Confused and waiting for answers

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Rosiecat
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/20/2008 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I just turned 33 last month.  Quick history: Pre-cancer cells on cervix with cone biopsy removal at 21.  No children, although I did fertility treatments for years (which worries me because of all the extra hormones)  I had a hyst last Dec due to severe endo.  I still have my right ovary but had to remove my left due to damage.  My mat-grandmother and a mat aunt both had breast cancer. Don't know if other cancers matter but I also have many other family members with other forms of cancer. Last month I found a small lump in my left breast.  It is slightly smaller than a marble.  It is located right beside/behind my nipple on the outer side of my breast. It is very hard and almost has a jagged feeling to it.  I am not able to move it around so I can only feel the part that is closest to the skin.  It almost seems to be attached to the thicker area located right behind the nipple.  It isn't causing me any pain and I haven't noticed any skin changes.  I'm just really scared because I have never felt a lump and then to have it seem like the exact kind that I don't want to find.  I have an appt Tuesday with my gyn so I'm hoping that I can get some answers.  Until then I am losing my mind!!! I really don't want to mention it to any of my family yet because it could be nothing.  My husband is already freaking out so he is of NO help right now.  I'm kinda at a loss because I just don't know.   Well I guess thanks for just letting me get all of that off my chest.  I have been reading the post for a couple of days and everyone here is so supportive. 
 
Jessie

gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 9/20/2008 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I can imagine how you are freaking out. We all have done that! But please keep telling yourself not to worry until you know you have something to worry about. You will have to have a biopsy to see what it is for sure. I would hope they would do a surgical biopsy which is only day surgery. But perhaps the dr will suggest a needle biopsy which is even easier. At any rate it will probably be a couple of weeks before you know anything for sure. Used to be when they did a surgical biopsy you signed papers for a mastectomy if it was found to be cancer while you were in surgery. That is what happened to me 12 years ago. It saved a lot of waiting and worrying, I guess, but sometimes a mastectomy was more than was necessary. So try not to worry. I didn't tell family, either until I had surgery. Let us know what you are finding out and feel free to come here and "talk". Believe me we have heard it all. Husbands, family freinds can be really strange! Hugs MK


Rosiecat
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/20/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
 
I can't imagine what it would feel like going into surgery and not knowing what you would find when you wake up.  Right now my biggest question to myself is "Am I strong enough for this?"  I read through your comments and you all have such a wonderful inner strength.  All I have is a lump and I already feel as if I'm on a crazy rollar coaster ride.
 
Are you able to pick between a needle or surgical biopsy or is this up to the doctor?  I'm also kinda confused as to who does what.  I will have my appt Tuesday with my gyn.  Will he do the u/s in his office or will I be sent to hospital for mammo and u/s?  If they find something will I be sent to an oncologist or do you wait until you know if its cancer or not?  I live in a rural area so we don't have any breast clinics.  I had thought about requesting that he send me to a breast center (the closest is about 2hrs away) but I'm not sure if ins will pay.  I guess I really just don't have any idea of what to expect.  It seems like the last 2yrs of my life have been spent in the hospital.  I had lap to remove endo Nov 06, lap to remove gallbladder March 07, total hyst Dec 07, and now this.  I know that I am scaring myself reading about breast cancer on the internet but I just feel so lost and out of control.  I find myself constantly feeling my breast to see if the lump is still there. I honestly think that I have played with my boob more than my husband has during our whole marriage!  Thank you so much for your time and words.

feelings49
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
maybe you have a benign (non-cancerous tumor )or maybe you have a mass I had a mass but there were skin color changes, it was cancer and it took me a coupke of years to make the doctors believe me so it was a later stage at diagnosis. I MADE IT AND AM A YEAR OUT from chemotherapy and radiation. If you have cancer be as positive in atttitude as you can and if you can learn or know how to meditate do it if at all possible as it helps with the immune system .  EVEN IF YOU FIND YOU DONT HAVE CANCER mEDITATION IS GOOD.  Candied ginger from a health food store will help nausea from the cancer, stress , or chemotherapy if you need it you can buy it at a health food store or some grocery stores.

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 9/21/2008 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello, there. I just wanted to pop in and offer a few words of comfort. It is best to take one step at a time. I know this is difficult, but you must try not to worry until you have something to worry about. Next, I don't know about your gyn, but mine sent me to a surgeon immediately after my mammogram, and the surgeon did a biopsy. As for a breast surgeon, I highly recommend one.Two hours may seem like a lot of drive time, but I believe it will be worth it in the end, and insurance will most likely pay. Also, a breast surgeon will know which type of biopsy is best.
 
