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granulomatous mastitis User Group
Waiting It Out....Successful Story!
About This Group:

This group is intended as a meeting place and forum for those who have been diagnosed with granulomatous mastitis ('GM') or idiopathic granulomatous mastitis ('IGM'). I think one of the greatest challenges with this disease is its rarity and the associated lack of understanding in the medical community. But we can share here - and hopefully make the healing process a little easier for each other.

Founded by JoJo45 on January 17, 2010
246 members
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Waiting It Out....Successful Story!

Hi,
I developed GM almost three years ago.  First it affected one breast for about 14 months. At first, I was pretty much told I had cancer and was rushed to the hospital by both my Primary Physician and a General Surgeon.  After the infamous bouts of antibiotics for weeks and anti-fungal meds, I was sent home about the same.  That breast developed an abscess, which the GS operated on in-office, with no pain meds....  Later, this same Surgeon wanted to remove my milk ducts thinking they were the issue and even told me they were as black as a black shawl that I was wearing at the time.  I scheduled the surgery, but thankfully backed up at the last minute.  Word to the wise, try not to let people poke around your breast, so many posts here are correct, it often seems to worsen the situation.  Anyhow,  about two months later I got in with a really knowledgeable Breast specialist (i.e. a Breast Cancer Doc.) who upon seeing my breast knew instantly what the issue was and did the proper testing to issue a diagnosis.  That physician really believed in a wait and see approach, which at the time really bothered and frustrated me.  She wanted to simply treat the abscesses that ensued, by draining them.  Some women find this helpful, me, I found it tremendously painful, much more than if I simply let the abscess take its course.  
So, but for the draining, I did follow the Doc.'s suggestions and just waited it out....for about 14 months.  I had to learn to be patient.... The original breast did heal, though extremely slowly, and I did have a few scars, which I learned to live with and which have gotten much better through time.  At that point, when I thought maybe I was finally out of the woods...the other breast began being affected.  This time, I did not have the breast tested, for me, it was pretty obvious what was going on, but there were definitely moments when I did wonder if this time around it wasn't cancer for sure.  Nevertheless, almost three years later, and with some scars in the second breast as well, I finally feel about 95% recuperated.  At times, I do get a few shooting pains that remind me of the past and I'm diligent to keep checking the tissue changes as much as I can.    
I just wanted to give you all some hope.....yes, it can get better without mastectomies for some.....  Although, I'm not by far completely healthy today, I do feel much, much better.  Keep up with the positive thinking, definitely exercise because it helps for everything, eat well, pray, if you are so inclined, and be as patient as the turtle who won the race against the hare!  
In retrospect, do I think I chose the right route?  For me, waiting it out was the definitely the right choice.  I'm simply thankful....
8 Comments
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Thank you for sharing your story with us.
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THANK YOU! and happy for you!
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Then I am very hopeful I can wait it out as well I've only had two biopsys and a needle aspiration, I don't want any further poking on there.  Did you stick with medication while eating healhthy?  I've only had GM for 3 1/2 months now and I switched to an anti-inflammatory diet which is helping so much with inflammation.
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I didn't take any medications, other than Advil for the pain.  No, the Advil didn't do a whole lot of good at times, but it did seem to at least make the ordeal more tolerable. I did use hot showers and a hot water bottle as pain reducers.  
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You are welcome.
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Thanks.  
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Thank you again for sharing your recovery story with us.  Alot of us whom are new to this disease are on that mode of frustration and have no idea how things are going to turn out for us.  I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.  Coming back on the forum to give us hope is such a great and thoughtful thing you could do for all of us.  Thank you!!  If you have time please check in with us as sometimes we have questions for those women who have already beat the disease because we all know, we are teaching each other with this disease!
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Thank you for updating this. I find myself on here mostly when I'm flaring up. When I start feeling better, I forget. It gives me hope. I wish more women who have overcome this would update more often :)
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