The beginning of this adventure

I have recently been diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer and I’ve started this blog to record the adventures as I go through this new journey in my life.  I thought I should start at the beginning of this journey so I’ll go back a little way

May 12, 2017 I had an appointment with my doctor, KS, and she asked when I last had a mammogram.  I didn’t remember, which indicated it had been quite a while, so she set up an appointment for me to have a mammogram.

June 2  I had my mammogram and the lady took 3 shots of my left breast. I figured she was just having a rough day.

The next week, the nurse for KS called and said I needed to have another mammogram.  When I asked why, she said the shots did not come out clear. I thought that was kind of strange but figured it had to do with the lady having to take so many shots.  Maybe it was a malfunction of the machine!!

June 8  I went for my second mammogram but it turned out I was getting an ultrasound instead.  I was surprised but decided to pay attention since I had never had an ultrasound before.  After I was on the table and she put the little nozzle type thing on my breast, I kept waiting for her to move it around but she just kept it still.  Evidently there is no movement required.  She then put the nozzle thing back on the machine and said she would be back soon!  I was surprised that that was all there was to it. A few minutes later, she came back – with the doctor !!  He turned the machine around so that I could see the picture on the machine and there was obviously a black spot in my breast!  I knew it was not good news but he said that he would bet his house on it being just a simple type of cyst and that I should not be too concerned, but I should see a doctor about it.  He said they would set up an appointment with a doctor and they did. I wasn’t too concerned since he was willing to bet his house on it!!

June 15. I had an appointment for a biopsy with EM.  But actually it was an appointment to just decide if I needed a biopsy.  He did another ultrasound and said that I did need a biopsy and they would try to schedule it for the next week.  I suggested we do it right then because I like to get things done asap.  The nurse did some computer work to precertify me with my insurance and then we did the biopsy.  The worse part of that experience was getting the numbing shot.  I mistakenly thought the numbing shot was the actual needle for the biopsy but boy, was I mistaken!   I saw him holding what looked like a basketball pump and got a little perturbed when they told me THAT was the needle for the biopsy!!  However, thanks to the numbing medicine, I didn’t feel a thing, so that was good for me.  I’m a little (or a lot) of a coward when it comes to Pain! That experience was soon over and it was no big deal.  He said I would get results on Monday, but that it was probably nothing to be concerned about. The nurse said to call her the next day, Friday, and she would give me the results.  He had Friday off so I guess that’s why he said Monday.

June 16 I called the office to speak to the nurse, but I had to hold a long, long time before I got to her.  A lady kept coming on the line to ask if I wanted to just leave my number, but I said I’d just keep holding. The nurse finally came on the phone and said the results were not back yet but she would call me if they arrived that day.  No big deal!  I had been looking at the patient portal and noticed they had set up an appointment for the next Thursday.  I thought that was kind of strange but after hanging up with the nurse, I clicked that I confirmed it. A few minutes later, I got a call from the doctor who was in his car at the time.  He said he had the results and they indicated that there was something in my breast that needed to come out.  He took several minutes explaining that I probably needed a lumpectomy and then radiation to make sure they got it all.  He said that the biopsy was being sent to Atlanta for more in depth tests which would arrive the next Wednesday. I was surprised, again but said okay.  I told him about the appointment for the next Thursday and he said that was great and he would see me then.  Well, okay!

June 22 My friend, Sue, went with me to this appointment and we both took notebooks with us to record notes.  You can tell that we are still teachers!!  He looked at the bruising on my breast and say that was nothing compared to what he has seen.  It got dressed again and we all went to a conference room to discuss the results  I was totally floored by the results and he explained the results with great deal that I won’t bore you with.  Basically, the type of cancer I have is called a triple negative (that’s bad) and is considered to be aggressive.  He said the best way to treat this type of cancer is to use chemo on it and then cut it out.  Then he suggested using radiation after that.  I agreed to be part of a clinical study to advance knowledge of trying cancer so I will be having another biopsy for that study.  His nurse had already scheduled  an appointment with an oncologist for the following Monday and I was glad that was already taken care of. We also discussed whether I should get a port or not, but I think the oncologist will be the one to make that decision.  EM was heading out on vacation with his family the next day and won’t return until after July 4 but I’ll be working with the oncologist during that time scheduling tests and so forth.

Needless to say, I have been taken off guard but all these events but I recognize that millions of women have been through this process so I will deal with it as best I can.  I don’t want to read too much online about chemo because I think the ‘horror’ stories there would just scare me and I don’t need that right now  I have been thinking about the fact I’ll probably lose my hair in this process and considering what approach I will take for this  at this time, I’m not hinting I’ll just get my head shaved asap so that I can start getting it tanned  I may tape bows to my bald head if my friend Paula really makes me some!!  I expect that when the weather gets cooler, I’ll wear some type of hat cause I don’t like to be cold!!  Until then, I don’t plan to use wigs or unnecessary coverings but I reserve the right to change my mind about this at any time.

I decided to record all this information now before it gets too hazy in my mind.  I don’t know how this will progress but I guess it’s just another adventure to enjoy.  I’m sure that’s not the correct word, but I figure I may as well enjoy what I can of it and just see what happens.  I have never written a blog before but I have written journals of some trips and I’m very glad to have those to look back at so I decided to keep a journal of this trip too.


Author: melaniesjourneythroughcancer

I am a retired teacher who was recently diagnosed with triple negative ductal breast cancer. I decided to write this blog to record the actions and emotions that occur as I make this journey through the cancer experience.

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