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Found a Lump

Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 15, 2019 8:52 pm


Hi all, I'm Jaz. I have 2 young boys (aged 2 and 4) and I'm married. I'm only 21. My family history on both sides has a very high occurrence of both breast and uterine cancers between the ages if 18-25 most of my family has had 1 or the other or both in the age range. Recently I was doing my self breast examination which I try to do fairly regularly but honestly we all forget sometimes. Anyways this time I noticed this breast looked noticeably larger, I found a lump. A rather large lump. At least 3 of my finger tips wide with weird edges, hard and immobile and a swollen lymph in my armpit. Instantly I'm like OH S***. I got an appointment with my family doctor. He felt the lump and just said "oh wow that's definitely hard... You need a mammogram."... They instead got me booked for a breast ultrasound and I have to wait until September 25th?!? How do they expect me to cope with such a wait time? I'm trying to remain positive and be a rock for my mother as she worries herself to death but. I think I'm gonna go insane not knowing. Just had to vent

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Brighty on Aug 15, 2019 9:07 pm

JazThomson‍  I'm glad you found us.     What you are going though is terrifying.       You are not alone and I'm going  to tag a few ladies who have been  there.    They can talk about what they went through, and what they did to occupy their thoughts while waiting.     They will probably  all agree that waiting  is the worst but strategies can be put in place to distract  yourself.     Thank you in advance Kims1961‍ 
Runner Girl‍ 
Essjay‍ 
LPPK‍ 
ashcon‍ 
and anyone else who reads  this post and would like to share their experiences.     
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Kims1961 on Aug 15, 2019 10:07 pm

JazThomson‍ ...Welcome and am so glad you reached out.

I found my lump on my 56th birthday - much like you felt a lump and went to my doctor. I was booked for a mammogram the following week - followed by an ultrasound and biopsy.  I live in Ontario - not sure where you are?

I agree that Sept. 25th seems quite a length of time.  I am going to attach a pathway map from Ontario Cancer Care that outlines what can be expected.  Have you tried contacting your doctor about getting an earlier appt?  With your family history and the lump, you are definitely not being unreasonable.

https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/pathwaymap/breast-cancer-pathway-map

What can help in the meantime is to build your supports.  Do you have family/friends that can support you along this journey? 

Having kids can be a wonderful distraction as well as some self care - yoga, exercise, hobbies - things to help keep your mind busy. Reach out to us anytime -to ask questions/vent.

I so understand the anxiety the waiting causes - it was the hardest part for me.  Know that we understand.   I was very impatient...wanting the tumour removed as quickly as possible.  From the time i found my lump to surgery was 2 months.  So there is time - it's such a bonus that you found your lump when you do. 

Let us know how you're doing.  Thank you @Brighty for the tag!

Kim
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Aug 16, 2019 1:00 am

JazThomson‍ 
Welcome to our community 
I am sorry you are having to go through this worrying and waiting. 
Kudos to you for taking your own health in your hands by doing self exams and calling the doctor at the first sign of something amiss.

I found my lump in the middle of the night and stayed up all night until the dr office opened and got in the same day.
Some things to consider while you wait to get in:
-Try not to get too far ahead of yourself Think about "what do I know to be true right now " You have a lump but beyond that you don't know what it is
-Call the lab or clinic or hospital department directly and ask to get on a cancellation list if possible or check with the referring doctor if another location might get you in sooner.
-The lump will likely not increase in size in the next month.  When I found mine it seemingly came out of nowhere but it did not increase in size from then till surgery.

In the meantime,  we've got your back here so continue to reach out, ask questions or vent as you need 

Lianne 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by ashcon on Aug 16, 2019 8:49 am

Hi JazThomson

I'm going to chime in with the others and say don't panic till you know what you're dealing with.

Kims1961‍ gave you a great resource. Even if you are not in Ontario  your province will have something similar through their own provincial agency. 
My kids were about your age when I felt a lump in my breast. It turned out to be a cyst or something that eventually went away on its own (after avoiding coffee for a few weeks. I don't know what the link to coffee was, but it worked.) 
I did end up with breast cancer in that same breast, but 25 years later. In hindsight I should have asked for an MRI when that first lump was discovered, based on what my surgeon asked me this time.
So that will be my tip to you - actually two tips:  request an MRI in addition to ultrasound and request genetic testing. Both of these are justifiable given your family history. 
And get copies of these reports for your own records. 

