Aug 14, 2011 06:19AM dogeyed wrote:
Hi PrayRV (and Day when she comes here) and anyone else who comes here,
This morning I noticed down in the Moderator section in the forum list, that Day had asked if there was a place for those who have mixed diagnoses for their breast cancer, and this be the place, so thought I'd just put a few intro type words in here on mine, which is listed in the little section at the bottom of each person's post: IBC, IDC, and Melanoma.
They did not biopsy my Inflammatory, it was a clinical diagnosis, it was very swollen, heated up, hard on the end (that's what took me to a woman's doc), pain came later, and then I got a marking on my skin in the front that looked like a smudge of lipstick. Then I was biopsied specifically at the site of my growth (which I never felt), and came back with Invasive Ductal, I had one 5cm+ tumor and two smaller ones off to the side, and right above the large growth is where that smudge came, so I couldn't swear if it was IBC or the IDC that made it do that, but I thought from seeing pictures of IBC that it was part of an Inflammatory presentation. AND THEN, I had a mole on my breast that, as my breast got larger and larger and became painful, that mole really started to change, it was kind of a medium-sized and -colored mole with a couple freckle type moles near it, and it all merged into one very dark looking mole, so I knew melanoma was possible, particularly since mother and father had had it, and alerted doc to it, and he said he would take the mole off during surgery.
So, after five months of chemo (I had wanted surgery first, but had to follow protocol), and then surgery, the doc indeed took the mole off with margins at same time as mastectomy that removed my breast (no reconstruct). When the labs came back that the mole was indeed melanoma, well, he was to consult with an expert on margins for melanoma, to make sure he did that right. Also I asked the nurse if there was anything in my labs about the Inflammatory cancer situation, and she said there was nothing there. I KNOW my doc didn't forget about it, so I will ask him this Thursday when I'm scheduled to see him. The LAST thing I want is recurrence, and if I have to go back into surgery (God forbid), by golly I will immediately, becuz even tho I would cry a river at that news, it's better to get it all done in this "round," than to have a year or two go by and have to face this awful music all over again, with perhaps even worse stats than I face now.
I will say this one personal note on my "mixed" diagnosis. I absolutely could NOT believe I had cancer, and such a wild type, so aggressive, the picture in my mind's eye of it spreading was so scary to me, and I simply cannot believe that in my entire life I had never gotten such a disease or any disease remotely close to such a disastrous diagnosis as cancer like mine. I did have a grandmother who had ovarian cancer, and so I had kept up with checks about that when I reached her age, but never thought of breast cancer. And I keep trying to imagine WHAT did this to me. Did I stand too close to a microwave oven too often? Did I eat something strange at a restaurant? Was it the antifreeze in the pipes of the new place I moved to in the dishwasher before I found out?
And now that I've finished chemo and surgery, with radiation coming up soon, I find myself praying that the researchers will try to find some new way to treat this awful disease without having to torture so many of the female (and male) of our population, the stats are unbelievable (but of course I've forgotten now). I am 60 years old and disabled by spinal injuries from a car accident to begin with, and so I'm not up to all this stuff like maybe the younger ones. But I imagine ALL women (and men) who have this breast cancer routine are truly fed up with just how much pain and discomfort and exhaustion that treatment unloads upon us, and it lasts SO LONG, and no amount of being glad to survive will change how hard it is to stand up to this particular torture. I believe this is why we're called "brave." Oh, I'm a happy camper knowing that I have bought some years with this treatment, and my eyes were opened in a big way going thru this about what a gift life is, but please, won't someone come up with a way to make this easier on people?
In closing, I want to say that my treatment, I have no idea how it stacks up to others with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, I've visited my chemo website when I was doing chemo, and the surgery website when I did that, and I looked in on IBC and glanced at their treatments, and it seems types of chemo and order of surgery, etc., varies from individual to individual, diff diagnoses get same treatment and vice-versa. But maybe someone rather smarter than I am KNOWS more about IBC and its standard protocols, when compared to IDC and melanoma and Lord knows what else. Oh, and while my IDC growths were shrunk to ZERO after chemo, I have enough Ductal Carcinoma left to call it DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ), I think those are the initials and names for that one. GG