Cancer is truly an awful disease. It’s different for everyone. Just because breast cancer is ‘cured’ for one person doesn’t mean that the same drug or drugs will work on another person. Breast Cancer can be called ‘cured’ after five years with no recurrence. However, it can come back after those five years. And, once a person is one year from diagnosis, they enter the ‘recurrence zone’ which lasts another four years. The smallest ache, pain or cough cannot be overlooked. The cancer could be back or spread to another location. Found any new lumps or bumps? These have to be checked out. Which brings me to my situation…
I found a new lump in my left breast last month. I’ve also had a cough for the past month that hasn’t resolved. I waited a few days and after realizing the lump wasn’t going away (wishful thinking), and I made an appointment with my Oncology Surgeon for an Ultrasound and followup. The ultrasound revealed an area that was worrisome. My doctor palpitated the area and her comment was, “I don’t like the feel of this.” A needle biopsy was ordered and performed this week. She also ordered a PET scan.
I’m presenting these facts very simply — but you should understand that I’ve been a mess for the past two weeks. I updated my will and even went so far as to make a list of the things I want to do in the next few years: Attend Robert & Eva’s wedding, attend John and Kristi’s wedding, attend my 45th high school reunion, go to London, see Mount Rushmore…you get the idea — my bucket list. I’ve been sad, angry, crying, worried, scared — you name it, I’ve felt it.
So, back to the biopsy. The doctor had a difficult time getting the “correct” tissue. My “whatever it is” was sitting right on my chest wall just beyond my implant. The doctor knew that there was scar tissue, but there was a 9mm nodule right on top of the scar tissue. The nodule was what everyone was concerned about. So, after poking me with a huge hollow needle for 20 minutes (fortunately I don’t have a whole lot of feeling in my left breast) he was finally done.
Next up was a PET scan on Thursday. The results from the biopsy came back (all scar tissue) so my PET scan was changed to a CT scan of my chest and hip area. (The CT scan was to check out my lungs to see if there was some reason for my unresolved cough.) My Oncology Surgeon (really love her) called me while I was waiting for my CT scan to give me the biopsy results. Her words were, “The biopsy was scar tissue, but I don’t believe that result is consistent with the imaging studies that were performed.” (Here’s where No could still be Yes.) She ordered a Breast MRI to get a better look at the area.
Interestingly, now that all the testing has begun, I’m feeling much calmer. I love that my doctor is being very cautious when it comes to test results. And, she said that if it does turn out to be all scar tissue, she may remove it anyway. I’m fine with that. I hate having that lump in my breast!
So, it’s sort of good news (scar tissue), but the MRI will give us some better information. And, of course, there’s the CT scan results. Thanks everyone, for the good thoughts and prayers. Stay tuned for more information! (I really, really hate cancer.)