Topic: Apparently I Am "Just Diagnosed." :(

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 03:34PM - edited Nov 12, 2021 12:58AM by lw422

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 03:34PM - edited Nov 12, 2021 12:58AM by lw422

lw422 wrote:

Hello everyone. Here I am, terrified and confused like most of you were when you got "The News No One Wants To Hear." I had what appeared to be a light pink bruise on my right breast the week before Christmas and wasn't concerned. Watched it for a week or so to see if it would go away and decided to Google. Bad idea, but at least it prompted me to see my PCP right away. (Note that I have no peau-de-orange, no heat in the breast, no 1/3 of breast turning red, no lump, no hardness, no itching, no other apparent symptoms other than breast is slightly swollen and a light pink "bruise".)

My doctor took one look and said I needed to have a mammo/sono and I scheduled them as soon as I could. Luckily for me, I live 25 miles from MD Anderson in Houston, so that's where I spent my day yesterday. I had a diagnostic mammogram w/tomo (whatever that means), a sonogram, and two biopsies...needle biopsy to lymph node and core biopsy to the largest mass in my breast with clip placement. I will have followup MRI and skin punch biopsies next week (hopefully) and meet with my "team."

There are no results back from the core biopsy yet but the lymph node was positive for cancer so I'm pretty sure I know what the core biopsy will say. Naturally my biggest fear is IBC, so even though I'm holding it together so far, an IBC diagnosis will be devastating (not that any BC diagnosis isn't devastating, but IBC... UGH.)

Here's a little blurb from My Chart sonogram test results:

Right breast:
There is right breast global skin thickening, correlating with mammography. A dominant area of right breast skin thickening is seen at 3 o'clock position and correlates with an area of erythema. Skin thickening measures 0.5 cm maximally. There is no sonographic correlation for mammographic asymmetry in the anterior central breast.

There are multiple subcentimeter masses in the upper outer quadrant. This appears to correlate with the mammographic finding of asymmetry in the lateral breast. The largest mass is irregular and hypoechoic with angular margins at 10 o'clock position, 12 cm from the nipple measuring 0.9 x 0.6 x 0.5 cm. This mass was targeted for core biopsy and clip placement today.

Right nodal basins:
There is one malignant-appearing right axillary level I lymph node measuring 1.9 x 1.3 x 1.2 cm with replacement of the fatty hilum. This correlates with the mammogram finding of an abnormal-appearing lymph node. This lymph node was targeted for fine-needle aspiration and clip placement.

There is no right axillary level II, axillary level III, or internal mammary lymphadenopathy. There is no suspicious-appearing lymph node in the right supraclavicular region.

ACR BI-RADS Category: 5: Highly suggestive of malignancy.
Skin punch biopsy is recommended for right breast erythema.
Breast MRI is recommended.

Since I don't have the details of what type of cancer I have yet, I'll just put this here and move to the appropriate section once I know for certain what I am facing. I have been reading this forum for about a month but had nothing to contribute except a bunch of angst-filled questions, so I mainly read to see if others had already asked them. Nice to meet you all and I wish the best for all of us.
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Jan 13, 2021 03:45PM mtspacekace wrote:

Hugs. You are in the right place. What a blessing you were able to get all of that done in one day. I had to wait a week or more between appointments. The best advice, don’t google. Once you get results from the biopsy the wheel will start to spin. You will get through this.

Diagnosed at 38. Dog mom. Wife. Rancher turned warrior, currently busy kicking cancers ass. Dx 6/3/2020, IDC, Left, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2+, IHC Dx 6/3/2020, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+, FISHISHCISH Chemotherapy 7/7/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/7/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/7/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 12/16/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jan 13, 2021 03:51PM ctmbsikia wrote:

So sorry. Yes that was fast to do tests and biopsy same day. Hopefully a Doc called you and spoke to you, and you didn't just find that report.

Surgery 1/31/2018 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 4/11/2018 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 13, 2021 03:53PM lw422 wrote:

Thanks so much, MTSPACEKACE. I can certainly use all the support I can get right now. I appreciate your response and my best wishes to you.

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Jan 13, 2021 04:00PM lw422 wrote:

Hello ctmbsikia and thank you. Yes, it was very lucky to have all that accomplished in a single day, though it was a day from hell and very exhausting. I was able to get in to MD Anderson and they have things down to a science (so to speak) as far as testing and diagnosis. I'm waiting on the scheduling call to set up the MRI and punch biopsies and wondering if my blood pressure has maxed out due to stress.

I met with a doctor at the end of the day yesterday and she went over the test results with me, though they appeared almost immediately in My Chart. I was pretty shell-shocked during that conversation and unfortunately my husband was not allowed to accompany me into the facility due to Covid.

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Jan 13, 2021 04:46PM beesy_the_other_one wrote:

lw422, sorry to meet you here, under these circumstances, but you have found a great community. I'm also treated at MD Anderson (live in W. Houston) and can't say enough good about it. If it makes you feel better about the word metastatic in the description of the lymph node biopsy, anything cancerous that is not part of the primary tumor would be described that way, meaning the cells they found in the node were consistent with breast cancer. One thing that might help you at your next appointment(s) is that you can have your husband on speakerphone. It's a lot to take in when your head is reeling, and Covid is not helping your situation.

You'll read it over and over again, but you're in the hardest part, waiting. Once you get going, you are doing something about the problem! The best thing I read early on in my treatment was, "You don't have to be brave. You just need to show up." You can do this, lw422!

1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2021 04:53PM melissadallas wrote:

Hi lw422. The “metastatic” referring to the lymph node in breast cancer is still just considered “local” cancer. It is used differently than metastatic referring to spread to other body parts. They would only know about distant spread with other scans

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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Jan 13, 2021 05:01PM lw422 wrote:

Hello, Beesy-the-other-one and thank you for your kindness. I live on the east side of town and though it's not far to drive, the traffic is a nightmare (as I'm sure you know) and I'm totally intimidated by the Medical Center. I feel blessed to have access to the top-tier medical treatment provided by all of the Medical Center facilities, though. I originally scheduled my mammogram/sonogram with Houston Methodist because my PCP is a doctor there and they have facilities closer to me, but after reconsidering I decided to cancel those appointments and head for the Big Guns.

Thanks for the explanation of the "metastatic" lymph node. I have so much to learn.

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Jan 13, 2021 05:05PM lw422 wrote:

Hi Melissa-Dallas. Another Texan showing up to support me! My oldest son lived in Dallas until he relocated to Oregon. I have 5 grown kids and they are scattered all over the state except for that one.

Thanks so much for the explanation of "metastatic" in relation to the lymph node. So many of these terms are terrifying to me at this point. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

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Jan 13, 2021 05:14PM lw422 wrote:

UPDATE: My core biopsy result just popped up in My Chart. So far it's IDC, but of course the punch biopsy and MRI could tell a totally different story next week.

DiagnosisA: Right breast, 10:00, 12 cm from nipple, ultrasound-guided core biopsy:



CommentImmunohistochemical stains for biologic markers are pending.
Gross DescriptionA:

Breast, right, location 10 o'clock. dfn: 12 cm: Consists of 4 cores of yellow lobulated fibroglandular tissue ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 cm in greatest dimension and , entirely submitted in A1-A2 (two cores each). JH

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Jan 13, 2021 05:28PM melissadallas wrote:

Have they scheduled the skin punch biopsy yet, or has it been done?

Until you get the ER, PR and HER results back you won’t hear much as to plan.

Yeah, Texas girl through and through! My mom is in Daughters of the Republic of Texas. I’m moving back to my hometown, Denton, in a couple of months and am really excited about it

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes

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