Maggie's Silver Linings

My story is simply a complicated mess. I am an LPN and I started my own little blog, I do not post nearly as often as I should but it is call BreastCancerandMurphysLaw, Google has picked it up. I guess the main reason I started a blog was so no one should ever go through what I did. Being a nurse, obviously I do not have the credentials that you have but still, a nurse. Last December I went in and had my yearly mammogram, I was diagnosed with fibricystic breasts around 1985. A week later I got the call from the clinic, the voice said that they had found a suspicious area in my left breast but could not get me back in for diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound for 2 weeks. Ok probably just a shadow or tissue that had folded over.

I went in, had the repeat mammogram and ultrasound, then radiology came in and did a little more ultrasound. Yep, there was a lump. Next step was MRI, I told the radiologist that I wouldnt be seeing my PCP for about 5 weeks and the look on his face told me that this was serious. Gee, I thought he had sounded pretty scripted. They faxed over the request that the PCP get the auth from the insurance company. After a week Ihad not heard for anyone so I called my insurance company and tey had not received a request. Then I called my PCP office and talked with the MA, she said that he had signed off on it but it was placed back in my chart and nothing had been done. (another reason why busy doctors office need to have nurses and not MA). So she said that she was faxing it over. I waited 3 days and again call the insurance, still nothing from my PCP. I made more calls and finally a week later auth was given. I had the MRI and now we had 2 lumps.

I had enough delays so I went directly to my surgeon, best in the county and he had already has done 4 other surgeries on me. Former Navy doc, he runs a tight ship. He knows me well and knows how anxious I can get. He said I needed 2 Biopsies and he would not do them, had to be done by radiology. I told him about all the horror stories out there and that I was scared, he reassured me and we got the procedures rescheduled. There was another delay because the clinic had to bring in an extra person to help with me for the day.

First we did the cumbersome MRI guided and then did the ultrasound guided. The nice Tech took me back to mammogram to confirm clip placement and omg the orginal lump had not been biopsied. Well there was a lot of fuss and lots of “I’m sorry”. So then we did the sterotactic biopsy. It was a marathon day to say the least. 5 working days I reported back to my surgeon and he gave me the all clear.

I left his office feeling happy but also felt a knot in my stomach…..just a bad feeling that there was still something wrong. I went home and read all the path reports and radiology reports and went back to the Mayo clinic site. Last August the Mayo changed their ways and published that if a radiologist uses terminology like “highly suspicious for malgnancy” then pathology should be tossed and go with radiology. So I printed that out, wrote a little love note and actually delivered it to the surgeons office on Valentines Day. 2 days later I got a call from his office and I was seen the next day. He did have the conversation with the radiologist and we were going to surgery. The wave of relief was almost overwhelming.
He did the excisional biopsy so I did not go home with drains. 5 days later I was in his office. Maggie I am sorry but you do have invasive breast cancer. My heart sank. He referred me to oncology, we went back and forth on treatment options, it was good because I am ER and PR positive and HER negative. It took 2 trips to the hospital to get my power port put in, first time I started having chest pain in pre-op and I was cancelled (how does that even happen)

Almost 3 weeks ago I had my first of 5 cycles of t/c. I had almost all the icky side effects but no vomiting, already have sores in my mouth and my hair started falling out just a bit on Sunday so today I got my shave, this was the closest that I have been to crying, have not cried yet. Monday will be round 2 of chemo.

I wanted to thank you for all the inspiration that you are giving to the rest of us, most of us do not know that there is a silver lining. But we do know that we have FBC.

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  1. GRACE says

    WHAT A PROCESS HUH?.I went in for my first mammo, and was called back for ''suspicious'' spot 2 days later, thinking nothing..I went in had mammo, then in a room with 3 techs as they did an ultrasound.Then dr comes in and says we are going to put a clip at site so dr can see it, and I thought ok, lets do it now, all alone, panicked, not knowing wth was happening, they inserted clip thru core biopsy then another mammo..and off I went, clueless of what just happened?? after the weekend dr. called and said I had cancer!..2 tumors – one ductal carcinoma and another lobular carcinoma..I never blinked..never cried, just went thru the motion..2 surgeries,..lymphnode disection found micromets in 2 sets of lymphnodes- .I had i.d.c.??wth could it get worse?? 4 rounds of chemo( sooo sick) and 37 daily radiations( burnt to a crisp at week 5 and had to stop for 11 days!…neulasta shot has made me walk like an 89 yr old , bone pain daily. and severe chemo brain at times, .but the nose bleeds are gone, my hair is grown in( curly) and I am regaining my energy and have been done with treatment for 10 months now..I take tamoxifen for 5 yrs and pray that it leaves me alone, we can hope!..But I have to stay positive for all of us..there has to be a cure, too many of us good people are suffering and its not fair to us or our families, so I believe, I hope for a cure some day,so our kids NEVER HAVE TO SUFFER LIKE US!..BE STRONG, PRAYERS AND HUGS COMING YOUR WAY!..we have to advocate for ourselves, because we are all we have, so if something doesn't seem right, ask, ask ask,stay informed….take notes, keep a journal, so important<3