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Another confused newbie...

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I am feeling very alone in all of this. I went from a perfectly normal mammo, to a cyst that just needed to be drained to a highly suspicious BI-RADS Category 0 to a highly suspicious 4C diagnostic ultrasound and Abnormal lymph nodes in 3 months' time. My doctor said she cannot tell me what the diagnostic mammo & ultrasound report means, and I will need to wait for the ultrasound. I find myself googling what all the terms and codes mean, but without someone actually talking to me, all I can do is imagine. When I shared my report with a friend who had been through a double mastectomy, she gently told me I needed to call to see if I could get my biopsy moved up. I am unsure if she knows something I do not, or she is being overly cautious. I am reading into everything! My biopsy is scheduled for Monday. A crystal ball would be really helpful right now.

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  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 953
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    Hi @hopper , I'm sorry that you have to go through the stress of a biopsy. Your doctor is correct; imaging cannot tell whether a lesion is malignant so a biopsy which examines the cells needs to be done. You can certainly call to see if there is a cancellation to get in sooner but you aren't scheduled too far out in the timetable of the breast cancer world. Unfortunately there are no crystal balls and every person's situation is unique. Try to stay busy to keep your mind occupied and come back to let us know what you find out. Here's hoping for benign!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,861
    edited May 11
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    You are at a point in the process that is certainly very stressful and worrisome. I am unsure of what you mean with respect to your doctors comment. Did you ask her specific questions? Regardless, your biopsy is on Monday and that will provide many answers, though you will have to wait for results to be available. As for your friend, unless she is a doctor, and specifically a radiologist, I would wonder about her qualifications to interpret your report and then provide a recommendation for action. I know that some patients do become very familiar with medical reports and terminology and thus feel comfortable advising others. I have been a bco member for 12 years and although I know far more about breast cancer than I ever imagined, I am still a retired teacher with no medical expertise.
    Additionally, breast cancer, even those considered aggressive, is relatively slow growing and not considered an emergency so am unsure how or why your friend made things sound urgent. Imaging simply does not give enough info to determine if things are bad, beyond the imaging itself. Having a bilateral mastectomy (bmx) or even having breast cancer does not confer a medical degree on anyone. Sadly, there is a universal shortage of crystal balls 😉 and equally sadly, waiting is the worst. Take care

  • hopper
    hopper Member Posts: 2
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    Results came back today. Having access to a portal is nice, because no one can delay giving me the information. It is bad, because no one has contacted me yet to discuss what it all means. I put in a call asking someone to please talk to me about what I need to do next. Invasive ductal carcinoma grade 3, ER-, PR- HER2 is still unknown. I am still blown away on how I can go from nothing to this is just a few months. The seal has been broken on the tears.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 953
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    @hopper , I'm so sorry that the biopsy turned out to be cancer. They can't come up with a treatment plan for you until they have the HER2 result. Sometimes they have to send it out for FISH testing and that can take up to a week or two. When that information is back I'm sure that they'll contact you and set up an appointment to determine what comes next. The waiting is really difficult. Things get better once you know what you'll be doing so try to hang in there. We sympathize with your situation. Feel free to vent to us if you need to.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 407
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    Oh Hopper. I am so sorry. We all know the horror of diagnosis but at the same time we can all tell you it does get better once all the answers are in place and you get a treatment place. I will let you know that I had a grade 3. It was hormone positive, HER2+ negative so my treatment was fairly straightforward with surgery first followed by chemo (only four sessions and although a big deal it did go by very quickly) and then endocrine therapy. I am two years out and feel just as good if not better than I did at diagnosis. Just hang in there until the answers come.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,089
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    @hopper Sending you big, big hugs! We're so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but we're really glad you've come back here for support. As you can already see, our Community is full of amazing members always willing to offer some advice, encouragement, information, and support — we're all here for you!

    As stated above, we echo the sentiments that once you have more information and a treatment plan in place, you'll start to feel a little more confident to face this head-on. Knowledge is power and you can do this!

    The beginning is the hardest part and the waiting is excruciating. But we've all got your back while you wait for answers.

    For some more information to help you wrap your head around your diagnosis, we wanted to share some links with you:

    https://www.breastcancer.org/types/invasive-ductal-carcinoma

    https://www.breastcancer.org/pathology-report/hormone-receptor-status

    https://www.breastcancer.org/pathology-report/her2-status

    Try to take a deep breath and stay calm until you have more information. Let us know what questions you have and we'll all try to help as best we can.

    Hugs to you!

    —The Mods