Just diagnosed and waiting to see my surgeon - question

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mbernhart
mbernhart Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I am 32 years old and was just diagnosed with breast cancer today. I am still in total shock. I was referred to a surgeon but the very earliest they can get me in for a consultation is 10 days from now. That seems like an eternity from now! Is it normal to have to wait this long just to get a consultation with a surgeon??? Do I have any other options??? I want to kick this cancer's butt and I don't want to waste any time. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  • aisling8
    aisling8 Member Posts: 1,627 Member
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    I don't know what is normal
    but I had to wait one week to see a surgeon and then another week for the biopsy. I thought I'd go crazy. Because, of course, with no knowledge or solid information, one imagines the absolute worst. Once I was diagnosed, surgery was a month later. Felt like forever.

    I've since had a lumpectomy, radiation, and am now on Arimidex. For me, the worst part has been the waiting. (I imagine, though, if I'd had chemo, maybe I'd think that was the worst.)

    Best of luck to you,

    Victoria
  • mbernhart
    mbernhart Member Posts: 3
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    aisling8 said:

    I don't know what is normal
    but I had to wait one week to see a surgeon and then another week for the biopsy. I thought I'd go crazy. Because, of course, with no knowledge or solid information, one imagines the absolute worst. Once I was diagnosed, surgery was a month later. Felt like forever.

    I've since had a lumpectomy, radiation, and am now on Arimidex. For me, the worst part has been the waiting. (I imagine, though, if I'd had chemo, maybe I'd think that was the worst.)

    Best of luck to you,

    Victoria

    Thank you Victoria
    I actually already had my biopsy this past Monday and my doc called me and confirmed today that it is cancer. I'm just now waiting to meet with the surgeon to find out what my next steps should be(lumpectomy, etc.). Sounds like waiting 10 days for this consultation may not be too abnormal then.
    Thanks again and good luck to you as well!
    - Melanie
  • wendybia
    wendybia Member Posts: 73
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    sooooo sorry
    alot of areas now have breast cancer centers...surgeons, oncologist, nurses...i found it very helpful to go to one place and they coordinated everything for me...just an idea for you...prayers your way...wendy
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    We are all different! I'm
    We are all different! I'm IBC.

    I saw my PA, she sent me for a mammagram. I had it done at 1 that afternoon and a sonagram immediatly. Dr came in and said needed to do biopsy. That was on Thursday, Got results of biopsy on Friday and saw surgeon on Monday. He sent me to chemo Dr. Since then it has been a long trip. As far as I know now, I'm riding MED. Most say dancing with NED but I can't dance but I'm a decent rider

    We are all different and the protocol for our treatmwnr varies with the different beasts we each fight.
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 355 Member
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    It took exactly 10 days from
    It took exactly 10 days from the time I found the lump until my diagnosis, but it took weeks to get in to see the surgeon. It's a really tough time to wait. Then, because I wasn't sure about whether to get a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, I spent a couple more weeks to get in to see a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist and a plastic surgeon. Agonizing!!

    I ended up opting for a bilateral mastectomy and 2.5 months post diagnosis am waiting to get scheduled for my first chemotherapy treatment. I had surgery about a 5 weeks post diagnosis.

    Hang in there. Use the time to get educated. It seems as patients we are called upon to make a lot of decisions I would have expected our doctors to make, or at least recommend. The more you know the easier it is. This board is a great place to visit for real-life info.

    Good luck!

    Chickadee
  • Christine Louise
    Christine Louise Member Posts: 426 Member
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    Waiting is the hardest part
    My mastectomy was two months after my diagnosis, with lots of waiting in between for biopsy, MRI, etc. My family demanded that I demand quicker treatment; however, the doctors explained that my cancers were slow-growing and this time frame was fine. I put my trust in them.

