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Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by PositiveThinking on Aug 13, 2019 6:54 pm

Hi all,
Feeling a little frightened this afternoon.  

My mother had breast cancer but I have no idea what type it was.  She passed away in 1996 so I can’t ask her.  I’m sure treatment options have come a long way since then so I’m trying hard not to panic.

i went for my regular screening mammogram in July.  Last year I got a normal result so I wasn’t worried going in for this one.    Can’t feel any lump at all in my left breast but was called back for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound.  

I had those done last week and the radiologist ordered an ultrasound guided biopsy.   I had that done yesterday.   The radiologist says there is a <1cm mass and calcification.  She said she’s pretty sure it’s cancer. She said to make an appointment with my GP for Monday but I’ve made one for Friday as waiting the weekend will be too stressful.  Being a retired laboratory technologist I’m hopeful some preliminary report will be available by Friday.  If not I will make another appointment for next week but I just need to talk to my doctor ASAP.  Can you give me an idea of what questions I should ask her at this early stage?   Thanks in advance

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by Elizabeth06 on Aug 13, 2019 8:20 pm

Hello positive thinking‍ 
Welcome to Cancerconnections.  And sorry you find yourself here.
suspecting cancer and waiting for a diagnosis and plan of action is full of anxiety.  It sounds like you have taken a few steps towards that goal already.
http://www.cancer.ca/en/search/?q=Questions+to+ask+at+appointment+
The above link is to the cancer.ca website and contains links to many lists of questions at different points along this cancer journey.
there is value in having someone with you at appointments, as it is difficult to retain info under these circumstances.  Do you have someone to go with you?  
It is helpful to keep busy while waiting for your appointment.  Cleaning out cupboards, closets, etc.  Something you can focus on that takes your mind off Cancer.  Exercising, getting out for a walk, will help to use up that anxious energy and hopefully, help you get a good nights sleep.
this is a safe place to ask questions or vent.  I hope your appointment on Friday results in some answers.
keep us posted on how things go.

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by Elizabeth06 on Aug 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Hello again, PositiveThinking‍ 
This is a link to one of the discussions on this site regarding medical appointments that might be worth a read.
https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/48/60810?post_id=289918#p289918

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by PositiveThinking on Aug 13, 2019 9:17 pm

Thank you Elizabeth06‍  for the links to the other threads.  I am very grateful that you took the time to answer me as I have become a bit of a basket case this afternoon.   Hubby home now so I’ve calmed down.   He came with me to both of my previous appointments at Royal Columbian Hospital so I’m sure he will come with me Friday morning too.  Good tip to find things to keep my mind busy tomorrow and Thursday while I wait.   I really hope they have some results ready by then
 

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by Wendy Tea on Aug 13, 2019 11:17 pm

Hi PositiveThinking‍, I was in your position last spring. My maternal line had all passed in their forties so I patiently waited for my turn. It did not arrive until just before my 70th birthday. My treatment has all been at Jimmy Patts in Surrey/ Surrey Memorial. My cancer was found on regular screening and I was called back for a site specific mammogram and ultra sound. Feel free to take a look at my blog but I know right now focusing is very difficult. My story is stage one, no lymph nodes involved. I chose a mastectomy due to my age and family history. The only treatment I need now is a daily estrogen blocking pill for five years.
Do not worry until you know what you are faced with. Then ask lots of questions. At the end of the day my life without chemo and radiation was more important that keeping a very rude breast that was misbehaving!
We are all here for you, we can help, we understand, we are all travelling this journey together.
Best wishes. You can do this!
Cheers
Wendy Tea

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by PositiveThinking on Aug 14, 2019 9:40 am

Thank you for this message of encouragement Wendy Tea‍!   It is very helpful to hear from others who have experienced the same emotions as me.   I must remember that there is still a remote chance that the radiologist is wrong and I mustn’t jump to conclusions until I hear what the results are...hopefully by Friday!   This is what I would say to anybody else in my situation...don’t jump to conclusions until we know the facts.
I am 60 and my mother passed away when she was 60, she was diagnosed when she was 53.  Hers was a lump you could feel like a small frozen pea but whatever this is in my left breast it is only visible on the mammogram and ultrasound and apparently wasn’t there last year.  I will do my best to distract myself on this beautiful sunny morning.   Thanks again for your kind words.

