Greetings from my right breast - SHARE Breast Canc...

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Greetings from my right breast

IChoose
IChoose
โ€ข42 Replies

Hi all, I'm 55 and my father's sister died of breast cancer in her 40s or 50s and my mother's mother was successfully treated for it in her 60s (full mastectomy both sides with lymph nodes).

In a couple of weeks I am getting my first ever needle biopsy on a mass I have had since say 10 or 11, as well as an ultrasound core biopsy on calcifications.

Apparently, things have changed since my last mammogram in 2017.

I'm very worried. Should I be?

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Jillparad

We can all tell you not to worry. It's difficult not to, but try! Keep busy, don't google and keep the faith! Waiting can be the hardest part.

1 like
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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Jillparad

Hi Jill, thank you and biopsies were benign! Sending much love!

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Jillparad
Jillparad
in reply to IChoose

So glad to hear!

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Cabogirl
Cabogirl
in reply to IChoose

Very good news

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stayblessed

I understand your feelings. However, it will work out no matter what the results. BC changed my life, but there is light after the diagnosis . Keep the faith

2 likes
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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to stayblessed

My biggest concerns are money and pain and sufferings.

I am on Medicaid and food stamps and financially destitute due to difficulty holding jobs due to life long asthma worsening as I age. I am in fact in job search right now. What do you tell an employer?

Of course I have been googling and it seems nearly impossible to get ssdi for breast cancer and time out for surgery etc. would leave me homeless.

Am also worried that radiation causes lung scarring and am already barely controlled on asthma drugs twice per day. Also had diagnosis of heart disease 2 years ago and could not tolerate cardizem as it triggered my asthma. So I control with diet and exercise.

Then, you go through what you do to eradicate it, and it comes back.

This is what is on the forefront of my mind.

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Pansypie
Pansypie
in reply to IChoose

Sounds like DCIS has reared her ugly head. Do not freak out. Yes, the calcifications may be a symptom of a cancer, but that cancer has a chance of being, and possibly even staying, in your breast ducts only. You have time to learn about what's going on. Do not let the people in white coats railroad you down a track that may not really do much for you. Did you know that once you radiate an area, it is not recommended to radiate it again? That means you'll have moved yourself one step closer to mastectomy should anything reoccur or progress. I also would not do the biopsies in a close time frame. Alternative sources say one month in between. Research 'surgical spill.' God be with you and I wish you the best outcome possible! Stay peaceful and thank you for your input about ssdi. I know what I may be up against and will start my process with them early.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Pansypie

Dearest pansypie, and to all my family of breast cancer survivors here, I sincerely apologise that I did not post the good news that my biopsies were benign, but I was told I need to be checked again next year, and that I'm benign this time. I don't know if i posted here but I was rather resentful that I was put through all that "for nothing" and in the same week I got to know a lady, quite by surprise, who is enduring treatments for what became an unusually fast spreading breast cancer that is not easily detected. Just before she was diagnosed, her mother died from it - not kidding. She is such a beautiful and gentle and humble soul enduring years of suffering, but she is grateful to be alive.

I will research surgical spill. I will guess it has something to do with disturbing tissue that should be left alone and instead spreads.

I am home so sick with flu and asthmatic bronchitis right now and, yes, the biopsies area is still sore.

Much love to the family!

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to stayblessed

Hi stayblessed, biopsies were benign and apologize for the very late notice. Sending much love!

1 like
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stayblessed
stayblessed
in reply to IChoose

I am so happy to hear biopsy is benign. That is s mighty blessing

Stay healthy

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urthmothr

I wonder why they waited until now to aspirate the mass? Do you have benign fatty tumors (Lipomas) on other parts of your body and they just want to be sure that is what it is? I've had them since I was a teen. Back then, they would take it out and do a "lump biopsy," but then they got to the point that they could tell whether it was just a lipoma or not. They put them on watch, in case it changes. When I got breast cancer, it had nothing to do with a lipoma.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to urthmothr

Great questions from our earth mom! I had a mammogram at the same place in 2017 and evidently there is a change in the mass and there are new calcifications. Evidently they are only concerned regarding the right side. Doctor at radiology place said he wants to know why things are changing.

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urthmothr
urthmothr
in reply to IChoose

I gave up my beast for "'peace of mind," but I can see that your choices are much more difficult. Hopefully, the doctor will take a biopsy and decide it is benign and doesn't need to be removed. If it is not benign, there may be organizations in your area who can help with expenses as well as moral support. I hope you will hear from list members who also have to deal with asthma during their cancer treatment. Blessings!

