I’ve posted a couple of times regarding waiting times and surgery options and thought I’d now bring things up to date. I hope this is useful to anyone experiencing similar.
A recap; I’m 64, first diagnosed early December via suspicious mammogram and ultrasound, biopsies taken then, results two weeks later confirmed Lobular invasive, grade 2, ER+ve, right breast. Options for lumpectomy or mastectomy with any other treatment to be decided after surgery, though Letrozole a definite for the ER+ve aspect. MRI scan late December and another two weeks for results showed two tumours (16mm and 13mm) and suspicious areas. Mastectomy now the only option.
Had that on Monday, single mastectomy (gone flat) and sentinel lymph node removal (they call it a biopsy but it’s actually removed) . I go back in two weeks for the lymph node results and treatment decisions.
So, 8 weeks in all from first detection of cancer to mastectomy. And yes, the waiting time between appointments , test and results and decisions is without doubt unbelievably and extremely hard. It drags and feels like forever, but we get through it. Hang on in there if you’re at that stage.
I’ve now two weeks to wait - again ! - for the results of the surgery and lymph node tests. This is for me one of the hardest parts. It’s the “has it spread” question I fear, more than the breast cancer. BUT I do feel buoyed by the fact that the root cause and tumours have now gone ! Hooray !! I know that may sound very weird, celebrating the removal of a breast but I’ve got rid of an active cancer and that’s worth a cheer to my mind. The first round of this war is won. I won’t know how many more fights I have to have until the lymph node results come in, but it does, as others have said, feel positive to be now having treatment.
For anyone undergoing a mastectomy, my experience has been good. I’m in no pain and am doing my shoulder exercises. I’ve some bruising coming out now and some fluid building up which the nurses explained to me and so isn’t a worry. It will take a few weeks to clear but I know what’s happening and so am OK with it. My breast care nurses, and surgeon have been excellent – talk to them about any concerns or questions you have, in my experience they are very patient, very understanding, very helpful, honest, and down to earth. I couldn’t ask for more.
Once I get my lymph node results, I’ll know if it’s chemo and/or radiotherapy as well as the Letrozole. I’ll let you know, and will no doubt look for advice from others on this fabulously supportive forum – in the meantime thanks again for the advice and positive responses to my other posts and I do hope my story helps you if you’re in similar circumstances.
Keep going, Life is worth taking every hard step on this awful path, lots of hugs and best wishes to all who are on it.
And a quick call to Sammie, not spotted any more of your updates, I hope all is going very well for you.