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Jan 29, 2012 01:38PM
I had a lumpectomy with radiation in 1987 and I had a lot of scar tissue and a lot of pain from it for 23 years. Its like a double whammy--scar tissue and then radiation makes it hard and painful. My recurrence was right in the middle of the old scar tissue--which was seen on my annual mammogram. I wouldn't have been able to feel it for a couple more years, it all just felt like scar tissue. I never felt pain from the cancer either time. If your insurance will cover it, a MRI will show more than a mammogran--if a recurrence is within the scar tissue--which shows up white on a mammogram--same as cancers.
I think one of the problems you're having is what I have found out over the years about specialists, that each doctor has a narrow spectrum of what they focus on and if you go outside of their focus, they just don't know because their focus is so very specific. Both times I've had BC, I've had a cadre of doctors, including a GP that helped guide me to the right specialist for each problem.
Who drained the fluid before? That's who you mostly likely need to go see.
The oncologist doesn't seem to have good communication skills--she shouldn't compare your situation with other women--she should treat your level of discomfort. My hot flashes weren't as bad as soaking thru my clothes but there were uncomfortable enough that I got effexor from my GP because of how I was being affected.
The first time I talked to 10 oncologists before I found one I liked and I think it is so important to be able to communicate well with your oncologist. I recently switched GP's because of my recurrence. My GP was fine when I only had to see her once a year, but as soon as I had problems, she didn't know enough about current cancer treatments and I got a recommendation for a new GP from my oncologist.
I think it's important to be able to talk to your doctor and have confidence that they are giving you the attention you deserve. While my oncologist is always telling me -I'm fine, he wishes all his patients were doing as well as me, etc.... but I have never felt short changed in his attention when doing an exam or answering my questions even though most of his patients are much sicker than I. Good luck!
VJ Sleight, 1st diagnosis: 1987, stage 2, ER+, 0/18 nodes, lympectomy, radiation and chemo. cancer free for 22 years, 10 months and 27 days. www.VJSleight.com
8/2/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-