I am scared ....

DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
edited October 2016 in Newly diagnosed

Hi all,

My name is Danka,  I am 31 yrs old, mother of 2 cute kids. I have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer 8/ 01/ 2015, grade 3, Her2+ ,  19mm tumour  and 2 of 3.5mm. I am not sure what stage I am in yet, but I have a swollen lymph note under my armpit. I had an appointment today and they had a blood test and a CT scan done, will have a bone scan done couple of days after my surgery on the 27/ 01/ 2015.

I am sooo scared now, does it mean I have cancer in my armpit as well??? or  is it normal that they do all of that tests and scans for everyone who has breast cancer??? or because they are looking at a high stage of cancer thats why I need all of those tests to be done?????Pls help me out!!!!!

I know still a long long road ahead but not knowing my stage making me worried alot.....first step is my opperation next coming Tuesday!

At least I think I am a very lucky women to have a beautiful husband and lots of wonderful friends and family around me and doing their best to support me! :)

P/S : English is my second language :D

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Comments

  • NatashaNatasha Member Posts: 85
    edited March 2015

    Hi Danka

    Your cancer sounds almost identical to mine so far.  I also have invasive bc, Her2+, big tumours, probably a bit bigger than yours and also problems in the lymph nodes.  I was disagnosed in November.

    When you have a swollen lymph node it could mean that it is inflamed due to the other cancer, or it could mean that you have cancer cells there too.  When they do your surgery they will probably sample some nodes there and test them and remove lymph nodes that need to come out to help treat you cancer.  I had 13 lymph nodes positive for cancer cells and the surgeon took out 24 which was all the tissue that he could see.  They don't count the lymph nodes in surgery.  That happens later in the lab.  He just gets out what he needs to.

    The bone scan is to look for cancer in other parts of your body.  Hopefully there will be none.  Mine was clear.  The bone scan isn't that bad to have done.  They usually give you an injection that highlights any cancer in your bones, you drink a certain amount of liquids and then you have to lie in the scanner for a while.  It's hard to stay there for so long but nothing really hurts which is important when you are going through so many procedures.  Don't be scared of the bone scan.

    If you have big tumours in your breast, they normally do a mastectomy but everybody is different.  If you have any cancer in your lymph nodes, they usually remove some of them. Once they know exactly what you have, they will refer you to an Oncologist who will recommend a treatment plan for you.  I would expect that you might be looking at some radiotherapy and possibly some chemotherapy if the lymph nodes are bad.  That's what I'm doing.  

    It is great news that you are Her2+  I was so happy when I found out that I was.  That means we are both one of the lucky ones who can benefit from a drug called Herceptin which can halve the chance of cancer returning somewhere else in your body.  

    The operation is scary and the recovery takes a few weeks.  You will be ok.  Lots of people say the mastectomy was nowhere near as hard as they expected.  My operation was six weeks ago and I am starting to feel much better.  I had my first chemo yesterday and it was ok too.  

    You will be worried, scared and anxious.  That's normal.  At least, that's what I felt like.  It gets a little better all the time.  When they can tell you all about your cancer after the operation is over and you know what is ahead, you will feel a lot better because you can plan.

    This is not a death sentence.  You can survive this.

    Good luck.

    Natasha

  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015
    Yes, I heard about those tablets we have to take, too. Will know more about my treatment plan after the surgery ! Hope you are doing well xoxo
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,530
    edited March 2015
    I am so sorry to hear you have breast cancer at such a young age. It is so unfair but this cancer doesn't discriminate.Welcome to this network where you will get lots of info and support and also the platform to vent your fears.We try to put on a brave face for family and friends but here there is no need to be brave.You are at the scary stage but please believe us,you will feel better when you have all the facts and know your plan.You will find the strength to face it all and lots of love and support will help you through. Natasha has given you good information.It is normal to have body and bone scans if they suspect cancer cells could be in your lymph nodes.These routine tests make us anxious but they are necessary.I've had breast cancer twice.First time was in 2003 and then again, in the same breast,in 2010.Each time cancer was caught early so I am fine now.The majority of women survive and go on to be ok.We are here if you need to talk about the surgery or anything that worries you.Staying busy will help to distract. Stay strong and stay at this network. Big hug,Tonya xx
  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015
    Thanks Natasha , I am still overwhelmed with everything I guess... with try to take one step at a time! The information you shared is very very helpful , I feel a bit more relaxed now! I know that whatever happens next, its already there anyway. My tumours are: 1 about 19mm and 2 about 3.5mm, sorry for the typo in the post earlier!
    I just have to be strong and fight against this thing. I hope you are doing well and pls keep in touch! Xoxo
  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015

    Thanks Tonya, as a mother of 2 very young kids I am super busy, which is very important to help me to get through this!  xoxo

  • Gillian2069Gillian2069 Member Posts: 46
    edited March 2015

    Hello Danka,

    Oh, I know the shock of that diagnosis! All the questions. In December, it felt like a blizzard of tests for me after my diagnosis of the same thing. In my case, the ultrasound showed a tumour of 20mm and a suspicious mass in the lymph nodes. The pathologist did a biopsy of the tumour and of the lymph nodes which showed that both were cancer.

    My surgeon said that a Wide Area Excision with follow up Radiation, and an Axial Excision (remove the lymph nodes) would give me the same outcome as a mastectomy, so I chose the Wide Area Excision.

