Did you ask about a breast care nurse? Someone to phone when you have questions is invaluable. Also, your anaesthetist should see you before your op, so explain your concerns to them re low blood pressure etc. All your info will be taken into consideration. They are very careful about any health issues you may have.
Do you have a family history of breast and /or ovarian cancer? If so you can go to a family cancer clinic and have a chat. They do genetic testing through the public system. There is no charge for a consultation or for genetic testing at a family cancer clinic. They will determine whether you qualify for the testing.
I also realised that they will have to do tests on the takings so it's unlikely I will wake up with more missing than anticipated.
Still I can't help but think a way to avoid unnecessary late stage operations might be to mix up the TND process with an initial bone scan on everyone so that cancer patients that have already advanced to bone mets might get diagnosed before having to go through an operation. If a person actually has sore spots on their bones, for example, and a history of undiagnosed long illness.
They gave me a book about Early Cancer. I still don't think I have 'early' anything, but I'm resigned to the fact now they won't check anything else until they thoroughly investigate this. Kind of looking forward to finding out what's up with me anyway even if it's the hard way.
Your surgeon will remove the lump and it will be sent for pathology. From that, a determination as to future treatment will be made.
You make no mention of a sentinal node biopsy. The sentinal node is the first node in the string of nodes in your arm pit and is the first place that traces of cancer will be found if there has been any spread. If your surgeon has not mentioned this, it is likely they do not believe it has spread anywhere. This is a good thing.
Don't be surprised when you have your lumpectomy that you end up with a very bruised breast. I couldn't believe how black mine was! This soon disappears but it is definitely disconcerting.
Try and slow down your thinking now. You need to be in a good frame of mind going in to your surgery. You only have to wait until Tuesday and this will go very quickly.
Dx 20 Sept 2006, 2 cm IDC + DCIS, 1/16+ node, ER+, PR+, HER2-, 4 AC, 4 Taxol, 33 rads
CFEM Trial 5 years Arimidex, 5 year SOLE trial Femara
Dx Aug 2016 neuroendocrine cancer in pancreas, mets to liver, abdominal nodes, hip, skull, scalp and breast.
On the upside, it IS a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy.
Another thing, which you probably have already considered, is to take someone with you and write down your questions. It's good to have someone to chat with afterwards as I didn't hear half of what was being said. Any terms that you find hard to grasp, write them down too. It's very hard to take it all in.
I hope that you get a clearer picture of what's going on at your appointment but you may have more tests to come. You will be in good hands though with a Dr who specialises in that area.
Hang in there.
My breast tissue was very dense on the ultrasound and the report mentioned it was a difficult reading. I had to direct them to the specific lump I was worried about and it took ages to find. I'm just certain that the lumps I feel in my left breast are the same as how I felt the cancer lump they did manage to image, but a few months behind it meaning at the moment they feel sort of like hormonal regular lumps that come and go only they seem to be hanging around, also my nipple is starting to anchor to the skin like on the right.
You will find that it is hard to make plans as each step and each test can change the plans. A lot will depend on results and pathology. It is a big learning curve. The best advice I received was take it a day at a time
Don't know about the singing. Think that's a good question to ask your surgeon. Don't get ahead of yourself though...you aren't even sure that you're having a mastectomy yet. The rash does puzzle me. It sounds nasty but I haven't really heard that as a sympton of cancer but I have no medical training. I was surprised that your GP said they hardly ever do lumpectomies any more. A lot on this forum would disagree with that! Do you know the size of the tumour?
Waiting is the pits as you can't help your imagination. My husband told my kids, daughter cried, son asked if it was contagious...lol...they were only 7 and 8 and I also had an 18 month old. We didn't tell them until the night before the op and we knew what was ahead.
Anyway 26 years later I'm still here!
Thanks for your replies - I really wasn't expecting any answers after I looked back at my initial rave, my apologies for the craziness of it. I guess my brain is all over the place. I couldn't delete it though because I replied to it, lol.
My GP is onto hurrying them up, they followed up today and I've got a tentative appointment to see someone at Ipswich hospital on Tuesday, just biting my nails until then and I do some more tests I guess.
I'm imagining cancer everywhere now, I have even talked myself into cutaneous cancer and cancer of the heart, so I'm trying not to speculate more. We've told some of my band members because my upcoming medical stuff impacts on shows we have coming up, but waiting until we know the full picture to tell the kids. I still don't know when or even whether to tell my parents, who are both in their 70's with their own medical problems that I don't want to make worse with stress. My mum in particular would be on my doorstep with a suitcase if she gets wind of it and that would just make everything that little more more stressed, she's lovely and all but full on. I think if my operation/chemo whatever they give me isn't going to take too long I could wait until afterwards to tell them so they feel like they have been kept in the loop but miss the awful waiting and not knowing part. I don't know really. How did you all go about telling your kids and minimising stress on everyone else around?
Weird question, we're recording music at the moment and I'm the singer. My band can lay down tracks in the studio without me there so they can forge ahead. How long will I be in hospital for a mastectomy, and do you think the healing chest scars will stop me taking deep breaths etc and how long does that take to heal? All I need to do is stand up and sing. Actually the standing up part is optional too. I'm going to be such a rotten patient, trying to sneak out to do rock and roll.
Yes...it's pretty hard to give opinions unless you come across someone who had a similar diagnosis. You will (or I certainly did) have various scans and tests before your op and that will give you a clearer picture of what's ahead. Lots of ladies on the forum have been through the public system and have found it outstanding AND no nasty out of pocket expenses to fork out for as well. I am a bit surprised that you haven't been given an appointment time for a breast surgeon yet. Make sure you are given a breast care nurse as well to contact when you get to talk to someone in your medical team, as they are a fantastic source of info.Maybe a hurry up call is needed.
Keep in touch and I hope you get some answers soon.
Apologies for the lack of replies. The forum has been quiet lately so I have been slack on checkingbin. I can’t answer any of your questions as I’ve never heard of the cancers you’ve described. We are not medically trained. Just been where you are.
I can relate to the worry about telling high school children. My daughter was about to start Year 12 exams when I was diagnosed. I was 50 when I had chemo so menopause hit later than you.
Keep us posted with your pending results and how you are going
Still waiting for the hospital to call for my appointment with a breast doctor or surgeon or whoever gets hold of me next. No sooner do I find an answer to something than another question pops up. More or less resigned to losing my breasts *sigh*. Although yeah. Bummer. I was just starting to like my boobs. On the upside maybe I'll be able to get me some big stripper implants and nobody could say a word in criticism.
I've been through a premature menopause and hormone therapy saved my life, literally felt like I was dying, so I'm expecting hormone suppressing therapy to be pretty rough. No oestrogen too early means getting booted forcefully into old age, I've been there. So I'm going to be dry, wrinkly, sloppy of muscle, probably bald at least for a while, and have a whopping great scar on my flatter than ever chest... and that's if I'm lucky. Bye bye any remaining vestiges of attractiveness. Really makes you prioritise what is important down to the bare essentials, after all who cares what I look like as long as I can get my kids through high school?
I'm staying positive, I have a really supportive husband and family and lots of friends who will rally around when I tell them. We're lucky to be financially secure so I don't have to worry about that. Horrified about having to put my kids through telling them at some stage but putting it all off for now until I know more myself. I can't believe so many people go through this and more, humans are amazing. You are all amazing.
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