I Learned Never to Assume Cancer is a Death Sentence!
Dolly Ward, Yahoo Contributor Network
After I had a mammogram it was a shock to be told I needed an ultrasound to evaluate something suspicious. I had the ultrasound and was told I needed a biopsy. I got a call from someone who makes arrangements for a biopsy who suggested I needed a Stereotactic Biopsy I never heard of. I declined everything as I wanted to do some research into another facility as well as other options for biopsies. I did not want to rush or make a snap decision.
My primary doctor recommended a surgeon who does breast surgery in a different facility where I wanted to have the surgery. The surgeon did not want to do a lumpectomy I asked about or a frozen biopsy while I was under anesthesia, but suggested I wait 6 months and have a repeat mammogram of my left breast as it really did not appear to be cancerous. I took her advice, and six months later I had a mammogram of my left breast, then surgery and was told it was a small cancer, a 1.1 mm invasive tubular type that does not spread rapidly and she did not remove any lymph nodes? The shock alone of hearing, “You have cancer, let alone the word invasive, is mind blowing.”
My first thought was, “What if it is in my lymph glands and she did not remove them to check?”
How would I know for sure if I needed chemo or radiation? My next thought was that I wondered if the word invasive would have applied six months earlier had the biopsy been done at that time? I wonder if it was malignant six months earlier or developed in that six month delay? She suggested I take a medication called Arimadex that prevents hormones as my surgery report said it related to 95% estrogen as a cause. She said no chemo or radiation was required? I am a firm believer in other opinions for sure now, my next thought.
I sought out another surgeon who specialized in breast surgery who did a second surgery, this time a frozen biopsy and regular biopsy were done of sentinel nodes removed as was more tissue removed, all were clear of cancer. This surgery was listed as a partial mastectomy and I felt far more thorough.
I saw an oncologist after my second surgery was done and I was told I am cancer free after she checked the results of the one year full mammogram I just had, same as my report was six months earlier after my second surgery. I was given a prescription for Arimadex that prevents hormones. I was told to get another mammogram in one year.
Speak to others and you will find either they had cancer or had a family member or friend who did and they can give you valuable advice and also encouragement, don’t be afraid to share your feelings. Ask questions, research, get second opinions or more if needed. Do not delay any treatment or tests. My only sister was a 45 year survivor, so I requested and got a BRCA 1 and 2 genetic test done, it was negative. I have four daughters I was concerned about regarding genetics.