No News is Good News

Well, I have not received a phone call from either Women’s Imaging nor my doctor, so I think that the mammogram and ultrasound must have been okay.That is a relief. It is always in the back of one’s mind, that – maybe – this time – the cancer will return. Of course, with HER2, according to my oncologist, the cancer often returns as bone cancer. I do not at the moment know what symptoms would be. I assume pain in the bones.

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That Wasn’t So Bad….Not

Well, the mammogram and ultrasound is over and I am glad it’s done again. Fool that I am, I forgot to cut back on my caffeine use for a couple of days prior to the testing, so even with a Tylenol 4, the pain of the ultrasound, especially the right side (the “bad” side) was excruciating. At least it was over relatively quick. The mammogram went well, with no pain, thanks to the Tylenol.

There were no gasps from the tech when she did the ultrasound, so hopefully all is well.

I expect if there are any problems, I will hear from either the clinic or the family doctor within a week or two.

 

 

Another Mammogram

And here I thought I would have to get a mammogram in a year. Instead, I received a letter from the imaging center reminding me to book one. Soon.

So…this Wednesday I go in for both a mammogram and ultrasound. I told the staff that the family doctor had marked “mammogram” and not ultrasound, but she said the clinic automatically does an ultrasound as well. Ordered by doctor or not.

I have my prescription for Tylenol 4 so will take one prior to the visit. Those ultrasounds hurt so much! They are far worse than the mammogram. Tylenol 4 works to lessen all the pain, and I am grateful that my family doctor prescribed it.

Still losing hair from the Armidex, but I still have lots, so by no means am I balding, at least not yet.

I have had no issues with the Fosamax so far. I found out that the body can only absorb up to 500 mg of calcium at a time, so I take one calcium pill along with vitamin D at lunch, then the other calcium pill about two hours later, midafternoon.

All Okay

I have been remiss in not keeping this blog up to date. Thankfully, the second check (mammogram and ultrasound) was alright. It does give a person a scare though, and I hope this doesn’t happen again….

Good bye Port

I finished the Herceptin infusions at the end of May, had a mammogram in May, plus an ultrasound. The staff said the mammogram looked good, as did the radiology center’s doctor.
Then I had an ultrasound a couple of weeks later. I was told the results would be sent to the oncology doctor within a week. Well, she phoned me just the other day to ask about the ultrasound that I was supposed to have! She had not received the results!

I haven’t heard back from Dr. S. so I hope that the results are indeed alright.

Also in May was one last MUGAscan as well as the port removal. I had no IV, and it was removed under local anesthetic. It took only about 15 minutes to remove and then I was sent to recovery for just over an hour, then came home. The stitches are dissolving, so no need to return to the doctor for that.

Here are photos of the port in place. I actually thought to take these photos so maybe my ‘chemo brain’ memory is getting better.

 

Port shown under skin.

Port shown under skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pleased that it served its purpose and is now out.

You can read more about ports at the Bard site (they made the port I had)

http://bardaccess.com/products.php

and at the Canadian Cancer Society’s site on this page

http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/tests-and-procedures/subcutaneous-port/?region=ab

I continue on the Tamoxifen with some night sweats and hot flashes, occasionally. The doctor said good, that shows the pills are working! She says the symptoms may lessen over time. She doesn’t want to prescribe anything to control it at this time. Some women apparently have 5 night sweats a night, so I am not doing that at least.

 

 

Diagnosis: Breast Cancer

The Call

My doctor phoned me just before supper, to let me know that the test results are in, and that I do have breast cancer.
He tells me that the cancer has not spread into the blood etc. and that he will make arrangements for me to have an appointment at the Cancer Centre. I asked him what kind of cancer I have. He replied that it is ductal.
I have read about ductal carcinoma and it is, apparently, the most common type.

I suppose I am still in shock about this, as I feel distanced from it all. I know that it is going to sink in soon though.

To Tell or Not

Many years ago, a therapist I was seeing told me I was a ‘stoic’. Perhaps that is why I have no intentions of telling anyone in my family about this, other than my husband, who is, thankfully, already being supportive.

I am not close to anyone else, and do not want the family to suddenly start paying attention to me just because I have cancer.
If they ignored me when I was well, I don’t need them now!

The Biopsy

I arrived way early for the appointment. The traffic was flowing much better than I expected. I had a long wait, but was called in on time.
I had been told to not use aspirin or Advil for 48 hours before the test.

The Preparation

I was told to change into a short gown – and remove only the upper half of clothing.
I waited about 5 minutes for the test to begin.

The testing

First, I had an ultrasound. It took about 25 minutes. Painful, but not as bad as at the ‘regular’ lab.
After lying on the ultrasound table for about 20 minutes, the doctor/radiologist arrived.

The Biopsy

The two needles were inserted for freezing the areas.
This was at the six and eight o’clock positions. It hurt, but less than at the dentist’s for freezing before dental work.
Immediately, the radiologist inserted the needle for the testing. This is for the core biopsy. I heard the “click” each time
the needle was set to remove a sample, but it was not that startling and I did not react, only heard the sound. There were
about 8 to 10 clicks.

Then it was over. I went to the room where I had to put pressure on the breast for ten minutes, then I was able to get
dressed and leave.

Aftercare

I was told to not use aspirin or Advil for a while. I used Tylenol 3 when I got home and at bedtime.

I have to shower/bathe and apply a band-aid to the area/s – two areas in my case, at the six and eight o’clock positions, for
four days.

I have had my husband help me with the band aids – I have learned that I am a big sissy when it comes to looking after this.
At the third day, I felt more comfortable. Only Tylenol 3 at bedtime.
The bruising is still noticeable, but the pain is better.

I am still distanced from the reality that I am be facing breast cancer.

I will post again when I have the results.