Again, try not worry - it won't change anything about Tuesday. Keep a positive attitude, vent here when you need to and let us hear from you on Tuesday.
 
Judy
 
I tried to take out the white space in your post. MK

Post Edited By Moderator (gma) : 9/21/2008 7:22:57 AM (GMT-6)


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 9/21/2008 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Rosicat, your doctor will probably discuss with you the kind of biopsy he would recommend. Possibly he will give you a choice. If not, you can suggest what you prefer. Today we have a lot more choice about our care, although there are still some doctors who hate to be told what we think or want. Just come back and post after your appointment and we will all help you sort it out. You asked about the sonogram and mammogram and where it would take place. Most doctors don't have this equipment in their offices unless they are breast radiologists and sadly the equipment is getting too expensive for a doctor's office of any kind. The hospital where I have mammograms recently got a new digital machine that is very expensive for a small town hospital.

Take care, hope you are having a decent weekend.
Hugs
MK


Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/21/2008 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your kind words and for information on whats coming up. I think that I will call my ins tomorrow to ask about going to the breast center. That way Tuesday I will already know if ins will cover it and can let my doc know. We also got a digital mammo machine at our local hospital (they have been running all kinds of commercials) so at least I will know that I am getting advanced care. Again I thank you all for your support. Hopefully Tuesday will bring good news and will help to ease my mind.

Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/23/2008 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I really don't think that appt went very well.  On a good note he did say that lump in my right breast was just fibrocystic changes and was fine.  Then he moved over and checked my left breast.  My dr wouldn't give any opinion at all as to what he thought is was or if he thought it was OK.  My doc graduated highschool with my husband so he usually speaks freely with me.  When I asked him if he felt that it could possibly be a small cluster of cyst instead of it being such an irregular shape he told me I needed to get the test done and speak with the surgeon.  I go for mammo and u/s tomorrow.  He also found another small lump located within the same area.  Its not very big but now that I know its there I can find it easily.  I decided to go to the Breast Center.  I really think that the drive will be well worth the benefits.  I don't know when I will go there.  Because they are out of our ins network I have to wait for them to approve it (although we have no breast centers in our network so it says that they have to pay at full coverage).  They are supposed to call Thursday.  I think that my doc went ahead and called the breast center.  Do I call them tomorrow after my test or do they call me?  Or will the radiologist tell me what was found or do I have to wait until my appt with the breast center?  I am so confused as to what will happen now.  I feel like I was given my papers and then just sent out to figure things out on my own.  I know what 80% of biopsies come back fine and I haven't even made it that far yet.  I guess I just really didn't expect that reaction.  I mean he told me the right side was fine.  Sorry to keep going on just that my husband is REALLY freaking out over this so I don't want to let him know that I'm scared.  Will they tell me tomorrow if I need a biopsy or do I wait to meet with the doc? 

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 9/23/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Well...in a way the appt did go well because your doc is taking you seriously. Don't freak out just because the doctor won't offer an opinion. There is no way at all to tell about the right or the left breast whether it is benign or malignant from just a manual palpation, so the right step is to the breast center. It is definitely nerve-wracking, but as others have said, worrying won't change the situation. You are totally doing the right thing by getting things checked out and researching, you know the lingo and the questions to ask. That will get you far.

And if, big fat IF, it is cancer, we'll help you through it, I had a lumpectomy almost 9 years ago when I was 30. I did chemo and rads, and it was not fun but you can do it. Keep us posted!
Lori


canden7
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/25/2008 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I know how you feel. I am 35 and was diagnosed with cancer last Monday.  I talked to quiet a few people before I got any results and most of them have had a lump, all of them were benign tumors or cyst.  It's a very slim chance that you have cancer, but if you do, don't give up.  There have been alot of people in your situation, some have turned out good results and some have been bad, but you can't give up.  Good luck and I will be praying for you.