Let's hope you do not become a regular visitor to this site, but if this lump does turn out to be malignant, we'll.... you will deal with it at that time. You will be well supported and we will be here for you. 
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Runner Girl on Aug 16, 2019 9:32 am

Hi JazThomson‍ ,

I understand you can't help but be worried about this lump, given the family history.  As the others have said, can you contact the ultrasound clinic and ask to be put on their cancellation list - explain your family history and your concerns, sometimes magic happens.

Your mind is going to be racing over all of the possibilities, we've all been there, it's not fun.  Busy yourself with your children, until you know for sure what this thing is try not to let it take over your life.

We are here to help you get through this.

Runner Girl
Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day!

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 16, 2019 11:33 am

Thank you all so much for the support. I'm going to call and get on the cancellation list this afternoon, I'm in Nova Scotia! :) thank you all for being so supportive the only advice I've gotten from people is "just ignore it" I understand what they mean but I can't just ignore it I want to be mentally prepared for each out come you know? Thank you all! I hope you're all doing well 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Wendy Tea on Aug 16, 2019 12:12 pm

Hi JazThomson‍ , you have lots of knowledgeable friends here. I have family history. One of my mammograms in my younger days found a fluid filled cyst that they did a needle biopsy on, and it came back clear. Now I am retired and a regular mammogram found a cyst that I could not feel. It was removed and it was cancerous. I now I am healed and have a wonderful life ahead of me.
I see you are in NS, the other great Canadian coast! The news is talking about problems with staffing hospitals and finding doctors. You are already a winner if you have a family doctor. If you have not had a mammogram, push for one while you wait for your ultrasound. After the mammogram that found my cyst, I was recalled for a "site specific" mammogram immediately followed by an ultrasound. In BC from the date of my routine mammogram until surgery was two months. I hope the NS medical system is able to deal with your case quickly as well.
Make sure you are clear, firm, polite, and stand up for your rights as a young woman dealing with a scary situation. Always bring a friend, always ask lots of questions, and always take notes. Don't be afraid to ask for a follow up doctors visit because often trying to find out all you need to know in the first couple of visits, can be so difficult.
The more knowledge you have the better your questions. I like the Mayo Clinic website but like everything, it can be overwhelming and give you information that does not apply to you.
Good luck. Stay strong. Keep your children's mama healthy!
Best wishes
Wendy Tea
PS  Never ever ever ignore a lump!!!!
I am a survivor. Wendy Tea

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Aug 16, 2019 2:02 pm

JazThomson‍ 

You were very wise in attending to your suspicions right away. If it is nothing, then no harm done. If it is something, you have likely caught it early. Knowledge is power.

Lianne
 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Aug 16, 2019 2:32 pm

JazThomson‍ 

I'm glad you reached out! It is so important to have a support system and have people to talk to during this diagnostic process. You found it here! I have two small children also and can appreciate that it is not easy to be on your "Mom game" when feeling stressed.

You have received some great suggestions from our community members. I wanted to suggest you might find it helpful to talk to one of our Cancer Information Specialists as well. You can reach them at 1-888-939-3333 they are so knowledgeable and supportive. 

Here is some information about tests are usually used to rule out or diagnose breast cancer. Here is some information about genetic testing.

Has anyone in your family had genetic testing before?

Lacey

 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 16, 2019 3:33 pm

Lacey_adminCCS:
JazThomson‍ 

I'm glad you reached out! It is so important to have a support system and have people to talk to during this diagnostic process. You found it here! I have two small children also and can appreciate that it is not easy to be on your "Mom game" when feeling stressed.

You have received some great suggestions from our community members. I wanted to suggest you might find it helpful to talk to one of our Cancer Information Specialists as well. You can reach them at 1-888-939-3333 they are so knowledgeable and supportive. 

Here is some information about tests are usually used to rule out or diagnose breast cancer. Here is some information about genetic testing.

Has anyone in your family had genetic testing before?

