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Feb 10, 2019 09:24AM
My lump was found August 20, mammogram+US on September 9, biopsy on September 18, surgery on October 18. (Some of those dates might be a day or two off, but they're about right). Of course, who knows how long the lump had been there before my gynecologist caught it.
I asked my MO about a tumor board and she said she wouldn't ordinarily use one for a case like mine, but she was open to it if it would make me feel more comfortable. I ultimately decided I was comfortable going forward without one. My cancer seems to be a pretty textbook case, everything recommended was consistent with what I had researched, all the physical/genetic aspects of my tumor were congruous, and I'm at a well respected cancer center.
For me, he hardest part was waiting between the biopsy results and the first surgical oncology appointment. I was freaking myself out that it was stage 4 de novo, and I was so afraid to look on the internet, which ironically on my case would have reassured me that it was almost certainly early stage. After that, I didn't mind waiting on the surgery from a medical point of view.
I think the urgency for me came from being very anxious about work - starting more or less from the day before I got the biopsy results, I was a mental wreck and trying to be on point at my work (teaching) took every single drop of will I had and I was pretty miserable. I was worried I'd screw up, worried my tenure would get screwed up, worried about using unpaid leave, worried about working when I was doing a crappy job of it, etc. I was much more in a hurry to get started on radiation than to get the surgery - because that would give me, in my head, a solid reason to start my medical leave from work.
I feel like there's such an enormous mental component to this illness, at least there was for me. Physically, it is so much less than I was scared of (after watching my mom die of stage 4 de novo 20 years ago). I mean, it hasn't been easy, but it's been doable. But mentally and emotionally, it required a lot from me - both pushing through at times, and also acknowledging what felt like weakness to me (not being able to work), and accepting it and accommodating it and not blaming myself too much.
Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9.
9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
10/18/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)