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Aug 27, 2019 10:38AM
Hi Purple flower,
Sorry I haven't been on BC.org in a bit...but to answer your question about lumpectomy: lumpectomies are often used as biopsies. IOW I didn't have a needle or core biopsy first--my surgeon took one look at the ultrasound and told me (he was trying to be tactful) that even if they did stick a needle into the lump to find out what it was, it would probably worry me anyway--he was right--and why not just take it out? I didn't know it but he knew it was pretty certain it was cancer and wanted it out for my sake. His recommendation led to the lumpectomy followed by immediate dx. I found out it was cancerous before I was actually fully awake from the procedure.
Since it was ILC, and I found out that ILC has 1) a tendency to be multi-focal, 2) hard to detect generally on scans, 3) I had 5 yearly mammos that didn't reveal the cancer, and 4) I have very dense breasts, after chemo and rads it was a no-brainer for me to get rid of as much of that tissue as possible that was trying to kill me.
I had to wait a year for my BMX/immediate reconstruction, since I had to give my skin a chance to heal. But it worked out, I'm happy with my new boobs (although sad about loss of sensation--always will be).
When we are in survival mode, every little ache, pain, cough seems like a threat. We are hyperaware of our bodies when we feel threatened. I remember (I had some swelling after the lumpectomy) and I texted a photo of the swelling to my surgeon and asked him if it was lymphedema, because I had seen a documentary of a woman who had a bunch of nodes removed and she had terrible swelling. I was terrified I had that on top of c! It was just fluid from the surgery, he put in a drain that I wore for 3 weeks (and did yoga, hikes, everything with it in!) and it was fine afterward. No lymphedema.
I opted for chemo because i had + nodes; my MO strongly recommended it b/c of that. I knew I was healthy, more than strong, and could handle it. That's why I also wanted rads. I guess I didn't want to look back if there was a recurrence and tell myself, geez, I wish I had done all the tx I could get even if the % was low that it would help. I'm kind of a fatalist, and just wanted all tx I could get the first time around so if anything came back, I could at least say I did everything I could to keep it away. I have regrets in my life and I didn't want regret about this.
Claire in AZ
9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen/arimidex/aromasin, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus