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Newly diagnosed - Ductal Carcinoma Diagnosis
Well.... to start.... I’m 42(43 on the 21st of Nov) & I have been getting annual mammograms for over 5 years as my mom passed away from breast cancer at age 56 (diagnosed at age 52). I was being proactive. This year I went in as I always do in the start of October. A couple of days later, I was asked to come back for an ultrasound. During the ultrasound, it  was clear as a bell, there was a mass. They immediately did the biopsy & sent me on my way. I was to return a couple of days later to have an MRI. All the results would be ready for my doc the following week. The waiting was HELL as you know, but on 18 October I was confirmed with breast cancer. I was quickly called by a surgeons office to be seen. While the days passed waiting for the appointment, I was wondering why I was not sent for a PET scan to ensure it wasn’t anywhere else in my body and even bloodwork. I contact the cancer agency where I was told that all of this would be done AFTER surgery. I’m confused. Why wouldn’t they want to know if it is anywhere else in my body. Isn’t there a test that they can do to see if I’m predisposed to this reoccurring BEFORE having surgery?? Apparently not. So now I’m having a partial mastectomy and radiation but may end up needing a double mastectomy and only chemo. My family is NOT new to the cancer life as my mother, father, mother-in-law & daughter - to name a few & my  husband & daughter carry Lynch syndrome (increased risk for colonial cancers) 
Sorry for a first post vent, but ..... well.... 💩 🖕#FuckCancer
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Wendy Tea
1637 Posts
Hi OneWhiteLilly‍ , I hear you and although I am sorry you are here, I am glad you found us. No one is safe from this nasty disease but with the great strides in treatment we can beat this. I opted for a mastectomy and did not learn my results until later when the tissues were biopsied. Although I was stage one with clear margins, clear lymph nodes, but family history, I still feel I made the right decision. I was able to avoid chemo and radiation, so I feel very lucky.
Get mad here, then shake it off because you need to have a healthy mind, healthy diet, exercise, and a strong social team to be successful.
Ask lots of questions. We are all listening and ready to help.
Best wishes
Wendy Tea 
275 Posts
Hi OneWhite Lily,
I am sad for your diagnosis and I am thinking you must be feeling pretty devastated with this f———ing cancer. One thing I am definitely learning from this site, there have been many advances in treatment especially since your Mom had it. It took me months to accept it. Mine was breast and and lung. I could accept the breast my sister had a double mastectomy over  20 years ago and she is is 65 now. My friend had breast over 10 years and she is 61 now. The lung cancer scares me big time, chance of recurrence is quite high.  My Mom and Dad both died from it. I am going on because I do not believe we have to always put on a happy face and be positive. Often I wake up in the middle of the night and I feel afraid. What will the cancer do next, how will I cope with end of life. I read somewhere the biology of cancer cells are not affected by our being positive. But I do think there is an ingrained conditioning that if we feel negative we are causing the cancer to grow. When I was first diagnosed,  I was devastated, I couldn’t sleep. My daughter was my guardian angel. She came from back east and spent two months by my side what a gift that was for me. I was telling a friend that I felt nervous for my scans this weekend and I felt shut down when she said I have to be positive. Really do I have to be positive? Can I not just be what I am and right now and that is fearful. Will the new spot on my lung have grown?  Will the spot that grew last month also have increased? This is one heck of a disease to live with!!😡
1411 Posts
Hello OneWhiteLilly‍  and welcome to the site.All here have/ have had cancer or are a caregiver to someone with cancer.  We understand the stress cancer placed on the patient and the family.  The hurry up and wait phase is  the one that all of us have found/are finding difficult.  Keeping your mind on what you know right now, and not "what if", helps with anxiety.  I am sure your brain is in overdrive right now and that is very common.
Some things that helped me on my IDC journey, I was 64 when diagnosed, was to:
...write down all the questions, and the day before an appointment I would looks the questions over, sort and amalgamate them and make a copy for my doctors and for my scribe
...have a scribe with me to take down what the doctors said and the answers to my questions so that we could go over everything once I was home from the appointment, This was so helpful as my brain was filled to overflowing and I didn't want to miss any of the information being offered.
...keeping my brain and body busy with small projects

You mention that many in your family have had cancer. One thing that I found difficult was to give up the'super mom status' and let my family look after me for a change. They were paying it forward for all the times they had been sick, in hospital, having operations and I looked after them.  They looked after me so well, It felt like a warm cocoon being wrapped around me.

Keep in touch.  We have lots of information and experience with breast cancer and are here to help.
17 Posts
Hi OneWhiteLilly‍, sorry to hear about your diagnosis. And yes, I agree, fuck cancer :)

I have a somewhat similar situation (I'm 45, my mom also had breast cancer, I found the lump myself and had ultrasound and was sent for an MRI and biopsy at same time, etc). They seem to do things differently in different provinces, here in BC I had to wait for an appointment with surgeon, but she sent me off for a consultation with Cancer Agency and after consulting with both surgeon and oncologist, I started chemo first as I'm HER2+. If I had been ER+, HER2-, I would have had surgery first. In my case, the surgeon in coordination with oncologist sent me for a CT scan and bone scan before I started any treatment. This can also be affected by the preliminary staging of the cancer based on initial imaging/biopsy. There are many factors that affect what further testing is done and what the treatment plan options are, so read a lot (I found The Breast Book by Dr. Susan Love helpful) so I could ask a lot of questions.

Also, don't hesitate to contact the specialists again with follow up questions. YOU need to understand and be comfortable with the treatment plan. Keep in mind that YOU need to understand why this is what the recommendation is and what the options are. Its your body, so the surgeons and oncologists cannot do anything without your consent, and for me, my consent comes when I understand the rationale. I find understanding it all helps me cope with it. 
7 Posts
You didn't mention what stage your BC is. I'm stage 0 DCIS right now based on my biopsy. Waiting is hell.  Mammo Aug 2, results Aug 26, biopsy Sep 17, MRI Oct 13, MRI biopsy last week (unable to complete due to MRI nausea), another ultrasound biopsy tomorrow and finally surgery on Nov 21. My surgeon doesn't expect anything worse than stage 1 (fingers crossed). During surgery she will perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy. This will indicate if there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes. If the nodes are clear, than the cancer hasn't spread beyond the breast. Likely, you will also have your lymph nodes biopsied during surgery  to see if the BC has spread. You will not find out the pathology until after surgery. Body scans are not necessary if your lymph nodes are clear. Good luck. We are with you.
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