Nov 19, 2015 02:56AM chrissyb wrote:
Hi sbf-ok and welcome to BCO. I'm so sorry that your Mom has been told that she has Breast Cancer, a dx no one ever wants to have.
The treatment she received from that doc in totally unacceptable and I'm so glad you have scheduled another appointment with another doc and treating facility......the very best thing you could have done for her. Please don't worry about your Mom 'shutting down' as it is a very normal thing to do while she is trying to process her dx and all that it entails. She will I'm sure have a little more interest as things move along.
Now, for your questions:
Grade I is not aggressive in it's self as it is slow growing but if the cancer has left the lobe or duct and infiltrated the breast tissue it will be classified as invasive and if it's invasive there is a possibility of it leaving the breast confines and setting up home elsewhere in the body.........that is why all scans are done at staging to make sure that the cancer is still only in the breast. Having said all that, it may be that your Mom is stage I.......which means size and grade III which is aggressive (fast growing). I'm sure all of this will be clarified by the new doc when you see him/her. The other path tests can take about a week to get back so you should have access to those soon.......those tests include testing for the Her2 + or -, ER/PR + or - which will help in deciding what treatment your Mom needs. There are a lot of different types of Breast Cancer some more aggressive than other and if she has one of those it doesn't matter that stage or grade she is the cancer itself is aggressive.
Lobulated just means that the mass is in the lobe of the breast and irregular means not round or oval......very standard terminology.
The LN are the filters of our system and hopefully catch anything that is not supposed to be there........it's possible that your Mom's LN is doing it's job and reacting to the cancer in her breast just like you get a swollen gland under your chin when you have a throat infection.......that also is a LN doing it's job.
Stage IV is classified as terminal because there is no hope of a cure BUT, that is not the end of it. Most stage IV people do live with treatment for quite some time after dx.......I am stage IV and am still living well after almost seven years. Please don't stress too much on that point.
A biopsy can dx if the tumor is colloidal or not as that depends on how quickly the cells divide.
The fact that she has heart problems means that she will have to be closely monitored and treatment adjusted for her tolerance so treatment is still possible.
The best way to support her is just to be there when she needs you, ready to have the conversations when she feels like them. When she is in treatment, try to help by cleaning the house, making meals, taking her to appointments and anything else that she may require. You will find that sometimes she will just want to sit with you and that is support enough........just knowing that you care.
Trying to keep your own fears in check is not so easy but by coming here and reading and learning you will feel more confident and in control.......you can also pass on this knowledge to your Mom if she is receptive.
I do hope I have helped a little to put your mind at ease.
Love n hugs to you and your Mom. Chrissy