On August 31, 2009 I went to my local hospital for my first mamogram. I am 48 years old. Yes I had neglected the yearly mamagram rule. I had no family history, No cancers in my family at all that I knew of. It didnt really seem important. However thru the summer I had been feeling crappy. Run down, tired all the time my joints hurt, so I went for a physical and my dr ordered a mamagram and dexascan as part of the physical. I figured what the heck im not doing anything else.
It was not that bad, Im large chested a double D. It was not painful as everyone had told me it would be and was over in 20 minutes. Atleast I thought it was. The next day I got a phone call I needed to come back for additional pictures. No big deal I heard this happens all the time. No worries, I never even thought, I just figured they did it so fast they did it wrong. So on September 3,2009 I went back.
And thats when it did all seem to go wrong. They started out with the mamagram. Several different views. Finally I said "can I see what your looking at?" And amazingly she showed me. She said " this " and pointed to a round dark spot on what was my left breast. " I said " what the hell is that?" she said "well thats what were trying to find out the dr will come and talk to you" she took me to a chair and left me there. I texted my husband and told him "i think something is wrong". He has a very possitive attitude unlike me and responded accordingly with "dont worry" . A very nice lady doctor came out and said that I needed a ultrasound now. I followed her. Everything was starting to blurr. It wasnt long the doctor told me I would need a biopsy. The nice lady dr. schedule the biopsy for the 14th of September. It was a long 10 days. I still didnt believe it could be possible.
The biopsy was a snap. Didnt hurt a bit!! The nice lady dr. is a pro with the biopsy gun. She joke and talked to me the whole time. She explained everything and although it scared me she assured me that the lump was small and if cancer she believed it was early and those were all good signs. Knowing next to nothing about cancer except that it kills you this meant alot to me. Maybe I will be ok. We were done and they would have the results the next day.
I recieved a call from my primary care physician around 2:00 the next day with a invitation to come to his office at 5:00 that day. I thought that was clever of him sence his office closed at 5 and he knew my husband got home from work at 3:30.I can still here his voice I dont think I heard anything after," you have infitrating ductal carcinoma". After that who knows, I dont even remember what happen that night.
the next day I was set up with an appointment to see an Oncologist and after that a surgeon. It was choices, decissions, and options. Mastectomy or Lumpectomy? Well for me Lumpectomy. There were mri, blood tests everyday it was something , or someone, information, read this read that, health history, fill out this , sign this. My phone rang non stop, sometimes i had the hospital calling my house phone and a dr calling my cell phone. it was crazy. They kept telling me " If i was going to have cancer i would have this one, its small contained and we caught it early" i just kept thinking does that make it better, less dangerous, less likely to come back? would someone tell me please? It was like I was hearing people say " this is a good cancer!
I had my surgery on September 18,2009 on a gray rainny friday morning. Before the surgery they did a sentinole node, mapping I think thats what its called, they injected blue die into my nipple. IT WAS HELL!!! They told me it might hurt a bit it was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I dont know why they do not offer a tranquillizer for this procedure. My surgery went well. they removed the mass, two setinole node and two lymp node from under my arm. Now im not positive but I think sentinole nodes are the same as lymp nodes only lymp nodes are under your arm sentinole nodes are in the breast. Someone told me you can have one to three sentinole nodes I had two. (dont quote me) So I went home later that day and had moderate pain at the two surgical sites. They gave me vicodin for the pain. Emotionally I felt confused. As the days went by the emotions became more conflicted.
I saw the oncologist on the 29th of September. Initially he had told me with lumpectomy protocol would be radiation with drug hormone therapy. In his office that day we were discussing the future and reacurrance, he then brought up to me a oncotype dx assay. He also brought up the option of chemo and that chemo would decrease the possibility of reacurrance. Now I was really confussed.
I went home and researched, my husband and i talked a lot, i talked to my nurse navigator. I needed that test to give me confidence.
Although i have been told my margins were clean, my mass was removed, my lymp nodes were negative and my cancer was caught early, it just dosent give me the peace of mind i need to not ask the questions. How will I know if one day it starts in my bones or my brain? i know they are going to watch me closely but im not going to live under a mri. how will they know. And what if they know to late? I have 3 daughters I need to know all I can no for them so they can be safe. I dont know my father or his family history what if there is a history there.
So now I wait again 14 days.
BRCA Gene Mutations4 Ways to Reduce Your Risk Linked to BRCA
Living With7 Common Carcinogens You Should Be Avoiding
Test Your KnowledgeWhat Do You Know About the Most Common Type of Breast Cancer?