    It's hard. The waiting is the hardest part. Plays tricks on your mind. During my long waits, I cleaned closets and sorted irrelevant stuff. I'm so sorry you're going through this. It seems to be part of it. Best wishes to you.
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
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    Welcome, Mbernhart, to this
    Welcome, Mbernhart, to this amazing group of survivors and caregivers. I'm sorry that you have been sent on this journey at your young age. I can tell you from experience, like some of the other's have replied, that the worst part at the beginning of this journey is the waiting. Waiting for the tests, waiting for appointments, waiting for the final pathology, waiting for the treatment recommendation, etc. What you are experiencing is totally normal. Everything will fall into place soon and you will be past the appointments and have your treatment plan in place. We will be here to help you through that phase. Continue to post and keep us updated on your progress. Take care.
  • TulsaMomof3
    TulsaMomof3 Member Posts: 105
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    MyTurnNow said:

    Welcome, Mbernhart, to this
    Welcome, Mbernhart, to this amazing group of survivors and caregivers. I'm sorry that you have been sent on this journey at your young age. I can tell you from experience, like some of the other's have replied, that the worst part at the beginning of this journey is the waiting. Waiting for the tests, waiting for appointments, waiting for the final pathology, waiting for the treatment recommendation, etc. What you are experiencing is totally normal. Everything will fall into place soon and you will be past the appointments and have your treatment plan in place. We will be here to help you through that phase. Continue to post and keep us updated on your progress. Take care.

    The waiting... SUCKS, It
    The waiting... SUCKS, It seems like every little step through this process takes 1- 2 weeks sometimes more! I was Diagnossed on March 5th didn't have my BLM till May 5! Now I am waiting until June 22 to find out if I have to have Chemo.....

    The waiting and not knowing is the worst...until its the day before your appointment - then I usually wish I had more time :)
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
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    The waiting... SUCKS, It
    The waiting... SUCKS, It seems like every little step through this process takes 1- 2 weeks sometimes more! I was Diagnossed on March 5th didn't have my BLM till May 5! Now I am waiting until June 22 to find out if I have to have Chemo.....

    The waiting and not knowing is the worst...until its the day before your appointment - then I usually wish I had more time :)

    see your oncologist before surgery
    Don't have surgery until you have seen your oncologist. Surgeons only know to cut. Your oncologist needs to be involved from the first.
  • ms.sunshine
    ms.sunshine Member Posts: 707 Member
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    see your oncologist before surgery
    Don't have surgery until you have seen your oncologist. Surgeons only know to cut. Your oncologist needs to be involved from the first.

    I agree see the oncologist
    I agree see the oncologist first. After all he/she is the cancer specialist. You need to know the information about the cancer you have, and how the onc. thinks it should be treated. I ask my onc. who she would recommend when I had to have sugery. These doctors should work together and both should have all info. on you before any surgery is performed.

    Best to you, keep us updated with how well you're doing
  • 2Floridiansisters
    2Floridiansisters Member Posts: 384 Member
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    Melanie
    All of us here know the fear you face, The best thing to do is sit back and since you have a computer "educate yourself", you have the time so do it now.

    You didn't say what type of cancer you have, there are many kinds of Breast Cancer, and everyone's treatment and their cancer won't be like yours.

    It's this first initaial period where your mind will drive you nuts and that's all part of the path you will be on, first it's shock, then denial, then learning to accept then taking action to get it all fixed.

    We've all been through the same nightmare and it does get better. Right now you're scared out of your mind but listen to all of us here, you will get through this, it going to be a one day at a time deal. You can't rush anything.

    Our prayers are with you, it's normal to feel so afraid, we all did, but once you get to see the surgeon and meet your oncologist a ton of weight will lift off your shoulders. Relief is in site, and you'll understand more and your plan of treatment will unfold and you're going to be healed and your health restored.

    Seriously I may not have the best way with words but I do know you're unsure of everything, hang in there, come back here and ask whatever questions you have because there are no dumb questions.

    Love Ronda
  • Skeezie
    Skeezie Member Posts: 586 Member
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    Melanie
    All of us here know the fear you face, The best thing to do is sit back and since you have a computer "educate yourself", you have the time so do it now.

    You didn't say what type of cancer you have, there are many kinds of Breast Cancer, and everyone's treatment and their cancer won't be like yours.

    It's this first initaial period where your mind will drive you nuts and that's all part of the path you will be on, first it's shock, then denial, then learning to accept then taking action to get it all fixed.

    We've all been through the same nightmare and it does get better. Right now you're scared out of your mind but listen to all of us here, you will get through this, it going to be a one day at a time deal. You can't rush anything.

