Hi again Stacey,
you will get through this and it is great to read that you are starting to be able to manage your anxiety levels.
Yes, the waiting and then little "surprises" are not nice. The lymph node in question was enlarged in my routine screening 3+ years ago and not called out at that time as a problem. So it may be enlarged just because it is and not because of cancer, but my goal is to have only one op and not a second for lymph node clearance. The first biospy got some tissue near the lymph node which I guess was "odd" but did not show any cancer. I know the surgical results are more important, however. I fully expect a masectomy because the second area of concern found is in a different part of my breast. I'm okay with a masectomy.
In the meantime, I'm trying to manage my anxiety levels. I was convinced Letrozole (I'm on it already because the surgeon thought I would need to wait a while for an op due to more tests, etc.) was causing my heart to race, but I find that if I can manage to calm myself down it settles. My goal for the week. Replace anxiety with courage, determination, and a positive will that I will make it through this cancer crap.
There will be time enough for you to enjoy yourself and spend some of the money you have saved.
Treatments have come a very long way and are constantly updated to give us the best possible outcome for our diagnosis.
I, too, was diagnosed with a lobular breast cancer in January this year. I had no symptoms, could not feel any lump or had any change in the appearance of my breast. The routine mammogram showed it as 2cm, the MRI as 3cm - and after the operation the pathlogy results came back and it was 11cm. As yet, I have not come across anyone, who had a cancer of that size on this site. Not that I am competitive with this, lol - but it shows that not all is lost, even if the growth is large.
Initially one may think - how can that be? - why did they not tell me straight away? - have they misdiagnosed?
Well, it is in the nature of the beast, so to speak. My particular one was a lobular in situ, which had changed into an invasive. Invasive in my case meant that the original 'lump' started to grow tentacles, so to speak - of which many are just a few cell strands wide. The MRI can not neccesarily pick this up and I also have quite dense breast tissue. And the grade changed, too. Grade 2 after biopsy and grade 3 after pathology, as the biopsy takes only a miniscule sample of one specific area.
Your actual treatment plan is usually put into place post operation and pathology results to ensure you get the right treatment for your specific diagnosis. Sometimes one may have chemo before surgery, but it does depend on your diagnosis following the biopsy. I do not think it is common to do a biopsy of a lymph node, even if swollen, if it is on the same side of the affected breast. When you have your operation they generally also do a sentinel node biopsy, which means they remove the first 'cluster' of lymph nodes on the affected side for testing.
I have had my operation, have just finished chemotherapy and still have to do the sessions of radiotherapy.
However - the most important thing is my future prognosis. When deciding on the treatment plan with my oncologist - taking my age (57), health status and pathology results into account - she shared this with me to make an informed decision about my adjucant treatment. She told me that it was not even worth talking about my 5 year prognosis, as it is more or less a given, that with my follow on treatment - I will still be here. My 10 year prognosis is a 12% chance that it may come back. Considering the size and that it must have been lurking for quite some time - that is simply amazing. I have beaten so many odds with all of this - I feel, I might just beat those odds, too.
Waiting for the biopsy results, so informed decisions can be made for the next step - as steps it is - can be very challenging. But once you have them - your treatment team has the next piece of the puzzle and can make informed decisions, together with you, as to the next steps. Should they decide to operate first, then the pathology results should add the final piece to that puzzle and the type of your adjuvant treatment will be based on those.
Thanks. Good advice. I have to stop reading scientific studies about lobular cancer on the web! As well as kicking myself for not noticing anything was wrong with my breast. After I got the recall notice I gave it a good going over and still did not notice anything alarming .... but now of course I think I can! Arghhh.
Roll on next year this time!
Hi Stacey, Waiting for the full picture and not knowing what your treatment plan will be is the hardest part. You will feel much better when you know exactly what's in store for you. I went from having one tumour found on a monogram to having tbree! However, that did not affect my prognosis and I'm pleased to say I'm out the other side of treatment and feel well.
Im so sorry you are having to deal with all this so soon after losing your husband. It's not fair is it.
the next week or so will be hard. I tried to keep busyvwhilstvwaiting for my final results to distract myself. Google can be a frightening place so stick to sites like this if you are searching for information.
Love and hugs
I had an MRI just over a week ago and today more ultrasounds and biospies. The MRI indicated the cancer (lobular) was larger than the 5cm shown on the mammogram and also that there is probably another area in a different part of the same breast that did not show up at all in any of the two previoius mammograms or ultrasound. Plus, I asked the doctor to rebiopsy an enlarged lymph node that the prevous biopsies missed entirely ... I think they got tissue near it, but no lymph node tissue. It's been enlarged for years, but if it is cancerous I am trying to avoid multiple surgeries.
When I heard the doctor say that the cancer was larger I stopped myself from asking exactly how large it was... I have just had my fill of bad news and didn't want to fixate on what it all means.
I will not hear anything more until the end of next week, so I remain in the dark about my treatment plan. Apart from surgery, I assume it means chemo and then perhaps radiation.
I spent the last 7 years caring for my husband, barely having a life of my own, and this BC crap hit me in the face two days after he died. At 64 years of age all I want know is enough time in my life to spend some of the money I've saved and enjoy myself. On the plus side, I no longer worry about getting dementia like my father and two grandmothers had later in life.
The details? All I want now is someone to tell me what the treatment plan is and get on with it.