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Newly diagnosed with IDC.
Dakley
5 Posts
I had posted on the pre-diagnosis forum after having a biopsy done and suspecting I would be diagnosed with breast cancer. I think though the moment when they tell you it is not the news you are hoping for and that you do indeed have breast cancer the air gets sucked out of the room. I have IDC, er+ pr+ and her2 +, my surgeon believes it’s early stage. We had a long discussion about options and I decided to have a lumpectomy and they will take a sentinel node. I should be scheduled for surgery within the next couple weeks. Once pathology comes back, I should know the grade, stage then they will figure out the treatment plan. My head is swirling with all this information, I’m trying to take it one step at a time but it’s hard not to drive yourself crazy. Right now surgery and recovery are freaking me out, have never had any type of surgery and am the type of person who doesn’t like to sit still. Is there anything I should be preparing for or inquiring about. Thank you again to all for listening.
10 Replies
S2020
348 Posts
Hi Dakley‍,

I am sorry you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a lot to take in when you hear the news. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer last year and I had many questions.

That’s good that you met with a surgeon and discussed your options. Was there any discussion about seeing an oncologist first before the surgery because of the HER2+? Often, with HER2+ breast cancer, an oncologist may recommend a treatment plan before surgery.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Information Specialists may have more information that may be helpful:

https://action.cancer.ca/en/living-with-cancer/how-we-can-help/talk-to-an-information-specialist

Programs at Wellspring may also be helpful:

https://wellspring.ca/online-programs/programs/all-programs/

We will be here to support you, too. Wishing you the best possible outcome!
Dakley‍ My cancer was discovered by having a bleeding nipple. Initially, I had a lumpectomy and was diagnosed with DCIS. Then the surgeon sent me for a MRI and another larger lump was found and was told that I needed a mastectomy. From the pathology report after my mastectomy, I was diagnosed with triple positive IDC, lymph nodes tested were non cancerous. I had chemo which included herceptin. I am all finished my surgeries and treatment and am only on a hormone blocker, Letrozole. I have to take Letrozole for 5 years and have finished 1 1/2 years.

My lumpectomy was very easy to recover from but I didn't get any lymph nodes removed during that surgery. If your lumpectomy includes lymph node removal you might was to ask your Doctor if there is special exercises. Removing lymph nodes affects your arm movements and it takes a while (plus exercises) to get the mobility back.
supersu
263 Posts
Dakley

yep - it's a gut punch when someone actually says 'those words' and they are telling you you have cancer. so sorry you had to hear that diagnosis: but now its action time!

I had 2 lumpectomies pretty well back to back with sentinal node biopsy with the first visit back in March 2020. other than tonsils as a very little kid, I had never been in the hospital! I was pretty anxious about the surgery etc, but it turned out to be very uneventful--I hope the same is true for you!

not sure about your home situation, but I'm alone. second time around I made sure I had lots of easy stuff in the freezer to eat. I felt 'normal' almost immediately, I totally could/should have cooked and cleaned, but honestly I just didn't 'feel like it' for the first week or so. give yourself a break and listen to your body. I also continued my already established heavy pizza & gin therapy throughout this period ;)

thanks to COVID I was just kind of winging it. for exercise I had joined a seniors, (I'm not a senior....yet!), yoga zoom class 2X a week and I think that really saved my bacon-my ROM was barely compromised, and the gentle stretches helped me tremendously. I have heard that there is tons of information about specific breast cancer type exercises that others have used.....I was totally fine with the yoga class. you do you, but do something---its easy to get stiff.

you should be ready to resume your activities really quickly - the bandages come off within a week or 10 days, and in my experience they didn't interfere with anything....had it not been COVID times, I would have returned to the office literally the next day.......I didn't and I am forever grateful that the pandemic 'made' me slow it down, and just take time for my self to get the rest of my treatments and heal....it's a lot!

good luck with your surgery....and welcome to this community.

