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Topic: Having biopsy this week, very frightened

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: May 31, 2021 11:56AM

gamzu710 wrote:

Everything has happened so fast, my head is spinning. I went for my annual physical on Friday and brought up a small, mobile lump on my right breast that I had started noticing a couple of months ago to my PCP. She kept a poker face when palpating it and referred me for an ultrasound. I'm 33 and she thought a mammogram would not be informative at my age. When I called the imaging center to make an appointment, they had an immediate opening so I went pretty much from the PCP's office to the radiologist for the U/S.

I was really, really hoping it was just a standard cyst but the first thing the radiologist said was "This is not a simple cyst." He said it was "maybe a complex cyst, maybe some other mass, I don't know what it is" and recommended a core needle biopsy. I'm having that this Friday.

I haven't gotten the written U/S report yet so I don't know the BI-RADS or if there are other ominous words attached to the lump's description that he didn't say to me face-to-face, or if maybe he actually did have a good idea what it was but didn't want to panic me in the office. Well, so much for that. That's Memorial Day weekend and everything is closed is not helping things.

I'm completely terrified. I've had what has felt like a lingering muscle strain around my right breast/side since January, which came on suddenly and was initially quite bad (hurt to cough and sneeze) and is much better now but still lingering when I have to reach up high or sit in a chair too long. Lying down or standing up makes it go away. I attributed it to spending the last 12 months sitting in a lousy chair on Zoom all day for work and/or bad posture, but now I'm wondering if it's a symptom of something deeper and this little lump is just the tip of the iceberg.

The waiting is torture. I live alone and have told no one in real life what's going on, because until there's something to tell I just can't deal with everyone else's anxiety on top of my own. I'm so glad to have found this forum, though I dearly wish I didn't need to be here.

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Posts 31 - 45 (45 total)

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Jun 28, 2021 10:43AM - edited Jun 28, 2021 10:44AM by gamzu710

I had my surgeon consult this morning and as expected, ultrasound-guided wire localized lumpectomy under twilight sedation was recommended. I have a tentative date of 7/29 for that but am waiting to hear back confirmation from the scheduler. I'm feeling very annoyed at needing a pre-op physical within 30 days because I just had my annual 4 weeks ago (when all this started) but apparently that's somehow not recent enough and I might have developed a dangerous condition in the ensuing 3 weeks despite having been to 20 billion doctor appointments in that span. Otherwise I could have the lumpectomy next week but my PCP doesn't have availability before that. I would bet my insurance is going to balk.

This forum did give me the push I needed to have a good conversation with my PCP about my anxiety. It was a natural conversation because she had scheduled a follow-up to my U/S specifically to see what state I was in. She administered screening tools and I failed on both anxiety and depression (unsurprisingly) so we are trialing Zoloft.

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Jun 28, 2021 12:30PM LivinLife wrote:

Feeling for you gamzu! This is a lot to wrap your head around with lots of appointments and lots of waiting. It makes it more difficult. You will get through this though.....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jun 28, 2021 09:29PM MsMonster wrote:

Gamzu710 — I just wanted to mention— I also had a core biopsy of ADH and a lumpectomy. My final pathology turned out to be LCIS & ALH. I wanted to let you know it doesn’t always upgrade (I was terrified of that as well).

Final dx - LCIS, ALH, PASH / Segmental mastectomy right, with oncoplastic reduction and lift; left for symmetry. June 9, 2021
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Jul 21, 2021 12:03PM gamzu710 wrote:

Well, tomorrow the triathlon begins. I have my pre-op physical tomorrow, then required Covid test Tuesday, then excisional biopsy next Thursday. At least I hope so, because it's still showing up as "expected" in my patient portal visit schedule and I haven't received the final confirmation phone call with pre-op procedures yet. But the physical and the Covid test are pre-requisites so maybe that's why. I'm a bit worried about the possibility of an asymptomatic positive on the Covid test; I'm fully vaccinated but this delta variant is changing the game a bit. I've temporarily gone back to KN95 masks for the moment but it kind of is what it is at this point and we're all in the same boat.

I just want this over with and am feeling increasingly angry at nobody in particular that all the anguish I went through with the first needle biopsy was not enough and now I have to go through it all again.

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Jul 21, 2021 12:59PM LivinLife wrote:

The anger is having to deal with all of this - while this is different than typical grief per se it sounds like that's some of what you're experiencing. Hang in there as best you can - I know you are.... one step at a time, huh? Hopefully your COVID test is negative so you don't have a delay! Sending gentle hugs and support your way....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jul 21, 2021 01:37PM K-Gobby wrote:

Just reading yours reminded me of what i felt. In may i had what i would call an ache in my left breast. It lasted a couple days, then went away. Twice it happened, then in the shower i felt the mass. What i thought? I gained at least 15 pounds and now weight 30 more than normal, as i too work from home on a computer. All i know is the support i have on this sight from people who have been there, remind me i have hope. The friends i have spoken with are there too. Another friend on her told me to join. She has had cancer since 2019. I will follow you and keep you in my prayers. I am just getting an MRI and second U/S and finding out what steps come next. Together we can all walk down this road.

