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Waiting for Biopsy
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Waiting for Biopsy

I am just looking for some support as I await the results of a biopsy...my situation is that I am 38 1/2, no family history, go every year for paps/breast exams.  At my annual visit on February 5th, my APN found an area or "ridge" that just "didn't feel right" - it was new and she thought she would have noted it before.  Upper right breast on the outer area.  I immediately thought the worst but she assured me it was probably nothing but that I should go ahead and have it checked out with a diagnostic mammo rather than wait.  I have never even had a baseline/screening mammo.

The mammo was 2 days ago and the results were not good.  The radiologist said there were "numerous calicifications" that he suspected were malignant.  He didn't call the area a "tumor" or a "mass" which has me confused.  His report said "architechtural distortion with spiculation within a process of no more than  3 cm" - does that mean tumor?  I am so confused.  Anyway, that day I left upset but hopeful because he was suspecting it would be DCIS, which I understand is very early, very treatable.

I went back yesterday for the biopsy.  Different radiologist.  This one did an ultrasound and an u/s guided core biopsy.  Which was fine until he somehow hit an area that had not be numbed or was too tender - excruciating pain but that is beside the point.  When he talked to me after, he indicated from what he had seen on the u/s, it didn't look like it was DCIS, but rather already an invasive cancer.  I know he isn't in the position to provide a diagnosis with no pathology but he was not reassuring at all.  Basically just shrugged his shoulders and told me my questions would be answered by the breast surgeon with whom I already have an appt next week.  The pathology report will not be back until Monday.

I really don't know what I am looking for here...I know in my heart that it is malignant, I am just praying for a case that hasn't spread yet and I know I won't have those answers for weeks.  I have a good support system in my husband, parents, bro/sil but I don't even want to be around my girls (age 8 and 11) right now because I don't want them to know anything is wrong yet and the pain and worry I know this will cause them is absolutely devestating to think of.  I have a xanax prescription that I have had handy for occasional anxiety and I am taking them because otherwise I am totally paralyzed with fear and dread to the point where I feel physically ill.

I am a grammar and spelling freak and I am not even going to spell check this because I think my youngest is about to come in here and I want to go ahead and post.  TIA for any advice, stories, prayers...my first name is Karri.  Thanks.
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18 Comments
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi Karri,
Experienced radiologists are quite able to identify breast calcifications depending on their form and pattern.However,no matter how experienced  radiologist are,they cannot be absolutely sure of anything unless the tissue extracted is examined by a pathologist.Architectural distortion is the appearance on a mammogram of tissue spicules without an associated mass.An area of architectural distortion does not always mean cancer,but could also be due to scarring from previous surgery,or radial scar,(Radial scars has the appearance of a star-shaped (Spiculated) density that shows up on X-rays that also manifests as an architectural distortion.Doctors are not sure how radial scars,(often benign findings)develop in the breast.I really don't want to speculate that what you have could be radial scar,but it's a possibility.
There is score assigned on your x-rays report called BI-RADS.(Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System).
This system is used by radiologist to categorize how suspicious the abnormality detected in the breast is.The scores go from 1 to 5.The higher the score the more suspicious are the findings .
It's important to know what your score is.You could call the radiologist to find out about it so that you can figure out what are the odds of the findings.
I know you must be going through a very difficult time right now, wondering what is going on,and I wish I could allay your fears and tell you not to worry.
All I can tell you is try not to think of the worst right now,because you haven't being diagnosed with nothing yet.If unfortunately the findings may not turn out favorable in your case,it's NOT the end of the world! You will face this disease like many of us did and with a positive attitude you will succeed in whatever should come next.Nowadays breast cancer is very curable,since there are so much advanced treatments available....Many of us here,had to deal with this disease and thank God we are still alive and doing pretty well,.years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Of course you'll be in my prayers Karri, and I sincerely wish you all the best and good luck!
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1119363_tn?1330359040
Karri,
You are dealing with one of the worst parts of a suspicion of cancer - the waiting and worry over the unknown.  When I was diagnosed two years ago, I made up my mind (for the sake of my sanity) to focus on each test as it came up and then what my possible decisions would be in response to that result.  You retain some control and save your energy for dealing with what is fact, rather than giving in to the what-if fears and confusion.

