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Aug 19, 2018 10:30AM
Hi Pisces! So glad to hear from you, and I hope your headache is feeling better. I'm so glad you got to see an actual doctor to feel your lymph nodes and tell you they were fine! Yes, we can worry ourselves into a panic attack sometimes.
It's funny because I think an MRI is more expensive than a bunch biopsy, so that is weird the insurance company is going that way. However, an MRI is MUCH less invasive than a biopsy, so that part is good!
The definitive diagnosis for IBC is a punch biopsy. That is the only way to see what is going on in the skin. But it never hurts to get an MRI, and it sounds like your symptoms are leveling out if not even improving a little! So yay for MRI!
Now that I know what Sutter is, I think I understand your earlier post. So here is the deal: Sounds like they referred you to a Sutter Diagnostic Imaging Center, which does Xrays, Mammograms, and MRI's and nothing else. So the imaging center would've been confused when you asked about a biopsy. Your nurse coordinator might've been willing to help, but didn't know where you needed a referral to (not reassuring, but okay I understand now). If asked in the future, you want to see a breast oncological surgeon; that is who does the punch biopsy, orders additional tests likes MRIs, and can diagnose breast cancer. Here is an example of a breast surgeon (we abbreviate that on this site as "bs"), and she is associated with Sutter Health and so probably takes your insurance: https://www.sutterhealth.org/find-doctor/dr-lisa-m...
I think you can get the MRI and by then your symptoms will have made themselves known for sure. If you need to see someone in the future, that is the type of person you want to see.
As for me, I hurt my back, and so I got an MRI of my low back on Friday. I've had many MRIs before (even a breast MRI), so I'm used to them. I love how they always say: "Are you claustrophobic?" And I'm like: "Not unless you put me in a small narrow confined space like a coffin and tell me I can't move," hahaha. This machine was really small, and I'm 5'11", so the tech was like: "I'm not sure if you'll fit, we'll have to try it," and I'm like great. My arms were resting against the inside the whole time! I'll get the results next week.
I'm not sure if you've had an MRI before, but the breast MRI was especially difficult for me, even though you go in feet first. Something to do with the position of your arms and not being able to move. If you need to, do what I do: clarify with the MRI tech ahead of time, and just say: "If I push the button and ask you to take me out of here, will you do it?" They will always say yes. It just helps to hear them say it! Then, realize that the MRI is doing NOTHING to you, and in fact is less damaging than an Xray. Sometimes it helps to pretend you're in a video game haha because of the sounds of the magnets adjusting in the machine. Other times I do yoga breathing and think about grocery lists, to-do lists, dreams and goals. I start out nervous and end up falling asleep!
Finally, realize that no one on here, even one who has "doctor" in their signature line, has seen your symptoms -- so they can't tell you what is going on with you (and there is a doctor here who is a retired radiologist; he's not a breast surgeon or an oncologist, so take his advice the same way you take mine: with a grain of salt). I think it is GREAT NEWS that your symptoms are leveling out or even improving, and I think that means there is nothing to worry about! After your MRI, if your symptoms haven't improved enough, I can help you get to see the right specialist (I've worked in insurance for years, plus I've had to navigate HMO's, PPO's, etc. for years as a patient).
In any event, regardless of whether you had an infection that is clearing up after the antibiotics (I know from experience it can take a while for the skin to recover after being very red) or we need to keep pursuing a diagnosis, it is important to watch Friends! That is my prescription, and I'm qualified to give it to you. Start at the beginning and bingewatch (if you get up to 20 times from beginning to end you might need to watch something else, but then.... no just start over). If things feel really desperate, go to youtube and search "Friends bloopers," especially "Friends bloopers pivot" to see my favorite blooper. Watching the actors dissolve into hysterics brightens even the worst mood!
And know that you have friends here who have been through every possible scenario, including being afraid and it turns out it was nothing. We will be here for you from beginning to end.
p.s. I lived in Davis when I was little and my mother worked in the library at UC Davis. I went to North Davis Elementary School for Kindergarten and First Grade! :)
9/2/2014, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+
9/2/2014 Lumpectomy: Right
7/7/2015, LCIS, Left
7/7/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
10/9/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant