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Avatar universal

Waiting is the hardest part

I am 43.5 years old, had my first child at age 38, maternal great-aunt with breast cancer, mom with double mastectomy.  Accidentally found left breast lump last week, although I am religious about BSE (just wasn't time yet).  Lump is hard, not round, not movable, not painful.  Feels like it is shaped almost like a small green bean, tapered at the top and bottom.  Husband felt the lump also.  Just happened to have annual PAP scheduled for a couple of days later and doctor felt the lump also.  Ordered diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound which will be done on the 29th.  Period was not due for another two weeks or so, but after internal exam and PAP for some strange reason started the next day.  Four days later, lump is still there.  I am having a strange "tightness" in the left arm between the shoulder and elbow, not a muscle pain, but just a sensation of tightness or swelling.  Left breast and nipple itch constantly.  I have had two breast biopsies (benign) performed in the same breast, different locations, previously.  Previously, doctors have always commented about "nothing discrete, but we better check it out", but this time she could feel it right away.  Thought at first it was a rib, but definitely not.  I recognize you cannot say much until the tests are done, but just looking for someone to say "something".  Waiting will kill you if nothing else does !!  Thank you for your time.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear caseysmom, It is difficult to wait for results of tests, but at this point until more evaluation there is not much to say except you're doing the right thing getting checked out.  You might want to try to get your tests done sooner - not because it will make a difference to the outcome of the tests, but for your own piece of mind (cutting down on the wait time) - maybe you could ask to be called if a cancellation came up.
Avatar universal
Just hang in there.  It is horrible waiting!  I had to do it when my baby was just 14 months old.  I had a fibroadenoma & it was huge & solid.  

I get so mad when the medical profession basically says, "Go home...hug your kids...wait a few weeks...then we will let you know if those might have been your last hugs...you don't mind the wait do you??????"

I think we should be able to have answers immediately.  Maybe that is why we all wait so long when we find something before we seek advice (that is why I wait.)  

Now, I have a little bump on my areola and I am terrified to go to the doctor.  I can't play the waiting game, or I will have a break-down.  My baby is just 4 now and I can't stand looking her in the eyes knowing that I don't know...

Good luck to you (to all of us..)
Avatar universal
I found out that I pretty sure had bad stuff in there, but then I had to undergo the waiting game---waiting for the ultrasound, waiting for the surgical biopsy, waiting for the results, waiting for the surgery date, then waiting for results of surgery.  Now waiting for oncolocist visit.

I know it takes time, but the time goes so slow!  

Hang in there!  Hope and pray that your results are better than mine. And they probably will be.  Best Wishes.
Avatar universal
It's so hard waiting, but I want to tell anyone who is waiting to know their situation that the fear of what's going to happen to them is worse than the reality. It is such a relief when they finally get to the end of all the bad news & you finally know the worst and you can finally deal with it. I found a lump in Jan.'97 that was 3 centimeters, stage III, invasive ductal br ca w 2 pos lymph nodes (lumpectomy w/all nodes removed). I had aggressive chemo (Adriamycin & Cytoxan) followed by radiation and Tamoxifen. This Jan.'02 I was due for my 6-mo oncol checkup so I was checking myself 2 days before & felt a lump 1-1/2 inches below the collarbone down on the rib below all the muscle. Thank God I found it because it would have been missed by a mammogram 'cause it was too high up on my chest- out of range of mammogram. Only seen on ultrasound. It's a recurrence of what didn't get killed off 5 years ago. So here we go again- I had surgery to remove the lump which was cancer, then another surgery to remove an inch of the rib that was in contact with the tumor. All tests show no evidence of cancer anywhere else. But to be safe my oncologist recommended more chemo again- Taxotere this time, once a week for 18 weeks. I'll be done around August 1. Just want to say that life goes on in spite of your worst fears coming true. My chemo 5 years ago was terrible, but I did it. My chemo this time is a lot easier- every Thurs. afternoon, then I'm back to work next morning. Tired and achy most of the time especially weekends from the treatment, but otherwise ok.
I did not have a mastectomy but in hindsight I probably should have. It was a major lumpectomy 5 years ago & before this January I looked into plastic surgery to repair it. I found a plas surg team that specialized in breast cancer surgery. The women there who had had mastectomy with immediate replacement had beautiful breasts! With their own tissue from their abdomens! So if that is what's in store for you find the names of a couple of plastic surgeons that your oncologist or gynecologist highly recommends. If it's all too much at once, the repair can wait 'til later on. I'm telling you these women had really beautiful breasts. One woman I couldn't even tell she'd had surgery.
Try not to look down the road too far. You'll get overwhelmed doing that. Just deal with one thing at a time, one procedure at a time, one day at a time. Take care of all the little things- pay attention when you're driving, concentrate on your job as much as you can, pay your bills on time. Try to reach a comfortable place in your mind and heart where you accept what's happening. For me that means doing everything in my power to have my health. Doing this treatment that the doctor I trust recommends. Questioning what doesn't make sense to me health-wise.
Do everything you can do and then leave the rest up to God. Then you'll be able to relax and laugh again. You'll be ok. One day you'll be helping someone else get through this.
Avatar universal
Thank you everyone for your kind responses to my situation.  I am currently trying to get my tests done earlier than next week, just cut down some of the nervousness.  But, whatever comes my way, believe me, I am prepared.  Thank you again.
Avatar universal
Also, push for earliest possible mammogram/ultrasound. A good, caring breast care center does not make a woman wait if she feels a lump. Call them back and tell them you cannot wait that long- that you are very anxious.There should be room in their schedule.
Avatar universal
I'm thinking of you today as I know today's the day for your tests. Please let us know how you're doing.
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