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Topic: high risk. how do you deal with the waiting

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Nov 3, 2018 09:38PM

witingimpatiently wrote:

So im 38, and last year developed bleeding from one nipple. I went for the mammogram which was abnormal, had the stereotactic biopsy which was thankfully negative. Blood work including genetic testing all negative but genetic testing not available for family members that have had it. I was sent to a breast specialist who stated that my risk for cancer was super high. paternal grandmother twice (42 and 65) and paternal aunt (39) and maternal great grandmother (?) and cousin (37). So I've had to have the mammogram every march, followed by the breast surgeon visit and a MRI every September followed by the breast surgeon visit. This past September MRI I was told was abnormal, non-mass enhancements. I have to repeat it in march. Im still having the bleeding to my right nipple intermittently and I am a nurse. So I know the probability here. The reason for my post is seeking advice on how to remain calm and quell the anxiety that has been sitting in my throat sine October 4th when I got the results. I am hoping that it will be normal, its all very non-specific but with the factors that I have going on i'm afraid the odds are not in my favor, which doesn't mean that its cancer, but increases the concern a bit.

thank in advance


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Nov 4, 2018 12:27AM Moderators wrote:

Hi there, witingimpatiently! We want to welcome you to our community. That all sounds very scary, we know how hard the waiting and wondering can be! It's hard to stay calm and not jump to the worst case scenario. It might help to talk to a mental health professional and come up with some ways to manage your anxiety; there are many different therapies like meditation, and medication can also be helpful (many of our members can attest to that). It's also helpful to have a place like this to come and talk about your fears, where everyone understands. We're all here for you!

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Nov 5, 2018 09:33AM Mystic18 wrote:

I can empathize with your stress and I'm sorry about all of it. Last year I had a series of abnormal mammograms, MRI's and ultrasounds and the waiting in between was excruciating some days. They performed a core biopsy and removed ADH found by clusters of microcalcifications on my mammo. There are two places found during MRI that we are now 'watching' - they present with cancer like kinetics but are smooth. My next MRI is this Thursday. The last 6 month follow up, it had enlarged some.

Honestly, I was/am a terrible waiter. I googled anything and everything, highlighted areas of my report to look up and try to understand, etc. My birth mother was diagnosed with BC last year and my paternal grandmother died of it in her 40's. Oddly, my adoptive mom was diagnosed with stage 3 BC the same time as my birth mom. So with everyone having BC all around me, I was convinced it wasn't going to end well. What did I do? I began meditating. At least for those 5 or 10 minutes, I was focusing on breathing, allowing thoughts to come in and out, focusing on body sensations, etc. and it was effective for distraction even if only for a few minutes. That would be my suggestion - try to just breathe. I think there's not really any full way to relax until you have an answer - any answer - in front of you.

Sending you peace. I know it's hard.

Dx 12/5/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/9/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2019
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Nov 6, 2018 11:44AM witingimpatiently wrote:

mystic18,

Thank you for your advice. It’s so nerve racking. I had an abnormal mammogram last year and the biopsy was ok. The mri last year was fine, this year it has non-specific enhancements. I have to repeat in 6 months. I’m praying it is ok just so anxious to know. I’ve been googling, of course I know not to but how can you not lol. Waiting is the worst!!

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Nov 9, 2018 07:52PM - edited Nov 9, 2018 08:02PM by Rshep9101

hello there,

I completely understand your feelings. The waiting. The wondering. The hypothetical responses to hypothetical test results. I am also 38 and was diagnosed with ALH, Fibrocystic breast changes, and dense breasts 8 years ago. My older sister is BRCA positive so it made me even more high risk. I have endured the same type of screening as you and am about to have my 4th biopsy (2nd Surgical) in 8 years. It is nerve wracking. I too have a background in science as a Nutritionist so I want all the info possible. it helps me have an idea of how I would respond in certain hypothetical situations. I love my surgeon. She is calm, conservative when it comes to surgery, and so willing to respectfully answer any and all of my questions. She has helped me tremendously over these years. I just had genetic testing yesterday and am scheduled for surgery next Thursday to remove a growing fibroadenoma. The waiting will be the worst. I am an emotional person. I will spend some time on these boards and reading journal studies, which will be positive some days and negative for me on other days. I will watch old shows again that I have seen a million times (ie Grey's, Felicity, etc). I pray a lot and cry a lot. I write down gratitudes. I box and channel all my feelings into punching the bag. I play basketball and lift weights. I made a playlist specifically for changing my mood. I cook. I will throw myself into Christmas shopping and decorate a week or two earlier than most ;). My first surgery was also in November. Depending on the results of my genetic testing I may reach a point that I am ready to reduce my risk with surgery(oopherectomy or mastectomy). I am not there yet but the worry, waiting, anxiety, and screenings effect different people in different ways. My sister sees them as just routine tasks at this point but she started this journey at 16. She is single and doesn't have any kids so the risk though very real is hers alone. I tell my family if a biopsy is needed but I don't call everyone. I have tried over these last few years to be more transparent about my risk and screening because I think it reminds my peers that they should not assume their age removes them from risk. Good luck to you as you navigate all this. Cancer sucks. Being High Risk sucks too. hugs 😊

Rebekah -whatididwhilewaiting.blogspot.... Microcalcifications,ALH, Lump, Strong Family History. Excison on 11/30. 10/2012 2 Fibroadenomas. Core needle Biopsy. Surgery Excisional Wire-guided biopsy 11/15/2018 Dx 11/1/2010 Surgery 11/15/2018 Lumpectomy Dx Surgery

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