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to urthmothr

Hi urthmom, please see my latest reply to vicreg below. I had the biopsies today!

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to urthmothr

Hi urthmom, biopsies were benign! Apologize for very late notice. Now I'm battling what seems like flu in July and asthmatic bronchitis. Sending much love!

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urthmothr
urthmothr
in reply to IChoose

Congrats on the negative diagnosis! Summer allergies? I get notices about what's in the air. I have more trouble in the spring, when the trees are blooming.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to urthmothr

This is an awful virus with cough. Mom has caught it from me now. I'm still sick and mom is suffering terribly.

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VicReg
VicRegAdministrator

It is possible that they just want to have a baseline in case there are more changes in the future. The fact that you've had these masses so long makes me want to say don't worry, but that is easier said than done. Have you had genetic testing done?

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

Yes, about 10 years ago a surgical oncologist submitted me I think to a place in Utah for genetic testing and supposedly I came back negative for female cancers.

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VicReg
VicRegAdministrator
in reply to IChoose

A lot has changed in genetic testing in the past 10 years, I would request being retested if your insurance will allow for it.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

Yes, I am on Medicaid now, how ever may be able to transition to the insurance exchange before the end of the year for let's say a gold policy. I'm wondering if I should postpone the needle biopsy etc until I have more complete insurance.

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VicReg
VicRegAdministrator
in reply to IChoose

I wouldn't postpone it, but that's me.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

I am probably doing it as scheduled. Very very nervous though!

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

I had 2 needle biopsies yesterday, one of the mass and one of calcifications. I now have 2 titanium markers in my right breast. Will have results within 10 days

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VicReg
VicRegAdministrator
in reply to IChoose

I'm glad to hear that you had the biopsies done, please let us know the results.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

Will do and still waiting to hear.

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to VicReg

Hi vicreg, I sincerely apologise to you and everyone for the late notification - both biopsies were benign. Of course, now I'm battling what seems to be flu in July with asthmatic bronchitis. Hope you are well ... Until next year's mammogram, God bless!

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RobertaG1961

First of all - you don't have all the information yet so there is nothing to tell current employer. Second - about pain and suffering - although treatments are not pleasant, the doctors/nurses these days are much more aware of quality of life.

Money is a little trickier. Your concerns are well founded and you may be able to take some proactive steps with the right resources lined up. Make sure to call the SHARE helpline as well as reaching out to your elected officials.

panfoundation.org/index.php... - "PAN uses the donations of caring individuals and corporations to offer the fastest, most dependable way for patients to pay their out-of-pocket costs. Because when the unexpected happens, all you should have to focus on is getting better."

- cancer.net/navigating-cance...

Here's some information from that website:

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a group of national organizations that provide financial help to patients. CFAC provides a searchable database of financial resources.

CancerCare (800-813-4673) provides limited financial assistance for co-pays, transportation, home care, and child care. It also provides a list of sources for financial assistance and a database of organizations providing financial or practical help.

The HealthWellFoundation (800-675-8416) is an independent, non-profit organization that helps patients with a chronic, life-altering disease afford their medications when health insurance is not enough.

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IChoose

OH WOW - many many thanks! I am likely going forward with the biopsies this week!

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IChoose

Please see my latest reply to vicreg above. I got the biopsies done today!

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IChoose

Hi Roberta, apologies I am just now sharing the good news - biopsies were negative!

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Hollykins

I wear a prosthesis from Anita called Athletic. It is about 80% the weight of a regular prosthesis. It has grooves in the back for air flow. I think it might be slightly smaller than the full prosthetic but I'm not sure.

I was having difficulty keeping that side from riding up & digging into my ribcage, especially after a couple of wearings. It was less of a problem when I tightened the band an extra hook but that was uncomfortable & caused some swelling. I searched online & found a suggestion that you loosen the strap on that side. My grey Anita sports bra has a fairly wide band & that seemed to help. I was trying to think of something grippy to help the band stay in place. I tried strips of shelf liner that worked ok but did leave a funny pattern on my skin. I found something online that made me laugh. Bra suspenders! Apparently you hook them from your bra to your pants!

Last week I bought a striped grey Amoena sports bra that does up at the front. The band is 1 inch wide! So far I'm loving it. I remember reading on a forum that a woman bought sports bras fr Victoria Secret. They zip up the front & have 2 layers. She puts her prosthesis between the layers.

Personally, as annoying as bras & prostheses may be I wouldn't think my only option was surgery. I hope you can try a few ideas & one works. Go to a few bra stores & ask the ladies who are trained to consult in these situations. Of all else fails, maybe we will all end up wearing bra suspenders & loving it!

