Sep 15, 2013 - 11:05 am
Just wanted to introduce myself.
I am a 37 year old health care worker newly diagnosed with Stage IIb invasive ductal carcinoma. I recieved my diagnosis 8/20. I then had all my care transferred to a larger cancer center. I recieved the obligatory echocardiagram, breast MRI, BRCA testing, I had my port-a-cath placed last Monday.
I have since found out that I am Estrogen positive, progesterone positive, Her negative. However, some doctors want to classify me as stage IIIa. My original tumor is 2.8, but MRI showed 7 satellite tumors ranging in size up to 1 cm, making my total tumor burden greater than 5 cm. No lymph node involvement. Either way the treatment is the same. TAC, surgery and radiation.
My father died from cancer at 57, by sister had a different type of cancer in her 30's, and there are so many other types of cancer in the family that if I am BRCA1 and BRCA2 negative, then I will be tested for other familial cancer genes. Which scares me to death. I think I could handle being BRCA positive better, because I know how that is treated, and what the odds are. I find out the BRCA test results in about 10 days.
Every time I think I have a game plan, it changes. Everyone thought it was a cyst, including me. There is NO breast cancer in my family. Lung, endocrine, uterine, colon, and thryoid cancer, but not breast. I have had colonoscopies and thryoid ultrasounds, I quit smoking 10 years ago, and I even had and endometrial ablation last year and was told everything looked good. Then I get sucker punched.
My life is broken down into getting through the next 2 weeks. Find out results of tests, to find out lumpectomy vs mastectomy. 3 cycles of chemo to repeat MRI to determine if I am having mastectomy then or 3 more cycles of chemo. I don't know if I am having surgery then radiation then reconstruction, because it is all up in the air. I hate not knowing. I hate not being in control, and I hate these damn cells that have betrayed my body and are taking my hair, my breasts and forcing me to go into early menopause.
For the most part I am doing okay, however 25% of the time I get really down and scared. I am the primary breadwinner in the family, and everyone tells me not to worry about that but I do.
I start chemo next week. The closer I get to it, the more nervous I get. Other than pain from biopsies and the port surgery, I don't feel sick. And since my endometrial surgery last year I have been the healthiest I have ever been. I know what living in daily pain is like, I don't want to return to it. However if it means I will live to grow old with my husband, I am willing to go to hell and back.