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I just found out I have invasive breast cancer
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I just found out I have invasive breast cancer

I was online with a dr. last week who advised a biopsy after a suspicious mass was found in my left breast.  I got the results today . . . YES Sunday!  The radiologist called me from his home to give me the results from Friday.

I am very scared!  He said he would call my gyn tomorrow am and that I need to have this mass removed.  I don't know what to ask - I am numb!!!  I am a single mom - finally left an abusive marriage after 18 years, have a 10 year old son (has asperger's) and a six year old daughter.  They are my life and they rely on me.  My mom is a breast cancer survivor.

Are there certain initial questions I should ask?  Any information would be a great help.

Thanks.

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9 Comments
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314692_tn?1214084110
Hi Sessa,

At this point I know your head is spinning!! I know mine was. I was diagnosed in April of this year and I am almost done with chemo. I cried alot but then I prayed alot to. You have come to the right place for answers and encouragement. We all know what it is like to be in your shoes, because we are or have been in them. Just know that you are NOT alone.

As for questions for the doc. Make sure you ask about a sentinel node biopsy, this will see IF and how many nodes are involved. Ask how soon your pathology report will be back. The info on the path report will tell if the tumor is hormone receptive (which will determine further hormonal treatment after initial treatment). The info on the path report will also tell you if you are her 2 positive which is a more agressive type tumor, it will also tell you how agressive your cell are. Ask your doc about neo adjuvent treatment, which is chemo 1st, then surgery. He may or may not recommend it. You may want to do gene testing since your mom had it and you have a little girl. This will let you know if it is hereditary. That way if it comes back positive it can help you determine what kind f surgery you want and it can determine if your daughter should have mammograms earlier than the norm. Make sure they schedule you for the necessary body scans so you can have piece of mind knowing it is only in the breast. I didnt get a cat scan or bone scan before treatment and I worry contantly. So make sure you do.

Take a good look at your mom!! She is a SURVIVOR and you are to! Things seem crazy right now and your head is spinning. But YOU WILL get through this and you are gonna be fine. We are all here to help you along the way. Just a few months ago I was in your EXACT shoes, now I am here extending my hand to you. This to shall pass.  So take a DEEP breath, you are gonna be fine!

Traceyz
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314692_tn?1214084110
I want to correct myself. Make sure you get the body scan (PET scan) so you can have PEACE of mind knowing it's only in the breast. I just read my post and realized i goofed!

If you have anymore questions we are here to help.

Take care,

Traceyz
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Avatar_f_tn
I sure this is a frightening time for you, the waiting to get more info is tough.
First, when you see the surgeon to get your biopsy report, take someone level-headed or medically knoledgeable with you to act as an extra pair of ears and ask them to take notes.  There is so much unfamiliar terminology and your mind will be whirling with questions so you can easily miss something that is being said. Don't hesitate to ask the surgeon anything that concerns you.  There is no "dumb" question. Ask for a copy of the biopsy results and \ or take a notebook and have them help you write down the findings. You'll want to know the exact spellings if you want to look it up on-line later.  After you leave you'll struggle to remember those details.  
Take a list of questions with you so you don't get nervous and forget to ask.
The doctor may give you some options on how to proceed.  You should explore your options and get more than one doctor's opinion on how to handle it.  
I copied this list of questions you might want to ask from the "Susan B. Komen" breast cancer site.
Getting Your Biopsy Results and Understanding the Diagnosis
What did my biopsy show?
What kind of breast cancer do I have? What is the stage and grade?
How many lymph nodes were sampled, and how many were positive for cancer?
What were the results of my estrogen and progesterone receptor tests? What were the results of other tests?
Will other special tests (for HER2/neu and proliferation rate) be done on the tissue?
Was the entire tumor removed? Were the margins close or positive? If they were close, do I need more surgery?
What other tests should I have to see if the cancer has spread to other organs (liver, lungs, bones)?
How much time can I take to decide what type of treatment to have?
What do I need to consider if I would like to have a child after I have been treated for breast cancer?
Will my tumor be saved? Where will it be stored? For how long? How can I/ future providers/clinical trials I might participate in access it in the future? For more information on breast pathology practices
  A 2nd opinion is always a good idea and even if it is the same, you have that reassurance. There are a lot of good caring people on this website that can share their experiences with a variety of treatment options.
In the meantime I'm hoping for a happy outcome for you.
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25201_tn?1255584436
I would like to simplify things for you; at least for the moment. FIRST ... get an appointment with a breast surgeon, take your films and reports with you for him/her to review. Take someone with you as an extra pr. of ears so you don't miss anything that is said. Take it one step at a time and follow the recommendation of the Surgeon .... all the other things mentioned will be dealt with when you see an Oncologist .... either before whatever surgery is advised or after. At this point it's more important that you LISTEN before you jump the gun as far as what questions to ask. If you have any immediate concerns of course by all means ASK but some things are pretty far down the road. Regards ..
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You are so right EXCELLENT advice!!

Take care,

Traceyz
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You will get through this.  Write down all your questions. You must be so scared as a single mom let alone just being scared for your self.  Greta_L has given you a perfect guideline to go by when you go to the doctor. Copy it to a document or print out and take with you.  She has done  an awesome service for you.  
Traceyz is an awesome gal with great support.  Please know that on behalf of all breast cancer patients, we love you and we are here for you.  You are not alone.  You will get throught this.  I didnt stop crying 24/7 until three months later.  I still cried after that but not as much.  We all know your head is spinning now beyond belief.  We have all been there.  It will get easier.  I have a daughter to raise too.  I know your concerns.  I am a two & 1/2 year survivor.  And you will be two.  just know we are here for you every step of the way.  Please keep us informed.  We are all praying for you and we are in this togther.    
Love you tami  aka sammie
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I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have found this sight and have the support and friendship of such wonderful woman.  I certainly helps a great deal to know that I am not alone and my feelings are normal.

Thank you so very much for ALL your advice.  I have an appointment tomorrow with a breast specialist/surgeon and my sister is coming with me.  I will be taking all of your advice with me.  I feel numb and can't seem to get out of my own way.  My children are my life and they need me and I need them so I will fight this!!

I love you all and already feel a wonderful kinship.

Thanks so much.  I will get back online when I know more.

xo xo xo xo
Vanessa aka sessa
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Tracey has a good point about gene testing for you and your daughters sake.  Especially where your mom has had to deal with it. She has some other great things to to consider also.  Really read through them and take good notes.  
Hang in there.  The first year is a bit of a whirlwind.  It's non-stop appointments and treatment.  After that, you calm down and feel like you can handle it a bit more.  It will always be on your mind for years to come but it will get better as time goes by so you don't stress so much.  We promise.  YOu will go through the steps of shock, disbelief, grief, anger, bargaining and finally letting go.  Faith, Hope, and Courage are the keys to dealing with this.
Again, we love you, thinking about you, and praying for you.  
Tami
  
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honey...my prayers are with you...i am a 13 year survivor or breast cancer...the best advice i could give anyone going down this road is to take it one day at a time...stay informed.and don't stress about the little things...ask for help from your friends and family....rely on your mom,she's your best support group! i found medhelp when i was diagnosed with rsd..it is a blessing..there are many friends to be made here, and alot of support..hugs.....
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