Oh Boy What Next

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mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/26/2009 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm usually on the Lyme forum, have it, but recovering, still have tremors and fatigue which is nothing compared to what other posters are going through.
 
Also have a suspicious very enlarged right Thyroid and smaller nodules on the left so am on that forum too and now on the Breast Cancer forum.
What next.....?
 
Went for a mammogram today results not good so was asked to stay for an ultrasound and a biopsy. The doctor said the ultrasound looked suspicious and wants to order a bone scan and an MRI. Biopsy results will be back Monday.
Woman doctor, loved her and very glad she was upfront with me when I asked her if it looked like it could be cancer even though the friend I went with who also had a mammogram thought the doctor shouldn't have told me what she did until she was sure. She's my dearest friend and thought knowing would upset me and it didn't, I wanted an opinion. The doctor has 15 years experience so I think she can tell a suspicious lump when she sees one. There was no enlargement in my under arm lymph nodes, good news.
 
Tomorrow I had a biopsy scheduled for my Thyroid and they said if I was up to it today they would do it, I said yes get it over with. Will also get these results Monday.
 
Breast biopsy took 25 minutes, Thyroid 5 minutes.
There is no cancer in my family so I am hoping for the best and if the news is bad will have a lumpectomy and an overnight stay in the hospital. After that I have no idea what the treatment will be and I'm not going to worry about it.
 
What bothers me the most is the brusing on my throat...looks like someone tried to strangle me and it's too hot to wear a turtle neck.  :-)
 
I have an ache in my throat when I swallow my left breast is just a little tender other than that I feel pretty good, but tired and that's from the Lyme. Don't even need anything for pain.
 
When we left the hospital around 6:00 we went to a cookout expected to have trouble swallowing, but didn't.
 
For anyone having a Thyroid biopsy don't be afraid it's quick and over very fast...almost painless and they numb the area first.
 
Breast biopsy is a bit more difficult mostly because they have to go much deeper, takes longer, but still not all that bad and they numb that area too and that helps.
 
Will post results soon as I get them.
 
Thanks for reading this and am now going to do some research on the HW Breast Cancer Forum where I will no doubt learn all I need to know.
 
Jane

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 8/27/2009 3:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Jane. Well, you have been through the wringer, haven't you. Personally, I agree with you.... I would rather a doctor share their suspicions or "best guess" with me so I can be prepared for the worst, even while hoping for the best. This all happened very fast for you, so at least you will avoid the weeks of worry that most women have to deal with. However, I'm sure you're feeling a bit "shell-shocked" by how fast it happened.

If your biopsies turn out to be positive, our friend Lori here has had both breast cancer and thyroid cancer, so you will have a great resource for both right here.

But we're going to be hoping for good results on both tests. Let us know how things go Monday. In the meantime, if you have questions, we'll try to answer them.

Hugs...
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/27/2009 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bev,

Thanks for your reply and I do have questions and they're about chemo....that scares me.
Just the thought of taking something that will make me feel sick is making me sick thinking about it.

Where did I ever get the idea that with a lumpectomy there would be no chemo.
Did a lot of reading on HW last night and see that isn't the case.

How bad is chemo and how long do I have to take it and do you know what drugs they use, do they all make you feel sick, cause nausea and hair loss.

Also wondering if my bone scan is clear is there a chance chemo might not be necessary.

Yesterday I was so optimistic, not today.

Jane

postal2
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 8/27/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jane, you certainly have a lot on your plate right now. I just wanted to say that it depends on the tumor (size, type, stage,etc) on whether or not a lympectomy is followed with chemo. My tumor was stage 1, so if I had gone with a lympectomy, I would have had radiation with it, and then on to tamoxafen, as mine was estrogen receptive. That is the part the tamoxafen is for. So hang in there. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers that it is not cancer, but if it is, that it is early!
 
Gail
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/27/2009 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gail,

Yeah, guess I might have a lot on my plate will know Monday for sure. Trying to stay positive and bless you for your prayers.

I have no idea about size, type, stage, etc. but will ask questions when the tests come back.

Did you go for the lumpectomy?

Jane

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 8/28/2009 3:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Jane. Your age and the lymph node status are also a considerations in the decision to do chemotherapy, but a lumpectomy is almost always followed by at least radiation. If there is lymph node involvement, then chemo is probably a foregone conclusion. The chemo cocktails change occasionally, but I have to tell you, the drugs they use to combat nausea are really good. It's been almost 15 years since I went through chemo, and even then, I was never sick from it. Fatigue was a problem, but not nausea. Ironically, most of the women I know (including me) actually gained weight while on chemo! And I never missed a day of work while I was going through chemo, either. I stayed pretty healthy... there were a lot of days I wasn't 100%, but some days you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I had to have a mastectomy because I had two tumors in the same breast, two different types of cancer, but lots of the women here have had lumpectomies and are very happy with them.

Try not to spend your weekend worrying... easier said than done, I know.

Hugs...
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/28/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Everyone thanks for your replies and sharing experiences you have no idea how much I appreciate them. I'm encouraged.