    Our prayers are with you, it's normal to feel so afraid, we all did, but once you get to see the surgeon and meet your oncologist a ton of weight will lift off your shoulders. Relief is in site, and you'll understand more and your plan of treatment will unfold and you're going to be healed and your health restored.

    Seriously I may not have the best way with words but I do know you're unsure of everything, hang in there, come back here and ask whatever questions you have because there are no dumb questions.

    Love Ronda

    Hi Melanie,
    Welcome. I had to wait approx. 10 days to see my surgeon. I had seen him 5 yrs. previously for a biopsy and he specializes in breast surgery so I felt very comfortable with him. I did see an oncologist prior to my mastectomy. But I had had a lumpectomy and then a re-xisional biopys and Sentinel Lymph Node biopsy first. But it's good to have the two of them working together. The surgeon may recommend a lumpectomy to get a good look at what is going on. Do you have any info on size of tumor etc.?

    Waiting is just horrible. Your mind races and you can't sleep. I took Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication to help me sleep at nite and to keep me focused and so much calmer in the daytime.

    Definitely go online (Google is great) and educate yourself about bc and what biopsy results mean, what procedures are done etc. I always like the Mayo Clinic sites the best becasue they were so informative and easy to understand. That way when you go into the surgeon's office you can really discuss what your options are and what is going on. Hopefully the surgeon is a breast specialist and then will understand bc.

    But yes, it seems it's all hurry up and wait. Try and take it one day at a time, 10 days really is not too long. Post often and let us know how you are making out. We here have all been thru it and are ready with info and cyber hugs.

    Hugs, Judy :-)
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
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    wendybia said:

    sooooo sorry
    alot of areas now have breast cancer centers...surgeons, oncologist, nurses...i found it very helpful to go to one place and they coordinated everything for me...just an idea for you...prayers your way...wendy

    Waiting is hard, very hard.
    Waiting is hard, very hard. Like Wendy, I went to a breast cancer center where I met with everyone within a couple of days after my diagnosis. Sending you hugs and prayers!

    ♠♣ Susie ♠♣
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
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    Rague said:

    We are all different! I'm
    We are all different! I'm IBC.

    I saw my PA, she sent me for a mammagram. I had it done at 1 that afternoon and a sonagram immediatly. Dr came in and said needed to do biopsy. That was on Thursday, Got results of biopsy on Friday and saw surgeon on Monday. He sent me to chemo Dr. Since then it has been a long trip. As far as I know now, I'm riding MED. Most say dancing with NED but I can't dance but I'm a decent rider

    We are all different and the protocol for our treatmwnr varies with the different beasts we each fight.

    Rague is right. We are all
    Rague is right. We are all so different inre to everything and anything with bc. I had a core needle biopsy that confirmed that I had bc and met with my doctors the next day at the cancer center. Surgery the following week, a lumpectomy. Then 6 weeks later about, I started my rad treatments.
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
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    Melanie
    All of us here know the fear you face, The best thing to do is sit back and since you have a computer "educate yourself", you have the time so do it now.

    You didn't say what type of cancer you have, there are many kinds of Breast Cancer, and everyone's treatment and their cancer won't be like yours.

    It's this first initaial period where your mind will drive you nuts and that's all part of the path you will be on, first it's shock, then denial, then learning to accept then taking action to get it all fixed.

    We've all been through the same nightmare and it does get better. Right now you're scared out of your mind but listen to all of us here, you will get through this, it going to be a one day at a time deal. You can't rush anything.

    Our prayers are with you, it's normal to feel so afraid, we all did, but once you get to see the surgeon and meet your oncologist a ton of weight will lift off your shoulders. Relief is in site, and you'll understand more and your plan of treatment will unfold and you're going to be healed and your health restored.

    Seriously I may not have the best way with words but I do know you're unsure of everything, hang in there, come back here and ask whatever questions you have because there are no dumb questions.

    Love Ronda

    Waiting as everyone says is
    Waiting as everyone says is the hard part. It does seem to take a long time for anything and everything to be done. But, just take a deep breath and know that everything is moving in the right direction, to rid you of the beast.

    You hang in there and keep us all posted.

