Breast Cancer – A real woman’s story (mine) continued….

When I was diagnosed, my results were MAILED to me! You know what I did right? I googled and I googled. I had a GYN appt for a possible hysterectomy due to other issues and when he saw my report he asked me if it had been explained to me and I said not really, just that I had it and I needed to see a breast surgeon. He held my hand and said, this is serious. You have an aggressive form of cancer and he explained to me what 2a meant and what lymph node involvement meant and that I was in for a long year.

Due to a lack of communication, I did not see that breast surgeon for a month ( her policy is 48 hours) and let me tell you, that does a number to your psyche. The things that went through my mind for that 27 days was incredible, I  just kept envisioning this disease lurking and growing by the second and all that pink everywhere just was sickening. I got to the point that I didn’t leave the house much because I just could not deal with it. My breasts were killing me silently and there was nothing I could do but wait….

FINALLY, I see the breast surgeon with my wonderful mom and she gives me the news that it’s “only” DCIS -Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and just surgery would take care of the problem and that there was a 10% chance it would come back on the other side and we decided it was best for me to have a bilateral (double) mastectomy so my surgery was scheduled.

Meanwhile, I started getting severe back pain to the point I couldn’t stand up and I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon. He said he needed xrays to determine the problem so he did a few then came to my room and said that I needed to go back to my breast surgeon because he saw a white area on my right ribcage in the back (same side as my cancer).

I was immediately sent for a PET scan and there is where I found out that the cancer had indeed left my breast and had gone into my lymph nodes. That meant chemo and radiation. My heart broke all over again….the white area he saw was/is a benign tumor that I still have. (Here’s to hoping it never wakes up!)

After the PET scan was done, I was scheduled for a double biopsy on the offending breast. Let me tell you, that was not a fun procedure! I had to lay down on a table on my belly with my breast hanging down into a hole like a cow with udders ready to be milked. They used an ultrasound to guide the needle to the snowy areas from my mammogram and removed samples from both areas. It was there that I learned the difference between micro and macro cells. Macro cells were most likely fatty tissue and micro cells were cancer. As soon as I asked the difference, I knew. The tech tried to play it down and say things like “I don’t know why you are here, this is nothing” Please, if there is a God, never let a person say that again because she was wrong and trying to comfort someone by lying isn’t the way to do it. This tech had many years of practice, she knew! I know she did.

Next: Surgery and after

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