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Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Jenn35 on Oct 8, 2019 1:20 pm

Hi there,

I am a mom of two daughters, 18 and 13 (I had my children very young) and a wife to a wonderful man, AND Both sides of my family have tested positive for the Breast Cancer genetics, so I have always expected to start mammograms at 35.  I am about to turn 36 and so I went in two weeks ago.  The tech talked with me about my family history, I have several aunts who have gotten a diagnosis and passed.  One aunt was 36 the first time, died before 42 and we took in her boys (then 12 and 13) ten years ago now. 

The tech took the pictures and had me wait while she brought them to the radiologist.  She returned and said they had to take more, then I sat again and she brought them to the radiologist again.  And then she returned again and said they needed to take more pictures again, and put a marker on me.  I had told her of a spot on my left side underarm / outer breast, that always feels tender but I have always believed is cysts.  That's where she put the marker and I can feel two lumps, large one above my nipple and one towards my underarm.  They are painful, heavy but I cannot tell if they feel 'normal' or not - I go back and forth.  The tech said the radiologist wanted to also take pictures of a lump on the other side, which I have never known about but now I feel the lump, tiny but weird feeling in my underarm.

I have never looked at my boobs so much.  One nipple is different from the other, and I have a bad stinging / burning pain on that side.  The other barely feels like anything.  I don't know if it has always been dimpled on them, or if this is new.  

So tomorrow I will have the ultrasound, and we will also hear the details of my husband's impending spinal surgery (he suffered a sever back injury at work two years ago and after many trials, they have decided to operate, likely the first time of several planned) which is likely to happen with in the next two weeks. 

I have been reading the posts of others and taking comfort and notes from them, I didn't feel like posting until this morning.  Maybe my nerves are getting to me.  I keep thinking, please just not right now, I need to be well to take care of my husband through what he is facing.  I also felt really down about a week ago, thinking this is my future - going to these tests, sometimes normal lumps, sometimes bad lumps, it will never be the way it was when I didn't look at my boobs and didn't think about what might be inside them.  Then I feel bad for being so negative about the normal course of life.  One girl wrote, it is what it is - and I agree.  We will deal with whatever comes at us, maybe the wait is just getting to me.  Sometimes I look at my breasts and think they look fine and I am being silly worrying.  Other times I look at them, and feel like I can see they are not okay...


Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Wendy Tea on Oct 8, 2019 5:16 pm

Hi Jenn35‍ , thank you for posting and for sharing your honest feelings. Sometimes it is so hard to put into words what scares us the most.

Unfortunately our health never picks a good or convenient time to say Pay Attention. What a relief you have a great technician and a great radiologist to look after you. Listen to everything they say, get your questions ready. You will be well looked after. 

I wish you well on your journey. There are wonderful folks here to help you navigate through the information that your medical team will share with you.

Best wishes
Wendy Tea

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Jenn35 on Oct 8, 2019 6:19 pm

Wendy Tea‍  really thank you for replying to me.  

What questions would you ask at this stage?  I have the Ultrasound tomorrow and talk to the doctor the following day...

Thanks Wendy, truly


Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Wendy Tea on Oct 8, 2019 6:39 pm

Hi Jenn, do you have someone who can go with you? Extra ears? If not try to make notes.  Stop them often for clarification. What does that word or phrase mean? What is that test for? What are you looking for? How long will it take for results. If I was your daughter what would you suggest we do next. 
The more you understand the better you will feel. Never be embarrassed to ask for details.
Regardless of what you learn you will be well cared for and it is better to find out what is going on. Most of us say it is not knowing that is scary. 
We can help.
In BC, the ultrasound technician made no comment but my results took less than a week and led to more tests. The medical system loves tests and that is a very good thing!
Best wishes
Wendy Tea

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by jorola on Oct 8, 2019 8:18 pm

Hi Jenn35‍ 
Welcome to the site. I hope you are finding some useful information here.
If there are some "spots" or "masses" found on your mammogram or ultrasound then your Dr should talk to you about what they might be and what testing comes next. Notice how I have not said cancer yet? If there is an area of concern, they will likely arrange a biopsy. A biopsy of the tissue is done as it is the only way to confirm the presence of cancer cells (with the exception of testing fluid in a few cases). An ultrasound, mammogram, CT scan and even an MRI cannot confirm if you have cancer. These tests can confirm you have masses , spots or lesions but they do not have the ability to determine if they are benign or malignant.Only a biopsy can do this. 
Women can get fibrous masses that are not cancerous in the breast. Sometimes there are cysts. Nothing is set in stone yet. You are doing the best thing right now and that is following up with your doctor. Only time and tests will tell what is really going on. May your wait be short and all tests negative for cancer.