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Dancegal
Dancegal
in reply to Hollykins

Thanks! This is all helpful information!

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Hollykins

IChoose, I'm glad your biopsies done. I apologize everyone for my post above. It was supposed to be for Dancergirl & the ladies in that conversation. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Hollykins

I'm so grateful you posted to mine! Do you know, I was wondering about how we look after a mastectomy, like as women we're still women, and I was wondering if cosmetic surgery would be covered or if I would want to endure it. All the details in your post helped me answer what ifs in positive way. Please keep checking back to this post to learn the results of my biopsies. I'm still waiting. I'm not wearing a bra since they were done and it's definitely still uncomfortable if I don't walk gently.

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Hollykins
Hollykins
in reply to IChoose

IChoose. I guess my goof was meant to be! I'm glad you found my information helpful.

If you do end up in the situation (but I truly hope you don't) where you require a mastectomy & consider reconstruction I wouldn't tell you what I think you should do. I will tell you a few reasons why I chose to just let things be. To be honest I initially considered reconstruction for about 15 minutes! I believe my thinking was basically "let's keep things simple." I found out that the risk of complications & infections was higher w reconstruction. I remember & still think "Ick!" The idea of messing around w my body & possibly interfering w muscle movement was not something I wanted to risk. Since my mastectomy 5 months ago I've heard about a number of situations where things went very wrong. One woman had a double mastectomy. She had the reconstruction where they remove belly tissue (something Flap). Now she can't sit for very long as the scar tissue is very uncomfortable.

A woman who was having surgery the same day as me was having a double mastectomy & reconstruction. She was going to be in surgery for 7 hours!! I thought 1 1/2 hrs was enough time under anesthesia. I can't imagine keeping my husband & daughter waiting that long to see if I was ok.

I don't want to sound like I am totally against reconstruction. I think it is nice to have a choice (since we don't get much choice in removing our breasts). I hope that no woman feels she needs to have reconstruction unless that is her decision & isn't coerced by a surgeon or partner. Btw, I live in Canada. I've read that the number of women who have reconstruction is much higher in the U. S. than in Canada. I don't know why other than there are likely a larger percentage of plastic surgeons in the U. S.

Anyway, I look forward to finding out your biopsies are negative. That would be amazing! I feel bad for your discomfort. O wonder if a camisole w a shelf support or one of those Coobie bras would help. If I spent too much time without a bra I think my inner right elbow would get bruised. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Take care!

1 like
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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Hollykins

Will look for Cami or coobie at Target! Thank you so much!

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Hollykins

dearest hollykins, it is with joy and apologies I did not get back to the group sooner, that I'm letting you know my biopsies were both negative. Of course, now I'm battling what feels like flu in July with asthmatic bronchitis. God bless you and all the survivors who reached out to me.

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Hollykins
Hollykins
in reply to IChoose

I'm very happy to hear you received negative biopsies! I bet that was a relief! Sorry to hear about your bronchitis. Of course, I'm just dying to know if you are getting alot of phlegm!

I had bronchitis about 19 years ago (daughter was crawling). A few months later we were packing for a road trip. I felt a cold coming on so I tried these Oregano capsules I had just bought. I took one & caughed up a big gob of phlegm & the cold never developed. I am always reminding my dh & dd to take them when one of us is coming down with a cold.

I've never tried oregano oil on it's own as I've heard it's nasty. We sometimes use Oreganol capsules. My favourite is Adeeva Orega-Sept. It also has Sage & Cumin which probably causes cooling & warming effects. I don't know if this would interfere w prescription meds. Good idea to checke a pharmacist before you try. Otherwise it might be a good thing once you are done your meds & don't feel your breathing is normal yet. Just some ideas. Hopefully your meds will clear everything up soon & you can enjoy your summer!

We are going to Niagra Falls & southern Ontario in Aug. We leave in Regina, Saskatchewan. (The province that's easy to draw...a rectangle...& hard to spell!)

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IChoose
IChoose
in reply to Hollykins

So excited for your travels. Wish I could see pictures. Phlegm is remarkable. Tons of productive wet coughing and my mom who has lupus now has it. So worried about her. She has not had antibiotics yet but saw doctor last week.will research oregano you mention. Happy travels!!

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Pansypie

Woohoo! Glad to hear it! Be well.

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boxwood

Needle biopsies are big bubbles (usually)

no troubles! They donโ€™t hurt and itโ€™s great you are checking this mass out. Good for you and good luck.

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