Treatment Options-Doubtful

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I was diagnosed with TNBC in late March. Grade 3, 1.8mm tumor in my left breast. It was a whirlwind of events. Normal mammogram on a Tuesday, more inclusive mammogram and ultrasound the following Thursday. Biopsy the Tuesday after that, and diagnosed on the Friday following the biopsy. The following week the MRI and appointments with Surgeon, Oncologist, Radiologist and Financial Counselor the following day. Like 0 to 100 in 60 seconds.

The center performed  "Gene" testing which they had shared at the time would take 4 to 6 weeks for results. They shared that my options at the time were to wait for the results and do nothing or start Chemo Treatments. The oncologist let it be my decision. I was worried about doing nothing for 4 to 6 weeks, so I opted to start with Chemo. This happened so fast that I was still reeling from the diagnosis. 

On 4/23 I started 4 rounds of AC every two weeks and then to Taxol 4 rounds every two weeks. I have one more treatment to go. During these treatments the Oncologist has not performed any tests to see if the chemo is working other than a physcial assessment. I have one more treatment to go. I've been second guessing the decision of doing chemo before surgery this entire time and have been worried that I made the wrong decision. Although at the time "which my husband keeps reminding me" it was the best decision to make. 

At my next appointment with the Oncologist he will be talking to me about scheduling an MRI and the appointment with the Surgeon. We've talked about a Mastecomy and an Lumpectomy and he shares that with the knowledge that we have now (MRI yet to be done which could change things) that I have the option of either. He also shared that regardless of which I choose, that based on being Triple Negative that I would have to have radiation either way. 

I know that taking control of your diagnosis/disease is what is "preached", but there are those times where I wish they would just tell me what to do. I've spent hours upon hours reading articles, research, forums and one can come away feeling hopeful and optimistic or like you have no hope. It depends on the slant and who is writing the article or research. 

As shared, from diagnois to a treatment decision for me came in a whirlwind of like two weeks. (In there the Financial aspect of the whole process as well which if you are the only bread winner in the household makes your head spin). If there was anything that I could share about this experience is to say that once you are diagnosed, slow down for a minute, let it take time to sink in. Take the time to research of you need to. Ask everyone to slow down and repeat. Don't be afraid of the hard questions. I think that if I had done this I wouldn't be so worried and doubtful about where I am at today. 

Thank you American Cancer Society for having this opportunity for me to just be able to write my experience/feelings down. 

Thank you Fellow Members for your patience in reading my experience and thoughts. 

Comments

  • Teach76
    Teach76 Member Posts: 354 Member
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    Thank you

    thank you for sharing with us.  When I had my surgery, I opted for the lumpectomy, but I told my surgeon to do what was necessary if she saw something after being inside.  My tumor was close to my chest wall when diagnosed.  After 6 rounds of chemo before surgery, the tumor pulled away, so I spared any removal of the chest wall, and ended up with a partial mastectomy ( about half ).

    I trusted my team - they gave me every indication that they had my concerns as priority.  I wish the same for you as you move forward.

    Blessings!

    Kathy

  • Apaugh
    Apaugh Member Posts: 850 Member
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    Wonderful story

    Thank you so much for sharing those thoughts and feelings.  Please be kind to yourself and I pray for successful outcomes for you.

    Hugs,

    Annie

  • slb624
    slb624 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2018 #4
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    Frighteningly familiar tale

    Your story sounds so much like my own, just over 4 years ago.  My husband found lump.  Went to doc, then ultrasound and biopsy with dx the following week, while on vacation - 8 mm tumor on L.  Needless to say, put a damper on vacation.  The day I returned, I had MRI, follwed by all the doc visits.  Had surgery - only left breast - mascectomy less than two weeks from dx, early May.  Then same chemo - ACT - for 4-5 months, short break to recover, then 6 weeks radiation.  Amost a year from Mascectomy, had a Deip flap reconstruction as my skin was too frail at put a tissue expander in and radiation killed it's elasticity anyhow!  I am not unhappy with the results, though the constant ache in lymph node area (6 of 10 had cancer), neuropathy in feet and general loss of athletic competence to this day.  I am on Femara and have been for almost 4 years.  Unfortunately, the blocking of estrogen increases the "old age" feel in bones and has dampened exercise.  I cannot complain though as I have good health care and an amazing oncologist.  Your story truly brings back memories......some so difficult at the time - fighting for all the treatments needed and coverages to get me through.  I only wish there weren't daily reminders of what I went through whether it is an ache in the armpit, tingling feet or something else.  Good luck getting through it all - you will make it!