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Jan 21, 2023 09:57AM
Lulubelle, it looks like we had a similar diagnosis and treatment, although you're a few years ahead of me. This past year has brought me quite a lot of drama with my treated breast. I had obvious changes/calcifications/diagnostic mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy of my scar area in May. Then my annual MRI in October found two additional spots near the scar that they decided needed to be checked out, and I had to wait nearly a month for that biopsy. 2 procedures on 3 spots in less than 6 months, and all they've been able to find is about 5 different kinds of scar tissue. Here's what I've learned through all of this:
Changes can definitely happen even years after surgery/radiation. Both the technician and the radiologist for my May imaging were very reassuring that the biopsy they were recommending was for due diligence, not for any real suspicion of cancer. My impression was that they see this sort of thing all the time, and when I specifically asked "even 3 1/2 years after treatment?" I got a firm "yes." So, I think there's a good chance you could be looking at something very common and normal for the treatment you've had.
This will never not be scary. In May, I was as as sure as I could be that the biopsy would be good news, but I still found myself back in that very dark place of waiting. In October I logically knew that the MRI-discovered spots were likely just more scar tissue, as we had so recently proved that there were indeed scarring processes going on. But the month-long wait for the biopsy was as torturous as anything I'd ever experienced since my original diagnosis, and I ended up asking for a Xanax prescription. This past week I did what you did: decided to be brave and get a normal mammogram instead of my usual diagnostic. I thought the anxiety of waiting would be less since, after all, I so recently had a clear MRI. Nope. I'll never do it this way again. It's been 3 tense jumpy hair-trigger days of waiting for the phone to ring. Since it hasn't, I'm concluding that they didn't find anything of interest, but I won't know for sure until I get a letter in the mail some time next week. Looking at MyChart is way to anxiety provoking. All this to say … of course you are nervous and crying and anxious, especially with a 2 week wait.
Therapy is helpful. I struggled with PTSD symptoms after my May scare, and found a therapist who had some specialization with cancer survivors. I may never be at a point where I can calmly wait for results, but at least the sound of a ringing phone no longer sends me back to that dark place.
Just a story of someone with similar circumstances who has turned out to be OK. I hope they can get you in sooner and that the news is good!
10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
10/18/2018 Lymph node removal
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)