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Topic: Can’t stop the fear - feeling lost

Forum: Waiting for Test Results —

For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results:  Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

Posted on: Oct 15, 2019 02:26PM - edited Oct 15, 2019 02:37PM by CarolinaCrystal

CarolinaCrystal wrote:

For the last six months, I'd been feeling very wore down. About 6-8 weeks ago I started noticing my breasts felt fuller and the right one had a dull ache. I couldn't feel anything but as I started paying attention, my right breast looked misshapen. I went to my ob/gyn about a month ago and we discussed peri menopause and he put me on low estrogen bc to help with me symptoms and suggested a mammogram, although at no point did he examine my breasts. I scheduled my mammogram and received the results last Thursday. I have a follow up ultrasound this Thursday.

I received my results via email and no one has gone over them with me. I've been left with googling what came up...spiculated mass and architectural distortion in inner lower quadrant in right breast. I've learned that spiculated masses are malignant 96% of the time. I've learned that diagnosis's in the inner lower quadrant have the highest rate of metastasizing. I had to do the leg work to get the follow up appt scheduled. If I had waited for it to go through their normal channels, I could still be waiting for the call. I took the first available appt which was still a week out.

I think about the fact that I've been exhausted for 6 months. That I have aches and pains. Night sweats. Hot flashes. Moodiness. And now I can't calm myself down thinking it's stage 4.

I'm 45 years old and have a 4 year old son. My insurance is through my work. My husband is self employed but I am the breadwinner.

The wait for this ultrasound is driving me crazy. Then knowing I'll have to wait again for the biopsy and MRI. All I can think about is how the cancer could be spreading while they take weeks between appts. I'm crying constantly, having panic attacks. I'm sick now too and I know I've done it to myself. I'm terrified my son will grow up without me. That if I can't work, my husband won't step up and we will lose everything.

I've never been so scared in my life and I don't know how to get through this.

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Oct 15, 2019 02:32PM Moderators wrote:

Sending you gentle hugs, CarolinaCrystal. We understand how scary this can feel, and how quickly we can come to feared conclusions before we have the diagnostic testing. We encourage you to try to take one day at a time, and not jump too far. There are many benign breast conditions ( that can be spotted on mammograms as well. Please keep us posted, and try to stay distracted until Thursday. Do you have someone who can go with you?

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Oct 15, 2019 02:38PM Yogatyme wrote:

CarolinaCrystal, I’m so, so sorry for your worry. Of course you are scared and it is unbelievable that you are having to learn about this on your own. The waiting is the absolute worse!!

I am wondering from your member name if you live in North Carolina? If so, you might want to get your evaluations and any necessary treatment @ UNC-CH. I have had nothing but excellent care there and they are very responsive.

My very best to you in this journey.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/13/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 15, 2019 02:45PM CarolinaCrystal wrote:

My husband is supposed to go with me, but right now I’m debating if I would be better off going alone.

He’s not being supportive and has used this as an excuse to be depressed himself and has spent the day watching TV instead of working. I understand this is scary for him too, but I need him to show me he can be strong if/when I can’t be.

Is it normal for there to be 1-2 weeks between appts when they are in the diagnosis stage?

I should also add that I believe part of my anxiety comes from my father dying of cancer in 2011. He was diagnosed in July and gone in October.

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Oct 15, 2019 02:51PM CarolinaCrystal wrote:

I am in NC - just north of Charlotte. Chapel Hill is approx 2 hours from me but getting into uptown Charlotte is still close to an hour with traffic.

How did you get into UNC-CH? Did your primary refer you? Did you contact them yourself? I don’t know even know where to begin.

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Oct 15, 2019 03:27PM Spookiesmom wrote:

This is the worst, scariest part. Stay off the net, most of the information there is outdated, or flat out wrong. Dr Google is not your friend.

Yes, it can take weeks sometimes to get all appointments lined up, done, and treatment started. And there may be LOTS of tests. Think of it this way. The cancer has been there for a while before discovery. It’s probably not growing leaps and bounds overnight so a few more weeks won’t make that much difference.

Of course now that you know, you want it out yesterday. Normal.

You can do this. Hubby may or maynot be a help That’s when, when friends and family say what can I do? TELL them what you need.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Oct 15, 2019 03:44PM Yogatyme wrote:

Crystal, I got involved w UNC-CH when I went for genetic testing there. I was BRCA1 + and they set me up w the breast cancer clinic for monitoring. My very first MRI picked up my breast cancer. (Of course there was ultrasound and biopsy before dx). Once I had dx, I met w breast specialist and breast surgeon that same week and had surgery the following week. I am not sure, but I think you can self refer. If not, your primary care doc can probably make the referral. Their # is: 984-974-1000. They try to schedule all appts on the same day whenever possible. I am about 1 hr 45 min from UNC but gladly make the drive bc of the care I have gotten from them. I also had ovaries removed bc of the BRCA1 and the surgery was also done there. Lots of good, caring staff. It is a well oiled machine. Very short wait times at appts and they call you as soon as they have ANY results

I am so terribly sorry you are going through this and my heart breaks for you re: situation w your husband. I had almost the same situation w another cancer years ago and was with a non-supportive husband, so I can appreciate the extra burden. Do you have a good friend or relative that could accompany you?

If you have other questions, feel free to pm me.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/13/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 15, 2019 06:33PM trinigirl50 wrote:

I hope you have stopped taking the low estrogen pill. I am sure you have but I mention it just in case. Good luck with your treatment.

trinigirl50 Dx 3/7/2015, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 20/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2015 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 15, 2019 10:17PM berries wrote:

You are at one of the scariest times. I was diagnosed at 34, just 3 weeks shy of my 35th birthday this past August and the fear of the unknown was paralyzing.

You still have to go through a biopsy, which will give you information about the makeup of your cells (and confirm if they are malignant... there still could be a chance it is not).

Don't let your mind go to the worst place because 90% of the time, it will never happen! Best of luck and please keep us posted!!

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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