After my biopsy I was not the least worried, but then found out on HW about chemo and radiation that scared me...never expected to hear it would be necessary.

I have a question and first will give you the reason for it.

If I have cancer either breast or thyroid I want to go away by myself for two weeks maybe three. I want to visit two friends in Florida and then on to Kansas and go to the Grand Canyon with my first husband Jack who I'm still and always have been close to. How we both regret the divorce.

So what I am thinking I will have the lumpectomy which is most likely cancer and remove my thyroid if necessary (my endo doesn't think my thyroid is cancerous) but would like to hold off on the chemo and radiation. Will two or three weeks matter all that much.

I'm feeling that this will be my only chance to see these people who I want to spend time with because it may be my last opportunity.
I have fatigue from Lyme, but can handle it...just don't think I can handle that and chemo/radiation at the same time.

So what do you think and I'm hoping most will agree that lets say three weeks will not make a difference.

I will take the Amtrack Auto train to Florida and driving the rest of the way.

Jane

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/28/2009 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jane-
I am the lucky one Bev was telling you about, breast and thyroid cancer. Double meaning, of course not really lucky to get cancer, but super lucky to have had a great outcome for both. :)
What a terrible weekend of waiting you are going through, but good news, all the waiting will be over at once.
So....there is a LOT on your plate, try to take it one step at a time.

Thyroid cancer is a nuisance, but not life threatening, Surgery is easy, treatment is quick and then life gets back to normal.

Breast cancer of course is more serious...my diagnosis was nearly 10 years ago. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the course of treatment for chemo, rads, surgery, etc. All are very do-able though! Crummy, yes, but do-able. If cancer has spread to the bones it is more serious, and the treatment may be different than if it is just in the breast.

As for timing, with thyroid cancer, they will probably say you have time to travel and do what you need to do. WIth breast cancer, they will likely want to get it out first and then probably a little time (few weeks at most) before starting treatment.

But these are all "what ifs" if in fact you have breast or thyroid cancer. Good chances that both are benign and this will all be over on Monday...

I too had no history of either cancer, positive history of thyroid disease in the family. Turns out I had Hashimoto's too.

SO hang in there....try to stay busy, and try not to let your mind run away with things. 80% of breast tumors are benign and I think the numbers for thyroid nodules are even better.

Keep us posted!
Lori


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/28/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lori, glad you found me and thanks to Bev for posting and alerting you.

I read many of the boards and think how lucky I am that I just have to deal with 1st stage Lyme and am curable.

Never once did I think I would be active on any other forumns and within two months here I am on two more....unbelievable.

I wish I had more information about what was on my mammogram, didn't even think to ask size, but do remember the doctor saying it was small. I have recently last a lot of weight (80 lbs, but needed to lose it, but not thw way it happened I am 5'2" and now 130 lbs, look good, feel lousy :-)) total lack of appetite and practically living on Ensure.

My metabolic blood tests were OK, just a little low on Vit E-3 so was told to double up and take 2000 IU a day, had been taking 1000. Both my endo and onco are concerned about the weight loss.

I don't know where I got the idea that with a lumpectomy there would be no chemo/radiation so when the doctor said she was very sure it was cancer I wasn't worried at all. Of course there is a chance that she's wrong and we are both hoping.

I was pleased to get both done on the same day, tried to schedule it, but was told no, too much for me to handle in one...nonsence it wasn't so was pleased when the doctor agreed.
So yes Lori I have a very short wait for both answers.

For anyone facing a thyroid biopsy it's just about painless and less than 5 minutes. Breast longer probably because they have to go deeper, but not all that bad.
You'll have some bruising and very little pain if any.

I think before surgery I will be having an MRI and bone scan...doctor mentioned both.

Also want to say my last mamogram was in 2005, very foolish of me, but too late for regrets. Ladies don't do what I did. This is one diagnosis I never saw coming.

Lori, it looks like I can go on my trip and thank you so much for replying and sharing your experience.
I'm already packing.

Jane

Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/28/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Jane, some people do not require more treatment for breast cancer besides surgery (maybe oral meds for hormones)....as I mentioned, there are multiple factors that go into that, including type, size, stage, etc. So there is hope that IF it is cancer, treatment may be very easy. And I did not mean to startle you by saying that I had no family history of cancer...what I meant was that most of us have no family hx, very few breast cancers are inherited. So...having no family history is not really a positive or a negative in terms of a woman's diagnosis. Of course a positive family history, especially with close relatives like sisters/ mother/ daughter, there can be an increased risk.

Glad your thyroid bx was easy. I found it to be uncomfortable, but not too bad. My surgery was last June and my scar is really nicely faded by now.

Try to have a good weekend and definitely keep those plans to pack.
Lori


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/28/2009 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Well if it's cancer I am the first in the family with any kind of cancer.

It was only a few weeks ago I found the lump in my left breast and it was the size of a large plum, very large and I probably could feel it because of the because of weight loss. I thought it was fibrous tissue and it was but deep inside there was this white spot and there was the tumor little bigger than a dime not completely round.

