting to form. I brought up my anxiety/PTSD issues, and they were very understanding. Thank you again! Sending you hugs as well!

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    msphil, thank you so much for your support! You sharing your inspiring journey with me was really helpful, and I truly appreciate it. Thank you again for your advice and kindness during this time! Sending you light and positivity :)

  • emstein
    emstein Member Posts: 24

    hi Lunar, just wanted to let you know that I was diagnosed in early December and have a history of anxiety and depression. I was doing fine until I got the call back from my yearly mammogram and then mental health took a nose dive. One of the first things I did was call my doctor for something to help with anxiety. I’m on something daily, a sleeping pill at night, and have Xanax for when I’m struggling or need to go in for an appointment.

    So, just wanted to say hi, and that I know how difficult this is when you struggle with anxiety. Try to take it one day at a time. Once some of the puzzle pieces start falling into place things get better.

  • Coli921
    Coli921 Member Posts: 1

    Hi Lunar! Newly diagnosed here as well, also with a history of anxiety and PTSD. I started on an antidepressant right when I was going through the imaging/biopsy stress and now, after being on it for awhile, I can say it has helped me a lot! I also finally got a tentative date for surgery today so I'm also a bit relieved that things are finally starting to progress (its been a long month of tests. scans, and appointments with no definite plan in place). Once you have more information things will feel better! Sending you lots of virtual hugs!

  • lunar3
    lunar3 Member Posts: 9

    Hi emstein and Coli921! Sorry for the late reply- things have been very busy! Thank you both so much for the encouragement, sharing, and support. It turns out it's Stage 4 with liver metastasis, so a de novo diagnosis for me, which has meant a lot more tests. Things are finally getting going on treatment next week. I'm trying to get into a new psychiatrist, and fingers crossed they get back to me soon! I am sending you both virtual hugs and thank you again for reaching out! <3

  • Lunar, I'm sorry to hear that you are Stage IV de novo. You'll get lots of support and information in the Stage IV forum. Here are a few threads that might be helpful or interesting for you:

    Topic: Liver mets: resection, ablation, SBRT, Y-90, anything else?

    Topic: How are people with liver mets doing?

    Topic: De Novo Stage IV

    Sending (((Hugs))) and support.

  • petyab
    petyab Member Posts: 7

    Hi Lunar.... What prompted you to get original mammo? Thinking about you, sending positive vibes.