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Topic: The wait begins.

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: Jul 23, 2020 07:22PM

LowTide wrote:

Hello there, first time poster here. :)

I discovered an unusal lump/thickening and redness next to my nipple at the start of this week that was of a significant size (approx. grape size). I was quite shocked that I hadn't noticed it earlier! There is a history on my mother's side of the family of BC, unsure of any genetic predispositions but I've always been proactive in having lumps checked as a result.

(A few years ago, I had some benign cysts diagnosed via ultrasound with no treatment required -- this lump feels very different to those, much more solid and appears to be stuck to my skin.)

My doctor has seen me twice now - the first time was the morning I discovered the lump. We agreed to try a course of antibiotics first, but drafted up a referral for an ultrasound pending the results of this. The antibiotics have not had any effect, and so the second appointment (today) my Dr. confirmed I would need the U/S -- she was very adamant that she would need to see me as soon as the results were in and looked very concerned.

My ultrasound is on Tuesday, it takes approx. a week to receive results so I won't see my doctor until Mon 3/8. I thought it best to post in this particular subforum since I shall be spending most of this time waiting on the results of the scan - however I will update you all with how that appointment goes.

I'm trying not to overthink it, even though the alarm bells are starting to ring.

Thanks for reading :)

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Jul 23, 2020 07:26PM MinusTwo wrote:

LowTide - this is absolutely the hardest part - waiting. Hope you can find something to distract your mind - binge watch TV, take long walks, read a good book.

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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Jul 23, 2020 07:30PM LowTide wrote:

Thanks MinusTwo - plenty of peaceful YouTube videos and a big mug of tea lined up for this afternoon. :) Definitely need to take my mind off things, but as my husband is difficult to contact during work hours I think I just needed to vent my concerns somewhere. This looks like a lovely forum.

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Jul 23, 2020 07:33PM MinusTwo wrote:

Yup - and much more understanding than most husbands or friends who have not been down this path. Welcome and do let us know.

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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Jul 24, 2020 08:58AM Mavericksmom wrote:

Low tide, why do you think it will take a week to get results after the US? I see you wrote 3/8 so I assume you live somewhere other than USA? I looked at that and thought March 8, sorry, that is how my brain is wired.

When I had my US in both Philadelphia, PA, and at my local hospital, I got results right away.

There's nothing you can do about waiting to have the test done, but you can absolutely advocate about getting results. This is not like a biopsy where testing must be done on the samples and results can be time consuming, thus a longer wait.

Ultrasounds are normally read immediately and don't take a lot of time to do that. Normally a radiologist will look at the films before the patient gets dressed. Both times I had a cancer diagnosis I was asked to wait to get dressed and then the technician, with or without the radiologist, came back for more pictures. In 2003, the technician came back alone, but told me to get dressed and wait in the waiting room because the radiologist wanted to talk with me. He told me I needed to make an appointment with a breast surgeon for a biopsy. In 2018, the technician took some films, told me to wait while she checked with the radiologist, then radiologist came in with the technician and together they looked at the screen. When they were done taking more specific pictures, the radiologist told me I needed a biopsy. When I had a recent US, both radiologist and technician were present for the entire imaging and the radiologist told me it was likely benign and not to worry. I will have another US in 6 months.

I hope you get answers right away, but your waiting may not be over then. Worst possible result is you will need to get a biopsy and then wait again for results! Waiting IS the worst part! I never get used to it! Hang in there. Remember, you have support from a lot of people here! Hopefully you will get very good news at your US!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 25, 2020 12:59AM - edited Jul 25, 2020 01:00AM by LowTide

Hi Mavericksmom, sorry yes, I should clarify that I'm in Australia, and 3/8 was 3rd August. I would imagine if the radiographer has something urgent to tell me that they'd let me know on the day — but I guess time will tell. :)

I'm having a lovely peaceful weekend to take my mind off everything!

Thankyou for sharing your experience with me. I hope all is well at the moment.

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Jul 25, 2020 12:19PM Mavericksmom wrote:

Low Tide, I hear Australia is beautiful! A friend's daughter and family went there last year and were amazed at how less stressed they felt there. They said they would move there in a heart beat! They were blown away by friendly everyone was. Even boarding the plane was not the long, stressful, TSA boarding like it is in USA.

I am hopeful that the radiologist will give you some information on Tuesday

I am fine, thanks for asking! You will be too! : )

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 25, 2020 07:40PM quinnie wrote:

Hi Low Tide. Sorry you are going through this. Yes, in my case the results were the same time the ultra sound was taken. But I am sure it is different in your country. I found the waiting time both times for me was the hardest. I stayed by my phone all the time. The first time I remember sitting by the phone all day and finally decided to take a shower and sure enough the surgeon called. I did have my phone near by and rushed to answer it. My life was on hold during the wait time. As Maverick said, try to find something to distract you. Probably shouldn.t be hard to do in your beautiful country.

Dx 11/30/2007, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR- Dx 2/26/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 5/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/24/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Jul 26, 2020 09:53PM LowTide wrote:

Thanks Mavericksmom and quinnie, I do feel incredibly lucky to live in this country - very cold down where I am at the moment though!

