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

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

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 01:34PM - edited Nov 11, 2021 10:58PM by lw422

Posted on: Jan 13, 2021 01:34PM - edited Nov 11, 2021 10:58PM 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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Jun 4, 2021 10:35AM lw422 wrote:

Hello everyone. Since Helen bumped the thread I thought I'd post a little update. I've had one AC and it really kicked my butt for about a week. After that I feel mostly "OK", but I get tired easily. My second AC will be on Tuesday so I'm hoping it will go OK... at least I know what to expect this time. I'm hoping my blood work will be OK and that I won't have to have Neulasta... but so far my luck hasn't been that great this year. :biggrin:

I hope all of you are doing well, whether in active treatment or not. I will always appreciate the encouragement I received from all of you.

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Jun 4, 2021 03:47PM Astrid wrote:

Hiay Helen

Lovely to hear from you and so glad you are doing ok if not great with rads. Connection is so important. I get it.

Great news re your new practice. Fantastic!

Keepus posted.

Sending loads of love

Astrid.Hug

"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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Jun 4, 2021 03:53PM Astrid wrote:

Hello L-Dub.

I love your updates.

I come here to check in every week or so now. So I can get news from you and Helen.

AC The red devil

Bleh!!!!!!

One down girl!

You can do this. Of course you can. And then rebuild. Yep. You will love the new model I promise.

No-one wants to go down in the muck but after....we know ourselves and therefore others more deeply

That's my experience of it down the track.

Perspective is adjusted and changed forever.

Sending a gigantic cyber hug as always.

Astrid.Heart

"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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Jun 4, 2021 06:23PM lw422 wrote:

Howdy, Astrid. Nice to hear from you, girlie. Hope you're doing well these days. Hugs back to you!

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Jul 9, 2021 10:54AM lw422 wrote:

Just thought I'd update this thread with progress so far. I've had three AC's, though the one yesterday was "reduced dosage"; normally 60/600 but I got 50/500 due to severe SEs. I also had an echo-cardiogram this week because my heart rate has increased drastically with chemo. Thankfully the echo was normal, so that's a relief.

Also, the reduced dose AC has not flattened me like the full dose; I only hope it's still "flattening" those cancer cells! I guess my MO decided it was better to try a reduced dose than to stop it altogether, and I agree.

In other news, I already have my mastectomy scheduled! August 23 is "M-Day". I'm also having a PS do the lympho-venous bypass microsurgery at the same time, as well as the asthetic flat closure. I'm really hoping that bypass will help prevent lymphedema since I have to have two levels of nodes removed.

So my last reduced-dose AC on July 29 and surgery on August 23. Hopefully I can have all of this wrapped up before the holidays!!

Astrid--where the heck are you, girlie??

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Nov 15, 2021 01:35PM lw422 wrote:

Closing out my thread... 11 months later and today was my last radiation boost, completing my active treatment. I had a single mastectomy on August 23 with 2 levels of lymph nodes removed (32 in all...none were positive for cancer). Happily received news of "PCR" to chemo. Started radiation (30 treatments) on October 4; finished today.

I was released by MO, SO and RO and will begin the every-3-month monitoring. It will be weird to be on my own, after so many months of scheduled torture and angst. I'm so thankful that it is done and also for this place where I received such great support and kindness from a bunch of faceless strangers. Thanks again to all of you. We need each other.

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Nov 15, 2021 08:11PM minustwo wrote:

LW - congrats on crossing the finish line. You made it, and just in time for the holidays!!! Hope you can take some time now to decompress and do things that you want to do. For example Friday & Saturday I declared personal days and did NOTHING except read a book. Truly - not one thing. And Sunday I met my nephew & his family for dinner at a restaurant that requires masking for customers & employees so we all felt relatively safe.

Wishing you the best as you sync back into your "real" life.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 15, 2021 08:21PM lw422 wrote:

Hey -2! Hard to believe I'm done with active treatment; seems like just a month ago I got the news that turned my world upside-down. While going through treatment it seemed like time was dragging, but suddenly it's done.

I'm nervous to be "released" and on my own. As an IBC patient I'll see my MO every three months for the next 2 years, so I suppose that will help. Once I get healed from radiation and get some relief from the nerve damage and tightness of surgery I'll be able to put this in the past. Thanks for helping me along the way.

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Jun 12, 2022 10:54AM believegr8things wrote:

Just diagnosed with IDC stage 1 ER+ PR+, HER2- right breast last week. Surgery is set for 6/29/22. Lumpectomy and sentinel nodes followed by radiation and hormonal therapy. I’ve been taking care of my 87 old Mom. She’s in a nursing home, but care is sketchy unless family is present. She can’t safely feed herself and if we aren’t there she’s often left alone with her tray to figure it out. She falls asleep and they take her tray saying she didn’t feel like eating today. Argh! So why am I mentioning this? Last week they announced they’ve had a couple of cases of Covid in the facility. My surgeon has advised if I get Covid surgery is postponed until 2 weeks after last symptoms and it may mess up my lymph node biopsies. Struggling here. No volunteers to step up and help my sister cover meals in my absence. What would you do?

Surgery 6/29/2022 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel
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Jun 12, 2022 03:24PM lw422 wrote:

Hello Believegr8things and welcome to the Worst Club in the World; sorry you have to join us but you've come to a supportive place. I believe this is the time you must focus on yourself for a bit and hopefully your sister can manage for a few weeks. Can you speak to a supervisor at the nursing home and explain your dilemma? You certainly don't want to be exposed to Covid at this point and you'll need some recovery time following your surgery. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with additional stress on top of your diagnosis. Take care and let us know how it goes; my best to you.

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