    I also had the Bone Scan and CT Scan straight away.

    The Breast Surgeon said I should start chemo a month after the surgery, and took care to recommend an oncologist who could see me straight away. Now I have just had my first treatment in a 6-month chemo program, followed by radiotherapy, and then by hormone therapy.

    I found that I was much calmer after the operation. Some of my initial shock was anxiety about the surgery. So maybe some this early distress will lift for you at that point.

    It's wonderul to know you have a good support network! My motto has been to accept every little bit of help that's offered - it's not only good for you, it's good for the people who love you!

    Good luck Danka. You have a beautiful family.

    Love from Gillian

  • RosannaRosanna Member Posts: 284
    edited March 2015

    Hi Danka : welcome but sorry.....it's good you come to here the web, you will find lots of information, and could more prepared when sharing from other pink sisters.

    The hardest part that I feel was "waiting", you were right, it happened and it already there.  You are positive.  But when waiting and don't know where to go is so hard, right?

    I read other information, some of the ladies having chemo a week or 2 after surgery... I was waiting for 6-7 weeks, and also just right after surgery, I have to wait for the pathology report (just in Christmas and New Year time 2013/2014) so waiting waiting waitng.......But now if I think back, it's good to be apart between surgery and treatment, at least I could have more time recover from surgery before chemo.

    Chemo, well sounds terrible, but it wasn't that really.  Needle IV to vein is no good feeling for sure, but once it fixed, it's fine.  Chemo feel heavy cold & flu.   

    I learnt a lot from here the ladies when sharing experience, so I put myself be positive and stay healthy.  exercise is important during chemo.  Plenty of fluid, water, or juice.  It will knock you down couple days and back to normal like a cycle.

    However I was thinking, even without cancer, I still have to take good care of myself.  Don't you?

    Please don't let "cance" fool you around.  Stay positive, believe the technology nowadays.  It really common now.  I had 2 more herceptin to go, and now stay with Tamoxifen for 5 years (tablet) so I am the same as you HER+2.

    Take care and good luck (hugginggggggggggg)

    Rosanna

  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015

    Thanks Gillian, I agree with you, this is the time for me to accept help from others who care about me ( normally I always try to do things myself :D)!!!!!! xoxo

  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015

    Thanks Karen, I hope the surgery will be ok, too!! xx

  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015

    Thanks for your great advices Rosanna, they are definitely very helpful.  As my husband is a microbiologist I really do believe in researching and new drugs ( he always tells me so anyway :D ).  Take care xoxo

  • DankaDanka Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2015

    Yes, it is very scary , isn't it Jane? But what can we do? At least I know that I am lucky to be here in Australia  and not in Vietnam for this situation. We do get maybe one of the best health care system here! Lots of love from my way to you, take care xx

  • edited March 2015

    Hi Danka

    So sorry you have been diagnosed.  I am recovering from lumpectomy for a 5.5 cm invasive triple negative ductal carcanoma.  It is quite normal to feel like everything is getting worse while you wait for surgery, and to feel like they are not going fast enough.  I had a CT scan and a bone scan,after surgery and was told they do this routinely for everyone now, just to check that it has not spread.  My friend had a very swollen lymph node when she found her breast lump, but the lymph node was still clear, so try no to worry.  No matter what, the medical people know what they are doing and will look after you, the HER2 type of cancer you have has the targeted therapy Herceptin that everyone is talking about which was not available years ago, and means so much less chance of anything returning.

    I have been writing about my journey so far on my blog breastcancerreadyornot.wordpress.com  an talk about the bone scan I had its called 'Dont look Down'    It may be encouraging to you as I am a few weeks ahead, and start Chemo in a week and a half.

    It is very normal to be afraid, but you will be able to do it Danka. 

    Lots of love, Yvette

     

  • alexinbrisbanealexinbrisbane Member Posts: 215
    edited March 2015

    Hi Danka

    It's a lot to take in isn't it? And it seems that it's the waiting (the unknown) which is the worst. As mentioned, you need to take one step at a time. Each time you get a result, you and the medical team will be able to go forward and make decisions about what treatment / course of action will be next. This helped me a lot because you know what the issue is, then what the next step will be. I have been through radiation, 7 surgeries and chemo - now on tamoxifen. It's tough and especially with a young family. Yes, take the help you can get and take care of yourself.

    Thinking of you. Alex xx

  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    edited March 2015

    Hi Danka welcome, I was diagnised about this time last year so I'm coming closer to the end of treatment. It is a long road and I know I felt I would neverr get to the end. But I have survived 6 surgeries in 1 year, chemo and still on herceptin and on Tamoxafon for 10 years.

    Make some time for yourself, laugh and play with your kids and husband.

    Except help when offered, it is hard sometimes.

    This site does help, it has made me feel like I'm not alone, I also go to a support group with a great bunch of ladies.

    Take 1 day at a timexx

  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    edited March 2015

    Hi Danka welcome, I was diagnised about this time last year so I'm coming closer to the end of treatment. It is a long road and I know I felt I would neverr get to the end. But I have survived 6 surgeries in 1 year, chemo and still on herceptin and on Tamoxafon for 10 years.

    Make some time for yourself, laugh and play with your kids and husband.

    Except help when offered, it is hard sometimes.

    This site does help, it has made me feel like I'm not alone, I also go to a support group with a great bunch of ladies.

    Take 1 day at a timexx

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