cheers
su

#breastcancer #lumpectomy
SarahDawn
30 Posts
Dakley, this forum will be very good for you to ask questions, people are very kind and share their experiences. I am still newbie to this site and learn so much from others. We are all different and treatment plans vary. My biopsy (Sept. 24) 2020 indicated IDC, pathology report revealed Triple Negative Breast Cancer (not hormone) Stage 1, Grade 3. When I met with the surgeon he discussed my options which were: mastectomy or lumpectomy. I chose lumpectomy and had 3 lymph nodes removed which were not cancer. Had virtual consult Dec. 3 and 9 with chemo and radiation oncologist. Started chemo Dec. 17 and had 4 rounds of AC and 4 rounds of taxol which finished on March 25, 2021. Started 20 radiation treatments April 26 - May 21, 2021 which were Mon - Friday, so I spent 4 nights in Sudbury and home on weekends. Personally, the best thing is to write down your questions so when you meet with the surgeon you can have them answered.
S2020‍ shared some great resources.
Know you are not alone and the support from this forum is amazing.
Please keep us posted. Wishing you nothing but the best.
Daisycake
17 Posts
I was called back for an ultrasound after a mammogram on a Friday the 13th of November 2020 saw something. Had a biopsy on Dec 7, met with the surgeon on Dec 12 and had day surgery for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biposy on New Year's Eve (first time I couldn't stay awake to see the New Year in). Margins and nodes were all clear. I think the cancer was stage 1b, Grade 3, er+ pr+ but her2 negative.

I recovered very well; was fortunate to have almost no difficulty with my arm after the node was removed. I only needed Tylenol after the second day; surgery seemed pretty superficial and was not terribly painful after, even first day afterward. I would get fleeting pains in the area as things knitted up, but they didn't last for more than a few seconds. This was all during COVID, so I consider myself fortunate to have been looked after so promptly.

I had a oncotype test which helps your oncologist determine whether or not you might benefit from chemo. If you score under 25 of 100, there is no demonstrable benefit. I scored 27, so given my age (66) I got to skip it. Being post-menopausal, I am taking the drug Anastrozole for about 5 years. If you are pre-menopausal, they seem to give Tamoxifen. I also started this zoledronic acid infusion, which is supposed to help strengthen any bone softening effects of the Anastrozole, and prevent any cancer from forming in your bones. It is given once every six months.

Being hormone positive, you will likely be offered hormone suppressant medication (the Anastrozole in my case). If you were negative, you would not be able to benefit from that.

You could ask about the possibility of the oncotype test re chemo.If you have a history of cancer in your family, you might be screened for genetic testing, which would identify any genetic risks for you and your family. I was screened in and had a blood sample sent for analysis which takes 2-4 months they say.

All patients are different and all cancers seem to be different too.
Good luck and keep us posted!
DarleneH
12 Posts
Hi Dakley‍ , I was diagnosed with Her2 IDC Stage 2b with lymph node involvement in the sentinel node. I had chemo first which shrunk the tumour significantly, and then a lumpectomy with the removal of the first two nodes and then radiation.

I soldiered through chemo but was terrified about the lumpectomy. It was the first time I cried in front of my children while waiting for the surgery. As Buffythevampire‍ said, the lumpectomy was easy to re ver from. I had no pain, no drains and did exercises like walking your fingers up a wall for the node removal to get mobility back. All in all it was the easiest part of my cancer treatments.
Dakley
5 Posts
I am absolutely in awe of everyone here. You have all been so thoughtful and so inspiring. It helps to know there are others out there fighting this fight! I am curious how they come up with what treatment you have, for how long and in what order. My surgeon seems almost positive that I will need radiation anywhere between 4-6 weeks daily, chemo hasn’t been touched on yet, that is what scares me as well. I am ready for those post-op exercises and have already made some meals to freeze, that’s my mild OCD. I don’t like feeling helpless and want to be prepared. I am lucky that my husband is so supportive and my son will do anything for his Mom. But it is that feeling of having to ask for help, when I’m used to be the one helping. Thank you all again, you have no idea the kind words and stories that are getting me through this.

supersuS2020DarleneHDaisycakeSarahDawnBuffythevampire
Jingles8
1 Posts
Hi Dakley! After a routine mammogram and ultrasound back in late February 2019, I got the call that every woman dreads.....a lump in my breast. It was small and deep inside. I could not feel it. After a biopsy to determine if it was cancer in which it was, my surgery to have it removed was scheduled for late March 2019. My surgeon was fabulous! Right from the start, she said it was coming out and had scheduled my surgery after my first visit with her. The surgery went well and the lump was removed.

