It is a beautiful August summer day! Time for my annual physical....sigh! My doctor reminds me that I will soon be 46 years old. Perhaps it's time for a mammogram - my breasts are dense - I am young - I am healthy - there is no breast cancer history - no worries. This picture will be tucked away until I am 50 years old so we have a baseline to compare too.
The results of the the mammogram is a "highly nonmalignant" area - monitoring required. Return in 3 - 6 months. My doctor decides 3 months.
It is now November. Again I have a mammogram. This time it is accompanied by an ultrasound. There is a slight burning sensation in my upper pectoral muscle. Results will be returned to my doctor in a week or so. Two days later, I am sitting in the doctor's office listening to her explain that I have a "highly suggestive maligant carcinoma"...I remember hearing "lumpectomy - early stage - biopsy - no worries - young - curable" Whoa!
It is now December. Bob and I are at the Pasqua Hospital waiting to see the doctor for the lumpectomy...it is a biopsy that is performed. It is fairly uneventful. Only three samples were taken because of bleeding. The doctor explains that I may need an MRI depending on the results. The results seem to take an eternity to come in. Three weeks to be exact and with the help of a hospital client representative who helped to track the results for me. It is New Year's Eve, I am in the doctor's office - BENIGN. I should be happy but I am not. There is a burning sensation that continues to get stronger. I ask for an MRI. I need to know. My family needs to know with 100% certainty this is not cancer.
It is now January. I fell asleep during the MRI. It is not scarey at all - perhaps a bit noisey....a repetitive sound put me to sleep :) The following day, I receive a call from the Pasqua Breast Assessment asking for me to come in. Wow! I have a flight to Flordia booked at 11:30 AM! They promise to have me out of there by 10:00 AM. A re-peat biopsy is performed. I am at the airport by 10:00 AM. After a beautiful week in Florida, I am home. The phone rings. It is the doctor "yes, you have cancer" "referral to a surgeon" "waiting on MRI" "see you soon". Yikes!
It is now February. We meet wtih the surgeon. A lumpectomy is not an option. Diagnosis: Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. It is low grade. Early stage. The MRI showed other cancerous areas: Ductal Carcinoma Insitu.