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Aug 14, 2019 10:15 am

Hello PositiveThinking‍ ,

Welcome to the club no one wants to join.  I hope you're feeling a little less stressed today and have found a bunch of things to keep yourself busy over the next few days. 

When I was 40 I had my baseline mammogram and a lump was found in my left breast.  After all the biopsies, etc. I had a lumpectomy and had it removed.  The pathology came back as atypical lobular hypoplasia - NOT cancer.  This lump could not be felt by anyone, but showed up on the mammogram.  Even the surgeon could not feel it.  Not every lump is cancer, I was very lucky.

My luck ran out when at 52 I had my check up with my doctor and he felt 2 lumps at the base of my right breast.  It turned out I actually had 3 small tumors sitting at the junction between my breast and chest wall, about where the underwire in a bra sits.  I've since had the trio removed via lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy (clear), 6 rounds of chemotherapy, 21 days of radiation, 1 year of Herceptin and am on Tamoxifen for the next 5-10 years.  I was able to work and run throughout this ordeal - helped me keep my sanity.

Your emotions are going to be all over the place for the next several weeks.  Be patient and kind with yourself.  We will endeavor to support you as best we can, we've been there, we understand all too well.

Take care of yourself,

Runner Girl - Gayle
 

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Aug 14, 2019 11:55 am

Hello PositiveThinking‍  and welcome to the site.

As a ( 8 year ) breast cancer survivor, I can relate to being anxious with waiting and wondering. What you are feeling and going through is understandable and quite normal.  I currently have had some other strange issues that are being investigated and I too will be at Royal Columbian Friday morning for tests so I will send you good vibes from there since I will be so close 😄

Wishing you well for Friday. Keep us posted as you are able

Lianne

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by PositiveThinking on Aug 14, 2019 12:22 pm

Thank you for your kind messages Runner Girl‍ and Lianne_adminCCS‍   I’m feeling much better today.   Mentally preparing myself for the worst news but praying for the best.  

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by LPPK on Aug 15, 2019 1:56 pm

Hello PositiveThinking‍ I am a 2 year breast cancer survivor. The doctor who did the ultrasound guided core biopsy said he didn't like the look of the mass and he was recommending that it be removed.  When my husband and I went for the biopsy results from my GP I was pretty sure she would be telling me I had cancer.  I had a few questions prepared on paper and an pen ready to write down the answers so I was able to get some good information that day.  My GP shared the fact that she is a breast cancer survivor and that really helped me to calm down. My husband and I went out for dinner that evening to talk about our future.  
Emotions run high as we wait for appointments, tests and their results.  I found keeping busy with small projects keep my mind occupied.  Since both my husband was retired and I was off on sick leave  we worked together painting several rooms in the house, I decluttered all kitchen cabinets and the cupboards in the house. Also in different rooms around the house I had a puzzle, my paint easel, cross stitch project , books to read and Netflix.  Daily walking and a weekly yoga class helped to keep me limbered up.

As you go to your appointment on Friday, know that all of us here have had or are going through cancer treatment(as a patient or a care giver).  We know the emotional roller coaster of emotions and are here to support you.
 

Re: Radiologist thinks it’s cancer

Posted by PositiveThinking on Aug 15, 2019 3:20 pm

Thank you for these kind words LPPK‍    I phoned my doctors office yesterday to leave her a message as to why I would be coming tomorrow morning.   From my experience as a lab tech I was sure she would be able to call the lab for  a preliminary report even if the final pathologist comment wasn’t ready yet.  
As it turns out the receptionist already knew the biopsy report was back.  My husband is taking the morning off and is going to come with me tomorrow.
Waiting to hear the result is just so scary.   I have a list of good questions and have left space to write the answers.  Hopefully the answer to the first question is no...then I don’t have to ask the rest hahaha.