Oct 23, 2012 08:24PM Blessings2011 wrote:
Hi, needhope. I'm so sorry your mom is going through this, but please take a big deeeeeep breath, and try to relax a bit.
It's not unusual for women to have additional tumors show up in diagnostic tests, and there may even be things that are discovered during surgery that didn't show up beforehand. But this isn't always bad news.
I think it's a good thing that the surgeon is not suspecting any lymph node involvement, although again - that will probably be finalized at the time of surgery if Mom has a Sentinel Node Biopsy.
I had multifocal cancer. I had DCIS (non-invasive cancer) in the beginning, then at the end of seven different diagnostic tests, they found two areas of IDC - invasive ductal cancer.
My surgeon offered me a lumpectomy with radiation, but said that having two different lumps so far apart meant that she would have to take a large wedge of tissue to get it all. She suggested that I may want to consider a unilateral mastectomy (UMX).
Because of my history, I made the decision for bilateral mastectomy (BMX).
I was diagnosed last year on September 15th, and I did not have my surgery until December 5th. I was going crazy. In my mind I was imagining the cancer spreading everywhere, including the lymph nodes, and throughout my body.
Fortunately, the Breast Care Coordinator and the surgeon took great care to explain to me that cancer does not act like that. In fact, in Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, she says that by the time breast cancer tumors are large enough to be seen, they have been in the body for 8 - 10 YEARS.
I had my BMX on December 5th. All the margins were clear, so I did not need radiation. There was no lymph node involvement, so I did not need chemo. (My IDC was very small.) I had tissue expanders placed at the time of surgery, and two months ago I got my permanent implants. (I decided to lose weight before I got the New Girls, so they'd be the right size.)
Because I am ER+, my treatment now is five years of Arimidex. So far, so good - no side effects. And my risk of recurrence? Between 1% and 2%.
Breast cancer just sucks, because there are so many unknowns. Your mom is lucky to have you by her side.....just be careful she isn't spending all her time trying to comfort you. It's a rocky road when you're just starting out. She's probably more worried about you than you are about her.
And making it worse is the wait....we wait for diagnostic results, we wait for surgery, we wait for the final pathology report, we wait for a treatment plan. Sometimes it seems like the doctors aren't in any hurry at all.
But they need as much information as they can get to make a final plan. It's like being handed a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle with 500 pieces missing, and you're expected to put the picture together.
I think the more information your mom has about her own particular diagnosis, and after she finally gets a concrete treatment plan, I think you will be able to relax a whole lot easier.
Even if Mom does need chemo because of the size of her first tumor, she will get through it. There are SO many women here who can be of great comfort! So please continue to post, and keep us updated!
Hope this helps...