Tag Archive | biopsy

Biopsy Results

I went for my ultrasound and biopsy on Wednesday, May 13th.  I went with the thought in mind that it was just scar tissue.  I left the hospital more scared than ever.  Without going into detail because that day turned out to be very emotional for me and I am not confident that I can remember exactly was said, I was told that the mass measured approximately 1.9cm by 2cm and looked suspicious for a breast cancer recurrence.

I am very happy to announce that on Friday I received a call from my oncologist informing me that the area was a combination of scar tissue and fat necrosis.  Nothing to worry about!!!  If the lump becomes bothersome I can have it removed.  I do not wish to have it removed since my body appears to really like forming scar tissue and knowing my luck it would be replaced with an even larger amount!!!

My oncologist said that they will check it periodically to make sure that nothing has changed.

I cannot even begin to explain how I felt when the radiologist who did the biopsy informed me that she was worried that this was a recurrence.  Life stops.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe, as if something was sitting on my chest.  I had multiple thoughts going through my head… “I can’t tell my family this again”  “What will Nick do?”  “How are my kids going to handle this again???”  “I can’t bear to see my moms face if I have to tell her the cancer has returned”  “Why me?”  “Life is so unfair”  So many thoughts and so many emotions rushing in all at once.  The rest of the day was a blur as I tried to process everything.

I am beyond happy that I can now truly enjoy my sons high school graduation next week without this dark cloud hanging over me (all of us).  I am hugging my husband, children, and mom a little tighter, and telling them that I love them every day.

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My courage is stronger than my fear!

Last week, while in the shower, I found a lump in my right reconstructed breast.  The side that previously had the cancer.  I tried telling myself that it is just scar tissue.  I know that my body produces excessive amounts of scar tissue.  However, feeling this lump, that to me, feels absolutely huge, made me instantly sick to my stomach.  I hurried up with my shower and found Nick and had him feel it.  He also said that it was probably scar tissue, but urged me to call my oncologist.

I called the oncologist’s office first thing Monday morning and was told later that day that he wanted me to have a biopsy of the lump.  He also told me that it may turn out to be benign (non cancerous) but that he doesn’t want to take the chance.  I am scheduled for a biopsy on Wednesday, May 13th at 12:30. I am trying to stay positive, but it is hard.  This is more scary than the first time because I now know how hard the treatments are.  I guess I know so much now that the very thought of going through it again is terrifying.  I am learning that after the diagnosis of cancer, routine blood tests, scans, and possibly additional biopsies become a new part of your life.

To add to the biopsy, I also have 3 appointments for the month of May to go in for another series of intrercostal nerve injections for the nerve damage/pain from the mastectomy.  The first series last summer helped me tremendously.  After the surgery in December to remove all of the scar tissue, the pain started to return.  I have appointments for the injections on May 12th, 19th, and 26th.  May looks to be a busy month!

It is hard to not get discouraged by all of this.  Like I said in my last blog, Cancer is the gift that just keeps giving.

On a positive note, the new cancer survivors support group at the local cancer care center is taking off well.  I don’t remember if I mentioned this in my blog before, but I have been selected to be a patient representative for the cancer care center.  There are two of us, myself and another gentleman who had gastric cancer.  The two of us leading the support group which is for survivors of all types of cancers.  We are also including the family/caregivers of the cancer survivor with the hopes of eventually having a group for the children and one for the spouses or other adult family members.  There are already such groups in the bigger cities, but driving to Louisville is difficult for most people in our area.  For this reason, we feel it is important to get this new group going so the local cancer care center can reach those in the rural areas.

My goal for the month of May is to not allow fear to rule my life.  I have to remind myself daily that my courage is stronger than my fear.

August 29, 2012

THE DAY THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET

Written Aug 18, 2012 9:49pm

August 17, 2012 @ 3:08pm  That is a date and time that I will never forget.  That is when I received the call that I had nervously been waiting for.

I will back track for a minute here.  This past week has been a roller coaster.  There have been times when it seemed to fly by, and other times when everything seemed to be in slow motion.  I went to see my family doctor on Thursday, August the 9th and during a routine exam she said that I had an indent in my right breast and because of family history she recommended a mammogram.  I had a diagnostic mammogram on Tuesday and after 4 views I was asked to wait while the tech talked to the radiologist.  When she came back in she told me that she needed to take a couple more pictures.  I was then again asked to wait and to not get dressed yet.  This is when I started to have a small amount of worry sneaking in on me.  She again came in and said that she needed a couple more views.  Again I was asked to wait while she went to talk to the radiologist.  I was then escorted to another room when she told me I would be having an ultra sound. Another tech came in the room and started.  After a while she  told me to stay there while she went to speak to the radiologist.  Now the worry was really starting to set in.

This time when the tech came back in she had the doctor with her.  He said that he wanted to take another look.  When he was finished he asked me to get dressed and then said that the tech would bring me to his office to talk.  By this time I am starting to get upset.

Once in his office he brings up mammogram images of my breast on multiple screens and starts pointing out an area that in his words “was very worrisome” He said that based on the irregular shape, shadows, and the indent on the skin that I needed to be scheduled right away for a biopsy. He walked me out to the front desk and asked them to schedule me for a biopsy the next morning. I was now officially scared.

My husband took off work the next day so he could go with me for the biopsy.  My mom, step-dad, and older sister all met us there for moral support even though we would not know anything for sure that day.

I was called to the back and everything started pretty quickly.  Once the biopsy was complete the radiologist asked me to go ahead and choose a surgeon that I would like to see.

I received a call from my family doctor’s office that evening which shocked me because it was after hours.  They told me that I had already been scheduled for an appointment with a surgeon and that based on my tests that they felt that there was a 95% or greater chance that this was breast cancer.  They would know for sure what we were dealing with on Friday.

Now back to Friday at 3:08pm.  The radiologist calls me and said that he has been talking back and forth with the pathologist all day and he wanted to let me know that it was definitely breast cancer.  He said that I have a rare type that does not show up on mammograms when the cancer is still early.  He told me that it is a “sneaky” cancer that hides.  He then said that I would need to see a surgeon right away and that in addition to the surgery they decide to do (mastectomy or lumpectomy) they would also be removing lymph nodes to test.