Type, stage, size will know Monday and I can't wait to hear the results can't wait to get it out.

As for the thyroid biopsy it was so much easier because your thyroid is right under the skin. Probably if I had that first I would have thought as you did, but it was after the breast biopsy and much quicker and easier.

For the breast bio the doctor used a thick needle and had to go deep and probe around took much longer. Then she told me not to turn and look because she didn't want to scare me and attached a handle that looked like the butt of a gun and told me I would hear a popping sound which was actually aspirating the tumor...did this four times and this part didn't hurt at all. I told her I didn't have to look because while waiting in the room for my biopsy I saw several of these handles with attached tubes in a trash can so knew what she was using. She said I'm going to have to get a lid for that can. :-)

Both bios were done during an ultrasound were yours ?

Your my inspiration Lori giving me hope that I just might not need chemo and that's all I ask for hope and if I do I do and will accept it knowing it's necessary.

Another question: how long did you have to be on chemo?

I'm packing and anxiously waiting for Monday's results.

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/29/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
My breast biopsy was just the removal. I did not have the aspiration or core biopsy, they knew it was cancer from the ultrasound and just went in to get it out. My thyroid bx was not with an ultrsound, the doc could feel the nodule and knew right where to go with the needle.

My chemo for breast cancer was 4 times, 3 weeks apart, so a 12 week process. Some people have 8 chemo's, and others take additional meds for even a year (many drugs don't cause hair loss)...there are a lot of factors and a lot of options.

For thyroid cancer, I had radioactive iodine therapy after having the thyroid removed. THat is a pill, then it will destroy any remaining thyroid cells or tissue and hopefully eliminate the chance for thyroid cancer to return. Way easier than breast cancer treatment.

Hang in there!
Lori


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/29/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I've heard thyroid treatment is much easier, wonder why, I would think it would be far more serious than breast cancer since the thyroid controls so many different things.
I've researched Thyroid ca and found there are 4 kinds. A cousin of mine (married into the family) died from it. No doubt he had the worst type.

Now I know why my onco said she was almost sure I had breast cancer she could probably tell from the second set of films they took, was after that she did the biopsy (didn't know it was called core as opposed to aspiration..thanks for posting definitions and I know it was core)

Sounds good about the chemo...read so many posts where they were on it for years,,,scared me. I think I can handle your regimin, did you have any side effects?

Did you have general anesthesia when they removed your tumor and why didn't you stay overnight.

What are you taking for thyroid replacement.

Hope you don't mind all the questions.

Jane

mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/29/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Lori

Here is a copy of my Thyroid ultrasound report.
What do you think ??? Good, bad or just OK

This was done about two months ago and is why I scheduled a biopsy.

............................................................................

Ultrasound of thyroid. Report says:

The right lobe is enlarged measuring 4.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 cm. A single large mass almost completely occupies the right lobe. The mass measures 3.3 x 2.2 x 2.1 cm.
This mass in inhomogeneous with blood flow and biopsy is recommnded to rule out neoplasm.

The isthmus is normal in size measuring 1.4mm in the AP dimension.

The left lobe measures 4.1 x 1.6 x 1.6 cm. The echotexture is generally homogeneous. In the midpole, a single mass with calcification is seen measuring 2.0 x 1.4 x 1.3 cm. No other discrete masses are identified.

IMPRESSION: Bilateral large masses, particularly on the right. The right-side solid mass is suspicious for neoplastic disease and biposy is recommended.

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jane-
I think that thyroid cancer is less serious (usually) because it is slow growing and responds to iodine therapy very well, it is just easy to treat. Most thyroid cancers, incluiding mine, absorb iodine....so the treatment is a poisonous iodine, called radioactive iodine. The thyroid cells and tissue are the only cells in the body that absorb iodine, so it is like a magic bullet to kill thyroid cancer. True, there are 2 kinds of thyroid cancers that do not respond to iodine therapy, but they are much more rare.

I take Levoxyl, 150 mcg. It took about 6 months to get the right dose, as the doc moves slowly to increase the meds and then waits 6 weeks to see what happens.

I don't know much about the thyroid report....but it sounds like the mass has inconsistent traits, and suspicious is not a good word in general...but...with anything, no one knows for sure until the tissue sample is examined.

And for chemo related to breast cancer, remember there are many kinds and dependent upon many factors. Some chemo is hormonal medications, with little side effects. Some kinds are the more traditional cancer therapy drugs that include hair loss. And others are targeted to certain kinds of cells and may be taken long term....

My lumpectomy in 1999 was similar to others, in that they use a twilight anesthesia and a local, not much recovery time involved and return to work in a day if you want. Thyroid surgery is more involved and did require a one night stay and a general anesthesia.

Good questions....don't think too much about it, but hang in there!
Lori


Post Edited (Tavish) : 8/30/2009 2:16:47 PM (GMT-6)


mcjane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again Lori. Soon as I get my results Monday I will post them.

Sharing your experience with me makes me feel I can do this if you can. Sure helps to talk to you too.

Jane
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