Biopsy needed and losing my mind with anxiety

Hi all, 

I’m new to the forum but feeling the need for some support.  I’m 43 I had my yearly screening mammogram on Monday of this week and an architectural distortion was spotted.  I went for my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound yesterday and was told that a mass was found under the distortion that was concerning.  I was sent for a biopsy, scheduled for tomorrow, and get my results next Wednesday. 

I have been diagnosed with anxiety, specifically health anxiety, and have a real fear of breast cancer due to some weird breast changes during and right after my first and only twin pregnancy 6 years ago.  So basically, I am facing my worst nightmare right now and I’m so so scared. 

I have reached out to family and friends who can help, my husband is very supportive, and I am selectively looking at resources on the internet (like forums) but nothing seems to be helping with my anxiety right now. I can’t stop crying and shaking, and I’m unable to eat and sleep.  I feel awful. 

I have 6 year old twins who need me, so I am trying so hard to compartmentalize all this and stay positive.  But I’m not doing a good job.  I look at them and can’t help but go to dark places.  I have called my primary care to request some anxiety meds to get through till Wednesday and I’m waiting for a call back. 

I’m just looking for some support for those who are going through this or have gone through this.  Biopsy is tomorrow and I’m not even feeling too nervous about this.  It’s just the wait and the what-if’s that causes a deep pit in my stomach. 

Thanks for reading.

Emily 

Hi Emily

First, what you’re feeling is completely normal so don’t equate anxiety and fear with weakness of any kind. You’re not falling short at all. I have suffered all my life with anxiety disorder, panic attacks and phobias. I was terrified when I got my diagnosis - not because of cancer but because of my phobias, and the hospital bent over backwards to support me. So long as you are frank with them and ask for help, it’s almost always there.

BUT that is jumping the gun. Did you know that between 60 and 90% of breast lumps presented at breast clinics turn out to be benign? Way back in the 1980s, I found a huge lump - it was a fibroadenoma, a formation of gristly tissue, and was removed. No further problems for 40 years. So the odds so far are in your favour. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and it’s been caught early. 90% of women continue to live a cancer-free life after treatment. So the odds are even more in your favour.

Obviously I don’t know your details - no one does yet - but you must wait for a cancer diagnosis. Don’t guess, don’t imagine. Assume it’s not, as often as you assume it is! The waiting is very hard and you are already familiar with anxiety (which, incidentally, helped me because I was so used to fear, not even cancer reached that level!) so do you have strategies to use in anxious times? Does your GP support you eg medication? I relied on a video by Progressive Hypnosis on YouTube called Cure Anxiety. Obviously it’s not a cure but my anxiety reduced and it was amazing at helping me sleep. I now use it every morning after I’ve taken my oral chemo.

You seem to have plenty of support, which is excellent. I hope tomorrow goes ok and that you get your results quickly. I got mine a week later but then there were more tests and more waits - but seriously, it’s all manageable once you have your anxiety under control. All the best

Jan x