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

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

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 02:34PM - edited Nov 11, 2021 11:58PM by lw422

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 02:34PM - edited Nov 11, 2021 11:58PM 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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Mar 29, 2021 02:13PM lw422 wrote:

I'm glad you aren't in the flood zone, Astrid. Oh... the buzz. Somehow that hasn't happened yet after all. My husband asked if I was ready and all at once I wasn't. So I'm still looking like a duckling with mange. I feel so ugly.

Tomorrow I have Taxol #7, and I have a visit with my MO. Then on Wednesday I have an ultrasound and an appointment with the surgical oncologist. So the Never-Ending Anxiety is back. I'm really nervous about the US... what if the chemo isn't working?? And of course I have been avoiding thinking about the mastectomy, but apparently the surgeon has other ideas. I'm so scared.

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Mar 29, 2021 05:48PM sbelizabeth wrote:

LW422, I'm sorry you're feeling so low. There's a dark place in our minds that we've all been to--what if the chemo doesn't work, what if this bursitis is really bone mets, what will my family do without me... it's pretty awful, and even more so when you're feeling ugly.

A friend shared that she imagined a big "delete" button in her mind, so that when her thoughts went "there," she would mentally hit DELETE!

Would you feel better if you got the hair thing over with and had the buzz, and stopped feeling like the mangy duckling? Then you could wear soft caps or wig or scarves and stop shedding. Eyeliner and girly earrings. And be kind to yourself.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap
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Mar 29, 2021 09:59PM lw422 wrote:

Thank you, SBElizabeth. I know that most people here can totally relate to The Dark Place, which makes it a soft place to land. Since I don't feel like a sick person it's easy to coast along for days without CANCER! :death: thoughts. Then I get notice of the upcoming ultrasound and WHAMMO!, back to the dungeon of my mind.

Also dreading the consult with the surgeon. I thought I'd cruise through the mastectomy since "GET THEM OFF!!" was my first thought when diagnosed, but the closer that gets the more I realize that I don't want to be mutilated after all. Hell, I just don't want any of this but after winning the What's My Diagnosis? lotto my life is not my own.

Losing my hair has just been the most devastating thing. Who'd have thought that something so minor would make me feel so bad. I can only imagine my despair when the boob is removed. I feel like a freak now so how will I deal with my uni-boob? I guess I just don't think a hat and some eyeliner are going to work for me; I'm stuck in a low spot these days. If I get bad news on Wednesday I might sink to the absolute bottom.

I do appreciate your words of support; I'm just not ready to pull those big girl panties back on yet. I'm going to wallow in self-pity for a while.:crybaby:

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Mar 29, 2021 10:29PM - edited Mar 29, 2021 10:29PM by lw422

Here's one of the wigs I bought. I hate wigs; hot and scratchy.

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Mar 30, 2021 08:27PM lw422 wrote:

Well, that was random. I met with my oncologist today and in the course of the conversation, I asked why I was having the ultrasound tomorrow. He looked puzzled and said, "I haven't scheduled any ultrasound." So I showed him MyChart with the appointment and he said it wasn't time for that; it will be scheduled after I finish Taxol and was likely a "scheduling error". The appointment with the surgical oncologist is also postponed until that time.

I'm really glad I mentioned that. Nothing like having a pointless, expensive scan that no one needs at this point. :annoyed:

So woohoo, no scan tomorrow and no surgical appointment!!

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Mar 30, 2021 08:51PM harley07 wrote:

@LW422 - sending healing wishes andhugs. Glad to hear the scan was not necessary at this time. Please know that we are here to support you.

RAD51D mutation Surgery 11/5/2020 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right) Dx 11/10/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2020 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 1/7/2021 Hormonal Therapy 2/8/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 30, 2021 09:47PM lw422 wrote:

Thanks so much, Harley07. People like you make this nightmare a little more bearable, and I sincerely appreciate it.

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Apr 6, 2021 01:55PM mamacure wrote:

LW422 that wig looks pretty good! I ordered a fake pony tail head band, sleeping cap and a short wig too. Did you check out the soft headband that goes under a wig? I ordered one of those too. Just ordering these made losing hair feel little bit better since I feel "prepared". But, actually going thru that will probably be hard. I decided to give up on cold capping, don't want to stay in chemo lab for extended time just to save some hair. Been chuckling at these medical charges coming in, unreal what they charge and what gets paid by the insurance! Way to call out the scheduling error! Hang in there, thinking of you!

DX 3/23/21 | IDC LEFT | IBC LEFT | ER-/PR-/HER-2- (FISH) | T4b(inflammatory)N1, overall stage IIIc | Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy April 2021 Taxol, Carbo, Ketruda | Chemo May 2021 Abraxane, Carbo, Keytruda ,AC | Integrative Oncology & Accupuncture
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Apr 6, 2021 05:27PM - edited Apr 6, 2021 05:28PM by Astrid

L Dub

That wig looks awesome on you! No way I'd have known it was a wig if you hadn't said. Just lovely.Hug๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜ป

So sorry dark bear has you in it's grip once more. Par for the course though. Body mind amd emotions making ajustments to new circumstance and creating 'what if's' for you to grapple with.

It will pass. I promise and your Spirit is an indomitable force. Hold on to that.

You can do this.

Pretty fab you caught the scan thing. Well done.

Time to take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on how well you are doing.

Sorry for delayed response .Been away from sight for a bit. Heart

Big soft cyer hug

And a dozen You will get through this's for you. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’–

"You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on." Heraclitus Dx 6/2002, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Dx 7/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Dx 6/2012, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2-, Surgery Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy AC Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Chest wall
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Apr 6, 2021 08:01PM lw422 wrote:

Hey mamacure! How are you holding up these days? I know you're getting ready to begin treatment; things kind of smooth over once it starts and you get into the routine.

I haven't bought a wig headband; which one did you buy? My problem is that "things" on my head make me hot and irritable, so I'm wondering if a headband under a wig would just make it feel worse. I found a seller on Etsy who makes the most gorgeous scarves and hats; she's a BC survivor and knows how hard it is to find comfortable, nice looking things to wear. Her shop is called WithLoveLana.

I hit my $3000 out-of-pocket maximum so I don't see the medical bills any longer until I get a "recap" from my insurance company. I'm glad they are handling the wrangling of billing.

My thoughts are with you and I'm hoping that you will do well with this. There are so many wonderful people here who have walked this lonely road before us, and are so willing to help us along. Hang in there!!

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