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Apr 5, 2009 12:12AM
Hello Laughlots & other Courageous Women of this forum!
I appreciate your post from March 20 and hope your recovery is going well after your recent surgery. Please let us know how you are when you are able to check in here. I'm sending you lots of healing energy and positive thoughts.
When you described how tricky it was to spot your cancer and how lucky you were to have caught it so early, I absolutely feel the same about my situation. Still this is a huge life change and complex process of gathering facts while dealing with one's own emotions as well as those of others. I am greatly encouraged by so many comments I've read at this forum and especially yours because you are just a few weeks ahead of me on this journey.
My symptom was bloody discharge from the right nipple. Last December, I'd noticed blood stains on my bra and pajamas but thought nothing of it, assuming I must have had a sore and scratched myself. Then, in late January, I actually saw blood come out of my nipple and immediately googled this symptom. I learned it most likely was a ductal papilloma with only a 10% chance it would turn out to be cancer. So I scheduled a doctor's appointment and went in a few weeks later. My doctor examined me and decided to send me to a breast surgeon, assuming as I did that it would end up benign.
I had breast exams by different doctors, two sets of mammograms six months apart, an ultrasound, none of which showed anything abnormal.
On March 23, I had surgery to remove the nipple duct from my right breast and found out on March 25 it was DCIS (extensive, nuclear grade 3, necrosis present, patterns-comedo, cribriform, solid, micropapillary) with 0.3mm microinvasion and Grade 2 (T-3, N-3, M-1).
I'm scheduled for an MRI on April 15 (if my period starts at the expected time) to determine if there is any sign of cancer elsewhere in my right breast or also in my left. After that, I'll need to choose lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy (single or double) with reconstruction.
I've scheduled appointments with a genetic counselor and two plastic surgeons so I have as much information as possible to make the best decision for me. My family history includes breast and ovarian cancers (maternal grandmother) and primary peritoneal cancer (mother) so I want to assess how this affects my own risk factors.
I feel very fortunate for the care I am receiving and know I will get to the other side better than ever. However, my business happens to be in a period of tremendous growth and I have a very full month ahead of exciting events that will keep me quite busy. So I'm doing my best to trust my doctor's advice to do what I'd planned this month and aim to have surgery toward the middle of May.
One of my concerns is the possibility that by waiting, the cancer might spread to lymph nodes by the time I have surgery. Since I don't know how extensive the DCIS is now and the next step is the MRI, I really do just need to take one step at a time and trust my own instincts. More than likely, I know the lymph nodes will probably be clear, and this does help alleviate the anxiety.
If anyone else has had similar struggles with taking time to make decisions given the invasive and more aggessive nature of your DCIS, please share your experience.
I'm also curious about the factors that may have helped in choosing lumpectomy with radiation versus mastectomy. I know everyone's situation is unique. Still I'd love to hear from you.
Best wishes to all!
3/25/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-