Check with arms up infront of mirror ladies. Tamworth NSW

Shakalker Member Posts: 84
edited December 2018 in Newly diagnosed

My mammograms are all up to date.

My last one was in May 2018.

It was the 6th October a Saturday evening as I stood in front of the mirror bare from the waist up and reached above my head to tie up my long hair, I noticed a very slight indentation happen under my nipple on my left breast, I thought it was unusual, so I turned to see better under the light. 

Was there something there? 

I put my arms down and it disappeared!

I put my arms up again and it reappeared. 

I felt for lumps, there weren’t any, no pain, no discharge and no skin issues.

I showed my husband.

Then I decided that this must be a “change”, perhaps the sort of change that the “All Clear” letter I received in late May from BreastScreen said that I should report.

My doctor sent me for another mammogram and an Ultrasound and if required a “Biopsy”

The woman who performed the mammogram said to me “it’s looks all clear, nothing to worry about, but your doctor wants an ultrasound” 

After the ultrasound was completed the woman who had done it cam back into the room and said        

“You need to have biopsies in your left breast and armpit”

I had invasive ductal carcinoma grade 3 and 1 lymph node that was positive.

ER + and PR+ HER2 Negative 

I have since had a CT Scan which has shown another infected lymph node and a Bone Scan, which was clear.

When in the surgeon’s room he noted that the BreastScreen mammograms of 6 moths earlier showed my enlarged lymph node. 😱

After hearing my options for treatment I have gone for a full left mastectomy and axillary clearance, performed on 12th November and at this stage I believe I am in for the full spectrum of treatment.

After surgery the surgeon informed me that the results showed I also had high grade DCIS that extended to the inferior margin, so it was heading to my feet. (Solid and Comedo) Margins were involved, however after consult with oncology radiologist they feel it will be taken care of by chemo and radiation.

Chemo plan is FEC-D for 4-5 months, the radiation and hormone treatment.

Chemo to start on 18th December. 

I have always had lumps and bumps in my right breast, but have been told they are dense fatty tissue, my left breast always felt clear.

My mother had breast cancer and had a lumpectomy with 8 out of 16 positive nodes.


  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Hi and welcome. When I was a teenager they had ads on TV (with boobs on show) that specifically showed looking in the mirror, lifting arms overhead and how to feel. They also had brochures. We now hust get bombarded with just check your boobies but lack the detail of how.
    So please October. ..share this. Kath x
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,567
    Bugger Bugger Bugger @Shakalker  - well done on spotting the change in the nipple when you lifted your arms!  I think we'll all be checking now.

    That's a shocker that the enlarged nodes weren't identified on the previous mammogram  :(     All the best for your continuing treatment.  xx  I hope you have family & friends to help support you during your chemo.  

    My ultrasound from 2 weeks ago noted fatty tissue that they were non committal on - just to keep an eye on it ... I will definitely be doing that!

    Take care xx
  • Shakalker
    Shakalker Member Posts: 84
    Thanks ladies, I am a little anxious to say the least about the upcoming chemo 😱😱 but it is what it is, I have my big girl panties on so will just have to deal with it.

  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    You hang out here with us @Shakalker, we'll keep you company all the way through. Well done on spotting the change and following up on it. That's a big deal I reckon. Big hug, K xox
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,370
    Bugger hardly covers it. But it is what it is.  For what it's worth, I had a left mastectomy, axillary clearance, chemo, herceptin and am still on hormonal treatment. But 6 years on, no evidence of disease, living a normal life. A few side effects but nothing that gets in the way really. No-one wants it but yes, you can get through and life can be very good. Best wishes. 
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    Welcome @Shakalker Well done on spotting the change AND acting on it.  There is so much focus on feeling for lumps without the same focus on looking for any other changes.  I booked in my mammogram when my bowel cancer test came in the post - I decided to get a few things tested for no particular reason other than I was in a pro-active mood.  I had no signs that I could tell - I was incredibly lucky that a slight (and I mean, slight) distortion was picked up by the radiographer.  ILC is known for it's sneakiness.  Mine had probably not been there for much more than 12 months but when they went in, it was already 4.5cm and in 3 nodes.  I sometimes wonder - if I had chosen to have that mammogram a few weeks earlier or put it off because I was too busy to have the appointment (and I was) - the cancer may not have been seen or, it could have grown so much bigger.

    I was diagnosed on 5th December 2017.  I have since had a wide excision followed by a mastectomy and axillary dissection, 6 months of AC-T chemo, 3 weeks of radiation and now on Letrozole for 5-10 years.  I had my 12 month scan last week on the other breast and NED.  I won't lie - the period of active treatment is not fun but it is doable for most of us.  Come back to us whenever you need support, information or just a laugh.
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    Mine started as a dimple and a big surface vein which looked out of place. It was also itchy and had  burning feeling underneath it. All the best for your treatment. <3
  • Deanne
    Deanne Member Posts: 2,163
    I also found mine looking in the mirror one day. An indentation at the bottom of the breast where the breast joins the chest. I almost dismissed it as being caused by my bra but I made an appointment with my GP. She thought it was nothing but sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound, my first ever. 

    A lump that was barely palpable but the IDC had already spread to the lymph nodes and the breast was full of DCIS as well. Left mastectomy, chemo, radiation and hormone therapy. Almost six years later I am well, no sign of cancer and enjoying my life. It was a shock and treatment was a mix of good and bad times. Lots of support here when you need it. Take care and I hope that you are soon enjoying life again too. xxx
  • Shakalker
    Shakalker Member Posts: 84
    Ladies thank you for sharing you stories and your giving such wonderful moral support, it means so much to be able to hear these from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak, knowing you all have faced these same challenges. Thanks again Steph
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Welcome @Shakalker,

     Chemo stinks but a girls got to do what she's got to do right?  Mostly it's not anything as horrid as what our brains like to conjure up at the start.

    I found a lump under my arm by accident laying there watching telly   I sat up and tried to find it again, nope, I could only feel it in a certain position.  I very nearly dismissed it but something told me I  needed to get this checked.

      I went to my GP and she said it was probably some kind of cyst as nothing could be felt in the breast. My mammogram and u/s came back all clear. The node biopsy however did not. I had 4 mammograms and 2 more breast ultrasounds trying to locate the primary tumour but they couldnt spot it. MRI found it, 
     It could never be felt by anyone and the first core biopsy came back clear.  It had missed it.
    The end up story was stage 2 grade 2 ER/PR positive HER2 neg with 5 nodes positive. Lumpectomy, re excision for margins, 6 months chemo, 30 rads. My first chemo was a couple of weeks before christmas as well.  I have just gone two years since surgery. 

    It seems like such a long long time at the beginning but surprisingly it goes quite quickly once you get started.

    All the best lovely.  We are all here for you.

  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,959
    Dear @Shakalker , Well spotted and 

    for your treatment.