Candy


Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/26/2008 1:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I got a call and have to go in for another mammogram.  But the strange thing is that they said that this was for my right side.  This isn't the side that we found the lumps on!  Now I'm doubly worried because I am afraid that they have found something else!  Is it possible that they just didn't get a very good picture?  I'm still waiting on my ins to approve the appt for the breast center so I'm not sure when that will be yet.  I was actually feeling very good about things.  The u/s tech showed me two cyst that I have in my left breast (where one of the lumps was) and told me that they showed as benign.  She wasn't able to find anything else but said that sometimes fibrocystic changes can feel like a lump.  She said that they would just watch it for a couple of months for changes.  So I went from relief that they didn't find anything right back to were I was, only now I have no idea what they have found.  (Unless they are looking at the lump that my dr wasn't worried about?) Oh well, guess I will go get squeezed again. shocked

bama wife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 10/3/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Rosiecat,
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. I had a lumpectomy and was told I needed 30 radiation treatments. I decided against the radiation(HOWEVER), I would never tell anyone else what to do. That's a decision we all have to make on our own. But let's think positive,and believe for a good outcome. My mom had BC 14 years ago and took 3 chemo treatments. She was suppose to take 6 but they made her so sick she told the dr. She wasn't taking anymore.She would be here until God decided to take her home.She is still here with us today. I will certainly be praying for you.I know how hard it is waiting.Please keep us posted.
 
Prayers and hugs
Pammy in Alabama

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/5/2008 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Rosie, I don't like saying this, but this is just the diagnostic roller coaster. Nothing is yet definitive and with all this back and forth, don't be surprised if the do mamo and us on both breasts. Settle in with the "news" and let us keep us hear from you. I went through chemo and radiation 4 years ago and in August my oncologist said all this treatment is much improved now.  Can you imagine!  Be positive so you can finish this race.
 
 
Judy

Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/7/2008 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for all of the wonderful supportive replies.  When you say roller coaster you really mean it!! I had my first appt at the breast center on Sept 30.  The rad from hosp STILL had not read the second set of films on my right breast!?! So they sent me across the street to talk to the surgeon about the cysts in my left breast.  After talking with her (who I loved!!!) we decided to removed them on Nov 17.  She then sent me back to the breast center to have a u/s done of my right breast even thought she STILL didn't have the report.  He redid the left breast and found TONS of cysts.  He actually stopped measuring and just took pics of each one.  Then he did u/s of right breast.  He found more cysts.  As he would find each one he would point it out and show me how they could tell it "looked" benign.  Then he found a spot around the inner breast at the 12:30 position.  He started taking lots of pics and measuring and even switched the u/s ends to get different pics.  He said that it could be fibroadenoma but that he would not wait until Nov 17 to have it biopsied.  He called the surgeon to get her opinion and then set up a core biopsy for Mon Oct 6 (the earliest I could have it done due to work and travel time).  I am waiting on the results now.  He made a small incision and then took 5 different samples.  He also placed a small round "marker" inside the "mass" so that it could be easily found (do they always do this?)  I am still a bit sore but Tylenol is enough to knock it out.  I don't know the size as he never said and I can't ever tell by the u/s screen. It makes everything look big.  It was a greyer color than the cysts (which showed black).  It also seemed to have a really strange shape.  It would almost remind you of a clump of grapes.  I have an appt set up for Oct 15 with the surgeon.  I assume that if they find something they will move it closer.  Again thank you all for your replies and support.  It seems as if time is standing still right now.  I know that the percentages are on my side but every worse case scenario is running through my mind.  If this comes back positive.  What comes next?  Does it come out immediately or do we run other test?  If its neg do we still remove the cysts or would you just leave them alone?

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/7/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Right now, this roller coaster will continue and the surgeon is going to call all the shots -- breast cancer, cysts, whatever and with so many cysts, I really don't know what she will decide to do. With a fibroadenoma, I believe I would get it out. I had one out at 26 (and pregnant). The core biopsy will help the surgeon make a decision.  Sit tight and stay calm. We're here.
 
Judy

babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 10/7/2008 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
You said it seems as if time is standing still.  That is exactly how I felt waiting to find out, too.  For the longest time, I was in a fog.  You will get through this.  Just talk to the surgeon and discuss all your options.  Then make a decision.  Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.  Hang in there.
L & H,
Kathy


Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/8/2008 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you again for all of the wonderful support.  I got a call today saying that all of the test had come back neg!  He said that it is just a fibroadenoma and that if the surgeon doesn't take it out I need to come back in 6 months for a follow-up mammo.  I meet with the surgeon next wed to see what if anything needs to come out.  I assume that she is still planning on removing the two cysts in my left breast but not sure about the new cysts that were found in both breasts or the fibroadenoma in the right breast.  From what I have found on the net it seems that some docs want them out and some say to leave them and just monitor.  To me since she is already going to do surgery I would just assume to have it removed but guess I will know more on Wed.  Again thank you all for all of your support.