My daughters were 21 and 12 when I was diagnosed.  I told them when I received the results of the biopsy and had facts to tell them and what my next step of treatment would be.  I had had about two weeks to deal with it and was much calmer when I presented the situation to them.  They took their cues from me and handled it pretty well.  My older daughter was in college and felt somewhat helpless since she was not here all the time throughout my chemo.  The younger one mulls things over.  She went to the basement and thought it over for an hour or so.  Then she came up and asked me if I was going to die.  I hugged her, looked her in the eye and said, "We are all going to die.  But I can tell you this.  I am not going to die any time soon of breast cancer."  She saw that I was on the level with her and she was strong throughout my really sick time with chemo.  My mastectomies went very smoothly and were very easy for me to recover from.
You will soon know what you are facing.  You will make a plan with your doctors and then you follow the plan.  Try not to let anxiety take your energy.  Spend time doing things that you enjoy and spending time with your family.  Focus on researching facts about the tests and results that you get and make lists of questions for your doctors and nurses.  This is not a fun journey, but lots of people have walked this path and we are here for you.  You are in my heart and prayers.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me with a message or on this thread.  Bless you and your family.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks to both...results were as I thought/feared...invasive with grade 3/aggressive...that is all the results he had...no info on all the +/- receptors and such that I have been reading about.  So now appt with breast cancer surgeon tomorrow.  Fun, fun....I vacillate from "I am going to fight this with everything I've got" to "why me?"  Anyway, will post more later...
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962875_tn?1314213636
Karri,

I'm so sorry to hear that the dx of invasive breast cancer had been confirmed. :-(

I'm glad you have a large circle of loved ones for a support system,and I'm sure once the shock wears off you will indeed "fight this with everythoing you've got."

As the other posters have indicated, there are many others here who been through this, and are available to share personal experiences and provide information, as well as emotional support. We care!

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, Karrie,
I really don't have much more to add to the excellent advice from zouzi, cheerpul and bb. I just wanted add that I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, too. I too hope you stick with your "fighter" side rather than wondering "why"---it's a much better way to go, even though we all know how terribly hard it is. I hope you'll get the best treatment possible and end up with a good outcome. Rely on your family and friends for support and your girls may surprise you at how well they may handle this with you. Whenever you need additional support or advice or just a place to vent, please come back. We'll be here and we do care, as bb said.
Sending you a big hug from Michigan to wherever you are (     ),
nc
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks all - got my hands on my path report today and also saw "suspicious for lymphatic space permeation" - so, yeah, that is awesome too.  I called the radiologist (cause he and I are tight now ;) ) and he said he didn't mention it to me over the phone since it was only "suspicious".  

...and had a lovely miscommunication with surgeon's office and took a 45 minute trip to find that my appt is actually TOMORROW and wasn't today...ugh...

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Avatar_f_tn
So sorry to hear about the mixup with the surgeon's appointment, Karri---sometimes it's Murphy's law (anything that can go wrong, will!) but we just have to hang in there and plod along. I'm hoping your appointment goes well when you get in there and a good treatment plan is determined for you
soon. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to stress too much about the path report. You'll find out soon exactly "what is", and to me, knowing that is way easier than worrying about the "what ifs". You can take one step at a time and just deal with what you need to deal with instead of spending your energy worrying.Good luck to you and we're all still hoping for the best for you!
Hugs,
nc
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2051800_tn?1332775207
I am 53 years old. I was shocked when my yearly mammogram came back with microcalcifications. I had a biopsy on Friday. I was told the sample would not be looked at till after the weekend and I would get results later this week. The waiting is the hardest part.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Thanks for letting me vent.
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi there,

Just wanted to welcome you to our community and let you know we'll be hoping for good  news for you!

Please update us once you get your results.

