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Old 08-01-2011, 08:52 PM   #81
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Here's an update for you all after my 2nd opinion appt today:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Cancer Center was fantastic. Everyone was so nice, and they spent lots of time with DH and I. I took in all my films and my path slides. They were incredibly thorough; I feel that my care with them will be much more comprehensive with many eyes and brains deciding how to proceed. I love the team approach they use to making treatment decisions. Here's the plan they laid out:

1) I have very dense tissue, and the doc wants to be sure that there is nothing invasive hiding in there. She is not sure the mammo's I had done show the picture clearly enough. So, she would like me to have a breast MRI (need to get insurance pre-approval first). Also, she is going to have their radiologist review my films closer. She sees some calcs that are a little deeper that weren't biopsied. I may need some additional imaging for that as well, and possibly an additional biopsy.

2) She does not want to do surgery until we get the results back from the tests above. If they still see what they think is just DCIS, then it will be a lumpectomy. If it looks like invasive cancer is hiding in there, then a mastectomy. If that is the case I will be able to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstruction options before any surgery is done.

3) She will have the pathologist review my slides to give a second opinion on the original path report.

4) Since I have two aunts who had/have cancer, she wants to do genetic testing on me to determine my risk of developing invasive cancer. This will also help in deciding on the best surgical approach.

5) We discussed that there are all the various radiation options available to me, but that I will have a 1:1 appt with the radiologist before starting to determine how I would like to proceed.

That's most everything they said, I think. I can't believe how thorough they were. They even took baseline measurements of my arms to have in case I should happen to develop lymphedema in the future (if I have to have a sentinel node biopsy done). Really comprehensive! I feel like I am in good hands.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:59 PM   #82
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Sounds good babe. Just keep asking questions and keep being strong. Postive attitude is very important. Draw on the love and support of your loved ones and those who care about you.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:02 PM   #83
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Good luck and hang in there Simple Girl!
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:03 PM   #84
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You go girl. You have lots of survivors to emulate. My mother had a double mastectomy 45 years ago and lived another 30. With today's medical technology (and the support here) you may get another 90.

Hope your SWR will handle 90 more.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #85
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simple girl,

Sorry to hear of this health news. I wish you all the best as you go through this.

It sounds like you're in some great [medical] hands. I'm impressed with your report-out.

Warm hugs,

omni
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:35 PM   #86
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My sister had the same diagnosis a couple of months ago. She just finished her radiation treatments, after having surgery. She is doing great.
Hopefully, you will do the same.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:26 AM   #87
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Quote:
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It is rough news, but is repairable. When done you'll be good as new.

To repeat the advice I gave to bbbamI: Think muppets not monsters.

OK Que Allen, for the British version.
Now that I know the US definition of a muppet I concur with your advice

SG,

Your latest report sounds like you are in good hands and are being well taken care of. All the very best.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #88
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SG, so sorry to learn of this happening to you, but relieved that the outlook is positive.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:01 AM   #89
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I am praying for you to have a full recovery! One of my oldest friends (known the longest) has been going through treatment for BC.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:04 AM   #90
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I'm really sorry to hear. Although I'm not very religious I will say a prayer and hope things work out and you get much better.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #91
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{Hugs} and bestest wishes to you at this time! In due time, you will be celebrating X amount of time cancer-free!! Thank goodness for early detection!! Hang in there!
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #92
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #93
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My wife had the same diagnosis and same treatment as you describe. She discovered that the removal of the underarm lymph node removal to be the worst part of the whole ordeal.

I happened across an article similar to this one: Lymph Node Removal Not Needed for Breast Cancer Patients

The lymph node removal appears may not be necessary. Check it out.

In the last 20 years my wife has never had any further problem with cancer - knock on wood. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:59 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Hobo View Post
My wife had the same diagnosis and same treatment as you describe. She discovered that the removal of the underarm lymph node removal to be the worst part of the whole ordeal.

I happened across an article similar to this one: Lymph Node Removal Not Needed for Breast Cancer Patients

The lymph node removal appears may not be necessary. Check it out.

In the last 20 years my wife has never had any further problem with cancer - knock on wood. Good luck to you.
Yes, that is the surgery I actually am most worried about. I have a friend who is a lymphedema specialist, and I used to proof her research papers for her. And I've seen some terrible cases come in the clinic. Once you get lymphedema, it can't be cured - just managed.

Did you read this part?

In one group, surgeons removed only the first one or two lymph nodes to which cancer had spread, the so-called sentinel nodes. In the other group, doctors removed at least 10 more lymph nodes under the arm.

So, the title of the article is misleading. They still removed nodes in each group - just not as many in the sentinel node group. My doctor yesterday said if I end up having a lumpectomy, they will check the tissue to make sure if it is all DCIS only. If no invasive cancer is seen, then I actually won't need a sentinel node biopsy (SNB). (If I have to have a mastectomy, though, an SNB is required, b/c they need the blood flow from the breast to do the mapping required for the SNB - obviously this will be gone with a mast.)

If I do have to have a sentinel node biopsy, at least the following is quite encouraging:

In one 2010 study of 400 breast cancer patients, 15% developed this kind of swelling, which is called lymphedema, in an arm after removal of their axillary lymph nodes compared to just 2% in the group who only had sentinel lymph nodes removed.

Thanks for that article. It actually made me feel better understanding the risk more clearly. Knowledge is power.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:08 AM   #95
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Wow, SG, it sounds like the big guns are on your case at the Cancer Center--that is such a thorough second opinion! It was probably a little unsettling to hear that more tissue needs to be checked out, but you must feel like everything is going to be taken care of by super professionals.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #96
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Fantastic SG, sounds like that cancer center is a really good place. Am so happy your comfortable and confident with them. You keep up your attitude, it gives you strength.

Cyber hugs from SWFlorida!

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Old 08-02-2011, 06:08 PM   #97
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Dear SG, I just read this and I am so sorry you (or anyone else) has to go through this. It sounds like you are in expert specialist hands, and that the condition has an excellent prognosis for complete cure. My 94- year-old maternal aunt had something similar about twenty years ago. She had a lumpectomy and four low dose radiation treatments, and the docs here in Pittsburgh pronounced her cured. Which, thank God, she was. She can still run rings around me (which doesn't say too much for me, eh?)

Eat well, get your rest and keep up that indomitable attitude. Please let me add my best southwestern PA, Yinzer-nation well wishes to those of your army of friends here at ER.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:16 AM   #98
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I absolutely understand what you are going through. My wife wanted the opinion of the best doctors she could find. We went to UCLA medical center.. spare no cost when your life is at risk. Great that you have such a good understanding of the technical aspects of the whole ordeal. I have the same compulsion. Just because one doctor gives me a diagnosis doesn't mean I must accept it blindly. The internet is a great help - especially when the information I find reinforces the doctor's opinion.

Funny thing: By the time someone reaches age 65 (like me), hardly a year goes by without some new or reoccurring old illness or injury crops up. Old football injuries, ski injuries, etc. all come back to haunt me when I trip over something. I am starting to think, "which one of these illnesses is finally going to get me?" Really depressing the first time I needed Viagra, ha, ha. Well, thank God for modern medicine. And thank God for early retirement - it gives a whole lot of people a chance to enjoy the good life a little longer.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:28 AM   #99
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Though you know it already, my friend...you are a ROCKSTAR. I am awed by your courage and grace. Lean on that fabulous DH of yours when times get tough and start planning the most awesome post-treatment trip you can imagine.

PS: Get the waterslide! <grin>
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:50 PM   #100
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Just found this thread, sorry for being late. I will send you a separate message, simple girl.
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