path report/lympth nodes

ohilly Member Posts: 441
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello, group. I have been writing on this board ever since I was diagnosed in early January. I have invasive ductal carcinoma with a 1.8 cm tumor. The doctors felt under my arms and told me they didn't feel anything and they told me my tumor is small, probably Stage I. I decided to have a mastectomy and am supposed to have my surgery this week on Thursday. The closer I get to the surgery the more terrified I am becoming. The thing I am most terrified of is the pathology report and that it will show lymph nodes are involved. Somebody please tell me that even if the nodes are involved, it's not the end of the world! Also, tell me when and how did you find this out? I am so afraid of the pathology report. Ohilly


  • Hi ohilly, again.
    I keep reading your posts and this girl living my life? LOL
    Remember I told you I had a radical mast in '86 and another in '88? Well, I had lymph nodes involved both times....they told me this when i woke up....and .......TA DA!!! WAS NOT the end of the world. I am now a 21 year survivor and ALL IS WELL.
    I know your fear and I know that you are stronger than you ever thought you were and I KNOW you can do this and come out on the other side and LIVE YOUR LIFE.
    God bless and keep us informed after your surgery. HUGS
    Zahalene (aka Barbara)
  • Hi ohilly, well, my tumor was 1.5 cm but I had a lumpectomy. They also did a sentinal node biopsy during which they removed 2 nodes. Like you, I was absolutely terrified that my cancer had traveled to the nodes. The surgeon can get an idea about the nodes by looking at them but will only know for sure from path. report. Right after surgery in recovery he told me that they "looked" clear. About 6 or 7 days later the path report came in and he called to tell me that the margins were clear and the nodes were clear too! Your tumor is small so you probably have a good chance of clear nodes as well. The hardest part is waiting for the report. They do many tests on the nodes and tumor so it does take several days though. But the good news is that I have met many women who had anywhere from 1 to many cancerous nodes who are alive and well years later! So, try not to torture yourself with worry, think positive and keep up your strength with food and rest. Good luck and take care, Eileen
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Of course you are nervous about the surgery...who wouldn't be? But, as I have said many times, worry is wasted effort. AND it can break down your system, give you a cold, or the flu, or whatever. Try to distract yourself with something...movies, a good book, whatever.
    The lymph nodes will be what they are...I had both sentinal nodes positive, the next 5 removed were negative. This all happened during surgery. Of course, I had a needle core biopsy on my tumor before surgery, so we knew what the lump was already. I remain cancer free, 2 years later, on both the breast cancer and the unrelated rectal cancer (stage III) I had 6 months before.

    Treat yourself to a spa day...take an upbeat friend...attitude is a big part of fast recovery...Next week it will be over...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    PLEASE JOIN US ON CHAT TONIGHT. We are all here for you and being terrified is very normal and expected. The what ifs, shoulda, couldas, wouldas are swimming in the head. The doctor was able to tell us that he felt one node for sure was positive because of the way it looked. He could not tell for sure but said I would be the first to know when the report returned. I had a bilateral mastectomy and to be quite honest, it was a relief once the surgery was over. I brought my cd player and listend to soothing music while waiting for the surgery. I had to go by the office first for him to mark my breast, I had to have that injection in the breast to see if there was node activity once they go into the breast, I just went through the motions at the hospital for preparing for the surgery. All the nurses were fantastic and yes, I was nervous. I closed my eyes and tried to visualize good things, kept touching my breast because I did not want to lose them but knew I wanted to live and they had to go. I had cancer in both breast and that was March of 2007. I'm coming up to my first year and feel really good. I am please with the way I look and feel. Do I miss them....yes...but I love that I did what I needed to survive. I finished my chemo and had all the support in the world. I did not have this site and so glad I found it a month ago. I pray that all around you help hold you in their hearts and prayers. It is a very frightening time will survive and we will be here. You have my phone number and feel free to call me any day or night even if it is 2AM. Prayer and hugs!!!!!
  • By the way, I know this may sound strange. But I do not hate my missing breast. I thought it would look horrible with scar and damaged tissue. I know I am not the sexpot I once was (lol) but when I look at myself in the mirror the missing breast side just looks like I did when I was twelve (well, fifteen too because I never was real chesty). Anyway, that little twelve year old side of me is kind of charming with its battle scar and innocent grow. Maybe someday a new breast from reconstruction, but more importantly, hopefully everyday I will continue to grow older, and wiser, more in love with life, and all those things I gave up the breast for. I have never heard anyone say this before and some people may think I am lying, but it is true. Now the hair loss, don't get me started. THAT I do indeed hate!
    I had two lymph nodes involved. It is not the end of the world. At least it makes me want to do the chemo!
    I am here to help in anyway.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Hi Ohilly, I found out through the pathology report and I was in shock. It was in 3/6 and was moving out of them. I thought it was the end of the world. I didn't have this site to turn to then and as you can see from all the replies you will do just fine. Of course you are afraid of the pathology report, it's a huge unknown that will likely dictate treatment options and will have an effect on future survival and recurrance.
    But you will get through it and find out it isn't the end of the world and that there is lots of life left to live. You'll be OK. :)
  • Skybuf
    Skybuf Member Posts: 143
    Ohilly, I had a mastectomy in Dec 05 with 19 lymph nodes removed 17 were malignant....things didn't look good as the Oncologist told my Daughter and hubby, but that was then and this is now.....I live by Faith, each new day a blessing. I feel great and still here. So do what helps you get better hon and know we are all here for you.
    God touch you and give you peace during this time...