Topic: Struggling with anxiety and waiting for biopsy results

Forum: Waiting for Test Results — We know, waiting is VERY difficult but we're here for you.

Posted on: Dec 3, 2021 03:28PM

Posted on: Dec 3, 2021 03:28PM

emstein wrote:

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum but feeling the need for some support. I'm a 43 year old mother of 6-year old twins. This week has been a whirlwind. My screening mammogram (Monday) came back questionable so I went for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound on Wednesday. Was told then that I needed a biopsy ( which happened this morning). Now I'm waiting for results until Wednesday of next week.

I have a history of anxiety, specifically health anxiety, and have a real fear of breast cancer due to some weird breast changes during and right after my pregnancy. So basically, I am facing my worst nightmare right now and I'm terrified.

Since Monday I learned that I have a less than 2cm highly suspicious mass (bi-rad 5) and the ultrasound didn't pick up any enlarged lymph nodes. That’s all I know at this point.

Because of the bi-rad 5 I feel like I have to start preparing myself for a diagnosis. But the vagueness of the facts i do know and all the other unknowns are making me feel pretty awful.

My primary care nurse prescribed me some anxiety meds because I was in such a state that I wasn't eating or sleeping.

Anyway, just coming here for some support. Any glimmer of hope from those who have been in my position would be most welcome. I know I am strong and tough but to be honest I’mnot feeling particularly tough right now. It's been a really rough week.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Emily

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Dec 3, 2021 03:41PM - edited Dec 3, 2021 07:20PM by wondering44

Hi emstein,

I am sorry you are here.It is a lot to go through. However, I am glad you found us. This place is full of support from so many who have been down each step on your road.

Birads 5 is not great to see for anyone. Until a biopsy confirms cancer there is always a % it is benign. Even if a small % chance. Great news is that the lymph nodes are not enlarged if the result is positive.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. I wish you a lot of support during this challenging time while you wait.

Radiation Therapy 1/11/2021 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 8/18/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing Hormonal Therapy 12/27/2021 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/27/2021 Femara (letrozole) Dx DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx IDC, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2021 05:19PM alicebastable wrote:

Look around at how many women (and some men) are members here. With just a few exceptions, we have all had, or currently have, cancer. It's not fun, but it's something we've had to deal with, anxiety or not. I found it helpful to do fun things between appointments and tests and surgeries, to build up a stockpile of good memories. Others cope by doing a lot of reading of reputable research sites. I hope you don't need to do any of this, but keep it in mind if you are diagnosed. Good luck.

BCO is not trustworthy. Do not share personal information on this site. Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 4, 2021 05:33AM emstein wrote:

thank you AliceBastable and wandering44! I appreciate your replies. Just trying to take this emotional roller coaster one day at a time. I have a good friend visiting this weekend. We had a cry together yesterday and then had junk food for dinner. :)

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Dec 4, 2021 06:47AM sunshinegal wrote:

I recall well the anxiety of waiting for test results. (((hugs))) This is, for many, the worst part... even worse than actual treatment. It's the uncertainty and the "what ifs" that can consume us. In case it helps, this piece of advice has helped me tame my fears: "don't rehearse a tragedy." If it turns out to be bad news, you go through the awful feelings twice. And if it's good news, you've needlessly spent time in a dark place. Hang in there.



Dx 10/7/2010, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 3/22/2021, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 4, 2021 09:39PM farawaytoo wrote:

Emily, I was you 4 years ago. Health anxiety and cancerphobia doesn't help when you are awaiting results of a biopsy.

My suggestion - take those anti-anxiety meds. I was also in a state where I couldn't eat and my thoughts were completely consumed by cancer. Taking meds gave me some needed reprieve from a "mad cancer squirrel" (I likened it to having a crazy squirrel running inside my head, screaming "cancer" any time I tried to think of something else). The image is quite comical to me now, but it wasn't at all funny in August-September of 2017.

Meds were just a little help for to find ME in this sea of anxiety. It was interesting to see that once anxiety was removed I was the same person - I could think clearly, I could do normal every day life: work, eat, take care of family etc. Later on I learned to deal with the anxiety without meds, but it was not possible in the beginning.

I sincerely hope that your biopsy result will turn out benign. But if they don't, you will find lots of support and a wealth of useful information on this site. As Alice stated, everyone here went or is going through it. It is doable.

Dx 8/31/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS, Left, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/29/2017 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 2/27/2018 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Surgery 2/27/2018 Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2018 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/20/2018 Reconstruction (Left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (Right): Saline implant
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Dec 4, 2021 09:52PM AMG2 wrote:

Hi Emily, big hugs to you, you're in a hard place to be right now, and your anxiety is totally understandable. Birads 5 is scary. Went through that this summer. I hope so much your results are benign, but if not, we will be here for you every step of the way. I promise you, where you are right now is the worst of it. Once you know for sure what is up, benign or malignant, you will either go on with your life, or a plan will be put in place, and once that plan is in place and starts to be followed, it really, truly does get better. Hang in there.

Dx 6/17/2021, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+, Surgery 8/2/2021 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 8/31/2021 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/31/2021 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 12/14/2021 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy
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Dec 6, 2021 09:48AM emstein wrote:

Thank you so much for the care and support. I'm trying hard to stay in the moment and not "rehearse a tragedy". That is so wise Sunshine Gal. And Far Away Too, the squirrel imagery is exactly right. Even when my anxiety meds are working, I sometimes feel like I'm doing ok and then it's like a punch in the gut remembering the situation I'm in. I woke up with an image in my mind this morning- everyone (family and friends) were on the same highway before Monday. Then when I got the call back for my screening mammogram I took an exit. I'm still running parallel to everyone, just on a separate road. I can still see them all and sometimes feel like I'm still with them. But most of the time I feel like I'm just pretending to be going in the same direction. I feel this especially when I'm around my kids. Just pretending that everything is still the same as last week. I'll know on Wednesday if I get back to that same highway or if I'm taking a detour. Apologies if this sounds super dramatic and self-indulgent. I don't mean to be overly so. Just using this space to sort out my feelings. Hope that's ok.

Xo emily

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Dec 8, 2021 12:11PM emstein wrote:

Well, I just got back from my biopsy consult and it is cancer- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was mostly prepared but it was still a really emotional conversation. Thanks for the support while waiting...going to join some conversations over in Newly Diagnosed.

Emily

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Dec 8, 2021 01:59PM farawaytoo wrote:

I am so sorry, Emily. Next steps will be finding out more about the specific of your cancer and getting a treatment plan. You are in the worst part of it right now. Once you have the plan, you will feel better. This site will help.

Dx 8/31/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS, Left, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/29/2017 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 2/27/2018 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Surgery 2/27/2018 Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2018 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/20/2018 Reconstruction (Left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (Right): Saline implant
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Dec 8, 2021 02:43PM serendipity09 wrote:

Emily so sorry. You've come to the right place though! Like FarWayToo said, you will feel better once there's a plan of action. It is all so overwhelming right now, but you've got this and all of us! {Hugs}

Chemotherapy 3/31/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/16/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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