I have recently been told I have breast cancer

Posted by Nancy @arizonabella, Jul 25, 2015

I have recently been told I have breast cancer. I just had an MRI and am waiting to see a specialist. My question is if the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes is the cancer still curable?

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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@wandering

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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Hi @wandering,
You’ll notice I removed your personal email from this public discussion. Posts to the discussion board are public, and we don’t want you getting unwanted spam, trolls, etc. We recommend sharing personal contact information by private message, as it is a secure, private option.

Here’s how to send a private message:
1. Click the member’s @username.
2. Click the envelope icon in their profile.
3. Write a subject and your message.
4. Click Send Message.

Thank you for jumping in to offer support.

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@wandering

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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Thanks Colleen. I wanted her to get in touch but was not sure how to do that without posting.

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Hello
I too had breast cancer as well as my 2 sisters all at the same time about 5 years ago and we all had lymph node involvement and we are all alive and well five years later .

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@luladavis

Hi nancy I was dx with 2nd stage breast cancer Jul 2011 it spread to my lymph nodes I had a rt breast mastectomy and 27 nodes removed 8 were positive..today I celebrate my 50th baby..stay positive and put God first..as I look back at the journey its just a test for ur testimony and gets u closer to God..stay positive and keep the faith u will be fine..God bless and keep u and ur house Amen:)

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I am very glad for you, and it makes me feel hopeful. Keep being positive and closer to God for strength. Thank you. runninglakes

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@jeanie26

Hello, everyone, I go tomorrow for an MRI of my right breast, A few weeks ago my right nipple became inflamed and was full of puss, I managed to bite the bullet long enough to force most of it out, it began to feel better but there was still something wrong. I made an appointment to see a breast specialist who checked my prolactin, it came back high normal, she noticed that my nipple was inverting and now wants an MRI to rule out cancer. My mammogram didn’t show anything that raised a red flag. Do you think I need to be worried or is this just something that happens. How would I know if it has spread to my lymph nodes? would there be swelling, would I have trouble swallowing. My Dr. also wants to do more blood work, so maybe the results will show what’s going on. Does anyone have any words of wisdom? I am a Christian and I know God is watching over me.Are there any other tests that I should ask for? And last be not least, if it turns out that I am positive, what are the chances that I have caught it in time? Thank you in advance..

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Did you have a Biopsy of the lump done first , before the MRI. My doctor did the Biopsy to determine it is cancer. Should I have had the MRI first ? wondering, This is all new to be, so I am worried and afraid. But this support group has given me hope. Thank you all.

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@wandering

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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I live in Florida, so the Moffitt Breast cancer center was local for me. However, I want to make sure I am going to the best breast cancer center to help me. Any suggestions of best doctors, hospitals, ?? Thanks,

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@wandering

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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Hi @elvandi,
You’ll be happy to know that in 2016, Moffitt Cancer Center jumped from number 18 in 2015 to number 6 in 2016 in the US News Top Cancer Hospitals for 2016 http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866909. Top 3 are:

1. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
2. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
3. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

@martid was treated at Moffitt and speaks highly of her experience. @travelgirl was treated at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and speaks equally highly of her experience there.

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In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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@mari

In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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Thanks, every bite of encouragement is great.

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@wandering

What kind of breast cancer do you have? If you don’t know, your doctor can tell you or you can read your medical report. Where do you live? I recently changed oncologists and to do that I did lots of research for my geographical area (we are snowbirds). You can get on the internet and read up on the oncologists in your area. Read reviews. Contact the local cancer support group and find out who they recommend. I actually “interviewed” several oncologists before choosing my current one. Keep us informed on your progress. Most of the people on this forum do not have breast cancer but several do and can be helpful. I think you can private message me directly if you want to.

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@elvandi I live near Moffitt Cancer Center, outside of Tampa. I had an appointment also at Moffitt Cancer Center. I had called both Moffitt and Mayo. I decided to keep my appointment at Mayo Clinic.

It was actually my husbands old Boss, who alerted me that when you arrive at Moffitt for your first appointment, expect to wait hours. “Make sure you bring plenty of reading material. You need patience of a saint, cause there is a lot of waiting to see Dr.’s, and to get results.” Those were her exact words. I decided to cancel my appointment after hearing that.

I called Mayo Clinic back, and asked them will I be sitting for hours to see a DR? She said NO, the most I would ever wait is maybe 15 minutes. So far they were correct. I have never waited any longer than that, for any appointment. Plus you get your test results immediately. There is no waiting 2 to 3 weeks for answers.

I had several clients in Chicago, who would travel to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, they swore they were the best. So I was familiar with hearing stories, on how Mayo Clinic saved their lives.

I believe we get one shot to treat a precancerous, or a cancerous condition. If we don’t choose wisely, there may not be a second chance to correct the situation.

My Mother died from cancer at age 59. A cancer that could of been treated and removed. She was diagnosed at 57 with endometriosis cancer. She instead trusted a Dr., based on convenience, and a recommendation from a friend. That decision cost her, her life. There was no opportunity to correct what already had been done to her.

I didn’t want to be my Mother, Dead in my early 50’s because of convenience, and a recommendation by a friend.

I choose to seek out the best possible option for the treatment of my Precancerous, Flat Ulcerated Polyp. That 3 Dr.’s in the Tampa area said was NOT Cancer.

Which by the way, really was a Stage 1 Cecum cancer, along with a 2nd cancer found at the same time, Follicular Lymphoma.