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly
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2049332_tn?1331073096
Lou,
I've been praying alot this passed week.  I'll keep you in my prayers as well.  The waiting is really hard.  Hang in there and try to stay positive.

Ann Amenta
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2051800_tn?1332775207
They just called.  I have DCIS stage 0  invasive breast cancer.
I am at work but want to cry. They have already scheduled an appointment on March 7 to discuss my surgery. When and how should I tell my family. I have 3 daughters and 2 sisters and a husband. I had convinced myself they were going to tell me all clear and see ya in 6 months. Do people treat you different once they know. I do not want people to treat me different.
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi again,

I'm sorry you didn't get the "all clear" we all hope for! :-(

But I'm not clear on your actual diagnosis;  it could not be as you have written it: "DCIS stage 0  invasive breast cancer."

Were you perhaps told DCIS (Stage 0) AND invasive breast cancer (two different findings)? Or DCIS (Stage 0), NOT invasive breast cancer? Which is actually the case will affect treatment recommendations.

Whom you tell what, and when, is up to you. You may want to confide right away in whomever you feel closest to/"safest" with. There may be others with whom you prefer to wait until you've had time to come to your own acceptance of the news, or until you meet with the surgeon and know more about your situation and its implications.

How people react and treat you after hearing the news will be an individual matter, and not something you can control. For example, some people, upon hearing about a job loss or impending divorce might "treat you differently" (in a helpful OR unhelpful way), and the same will be true of people hearing that you have been dx with breast cancer. How you react may  affect to some degree how others treat you, as some people may take their cue from you.

Please keep us posted regarding how you are doing and how we can help.
bluebutterfly
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Avatar_f_tn
Cancer I did not give you the right, To invade my body and take a bite. This is my body and with all my might, I will prevail with one hell of a fight. To the cancer inside, I will battle and kill. For that is my body’s God given will. To my cancer, these words I do send. Your life is short and near the end.
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi,

I'm wondering if your post, above, is related to what you are dealing with personally, or was just intended to offer support to the  previous poster?

Welcome to our community,
bluebutterfly

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Avatar_f_tn
I just wanted to add that I'm so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis, too. I'm glad you have an appointment soon so you can clarify with your doctor what your specific cancer is. As bb said, DCIS stage 0 is non-invasive. I hope that that's what your doctor said as it's highly treatable. If it is invasive, I hope that it was caught very early because that's highly treatable too. Whichever it is, I wish you all the very best with your treatment and that you're able to overcome this nasty disease. Try to stay positive and get all the support you need from family and friends. Please feel free to come back here if you wish with any additional questions, to get support or just to vent. We're here for you and we do care.
Hugs,
nc
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh wow I just love this poem. It actually made me smile. Thanks for the uplifting poem. I needed it today. :). I am a little down with all the test I have to go through.
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1119363_tn?1330359040
When I told people that I had been diagnosed with cancer and each treatment, as they happened, people treated me with the best kindness and consideration they had.  Friends, family, acquaintances and total strangers helped me every day.  From cards sent every day from my husband's coworkers - for 6 months to the very tall pierced and tattooed young men who helped me load my groceries into the back of my car to the ladies who prayed over me at Walmart, you will be amazed at the goodness of nearly everyone you meet.  Cancer does make people treat you differently.  They care and are not afraid to show it.  It will help you through every day - even the worst ones.  The first couple of people are the hardest to tell.  Once you've figured out what to say and shared love and concern with a couple of close people, it gets easier.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have found that people are mostly kind and offer to help.  Now whether they actually come through with that help is another story ;). I have told most people via email or Facebook.  Face to face is much more awkward for me and for them.  They just don't know what to say.  

The worst problem my family has encountered is people who feel they need to share "breast cancer stories" of people they know.  Which is all good and well if those stories have happy endings but how insensitive to share stories about people they have lost to cancer to family of someone just diagnosed???  That happened to my dad The other day and after the conversation was over and my parents had left this person, my mom said she saw my dad cry for what was probably the third time in the forty years they have been married.  Sorry but I would like to track that guy that told his "story" down and call him the idiot he is.   :(
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