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Just Like the Forum Title Says: Waiting for Test Results (!)

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cynthia7138
cynthia7138 Member Posts: 8
edited January 2022 in Waiting for Test Results

Greetings, all. I'm 55yo, annual mammo on 12/8 turned up area of concern in left breast, diagnostic mammo on 12/15 gave me BIRADS 4 (idk if it was a, b, c, whatever) and "predominantly amorphous calcifications measuring 8 millimeters with grouped distribution." Stereotactic biopsy today. I've gone from freaking out quite a bit after the first phone call, to freaking out more, to getting more calm, to freaking out when I spend too much time googling, to being okay today. (But sleepy--very fatigued following that biopsy). The doc today suggested that the area was just barely suspicious but that made me feel more worried, honestly--like it was a cosmic trap to make me feel confident! I'm hoping to get results before New Year's Eve--though I'm bummed about that timing b/c my husband has a gig on NYE (he's a musician) and I don't want him to have to go play happy celebratory music for people if he's just learned I have cancer! He's stressing quietly but pretty hard. I've mostly managed my anxiety by doing things that might seem grim to some--I started making a list of things my husband would need to know if I died tomorrow. I guess some might find that to be negative thinking but it gave me a lot of comfort!

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  • mfk
    mfk Member Posts: 35
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    Hi - I'm a few months ahead of you, and started off with similar notes from my mammogram. I think I'm fortunate that my disposition is to assume good outcomes until presented with facts to the contrary. I used my pre-biopsy and post-biopsy/pre-pathology time to knock off some errands that I thought I should get out of the way if this thing started to take over my life. Bought new tires, got my car inspected, replaced my eyeglasses with some groovy specs that everyone admired in pre-op. Also got a nice journal and notebook to hold my medical papers and notes (and bills!). I recommend research on quality websites, but try to hold off until you have specific details to evaluate. No sense going down a rabbit hole of symptoms and treatments that you may never have. I think the compression associated with the biopsy might have been the most uncomfortable part of the process to date. The highlight of the MRI was drooling in the surgical mask, the genetic testing was a bit stressful because I have a mystery quadrant on my family tree, but the surgery wasn't too bad at all. Got lucky with the small size and location of the disease, and many thanks to the surgeon for my widely-negative margins. Can't speak to radiation because I've only been to planning session. More to come on that next month. Best wishes for you in your diagnosis.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    Even if it does turn out to be cancer, it won't make a difference treatment-wise if you find out the results before or after NYE. So if you and your husband want to postpone hearing the results until after the gig, that would be totally fine! The mammogram that confirmed my cancer was originally scheduled for only a couple days before a two week trip to Asia, and they ended up rescheduling me for after the trip because there wasn't going to be a tech or doctor available or something. In hindsight, I'm glad that happened. It would have made the trip a lot less fun!

    Like mfk said, try not to worry yet. It won't prevent anything from happening and it just makes you unhappy now.

    Hopefully yours turns out to be nothing!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    I'll add, try to deliberately schedule fun things to do while waiting. I did that between appointments and tests and even surgeries, and what I look back on now are the fun things like day trips! I barely remember the dreary medical part. Oh, and "Dr" Google is a quack, so stay away.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Cynthia, we're sorry you are here and worried, but wanted to send you a warm welcome to BC.org. As you can already see, this wonderful Community is here to help you and give you lots of good advice. We know that the waiting is truly one of the hardest parts, so hang in there and try to keep yourself distracted until you get your results.

    Good luck, and please keep us all posted!

    The Mods

  • cynthia7138
    cynthia7138 Member Posts: 8
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    Hi, kind people. Here's my update: doc called on Thursday following my Monday biopsy. I haven't seen the path report myself yet, but from the notes I scribbled, it's DCIS, low grade (? I think that's what he said), not invasive. I guess I'll talk to a surgeon on Monday, about a lumpectomy. That's really all I know right now. I'm assembling my list of questions.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    I'm sorry it turned out to be something instead of nothing! Collecting questions is great. If you haven't yet, it may also help to read through this page and the other pages linked in it: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/dcis

  • lorrieroma
    lorrieroma Member Posts: 13
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    did you speak to the doctor today?

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    Sorry about the news, it's not the best way to start the year. But low grade is good, so hang onto that. You'll probably be graduating to other threads once you have all the information and surgical plans, so you'll meet knowledgeable people who can give you lots of support.

  • lonelysyster
    lonelysyster Member Posts: 5
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    Hi everyone, I'm new here, and first of all I hope I'm in the right topic, because I normally speak dutch and I'm from belgium. I'm 54 years old, did my mammo and echo and it came back with a note that there is something about longest 9,8 mm and biggest diameter 6,3 mm. (sharply defined intermediate echogenic nodule, and small narrow spur medial side. Vascularised, no retroacoustic shadow). Hope my translation is ok... The paper from the mammo service came back birads4a. The previews mammo and echo was 1,5 years ago, and was ok. I had to have a biopsy, and there the doctor said she thinks it was rather birads4b, so about 50%, instead a 10% for the birads4a. No I'm freaked out, and I already see myself dying and having a terrible time ahead full of clinic visits, pain, sickness, and no life anymore.. when the biopsy was done, I started crying so hard, that they called in a psychologist for me. I found this topic, hoping to see members write that their birads4b still was bening. I'm so lost now.. I first started searching on Google, and everyrhing I read was bad.