Dx 7/8/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IIA, ER+/PR-
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Jul 27, 2021 02:11PM gamzu710 wrote:

In the category of "you can't make this nonsense up," I was literally driving away from the pre-op covid testing site this morning when my colleague called to let me know that there was a positive case at work yesterday and we were both significant secondary exposures. I've had a mild sore throat since Saturday and while I got a PCR test on Sunday that came back negative, we all know about the reliability of those early on. And having had a very professional test this morning, I'm not sure the first one was deep enough. Hoping for the second test to match the first! I got final confirmation and arrival procedures from my surgeon this morning so I'm trying to focus my brain in gear to get this thing over with.

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Jul 27, 2021 04:58PM gamzu710 wrote:

Covid test is negative! Last hurdle cleared for Thursday.

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Jul 28, 2021 12:31PM LivinLife wrote:

Sooo glad your test was negative. Best Thursday!!!

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jul 29, 2021 08:38AM gamzu710 wrote:

I'm back from the procedure. They put the IV in the vein on my wrist under my thumb, which was pretty uncomfortable, but eh. Wire localization was done when I was already out, so reading people's stories about that part ended up being pointless. I felt a little shakier in recovery than I was anticipating but when they brought me a snack I was with it enough to explain to them that I keep kosher and needed to see the packaging first (they did have something I could eat). Not feeling foggy now, just a bit tired, but I've been sleeping maybe 5 hours a night this week for work reasons so that's not exactly surprising. Somewhat sore but not bad and hoping Extra-Strength Tylenol is enough as I hate prescription painkillers.

Now the wait for results but I'm relieved this part is over.

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Jul 29, 2021 03:35PM LivinLife wrote:

Sounds like the procedure went well and your initial recovery is going well too gamzu.... Happy for you on that! Now the waiting for results starts as you stated.... hopefully you'll have info back before long... Please keep us posted....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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21 hours ago gamzu710 wrote:

Well, I've just seen the pathology report in my patient portal, though I haven't gotten the phone call yet. The curse of patient portals. I'm in the unlucky small percentage that get upgraded from ADH to IDC. Triple-positive. <1cm and looks like clean margins from what I can understand of the pathology report but obviously I have not had any other scans yet so there could be another larger tumor somewhere. The muscle strain I thought was due to bad posture is suddenly taking a more sinister tone.

I've already told my parents, as in the worst possible timing I am on vacation with them and there's no way to cushion the blow. I wish I hadn't looked at the results but there's no way to undo that now. I always knew this was a possibility but am feeling very unbalanced. Oddly the thing foremost in my mind right now is that I am already slightly underweight and have no idea how I will cope with the toxic drugs coming my way. I'm afraid I will waste away without meaning to as I have zero cushion.

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21 hours ago Esther01 wrote:

Hi Gamzu,

I'm sorry you had to see that on vacation without the benefit of discussion yet with your oncology team. I did the same thing and it was awful! I remember the power of those emotions as I read it. Please don't worry yet, and wait for your MO team to work up a plan for you. I was convinced it was everywhere which turned out to be not the case at all, but our brains just go there.

Please try to enjoy your vacation as much as you can. I was on vacation right after my diagnosis and spent it walking outside a ton, watching uplifting movies with my family, calming my nerves and telling the cancer, "Hey, I've lived here longer than you. I'm getting healthy now. You're out of here!" I kept declaring positive thoughts (SO not easy when we're terrified but I kept it up) while waiting for the plan, because I knew my mindset would filter down and inform my cells to get with it and help me kick the cancer to the curb.

I also began treatment very underweight (25 pounds under my normal weight!) so I can definitely encourage you there.There are tons of tips and tricks! It wasn't easy because I only ate healthy from diagnosis on but I was able to maintain and gain on healthy fats and proteins (olive oil, avocado including pureed into clean whey protein smoothies). Some protein powders are tasteless and can be added to bulk up any food or beverage. Plus, I did not mind being underweight because I wasn't presenting fat cells to the tumor and had a rare opportunity to rebuild lean from the get-go. I loved eating things I could never get away with at my normal weight (handfulls of macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, yummy stuff). So please don't worry about being underweight.

Please enjoy your time with your parents. This is a special opportunity for you to reduce stress and pamper the healthy cells in your body so your immune system can strengthen and go after the bad cells. There are many strategies in the tool-chest which you'll know more about once you have time with your oncology team. I went an extra step and added a good integrative doctor to my team early on and she has made all the difference for me. Hugs to you and reach out anytime.



Grateful to Jesus for saving my soul and carrying me through every valley Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/10/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes
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20 hours ago LivinLife wrote:

So sorry to hear this gamzu! Hopefully you get the call soon so you at least feel like something is happening towards the solution. Has to be hard on you and your family getting such news on vacation.... I can't imagine..... It may also be good you're there together though family often has difficulty supporting each other when their in the thick of their own processing - you each have your own thoughts and feelings you're dealing with as you sort through the shock... Please let us know once you get some next steps....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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19 hours ago gamzu710 wrote:

The surgeon’s office called and I have an appointment for Thursday to go over the results. It took a month to get the initial consult and another month to get the procedure but suddenly they can fit me in quickly. Wish I wasn’t a priority but I guess I am now.

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