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Oct 4, 2021 07:29PM
Hi all. Going to respond to earlier posts now. Feeling optimistic that they didn't detect cancer in my lymph nodes but I realize it's not clear what's going on until I have my surgery and see what stage I'm in and also what the remaining results of the biopsy are. I am in the process of switching my doctor to M. Ferra Lin-Duffy of Comprehensive Cancer Centers here in NV. I read good things about her and she is a breast oncology surgeon vs a general surgeon which was assigned me previously. I'm going to call tomorrow to make an appointment so I can get things started.
I do have a couple questions for the forum:
1. Who decides whether you have a lumpectomy vs having the entire breast removed? Is that an insurance thing? Because I would like both of my breasts removed. I would feel safer without natural breast tissue. It seems like I'm high risk for recurrence based on genetics, weight, age, tumor size, lifestyle, etc.
2. What is everyone's opinion on receiving chemo before surgery? The doctor's office that I'm switching away from said that I would receive chemo first due to the size of my tumor and in an effort to shrink it. However, I read online that going back to 2015 or 2017 or something that they linked chemo prior to surgery to cancer spreading to other organs. Just wondering if anyone has researched this.
ElaineTherese: Thanks for sharing your story. I feel better about my situation hearing from people like you and will check out the stage III thread. I'm moved on from bone-chilling fear to acceptance with a side of concern.
exbrnxgrl I have no had surgery. I've had the MRI and biopsy. Was confirmed cancer today but everyone along the way seemed pretty certain that it was anyway. MRI said tumor was 6.3 cm, ultrasound said 3.4 cm. Not sure what it is now because someone had mentioned that the MRI could overestimate the size of the tumor when it sees inflammation. Working on getting a surgeon ready and still waiting on my biopsy results. The only thing I got from the phone call today was that it is cancer, it was not detected in the lymph node that was tested, and something about it spreading or moving out from the duct. I really wasn't sure what she was saying but that's what I got from it. I'm doing better with the stress part. I think I'm past the freak-out stage and have accepted my new reality. Antidepressant is helping though I've noticed that I'm not losing any weight in spite of dieting so I may decide to discontinue them.
Sunshine99 Hi Carol, thanks for the (((hugs))). I'll probably loosen up my eating habits once my treatment starts but for now I'm doing everything in my power to keep the cancer from growing/spreading. That means eating super healthy (exercise has gotten better but still not doing all I should). I suspect that now the biopsy has confirmed cancer that things will move more quickly. I'm waiting to hear the rest of the biopsy results, not that I'll understand what they mean. One thing that's been bugging me about the biopsy is that I had bruising on my breast afterwards. It got me thinking that if blood spilled under my skin, could that have spread cancer cells?
Rah2464 That's awesome! Would love for that to be what they find when they perform my surgery! Here's hoping I'm full of inflammation! lol. Thanks for sharing.
ThreeTree I checked out the website and saw where it mentioned oncologists. I might have done things in the wrong order but the doctor's office who performed my ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram referred me to a surgeon so I thought I should find another surgeon right away so I could get the referral sent over and not delay my treatment. I found Dr Lin-Duffy and heard some good things about her. I was told that I should meet with her first and that she will look at the rest of the biopsy results and then assign me to an oncologist based on those. However, I noticed on your list from the link that several names were from the Comprehensive Cancer Center where I will be treated so it's very likely that I'll end up with one of those oncologists after all.
My cravings for junk food have lessened over time but I still plan on relaxing my diet once treatment starts. I can't imagine going the rest of my life without eating red meat. I don't even want to think about never again going to a Las Vegas buffet and treating myself to a prime rib dinner. So most likely I will eat healthy most of the time and treat myself on occasion. I probably should have been eating that way all along.
Sam2U Wow, great survival story. Thank you for sharing. I think everyone is scared when they are first diagnosed but I think the fear factor increases exponentially with each cm increase in tumor size. Still waiting to hear what type of BC I have which is more important than tumor size they say. I'm happy you are still here with us and may you have many, many more years to come!
Aram Yeah, I'm still waiting on those results from the biopsy. If my tumor is indeed 6 cm and the MRI was accurate, it would be that it grew super fast because how else could it be that big and be missed on a mammogram in Feb 2020? I should be getting the rest of the results back this week. But that is a good attitude to have. Everyone should be living life as if tomorrow wasn't guaranteed. I took life for granted before this BC scare. I wasted a lot of it. Now I make an effort to live more and also prepare for when I won't be around. Whether that is sooner or later, who knows? I could come out of this cancer scare with a mild case that is fully curable only to die some other way.
LoverofJesus I pray that your surgery goes well and you completely heal from this. It looks like you were diagnosed not long ago also. My doctor didn't give me anxiety medicine. She gave me an antidepressant and allergy medicine which I'm not happy about because it makes me too tired to function. So I have to choose between anxiety and drowsiness. But most of my peace has been obtained through improving my relationship with God. I'm ashamed to say that even though I considered myself a Christian for most of my life, I rarely went to church and have yet to read the Bible. I tried but I'm not much of a reader and couldn't make it through the Old Testament. So now I listen to it on audio while I exercise and when I have questions about something I've heard, I make a point to get answers. I find it comforting and healing. Thank you for sharing the info on the stage 3 survivors and for praying for me. I still feel scared on occasion but this has been good for me because it's reminded me that my time here on Earth is finite and I should get my affairs in order regardless of whether I die next week or 40 years from now.
moth I was prepared to hear that it was malignant so it wasn't much of a surprise. Most of the people who looked at it came to that conclusion. It could be IDC. I won't know for several more days. To be honest, when they are telling me things my mind starts racing and I don't catch but half of what they tell me. I'll just wait for the final biopsy results before I do anymore guessing. I would have guessed that cancer had spread to my lymph node because it was enlarged/irregular but they said they didn't detect cancer in it so I probably shouldn't guess anything anymore.