I found a lump while doing a self exam, prompted by sore/painful area in right breast back in end of September 2011. Didn't think much of it at first. Thought it was something left over from nursing my baby. He stopped nursing about 12 months earlier and I'd always felt sore/achy (I have fibromyalgia too...not helpful)! Plus, I had just had my yearly exam in April.
After about three weeks I decided to get it checked out. It wasn't getting better and becoming more painful.
I went to my gynecologist. Said not to worry, cancer doesn't tend to hurt. She sent me to get a mammogram. Oh yeah, my first mammogram was going to be scheduled for the following year (I turn 40!).
Had the mammogram and the technician said not to worry...cancer doesn't hurt!
After the mammogram I was sent to have an ultrasound. They found a mass and wanted to do a biopsy. The technician said not to worry...cancer doesn't hurt!
I scheduled the biopsy for four days later. Well the biopsy hurt!!!
On Halloween I got a call from the pathologist that did my biopsy. He told me it was cancer and that I needed to get with a surgeon the next day!!! I was in complete shock.
I met with my surgeon and was told that I had Invasive Ductal Carnoma, the tumor was about 8 cm (3.1 inches), ER+/PR+, HER2 negative. I needed to get more testing done and we would develop a plan.
I had an MRI and PET scan. Two lymph nodes showed up so I went back to have those biopsied. They were positive with the same type of cancer.
After multiple opinions, the decision was made to go ahead and have neoadjuvant chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and get a better negative margin.
My treatment plan so far is: 4 weeks of A/C (adriamyacin/cytoxin) and then 4 weeks of Taxol (every 2 weeks). Simple mastectomy on right side with axillary lymph node dissection. 25 Radiation treatments. Tamoxifen hormone therapy for 5 years.
Still not sure on what to do with reconstruction. I am meeting with my third plastic surgeon on (March 14th, 2012) to discuss the DIEP flap surgery (a micro surgery where they take your belly fat and blood vessels, no muscle, and reattach to form a new breast. I'm not sure I am even a candidate for this surgery as I have had two c-sections and this type of surgery does leave a big scar on your stomach. Plus, the surgery is a lot longer (8-10 hours). So my back up plan is a silicone implant.
However, all of these decisions may change due to the radiation I will have to have after my mastectomy. My one plastic surgeon wants to place a tissue expander during my mastectomy so that I can have it long enough (usually at least 3 months) before reconstruction.
So many decisions to make!
All of this to deal with, 3 kiddos, and an amazingly supportive husband! Plus, the likelihood that we just may move across the country by the end of the summer! Crazy year!!!
Another web-site I recommend is http://www.happychemo.com/
A great support to anyone going through cancer and the treatments that come with it!
Check it out!
“Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.”spread the word