I had a call today (Monday) to say that my Tuesday ultrasound was cancelled as the sonographer has fallen ill. They couldn’t fit me in again for another week. :(

I dwelled on this for an hour or so, but then thought to call a different radiology provider that’s a half hour drive from here to see if they had room any earlier — I’m now booked in for Wednesday morning. I’m pleased I don’t have to wait longer!

I’ll be back when there’s something to report. Thanks ladies! x

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Jul 27, 2020 09:18AM Mavericksmom wrote:

Low Tide, I don't know if I think the way I do because it's true or because it is a way to spin most life events into a "positive," but when things like that happen to me, I believe it was meant to be. In other words, you were meant to go to the other facility, perhaps you will meet someone who will be super helpful to you, or someone who needs a kind word from you, but definitely someone you would not have otherwise crossed paths with.

And....I am still hopeful that the radiologist will give you some indication of what is or is not seen in the ultrasound while you are there!

Please don't forget to come back and let us know how things went. Stay warm!!!!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 28, 2020 06:04PM LowTide wrote:

Mavericksmom, that’s a beautiful outlook on life. I have to admit I’m generally a believer in fate as well.

I’ve had my US now. Two sonographers were with me, they were very thorough with their imaging and even took videos but did not seem overly concerned. Apparently I’ve got lots of small cysts I didn’t even know about (unrelated to my lump) but they’re tiny.

Regarding my lump, it is apparently outside of the breast tissue - sitting right at the surface of my skin. It looks like more of a trauma injury than an actual lump, but I’ve had no impacts nor has the area itself been sore. (This was info given to me by the sonographers, I never saw the radiologist directly.) They did make a passing comment to each other that the area was quite vascular.

The radiologist is looking it over and I should have further info from my doctor on Monday. I’m in a good mindset and I think I’ll be okay with the wait.

Thanks for reading :)

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Jul 28, 2020 06:52PM Mavericksmom wrote:

Thanks for posting, Low Tide! I am glad you had the ultrasound and that you have a good mindset now.

Please come back and let us know what your doctor says. It sounds like you will get good news! Smile

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 28, 2020 11:45PM AliceBastable wrote:

While you're waiting to hear from your doctor, do some fun things, even if it's just watching goofy movies. Fun beats worrying, and takes up the same amount of time.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 3, 2020 06:40AM Mavericksmom wrote:

I hope you come back to let us know how your doctor appointment went today! Even though you haven't posted, many of us are thinking of you and hoping your doctor gave you negative results! Happy

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Aug 3, 2020 12:36PM - edited Aug 3, 2020 03:29PM by FlowerJOY

Ouch ... Just returned home from 2 stereotactic biopsies, one in each breast. And, although they tell me 4 out 5 women have benign results - I can't believe it for me. I have small, dense breasts, and have had numerous cysts (like 8 drained) in the past, some quiet large, and some multiple lobes connected. One cyst came back with atypical cells and they sent me to see a breast surgeon who did another type of diagnostic mammogram and told me it wasn't benign, but it wasn't cancer, so not to worry about. Since I was in my late 40's they repeatedly call me back for diagnostic mammograms because of numerous calcifications. Now, this time they did 2 core needle biopsies (Stereotactic)because of suspected DCIS ... first radiologist said he did not like size, shape of calcifications (hope that doesn't mean it is invasive DCIS. The radiologist performing the biopsies today said, “you never know, things surprise us." My results are expected back as early as tomorrow afternoon, if not on Wednesday. The waiting is the hardest part! My stomache aches and I feel nauseous- not sure if it's from the “local" they gave me or I am that stressed. 😫

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Aug 3, 2020 01:16PM MelissaDallas wrote:

FlowerJOY, they are correct. Overall 70-80% of Birads 4 biopsies are benign, so apparently they are looking at this being fairly low probability. By the way, DCIS stands for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. There is no such thing as invasive DCIS.

I’m confused. Did you just get home from 2 stereotactic biopsies, or do they “now want to do two core needle biopsies?” Stereotactic biopsies ARE core needlebiopsies.

Hope your results are benign.


LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Aug 3, 2020 01:21PM Moderators wrote:

Dear FlowerJOY,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are so glad that you reached out. We are so sorry that you are going through all of this. We know that others will come along to offer their support and understanding. Waiting for results is so hard and everyone here will support you around that. Hang in there as best you can and keep us posted on what you learn.

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Aug 3, 2020 02:36PM FlowerJOY wrote:

Thanks for your reply. Today I had two stereotactic biopsies - they took 5 samplings in each breast. Hoping to have results tomorrow. I thought she said there was DCIS which is in the ducts and an invasive form when it gets out of the ducts. I am still trying to grab ahold of all this info being thrown upon me. And, because of COVID, they are only allowing me into the office, so I am trying to remember everything. Wonder if they would let me record my conversations

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Aug 3, 2020 02:38PM - edited Aug 3, 2020 03:29PM by FlowerJOY

This Post was deleted by FlowerJOY.
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Aug 3, 2020 03:37PM MinusTwo wrote:

Yes, most doctors will let you record the appointments. As Melissa said - DCIS is non invasive. IDC would be invasive ductal carcinoma. It's possible to have both, but I hope you don't.