Lacey

 

Thanks for the info! Unfortunately no one in my family has been tested for the gene however even if this is nothing to worry about I may get tested anyway. Every female on my mothers fathers side died of stage IV breast cancer. She happens to be the only one with no issues. 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by LPPK on Aug 16, 2019 4:14 pm

Hello JazThomson‍   I found a lump in my breast during my early 40s when my children were 6, 8 and 10. It was a pretty scary time. I was sent for a mammogram, it showed a lot of very small calcifications .  The lump went away as quickly as it had appeared...no idea what it was. I was on a 6 month mammogram and breast exam call back at the Breast cancer clinic for 3 years and then discharged.  When I hit 50 I was put on a 2 year call back from then on under the Ontario Breast Screening Program.  
When I was 64 during a regular mammogram a mass was found, it turned out to be breast cancer, not in the same breast. 
I found having someone to talk to really helped.  It is difficult not to have your mind jump to cancer with the history of breast cancer in your family. Did you tell your doctor about your family history? 

I found  keeping my mind occupied helped.  Do you have any hobbies that you can do when the kids are occupied or sleeping?  I did a lot of reading which transported me to fantasy worlds or back in time. I also did cross stitch projects for Christmas presents..  

I hope you get a cancellation time slot and find out sooner than later what the lump is.
 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 18, 2019 5:31 pm

I have a question for all of you lovely ladies as my doctor doesn't have a weekend phone number. With the lump I found in my breast I also found one in my armpit and some slight swelling. Is it normal for it to be uncomfortable to put my arm down (as in against my body) ? I can't say it's painful per se but it feels as though I'm squishing something that is slightly painful hence uncomfortable. Is that just from the slight swelling or is this something I should be watching closely? I'm driving myself insane. It doesn't help that I've just hit my second cycle since I found the lump making me emotional and causing the swelling of the breast to be more noticeable. Thanks ladies ❤

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Kims1961 on Aug 18, 2019 5:43 pm


JazThomson‍  I know the feeling...for a while I hated long weekends because my only choice was ER...or wait till the doctors office opens😳

I think it’s worthy of a call tomorrow to your doctor ...you could go to ER if you’re really concerned.  I did have some swelling and once I found the lump it was hard to “ignore”.  What can really help if you can write down the changes you are noticing. Do you have a fever? 

Im glad you posted and hope you have a better evening. Let us know how you make out. 

Kim
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Wendy Tea on Aug 18, 2019 6:06 pm

Hi JazThomson‍ , some provinces have an emergency phone number to call a nurse practitioner who you can talk to and discuss your symptoms. See if you can find a healthcare worker to talk to. I am not sure if there is anything available on line for email questions. It is so stressful when you don't understand what is happening. In the meantime, roll up a small hand towel and place it between your arm and your body just under the arm pit. This might stop the pressure and rubbing.
I agree if you have a temperature you will need to bring it down, and if it wont come down, go to your nearest emergency room.
Only a medical doctor will know what is happening with you. If this is just an infection, it might be treated with antibiotics. If it is something else, one day will not impact the outcome.
Be kind to yourself today. Distract yourself. keep comfortable. Eat healthy foods. Drink lots of fluids. Remember we are all here for you.
Best wishes,
Wendy Tea
I am a survivor. Wendy Tea

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 18, 2019 6:54 pm

No fever, I figure some of my issues are being exasperated by my monthly cycle, I'll call tomorrow since he asked me to call anyways to confirm my placement on the cancellation list for my ultrasound, thanks ❤❤

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Treepeo on Aug 18, 2019 9:21 pm

Hi JazThomson‍,

I can understand why you are worried.  This is a very scary thing to have to go through, especially given your family history.  My heart goes out to you.

Please keep us posted as to how you are doing, and if you are able to take advantage of a cancellation.  I wish you nothing but the best results.

 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 19, 2019 10:13 am

So update. Apparently my doctor is out of office today so I have no idea if I'm on the list or not *frustrated sigh* however I was getting undressed for bed last night and my husband commented that my nipple looked odd. Sure enough I look down and it looks like the top is folding in on itself, is this the beginning of nipple inversion? Ugh this is just frustrating now. I just want to know what is going on. As far as mentally goes yes I'm worried, I set myself a few days and said "you can worry for this many days, after that focus on what you know" so I'm doing pretty good. Cleaning up the house and playing with the kids. Trying not to focus on the misbehaving boob. Spirits are high ❤

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Treepeo on Aug 19, 2019 11:04 am

JazThomson‍, why is someone away when we really need them?  So frustrating.  When you speak to your doctor, tell him about everything, including your nipple.  See if he can put a rush on your tests.  Personally, I think having to wait a month to even get tested is outrageous.

