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I have breast cancer. :-(((
Old 07-31-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
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I have breast cancer. :-(((

Well, figured I might as well get straight to the point and not beat around the bush. There, it's out.

I am extremely fortunate to only be diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). This is the mildest form of breast cancer you can get, and it is not invasive. Prognosis is very good. Yay!!!

I just received my diagnosis Friday. This all started from my routine annual mammogram - there is no palpable lump. Got a call back that the mammo was abnormal for microcalcifications. Had to go back in for a magnified mammo. The radiologist then recommended a biopsy and rated it as BI-RAD4 (for the medical crowd out there).

I had to have a stereotactic vacuum-assisted core biopsy. That was on Wednesday. I've been a wreck ever since this started, muddling through day-to-day...the waiting, oh the waiting. DH and I were comforted by the fact that 80% of biopsies come back benign, and also by the surgeon reassuring us that he really thought it was just going to be fibrocystic breast disease.

Well, unluckily for me I fell in the 20% of not benign.

Surgeon recommends lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy (to make sure it hasn't spread...even though DCIS doesn't spread - I guess there could be other invasive types lingering, so they want to be sure). Oh, and for the medical ones - it's intermediate nuclear grade with comedo necrosis (yeah - looked that up - appears that means it grows faster? Yippee.) However "no invasion identified", so that is GREAT news. Also, it is estrogen and progesterone 100% positive.

Oh, and I will also need radiation, but as of now, no chemo since DCIS is not metastatic.

I have a second opinion tomorrow with another surgeon to make sure the dx/treatment plan is what is best for me. Fortunately for me, there is a National Cancer Institute cancer center here...and my appt happens to be with the medical director. So I'm really psyched to have those resources. They are also running a clinical trial for internal radiation here, and I'm hoping I may qualify for that. We'll see.

Guess that's it in a nutshell. Well, guess I'll never get approved for private health insurance now. That sure does mess with the FIRE plans!
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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I am so sorry to hear this. Be strong and trust your instincts. They've done so much with breast cancer treatment in the past few years. My mother is a survivor.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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What a tough situation to be going through. Our hearts are with you and hoping for the best results from your treatments, soon. I'd suggest that you don't worry about the medical insurance and ER right now - - you can deal with that (somehow) later. For now, just focus on getting through your treatments and getting better.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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Oh Simple Girl I am so sorry ! Luckily the cure rate for this type of Cancer is high . Please take care of yourself & I know you will beat this .
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #5
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Well my goodness, SG!It sounds like the exams and tests were quite thorough and your docs know what they're doing (and the second opinion will surely be helpful).

You hang in there and keep us posted as you wish. Bless you.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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my best wishes for a full recovery. Your story sounds identical to my wife's. She had the lumpectomy followed by radiation, and she is now 6 years cancer free.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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Best of luck to you. Seems like you have a strong attitude. Not too many people would combine "I have cancer" with "extremely fortunate". Hang tough!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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What shocking news this must be for you. All kinds of scenarios run through one's mind. My heart is with you.

I have never seen an uncomplicated DCIS fail to be cured. It happens, but very rarely under decent care. You will be fine.

Forge ahead and we'll be celebrating good news down the road.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:03 PM   #9
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Y'all are great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
my best wishes for a full recovery. Your story sounds identical to my wife's. She had the lumpectomy followed by radiation, and she is now 6 years cancer free.
Thank you - love hearing stories like that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
What a tough situation to be going through. Our hearts are with you and hoping for the best results from your treatments, soon. I'd suggest that you don't worry about the medical insurance and ER right now - - you can deal with that (somehow) later. For now, just focus on getting through your treatments and getting better.
Yeah, I know. I just couldn't help but throw that last sarcastic line in there. Had to tie it to FIRE somehow, LOL. Thank you for making sure I stay grounded and focused on what is really important!

I'm gonna FIGHT this thing and I WILL win! That is truly my only focus right now. Scares like this give you a whole new perspective.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
What shocking news this must be for you. All kinds of scenarios run through one's mind. My heart is with you.

I have never seen an uncomplicated DCIS fail to be cured. It happens, but very rarely under decent care. You will be fine.

Forge ahead and we'll be celebrating good news down the road.
Thank you SO MUCH Rich! I look forward to a BIG celebration!!!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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I'm new around here, but having lost a wife to lung cancer, (and friends to other cancers), I'm rooting for you.......it sounds as if you can expect a positive outcome.

All the very best!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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SG,

Sorry to hear your situation. Thank goodness you were wise enough to do the annual screenings and as you said, that it is mildness form with a very good prognosis.

Wishing you the best,

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Old 07-31-2011, 08:31 PM   #13
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Simple girl,
Well, there's a mammogram success story. The prognosis sounds great--keep your positive attitude.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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Simple Girl - been there, done that, twice. Once was nearly 17 years ago (I was 39) and the second time 4 years ago. I'm still here to talk about it, and mine was invasive with positive nodes both times. The good news is that, especially with DCIS, there are really good treatments, and yes, there is life after BC. You will be overloaded with information, and it's all pretty confusing (and a lot to absorb) but there is lots of help out there. Try breast cancer.org for a wealth of info, and for discussion groups.

Breast cancer sucks, but once you get through it you'll find that your outlook on life will change for the better. I wish you the best. Listen to the doctors, do your homework, and accept help and support wherever you can get it! PM me if you want to talk ever...

CJ
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #15
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SG, I hope everything goes smooth for you. I'm happy to see Rich show up with some good news. Chin up!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Simple girl,
Well, there's a mammogram success story. The prognosis sounds great--keep your positive attitude.
Absolutely! I am a huge advocate of people getting their screenings, especially in light of my situation now! I would have never known otherwise...maybe until it was too late? Scary!

Quote:
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Simple Girl - been there, done that, twice. Once was nearly 17 years ago (I was 39) and the second time 4 years ago. I'm still here to talk about it, and mine was invasive with positive nodes both times. The good news is that, especially with DCIS, there are really good treatments, and yes, there is life after BC. You will be overloaded with information, and it's all pretty confusing (and a lot to absorb) but there is lots of help out there. Try breast cancer.org for a wealth of info, and for discussion groups.

Breast cancer sucks, but once you get through it you'll find that your outlook on life will change for the better. I wish you the best. Listen to the doctors, do your homework, and accept help and support wherever you can get it! PM me if you want to talk ever...

CJ
CJ - thank you for the INSPIRATIONAL story and advice! And, believe it or not, I am already a member at the bc.org discussion group boards. That place is FANTASTIC. People are incredibly supportive. And boy do they know their stuff! Between that board, you guys, my friends, and my family and DH's family, I'm getting some amazing support!

Again, thanks so much everyone!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:48 PM   #17
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SG - I met 20+ women on BC.org in Jan 2008 when we all started chemo together. I just got back from Utah where we had our 3rd annual reunion. That's how strong our connection was after going through the cancer weeds together. As I said, there is some great support out there!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:48 PM   #18
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Hi Simple Girl!

It takes courage to walk this last week's journey. I send you pure, positive energy; love; and a vision of a healed self.

It sounds like you have wonderful knowledge and support from the ER members. Please do include us as you forge ahead.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:53 PM   #19
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Can you feel the love? Lots heading your way from here in Virginia and all over this place.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:54 PM   #20
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Hugs and best wishes, SG. You have caught this early, lined up the best treatment, and you have a positive 'tude. I have every expectation that you will get through this challenge with flying colo(u)rs and will FIRE on time.

SG = Simple Strong Girl!
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