Upon further testing, My cancer was IDC, 100% ER+, stage 1, grade 1. I was off work for 4 weeks and was eager to get back in which I did.
My lump was sent for oncotype testing too as mentioned in other email and it came back with a score of 21 therefore no chemo. I had 16 radiation treatments. I did this while working. I work in construction and being able to work and working with great people certainly helped me thru this. The support of my co-workers, family and close friends are the key !!

I started on letrazole but was switched to tamoxifen for a year as my estrogen levels were still high. After a year, my estrogen became low meaning I was thru menopause and now I am back on letrazole. I also take Antonella for bone density as letrazole affects the bone.

I try to stay positive and strong but I do have my moments and fears of it coming back. I started walking in September 2019 as I wanted to take control of my health thru exercise and eating healthy. Last year I did my first virtual 21 km marathon in walking! I was so pumped!! Now I have started to run when doing my walks and feeling great. My goal is to run the 5 km for the CIBC Run for the Cure with no walking. I am almost there.
I found that if you set some goals and take some time to do "Me" things for yourself, it will help you get thru this.
MNbOK
16 Posts
Hi Dakley, I am proud of you for getting in touch with others in this community and finding ways to plan for your future! After a routine mammogram, focussed mammogram and core biopsy, I was diagnosed with low grade/slow-growing IDC, ER+, PR+, HER-. I was offered the options of a mastectomy plus sentinel node biopsy or lumpectomy plus weeks of daily radiation treatments. I confidently chose the mastectomy plus biopsy which was limited to one lymph node. The surgery went well and the post-op discomfort was very minimal thanks in part to a nerve block just before surgery. The next day, I did my exercises, discovered that my ROM was good, went for a walk, had a good meal. As time went on, I was often sore or achy but only ever needed Extra Strength Tylenol. It was hard to wait for the pathology results but worth it; the cancer was stage 1. I am now cancer-free and require no further treatment or medication. I will be monitored by checkups every 6 months but I am cured. This journey really is a roller coaster and its impact on you physically and emotionally may sneak up and surprise you in ways you would never have expected. I found it important to acknowledge and accept the challenges, share my story with friends and co-workers, and be very gentle with myself. Healing from breast surgery cand take six months and each additional form of treatment demands more of us. Based on the stories I have read, we are amazingly strong individuals even as we cry from fear, or loss, or pain. We all persevere, supported by courageous and capable medical professionals. You will meet wonderful people who just want to work with you to make you well. By sharing your journey so far, reaching out, asking questions, looking ahead, and preparing meals, you are exhibiting all the qualities needed to navigate this and reach your goal. I wish you blessings on your journey, kind words, supportive pillows!, time, and pauses to breathe and rest!
JustJan
740 Posts
Dakley‍ welcome to our community. I see you have already had lots of posts and support. This community is really quite amazing.

I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in January 2019 and 4 months later also with ovarian cancer. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node dissection, declined chemo and had radiation. I did end up having chemo for the ovarian cancer.

So many things come into play when a treatment plan is developed. The size of the tumour quite often dictates whether or not you should have chemo before surgery. Like you I was petrified of chemo but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be. If you need chemo the people on here will give you tips on how to get through it.

As far as the surgery goes, it was pretty easy in terms of recovery. It was not particularly painful and the medication they gave me to manage the pain worked well (it was non-narcotic). They should give you exercises to do as well.

We definitely understand your anxiety around your diagnosis and treatment. We’ve all been there. So reach out whenever you need our support and we will do our best to help you through this.
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