The biopsy was uncomfortable and at times painful, but Dr. Schwartz told me everything that he was doing step by step. He had a mini ultrasound machine that he used himself, not his assistant.
As he was working to find each mass he told me that I have 3 masses, 1 in my breast and 2 in my lymph nodes. He is very concerned with one of the masses that is in one of my lymph nodes and he had a hard time getting to it.
Once he was done with the biopsy he looked at Matt and I and said, “this is cancer”. I was once again stunned even though he said what I already knew, but now I am hearing the C word and things were getting so serious very quickly. The biopsy results will tell us what type and stage.
Now he is talking about surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy before surgery, but still not sure without the results in hand. The results will be back by Thursday of this week.
I had my consultation with my new doctor and surgeon…Dr. Schwartz at Gwinnett Medical Center today. I can’t even tell you how scared I am to have to go through this next step. I looked up Dr. Schwartz online and his credentials are very impressive. He is the only breast specialist in Gwinnett county.
He did a quick ultrasound and said I needed to come back the next day for a biopsy. He talked about surgery and radiation but he isn’t sure if that will be the case and we won’t know until the biopsy results are back.
I went back to my doctor’s office to review the results of my scans.
“Highly suspicious of melanoma, ultrasound guided biopsy needed”….
When you get news like this you don’t hear anything that is said after that horrible word…melanoma. Luckily I had Matt with me so he listened to my doctor while I started to cry.
She gave me a referral for a Breast Cancer Specialist at Gwinnett Medical Center…this is becoming all too real. She told me she was sorry as she walked out of the room. What more could she say?
I cried when she left Matt and I alone in the exam room….I cried all the way to the car. I knew it was going to be cancer, it’s hard to explain how I knew, but I did. Maybe it was because I hadn’t felt “right” for months, since right after Thanksgiving. My energy level had plummeted, I kept getting sick and I didn’t know why. I am the type of person to take care of myself last so I didn’t do anything about it, I just thought I needed more rest…I was wrong.
So the nonexistent snow storm had my imaging appointment rescheduled twice. The pattern of everything taking so long is really going to set in now and it has been one of the many difficult things to deal with through this journey. I am not a patient person and I always have to at least feel like I am in control, but I am about to discover that I have no control at all, at least over time.
I am sorry to say that I have never had a mammogram before now. I thought that the starting age was 50, not 40. When I had my annual checkup a few years ago I don’t remember my doctors office saying anything about needing one. Looking back I am sure they said something but I probably ignored them because of all of the terrible stories you hear. Now I am being told that I have to have one so my anxiety is through the roof.
The mammogram was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. The tech was very nice and told me everything that she was doing step by step so I would not have any surprises. She asked me to do exactly what she was telling me and it wouldn’t be so bad and scary as I had imagined…and she was right….the pain was minimal.
The Ultrasound was easy but she scared me because she went over to my lymph nodes and took a lot of images. It was then that I knew I most likely had cancer. As I tend to do, I had already looked up symptoms and information online so I was starting to get a good idea of what I could be dealing with.
The results should be at my doctor’s office in 24 hours…
A dear friend of mine passed away from breast cancer in October of 2017. I remember her urging her friends on Facebook to not only get a Mammogram every year, but to also do a self exam every month. She very well may have saved my life….
I don’t have the exact date but around the end of January during a self exam I found a small lump and something hard next to the lump, in my breast. I called my doctor and made an appointment immediately….that was the start of everything.