    Hugs, Angie
  • greyhoundluvr
    greyhoundluvr Member Posts: 402
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    Waiting
    Is definitely the hardest part - I was like you and ewanted the darned thing taken out the next day. It did take me a week to get in with the surgeon but I was scheduled for a breast MRI in the menatime so at least I had that done. I also had an appointment with an oncologist during this time which was one of best moves. By the time I got to the surgeon, I understood my cancer, my options, and what to expect before and after surgery which gave me a lot of the information I needed. Of course, since I wanted expanders put in, it took another two weeks to get in with the plastic surgeon - wish I had thought about needing that appointment earlier on:( Welcome to the board - we are all here to support you in any way we can!

    Chris
  • slynch
    slynch Member Posts: 82
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    Waiting time
    The waiting is the worst but I did use that time to get educated on my type of cancer (DCIS) and what the options were. This was a great place to get information and I continue to get good information. I picked up a lot of good tips for dealing with different situations. Just hang in there and good luck to you.
  • hopeful in tally
    hopeful in tally Member Posts: 56
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    slynch said:

    Waiting time
    The waiting is the worst but I did use that time to get educated on my type of cancer (DCIS) and what the options were. This was a great place to get information and I continue to get good information. I picked up a lot of good tips for dealing with different situations. Just hang in there and good luck to you.

    Since your diagnosis of DCIS ... what has happened? I was diagnosed 3/23, quadrectomy on 4/1 and currently have 10 radiation treatments left. Medical oncologist says no meds necessary after rads ... any similarities? Thank you for sharing your story.
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Waiting
    Is definitely the hardest part - I was like you and ewanted the darned thing taken out the next day. It did take me a week to get in with the surgeon but I was scheduled for a breast MRI in the menatime so at least I had that done. I also had an appointment with an oncologist during this time which was one of best moves. By the time I got to the surgeon, I understood my cancer, my options, and what to expect before and after surgery which gave me a lot of the information I needed. Of course, since I wanted expanders put in, it took another two weeks to get in with the plastic surgeon - wish I had thought about needing that appointment earlier on:( Welcome to the board - we are all here to support you in any way we can!

    Chris

    Ugh to waiting. I did have
    Ugh to waiting. I did have a MRI before my surgery to verify that the cancer was just in the one breast and just that one small tumor. I met with the oncologist and plastic surgeon on the same day to discuss my surgery and my treatment afterwords. It really went fast for me. Take this time to try and educate yourself and to try and relax. This is a lot to have to take in at once. Best of luck to you!
  • sunny_girl
    sunny_girl Member Posts: 33
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    Hi,
    So sorry to welcome you

    Hi,
    So sorry to welcome you to this group. I am positive that you are overwhelmed by all of this, so I will try to offer a few ideas that may help you navigate the next few weeks.

    You didn't say anything about your pathology, but that will influence how you are treated. If you have a large cancer, they often do chemo before surgery. Otherwise, you probably will want to ask your surgeon to order a Onco-type DX or mammaprint test. The results may help you decide if you want to take chemo, and they also take a while to come back (and require a piece of the cancer removed in your surgery). They are expensive tests and not always covered by insurance, so that is another thing to look into. If you have DCIS, you may not need these tests, although the biopsy may show one thing and the surgery sample a different type of cancer.

    The first thing you'll want to be sure that you are seeing an oncological surgeon, who specializes in breast cancer surgery. You want someone who has done a whole lot of sentinal node dissections, because you'll want that procedure and it requires some practice.

    Next, because you are so young, you may want to look into BRCA testing. The results take a few weeks, and may influence the surgery(ies) you ultimately decide to have. Your doctor should be able to refer you to a genetics counselor for that.

    The final thing to do quickly is to arrange to have a breast MRI. It will help the surgeon visual your cancer (especially is it is non-palpable as mine was). It will also show if you have any other cancer in that breast or the other one. Something you want to know before surgery.

    There are a whole lot of decisions to come later, but the above suggestions will get you the info needed to help your oncologist later. You most likely won't need an oncologist or radiation oncologist until your pathology report comes back after your surgery, so you can interview now if you want to, but you'll have time later for that.

    Best of luck to you, and please ask questions if you have them. Someone here has no doubt wondered the same thing or gone through it.