newly diagnosed

Laura A. Learn-Hack Community Member October 02, 2009
  • 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.

     

7 Comments
  • Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    Oct. 02, 2009

    Laura, you've already learned so many coping skills as you've gone through this process.  It is weird to hear a cancer called a "good cancer."  No cancer is good, but it is true that most people with your kind of cancer caught as early as yours was will get well and live out their normal life span.  This new test the doctor is talking about will...

    RHMLucky777

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    Laura, you've already learned so many coping skills as you've gone through this process.  It is weird to hear a cancer called a "good cancer."  No cancer is good, but it is true that most people with your kind of cancer caught as early as yours was will get well and live out their normal life span.  This new test the doctor is talking about will tell how aggressive and fast-growing your cancer cells were.  If they were very fast-growing, then it might make sense to do chemo to kill any cancer cells that have escaped from your breast.

    Your doctors will check you out frequently to make sure the cancer hasn't come back.  They will do that mainly by checking your blood, doing a physical exam, and paying attention to any symptoms you notice.  If your blood work or the physical exam show problems, then your doctor may order more tests.  Research studies have shown that usually by the time a cancer is big enough to show on a scan, it is causing symptoms the patient notices.

    I hope your Onco-type test gives you good news, but if you do need chemo, I'm sure you will find the strength to get through the next part of your treatment.

    • Laura A. Learn-Hack
      Oct. 02, 2009

      Thank you for your comment. You really know how to explain it. Said that way it gives me a great comfort.I wish my dr. had explained it that way. In the last couple days I have felt a lot of relief,maybe because I have been talking to people like you, therapists and (I am what I commonly refer to as a displaced Catholic) have been praying a lot. Thank...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thank you for your comment. You really know how to explain it. Said that way it gives me a great comfort.I wish my dr. had explained it that way. In the last couple days I have felt a lot of relief,maybe because I have been talking to people like you, therapists and (I am what I commonly refer to as a displaced Catholic) have been praying a lot. Thank you for helping me.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 02, 2009

      Laura, I'm going to tell you something you'll find hard to believe: There'll come a day when the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning isn't cancer. And then there'll come a day when you never think about cancer at all. Millions of women have survived cancer and gone on to lead healthy lives. With your 'good"diagnosis, I have every confidence...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Laura, I'm going to tell you something you'll find hard to believe: There'll come a day when the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning isn't cancer. And then there'll come a day when you never think about cancer at all. Millions of women have survived cancer and gone on to lead healthy lives. With your 'good"diagnosis, I have every confidence you'll be one of them, and will be there for your family for a good long time. You can do this; you're stronger than you think. And you'll come out the other side, and be stronger still. From another "partially displaced" Catholic - God is holding you in the palm of his hand... PJH

    • Laura A. Learn-Hack
      Oct. 02, 2009

      Thank you so much I so look forward to that day.Smile

       

  • Peglove
    Oct. 03, 2009

    Yup. Good entry, I was totally there with you the whole time. How weird to be told you have the "good" kind of breast cancer! I am so glad you caught it and you are on the road to a good, healthy life.

     

    I hated seeing all those different docs, and my mind was just spinning with horrible thoughts. But it seems like they know what they are doing and even...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Yup. Good entry, I was totally there with you the whole time. How weird to be told you have the "good" kind of breast cancer! I am so glad you caught it and you are on the road to a good, healthy life.

     

    I hated seeing all those different docs, and my mind was just spinning with horrible thoughts. But it seems like they know what they are doing and even though it is sooo common to them, it isn't to you, so ask every question, and question every answer.

     

    Keep in touch. I really enjoyed your blog! 

    • Laura A. Learn-Hack
      Oct. 03, 2009

      You were the first blog I read, and the reason I joined this network. Your story encouraged me to tell mine. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

      keep in touch.

    • Peglove
      Oct. 19, 2009

       

      Hi Laura,

       

      Really? I am so happy I got you to write! That makes me so happy! Keep writing. I am always on here looking to read new stories.

       

      Hoping you are doing well. You are ahead of me, in a lot of ways. I am having the same procedure done as you did, on OCT 23. Ahhh! I am really nervous.

       

      I keep thinking the same things you said...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

       

      Hi Laura,

       

      Really? I am so happy I got you to write! That makes me so happy! Keep writing. I am always on here looking to read new stories.

       

      Hoping you are doing well. You are ahead of me, in a lot of ways. I am having the same procedure done as you did, on OCT 23. Ahhh! I am really nervous.

       

      I keep thinking the same things you said in your entry: how will they know its not spreading, what if it comes back...should I have gone for the mastectomy?

       

      Well. The only thing I know is that nothing is for certain. Please let me know how your dxonc...whatayacallit went?

       

      Ihope it was all good news. Is that the grading of the tumor? Or the genetic test? I had my blood work done and a chest x-ray and I am ready for take off!

       

      Wish me luck and good vibes.

       

      Peggie.

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