Mayo Clinics Top Notch Dr.’s, thoroughly evaluated me, and were that observant in my care. They found 2 cancers at the same time. Both my cancers were caught early enough, That a colon resection, a few lifestyle adjustments, and close observation of me, is all the treatment I need at this time.

I wish you the best, wherever you go. If I were you, I would at least seek out an opinion from Mayo Clinic. Then you can choose which option is right for you. God Bless….

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@mari

In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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I did not go to Moffitt for Breast Cancer but I was treated there for Stage IV Colon Cancer with metastasis to the liver, both lobes 3 tumors. I lived in NC when I had BC and went to a small cancer center. I transferred to another small cancer center in FL when we moved back here about half way through my treatment. When my oncologist discovered the colon cancer and that it was already Stage IV, she referred me to Moffitt. The surgeons at Moffitt are very good at what they do. I was told that there were not many in the U.S. who would have performed the surgery that I had done. We live about 2 hours from Moffitt so I do my chemo at my local cancer center where I already had a relationship.

Take into consideration the distance you have to travel. Yes, that is considering convenience, but I can assure you, it is a factor. After being released from the hospital, it involved traveling for 2 hours, going to the lab to get blood drawn, if a CT scan, going and having my port accessed, then going through the scan, then waiting for at least an hour and a half to see the doctor (the wait was so that the scan could be seen while I was seeing the doctor). We were usually there for 4 or 5 hours and then a 2 hour drive home. I had some major complications and it was grueling. I am still under the care of a surgeon but my oncologist found one closer to home. I simply could not continue traveling that distance. If you require a test where you need to fast, or do a cleanse, the travel can be a challenge. If you do require a hospital stay, it can be complicated for family to work out how to come and see you. There are motels that give you a break if you are a Moffitt patient, but that is not always an option for everyone. My husband is disabled and was only able to come see me a few times over my 12 day hospital stay. As I said, being close to your doctors and/or treatment center is an important factor and should be considered.

My inability to handle the traveling was my problem, certainly not Moffitt’s, however I would not go back there unless my oncologist really pushed for it. There were a number of things that I was not happy with, but they have a very good reputation and some excellent doctors.

As for breast cancer treatment, I found that the chemo was much harder than what I am doing now for colon cancer. I was sicker for longer and felt worse during chemo. I was Her2+ so I had to have Herceptin, which meant weekly infusions for 4 months + every 21 days of very heavy chemo, and then every 21 days for another 8 months of just Herceptin. It makes sense that I would feel worse during that process. You have to remember that everyone is different. Some breeze right through chemo and radiation. Even those who breeze through it experience the sensation of a roller coaster ride. It is very over whelming, particularly at first.

A suggestion that I always make to new cancer patients is to take control of what you can. Get yourself a notebook and get it organized. Set up dividers – you may not know what the categories are yet, but you can have it ready. You may want to do a section for each doctor you deal with. Have blank paper in each section for notes. Write down questions for the doctor(s) and leave room for notes of their answers. Have a sturdy page in front and, at each office you visit, get a business card. Staple it to that first page. You will have every doctor and/or office and their contact info right there. Get a calendar and put it in your notebook to keep track of your appointments (this will help with your taxes too). Get a hole puncher and put in every bill or breakdown that you get after each office visit. Ask for copies of all tests and put them in your notebook (whatever works for you – by doctor, or all test results in one section). Set up one section with some of those dividers with pockets. You will find lots of handouts, flyers, etc. that you might want to keep to think about later (stores that help with prosthesis or wigs; counseling services, possibly disks of tests, whatever). The more organized you can make it, the more you will feel like you have some control over what is happening. It is very hard to accept that these people you do not know are doing all of these things to you, and you do not seem to have much say about it. That is particularly true if you have been fairly healthy up until now. Getting organized is a way to manage some of what is happening, plus, it really is a huge help if you change doctors and when you figure out your expenses for taxes.

I have now gone almost 5 years without a recurrence of breast cancer. My colon cancer was a totally separate issue. Hang in there. You can do this!

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@mari

In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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you have been thru hell and back. Glad to hear your breast cancer is under control. I wish you the best and with your strength, I think you can make it back to health. I hope I can handle this, but I keep praying and hoping for strength and spirit . My prays are for you, also. Keep strong.

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@mari

In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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@martid!! So good to hear from you again. What a wonderfully detailed account that both you and @travelgirl have provided to Elvandi. Thank you.

Elvandi, there are several people who share Martid’s advice about keeping a binder. Check out this conversation among Connect members for more tips on how people use their binder and what they keep track of: http://mayocl.in/2nj1Q2J

Martid, did you see that we now have a Connect group dedicated to colorectal cancer too? I hope you’ll pop over and say hi. http://mayocl.in/2meystS

Liked by martid

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@mari

In ’96, I wish I had the chemo 1st then surgery, then tumor would be smaller with less disfigurement. I had lumpectomy. Feds believe that women r entitled to reconstruction for free.
Biopsy leave a little scar, I believe better to have MRI 1st.
I wish u well – but, Everything is So much more advanced then when I went thru it.
Look for Cancer Support Community (YOUR CITY) (Redondo Beach) FANTASTIC INFO AND SUPPORT. AND ALL FREE.

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You can do it. Not saying it will be easy, but you just put your head down and GO. I promise that you will be amazed at the wonderful people you will meet along the way.

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