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Feb 6, 2019 09:58AM
Ugh. This is so frustrating, the NOT knowing. My PS said radiation causes so many issues and he feels this is due to the fact that the breast had radiation last year. (My radiation treatment ended March 1, 2018. I had tissue expanders in during radiation and did feel some large firm lumps then, but it felt different and I never even questioned that it was scar tissue.)
Immediately after my exchange surgery at the very end of November 2018, I felt no lumps whatsoever. The area was softer and my surgeon said to expect the right side to become firmer because it had radiation. And the right side has become firmer.
But the lump I found around New Years was tiny, a few millimeters, and couldn't even be felt unless I pressed on the breast. Now it's larger and can be felt just by lightly touching the area. And it's in the same spot as my original tumor. Again, my surgeon feels it's just "bits of tissue that became separated during surgery and are now coming back together." I can't help thinking, really? These bits of tissue are coming back together in exactly the same place my original cancerous tumor was? And why is it getting bigger?
And then like a week after I had an ultrasound and MRI that showed nothing, I get the lump in my lower armpit.
I asked the surgeon if it's possible there was some breast tissue left in the axilla because I have read that it's very difficult to remove all the tissue from that area during a mastectomy. The surgeon said that's not true, my BS is extremely good and likely got all of the tissue.
I said if there's no breast tissue left, then what are these lumps made out of. He said there's still cells. I mean, what's the difference?
There is also now swelling over the ribs next to the lump where my original tumor was.
My tumor markers 3 weeks ago were normal, but that was expected because they weren't elevated even in the beginning when I had a 6cm tumor. My alkaline phosphatase is elevated and has been steadily rising. It wasn't elevated before diagnosis or all during chemo (it was around 60). Now that treatment is over, it keeps going up a little bit every time we test it.
Oh, and the real kicker: the left (prophylactic mastectomy) side has dropped and now even though I had a double mastectomy and was told over and over how I'd have firm, perky "breasts" from now on, I have to wear a bra every day now to support the drooping, misshapen left breast.
dx 6/17 stage III TNBC 6cm tumor Taxol 7-8/17 tumor grew to 10cm AC 9-10/17 tumor shrunk to 3cm DMX 11/17 expanders placed Rads 33 doses + cisplatin 1/18 Cisplatin discontinued due to SEs Xeloda 4-10/2018 Exch surgery 11/18