  • beaverntx
    beaverntx Member Posts: 2,962
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    Lonelysyster, while your reactions and fears are not uncommon please know these early days in a possible breast cancer diagnosis are often the hardest, in part because our imaginations create the darkest possible future. Should you receive such a diagnosis, once you have a treatment plan and are moving forward with that you will have a better picture of your reality. Yes, there will be clinic visits if your diagnosis is breast cancer but your treatment plan cannot be predicted at this time. Please continue to see your psychologist for support as you continue through this early time of diagnosis. What we imagine is so often much worse than our reality. Sending (((virtual hugs))) your way. Please keep us informed of what you find out.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,070
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    lonelysyster ,

    I am sorry that you are going through this and yes, it is stressful. Let me offer some information that may help you adjust your perspective.

    If you are indeed diagnosed with bc chances are excellent that it is confined to your breast. Cancer confined to the breast is not terminal so you will not be given a death sentence.

    Cancer that has metastasized to distant organs (bone, brain, liver, lungs) is what causes terminal illness but, only about 6% of initial bc diagnoses are metastatic.

    This is a very simple explanation but please use it to help you gain perspective. The chanceof you “dying” from metastatic bc, the only kind that is terminal, is very small! Please continue counseling for your anxiety and understand that this is a difficult time with many unknowns but try not to turn the unknowns into a catastrophe that is not likely to happen. Take care.

  • lonelysyster
    lonelysyster Member Posts: 5
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    @beaverntx..

    Thanks for the hugs.... I know that I have to try not to think the worst case scenario but my mind acts otherwise... sleeping was already not my best quality, now it is a disaster. My hyperventilation is worse now. When I take a few steps, my heart pounds faster. I keep thinking about the birad4a on my paper form the mammo and echo, which would be between 2 and 10 %, but now, after the docter from the radiation said that she thinks it's a birad4b, 50%, I lost all hope... I'm supposed to call the doctor tomorrow evening or wednesday... guess my boyfriend willy have to do fiat...

  • lonelysyster
    lonelysyster Member Posts: 5
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    @exbrnxgrl..

    Thanks so much for your reply. I'm trying.... But like yesterdayevening, I hugged my cat, put her down, and when I walked away, she quickly ran in front of me, so I accidentally stepped on her tail and hurt her. For me this was a trigger to start crying and shaking like hell.


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    Mine was Birads 5 and I'm still here!

    In the U.S., a lot of the Birads 4a and 4b is to make sure the insurance will pay for the tests.

  • lonelysyster
    lonelysyster Member Posts: 5
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    @Alicebastable..

    Glad you are still here with the birads5!!!

    I don' t know if it's the same case here in Belgium with the insurances.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
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    Lonelysyster I am so sorry you are having to go through this process. Here in the US a birads 4 designation means it is more likely benign. The waiting period to find out if you have to take further steps is very stressful and I am so thankful that you were assigned a psychiatrist and that you also found this community because we all understand what you are going through. That being said, it sounds like you might need some anti anxiety medication to assist you. Please work with your medical team to get the support you need whether it is emotional or physical. God Bless you and sending you a huge (((Hug)))

  • lonelysyster
    lonelysyster Member Posts: 5
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    @rah2464..

    I really hope that it will be benign.. indeed, waiting is stressful. I already had anxiety medication because of my hyperventilation. The woman I talked to, also thinks I have cancer related issues from my past. (My father died of prostatecancer in 2001, my uncle of throat cancer 2013, same year my mother (copd, not cancer), my husband of lungcancer 2015, found him dead on the toilet, and my best friend of lungcancer in 2017). So I saw a lot how chemo can make you sick and that cancer kills people.. My "doomsday scenario" is that I will be next... sorry for dat.

    God bless you too and thanks for the hug


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    Don't apologize! You have nothing to apologize for. You have every right to be totally freaked out about cancer, especially based on your experience. People here only suggest solutions because we want to help you and we know there are things that can help. ❤️ You are always allowed to have your feelings.


    You mentioned sleep in particular. I used to sleep well too until my brain decided that when I'm falling asleep it's the perfect time to review all of my worries and concerns. Thanks, brain. What has helped me with that is turning on a podcast when it's time to sleep. (preferably one I've already heard before so the new information doesn't keep me awake out of curiosity). And then I can usually fall asleep quickly because the podcast words drown out whatever my brain is trying to think about. I set my phone to stop playing after that episode or it will go all night, but if you frequently wake up it might help to let it do that. They have podcasts specifically for falling asleep but I just play one of my regular ones because their voices are already familiar.
  • SupportforAmy12
    SupportforAmy12 Member Posts: 14
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    The waiting game is the worst. Hang in there!!! This community is here to support you no matter what :)

  • CaraleeAW
    CaraleeAW Member Posts: 4
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    Waiting here. I have had initial tumor removed Jan 5. Learned there was carcinoma in the electronic charting (late Friday) of the pathology report before the doctor called Monday midday. Reexcision and sentinel node dissection surgery on Jan 25, then waiting for the pathology report, hoping by the end of next week. Take a step, wait, repeat. Trying to get my head around the process. I am using the wait time to research what I do know about my cancer, IDC. Got my exercise in last couple days which helps immensely to calm my mind. Reading other women's comments and experiences is helping too. Thanks to those who post.