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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Aug 3, 2020 03:39PM quinnie wrote:

Hello FlowerJoy, Sorry you are going through this. Yes when they start telling you things during procedures it is hard to comprehend. Until they get the results from the biopsy all is really unknown. They can only guess at this point. When the doctor called me I wrote everything down that she said and even appologized when I said many times, Please Repeat!!!! Then when I met with the breast surgeon I asked for all reports. My breast surgeon is incredible. She sat with me for a long time explaining with illustrations what was going on. It did help that I went through this with my Mom so I had some knowledge of what might be going on. I am a 2 x breast cancer survivor and attritube it to early detection. Good Luck and please let us know. We are here to support you in good or bad.

Dx 11/30/2007, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR- Dx 2/26/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 5/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/24/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 3, 2020 07:58PM Whatjusthappened wrote:

FlowerJoy, sorry you find yourself here. I just wanted to say that I started recording appointments quite a while back. It's so hard to process everything in the moment, and that way I can go back and look up the terms thrown out there that I didn't quite understand. Usually I am the one that goes with family members to help them interpret what the doctor is saying and ask questions, but when it's me, it's a whole different story. Don't know why.

Like quinnie, I also get copies of all reports. There's often things in there that doctors don't share with you because they don't think it important (or don't think you'd understand). More than once this has affected treatment as I've called a doctor's attention to something in a report that they didn't notice.

I wish you peace during this process.

BRCA2 positive; multifocal LCIS/ILC found after sugery Dx 2/1/2019, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/21/2019 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/22/2019 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 6/17/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 4, 2020 08:33AM FlowerJOY wrote:

UPDATE: Thank you for your support. I just got some good news this morning that all 10 biopsy samples were benign. Even the radiologist said, "You never know, things surprise us everyday." So, I will continued to be monitored every 6 months since I have dense breasts with lots of calcifications and clusters. However, as much as I was relieved this morning hearing the news, I know some women got the news that they are facing cancer. My prayers are with them, and may they find the support they need from groups like this. Thank you. 🙏
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Aug 4, 2020 09:06AM MelissaDallas wrote:

I’m not sure why the radiologist would say “things surprise us every day” when theyalready said most biopsies are benign, indicating it was not a high level of suspicion to begin with.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Aug 4, 2020 11:54AM Whatjusthappened wrote:

FlowerJoy, that is great news! You must be so relieved!

BRCA2 positive; multifocal LCIS/ILC found after sugery Dx 2/1/2019, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/21/2019 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/22/2019 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 6/17/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 4, 2020 04:05PM LowTide wrote:

Hello all, I’m back with my results and they are good. :)

The lump I originally went in for appears to be a skin-level lesion (not in breast tissue despite how deep it feels). During the U/S a few cysts were also located, both small (5-6mm), one potentially with foreign debris but nothing to panic about.

We are monitoring the lesion/lump area which appears to have reduced slightly in size, if it is still prominent in a month we will get a core biopsy just to make sure nothing sinister is going on

All in all, nothing to lose sleep over — just need to keep an eye on things from here. Thus concludes my journey at this stage. :)

Thanks so much for your support, everyone! Sending love to you all.

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Aug 4, 2020 05:27PM Ladyc2020 wrote:

Thats great news!

Dx 8/6/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/23/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1
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Aug 4, 2020 08:16PM FlowerJOY wrote:

MelissaDallas - I am not sure why the radiologist said that? She said it twice to me, two different times. She has been doing her work for over 20 years, so I guess she sees a lot of cases and maybe things do surprise her. She had my complete records over the years. I had some biopsies of cysts and lumps from years and years ago that did not show cancer, but did show some not so normal cells (breast surgeon did not think I needed to do anything about it at that time). I think this time around (10 years later) and because of the way my images and ultrasounds look (dense breasts and a ton of calcifications, odd shapes and sizes, and clusters) - I think she really thought I had something to worry about. I think that’s probably why she took 10 samplings from 2 different sites.

I am relieved from the good news I received today - and I hope it comforts others that are waiting for results. I am so very grateful for the support from folks on this site. Sharing and reading your stories are a blessing! I have a very dear friend who has been battling hard with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Her faith and friends are what help her the most! Every morning she posts a positive thought, image, or quote to remind herself (& others) to find the beauty of life, even in the midst of her battle. My heart ❤️ to her and to the strength of women linked together in all of this. A bedrock of support!💗 💪🏼💗

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Aug 4, 2020 08:24PM - edited Aug 4, 2020 08:25PM by FlowerJOY

Lowtide - great news! I know you will sleep better tonight.

I had a lot of cysts and a few odd lumps for around a 10 year period in my mid 40's to early 50's. Thankfully as I got closer to menopause I stopped getting them. And years ago, I too had one lump too that had “foreign" matter in it - not cancer, but not normal breast tissue cells. It's always nerve wracking when they send them out for biopsies. Wishing you the best!

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