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Runner Girl on Oct 8, 2019 8:36 pm

Jenn35‍ ,

When I was 40 I had my first mammogram and they found a lump.  It was not cancer, it was removed because it had the potential to become cancer and life went on.  At 52 my doctor found 2 lumps, turned out to be 3, and they were cancer.  My lymph nodes were clear.  I had a lumpectomy,  did chemo and radiation as well as a year of Herceptin.  I'm now on tamoxifen for 5 to 10 years.

My recommendation for your doctor appointment is to take someone with you.  Get a notebook and write down all of the questions that come to mind so you can ask them at your appointment.   Listen to what the doctor has to say while your support person writes notes, then start asking your questions.  

When you're ready, come back here and let us know what is going on.  We are here to help you through this.  You are not alone.

Runner Girl

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Treepeo on Oct 8, 2019 10:00 pm

Hi Jenn35‍,

Wow, you have a lot on your plate right now.  All I can suggest is to take it one step at a time.  Get through your ultrasound, and then meet with the doctor and see what he says.  Ask about anything you don't understand, and don't be shy about it.  Everyone is there to help you.  Personally, I found that everyone, from nurses to technicians to doctors, are happy to do anything they can to make you feel comfortable and informed.  Waiting for results and not knowing is the pits.  Unfortunately, we all go through that.  One thing you will learn is that you have to be patient.  But you don't necessarily want things to happen quickly.  You want things to be done right.  So you have to allow people time to do various tests, assess the results, and then come up with a plan of action.

I wish you luck with your ultrasound tomorrow.  And I hope things go well for your husband, too.  Keep us posted.  We are here for you.

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Jenn35 on Oct 9, 2019 5:21 pm

Thank you Wendy Tea,‍ Treepeo‍, jorola‍ , Runner Girl‍ 

I had my ultrasound today.  I snapped a photo of the screen before I left.  I know I am not a radiologist, but the pictures look concerning.  Lots of black with jagged fingers.  I am scared.  Tomorrow afternoon I will see my family doctor.


Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Wendy Tea on Oct 9, 2019 5:50 pm

Jenn35‍ , oh my you are so bad and so clever! Although it sounds like all you have succeeded in doing is scaring yourself. You will find out tomorrow what is going on and nothing will change  before then. My suggestion is treat yourself tonight to a nice meal, a hot bath, a good book and try to get a good night,s sleep. You want to be rested and alert for your meeting tomorrow.
I wish I could go with you  to help, listen and ask questions. I will be there in spirit.
Please stay calm, the medical system is amazing and will give you their very best support at this time.
Wendy Tea

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Treepeo on Oct 9, 2019 11:09 pm

Hi Jenn35‍,

I am happy to hear that you have an appointment with your doctor tomorrow.  I know it's hard, but try to relax a bit.  Hopefully you will get some answers tomorrow.  Whatever your doctor says, know that we are all here for you.  I am wishing you the best results.

Re: Breast lumps, 35 and Nervous

Posted by Kims1961 on Oct 9, 2019 11:27 pm

Jenn35‍  Well done!  You are building your community of support already by reading other's posts and posting your own.  Such great advice already. I'm glad you are getting to meet with your doctor tomorrow.  Great suggestion if you can bring someone else along...or...ask if you can take a picture of the report ( if he has it) or record the meeting with the doctor ( thank goodness for cellphones!)

You do have lots of your plate so building your supports now can be so helpful.  Also - having your kids young, means you have some potential helpers right there!  It can be very therapeutic for the entire family to be involved in caring for each other.  Sucks that our kids have to go through this - but on the other hand - it demonstrates to them that this is what family is all about.  Being there for each other. Letting others help can sometimes be the greatest gift we can give to others.

I am sending positive energies your way .  If you are up to it, please let us know how it goes.  All the best!!!  Kim