I'm in Toronto, so I don't know if that makes a difference, but this was my experience.  I had a rash on my breast.  I saw my GP, who suspected that I had inflammatory breast cancer, and her office got me into a diagnostic clinic the same day.  There were a ton of people in the waiting room but when I got there, they took me right away and did a mammogram and an ultrasound.  And no kidding, five minutes after I got home, my GP called me with the results, confirming that I did in fact have IBC.

Maybe my experience was unusual and I was extraordinarily lucky.  But I would fight like mad to get an earlier appointment for testing. 

Let me give you another example.  One of my sisters was having unusual discharge when she went to the bathroom.  The doctor she saw ordered a bowel test, but didn't put a rush on it, which meant that my sister was going to have to wait two months for the test.  Another one of my sisters, a former nurse, said no way.  She called the clinic and when she explained that my sister was having this unusual discharge, they knew there was a serious problem, and that the doctor should have put a rush on the test.  They got her in within a week, which was a good thing because as it turned out, she did have bowel cancer.

My point is that sometimes we have to advocate for ourselves, and we have to be firm about what we want.  So push, push, push, and don't feel guilty about it.  This is your life and your body, and you have every right to ask for and expect the help you need.  

And in the meantime, keeping busy and getting on with life is the right thing to do.  Kudos to you for carrying on despite your concerns.  You are a warrior, JazThomson‍.  Your inner strength will get you through this.  Believe in yourself.

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 19, 2019 11:10 am

Thank you for your messages! I've been calling around explaining and they said they are doing the best they can but there are about 20 other women waiting for the same scan, I explained what was going on and they have me on the cancellation list but I also asked for them to send me to another place with a shorter list so they are seeing what they can do. My mother is fighting just as hard as I am to get this testing done. They keep telling me my age means it's slim but I feel like age shouldn't be a diagnostic factor. Cancer doesn't care. 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Treepeo on Aug 19, 2019 7:58 pm

You are so right, JazThomson‍.  Cancer doesn't care how young or old you are.  I am surprised they even made that comment.  Just when you think you've heard it all . . .

Anyway, I am glad to hear you have such wonderful support from your mother.  There's nothing like having a Momma Bear on your side.  I will keep my fingers crossed for you.  Let's get this show on the road.

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Aug 27, 2019 8:49 pm

Hi all! I haven't had much to update on hence I haven't updated but I had a lovely lady message me concerned (how thoughtful right? So cute ❤❤ you ladies and gents are amazing) so I thought I'd give a quick update. Time seems to be CRAWLING as I wait for testing. The lump is still very much present and my lymph nodes are still on the larger side. My only complaint is that the lump has become tender to the touch but I just tell myself it's because I'm touching it maybe too much. I'm doing pretty well with this mentally as I've just told myself it is what it is, nothing I can do to change it now besides doing what's best for my body and continuing to try to get seen to earlier, as it sits I still need to wait until sept 25th to be seen which is insane. My breast also hurts at random for a few minutes and then it goes away. Not sure if It's related. It almost feels like a charley horse or shocks in my boob then its gone? I dunno my doctor is very hard to talk to so I've just been managing most of my fears alone. 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by LPPK on Aug 28, 2019 8:50 am

Hello JazThomson‍ Waiting definitely sucks.  Once the idea of cancer enters our brain time seems to slow down.  I love your attitude of "it is what it is" .
You mention that your doctor is hard to talk to.  Perhaps he/she is better with seeing than hearing.  Presenting your symptoms on a list that your doctor can read might get a conversation going and perhaps get you an earlier scan.
We are rooting for you. 
 

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by JazThomson on Sep 25, 2019 3:48 pm

UPDATE today was ultrasound day finally. I had mentioned that my lump has changed in the sense that it's not clearly defined anymore I can't feel like edges like I could before it just feels hard in that spot now, she felt it and said "yeah its definitely still there" so she took the images like 4 of them made a face and went to talk to the radiologist, he wanted pics of the other side to see if the density was the same. She took those then asked what hand I use, then made a face and went back to the lump side. Took more pics and sent me on my way. I'm not trained so I have no idea if those pictures had anything or not but I assume they will call with results since no one said anything. Anyways. Here's to more waiting.... 😪

Re: Found a Lump

Posted by Wendy Tea on Sep 25, 2019 5:52 pm

Hi JazThomson‍ , hang in there girlfriend. We are here with you waiting to hear what your doctor says. 
Wishing you good luck!
Wendy Tea
I am a survivor. Wendy Tea