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/8/2008 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Congratulations on the negative! We like that here. My recommendation is to ALWAYS keep up with your checkups, get your surgeon to show you how to do a really good self exam, and you are set. Look after yourself, o.k. and asfor the fibroadenoma, I say get it out, and ask for copies of all reports. It is your right and you need to keep up with all this for the future.
Judy

babyseeester
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Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 10/8/2008 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
That is GREAT news!  I am so glad for you.  I will be interested to see what the surgeon recommends you do.  Please let us know.
L & H,
Kathy


Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/16/2008 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I met yesterday with the surgeon.  She will be removing the two larger cysts from my left breast and also the fibroadenoma from my right breast.  The surgery is scheduled for Nov17.  They are going to use a guide wire to remove the fibroadenoma.  Can someone tell me what that will be like?  They told me that I would have to be there around 9 but the surgery wouldn't actually be until 11 or 12.  Does it take that long?  Will it hurt or be simular to the biopsy?  Also, I will have a 2hr ride home after surgery, do I need anything for the ride home?  Should I buy any certain kind of bra for the ride home? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 10/16/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
The only question I can really answer is why you need to be there so early.  Most surgeries, in my experience, they want you there at least 2 hours ahead to allow for registration and prep.  The best person to ask about the ride home and what you will need is your surgeon. 
L & H,
Kathy


Superbigmac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/17/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
It seems like you are going to have a needle localization surgical excision.  This is a two step process. 
 
Step One:  Needle localization.  This is done in the radiology department.  The tech will do a "scout" film mammogram of the area with the fibroadenoma.  This is just a one view mammogram using a paddel with a square opening and gridmarks.  The radiologist will use the gridmarks to figure out where to put the needle in.  The radiologist will use a needle with a wire inside and insert it directly through the area with the fibroadenoma.  They usually give you some lidocaine, but some don't because they say that the lidocaine hurts just as much as the needle itself.  The tech will take another picture with the breast compressed in the perpendicular direction.  The radiologist will probably have to adjust once or twice so that the needle tip is 1cm past the lesion.  Some needles are designed to be removed with only the wire left inplace.  Others with both the needle and wire in place.  They'll probably put a styrofoam cup over the contraption and send you off to the OR.  This whole thing will probably take 30 min to 1hr.  People generally don't like this procedure too much, not because of pain, but because you have to be compressed for a fairly long time 15 to 30 minutes.
 
Step Two:  Surgical excision.  This is done in the OR or short procedure room.  The anesthesiologist will come talk to you before the procedure.  They'll start an IV.  They'll take you into the procedure room and they'll give you some general conscious sedation to make you drowsy.  You won't be completely out, unless you just fall asleep.   The surgeon will prep you and give you more local anesthesia (lidocaine/marcaine etc.)  The surgeon will make an incision and use the guide wire/needle to find the fibroadenoma.  They may or not send the excised lump for a specimen radiograph.  This whole thing will probably take about 30 minutes to 45 min.  Most people tolerate this pretty well because they don't feel anything and bleeding is better controlled than with a needle biopsy.  The draw back is scarring and disfigurement of your breast, depending on how much breast tissue you're starting out with. 
 
Overall, this is a pretty simple procedure and people do very well with it.  You definitely need someone to drive you home since you will be groggy from the sedation.  I would also recommend brininging a supportive bra. 
 
Generally speaking, if your core needle biopsy was 100% benign, then this procedure would be completely your choice/optional.  Also, the cysts you're going to have removed, that is probably also your choice?  You really should weigh the pros and cons of having any or all of them removed, since it is probably optional.  I trust you have already weighed the pros and cons and made a good informed decision. 
 
Good luck to you. 
 

Rosiecat
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/18/2008 3:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Kathy- I didn't even think about the registration, duh! idea LOL!
 
Superbigmac-Thank you sooo much for the detailed information!!!!  I think the worse part is going into the unkown.  My husband will be with me so he will be driving home.  I also called the doc and asked about the ride home.  She suggested that I buy a sports bra a size too big for the ride home.  I got lucky and found a great sports bra that has a clasp in the back so it will be easier to get in to.  Again thank you so much for all the great information.
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