Well, Rats

OK, that doesn’t express how I’m really feeling. Breast biopsies are back, and I have low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the right breast. (Warning, true emotions coming up – FUCK, FUCK, FUCK) Sure, if one has to have breast cancer this is the type to have – assuming the needle biopsy is correct – confined to the lining of the ducts, survival rate beyond 15 years is 85-95% depending on which studies you read. Newest research gives results for lumpectomy (excision of surrounding tissue, even without a lump) compared to lumpectomy with radiation and lumpectomy+radiation+tamoxifen. (Tamoxifen has its own serious side effect profile.) There is added benefit for all 3 treatments but not sure if it’s enough to go through radiation and risk and side effects of tamoxifen. Then there is always the option to cut ’em off…

Decisions, decisions. Seeing breast surgeon May 2.

I was expecting this result but some how still stunned.

Good news is that being post-menopausal, my breast cancer doesn’t confer extra risk to my sisters.

Get your mammograms on schedule.


13 thoughts on “Well, Rats

    • Unless the pathology from the lumpectomy shows otherwise, I have stage Stage 0 (zero) meaning completely confined to the ducts. Only lumpectomy can give clear pathology and guidance for treatment as the biopsies are just pieces sucked out around the microcalcifications.

  1. That would pretty much be my response too, and definitely in all caps. And bold. On the one hand, it’s good to have options, but on the other, deciding which one will be the “right” one must be excruciating.

    Love the cartoon. And agree.

  2. Ugh! So sorry you are having to face this as I know how scary it can be, certainly not something in your life plan. Last year, I too had a “scare,” And like you, it seems the fear, paralyzation sort of came in waves. I’d be okay for awhile, and then suddenly be struck. My experience with the bioposy was much like yours as well, relatively painless, definitely doable but the waiting ~ It took them 2 weeks! to let me know it was benign. This is anecdotal but my mother has had 2 bouts of breast cancer (16 years apart), a mastectomy the first time, lumpectomy the second. The second was in the chest wall of the same side. She only had radiation both times and has been on Arimidex for about a decade. She’s 71 years old, strong, healthy and runs freakin’ circles around me. I am praying for a peaceful, calm and courageous state for you as you take the necessary steps going forward. May you know exactly what to do and your friends and family know exactly what to say and how to be there for you. ~Blessings, Janet

  3. Alright. So we knew this was a possibility. And now you’ll move forward. I do not blame you for being confused and feeling weird. When my mother in law had it, she said she would just stare at herself in the mirror and wonder how someone who looked so healthy have cancer. All those feelings are normal. But then you knew that already. 🙂

    Don’t over think it too much until you see the surgeon. I’m going to schedule a mammogram. Believe it or not I haven’t had one yet. Boo me.

  4. Well crap. This both sucks and blows. Swear, shake your fist, stomp your feet – whatever makes you feel better. What a crummy thing to face. Sending even MORE healing thoughts your way!

  5. *Hugs* My thoughts are with you this time. It’s good that they caught it early but I can only imagine the over-whelmed feelings that you must be experincing. I’m sending positive vibes and healing thoughts your way!

  6. Oh, Jan…. As you know, I just returned to blogging after my own health scares, and I started reading your posts from where I left off a few weeks ago. I was so excited to tell you so many things — that I loved reading about your Hawaiian trip (one of my brothers-in-law lives in Kona-Kailua). I wanted to tell you to go for it for the boob lift and to carefully detail it for us since I’m somewhat interested for myself (probably won’t though). I also wanted to mention that it made me laugh that you also noticed that snacks were directly across from nutrition in the photo on my blog (I wondered if anyone would catch it). I nearly screamed with delight when I saw that you had lost 10 pounds, and I loved those cute, cute new photos of you. I also loved the wonderful, funny post about your in-laws (I’m guessing they don’t read your blog). And then I read your posts about your mammogram results and felt like I had been smacked. I had my own cancer scare 3 or 4 years ago. Mine was benign, but I was terrified. It’s the oddest thing — how you can be so sure of the you that you are at one moment and then someone gives you some news and in that instant your life is altered. I’m hoping hard that this will be minor and all will be okay, but I agree with you — Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

  7. Thanks to all for the wonderful and understanding words of support and encouragement.

    I have tried NOT to read everything about DCIS, but couldn’t help myself. Thoroughly prepared to see surgeon tomorrow with a list of questions and have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, assuming my reading of the literature is accurate.

    Interesting now that DCIS is being diagnosed so much more frequently, there are still so many questions unanswered. If breast cancer were a disease of males, this would have been figured out long ago – maybe not. Prostate cancer screening is still a nightmare.

    Susan G. Komen site had best consumer info anywhere.

    You gals (and anonymous guy readers) are tremendously supportive.

  8. The cartoon is priceless and your diagnosis is that proverbial mixed bag…I hope the surgeon is helpful. My sister had about a 5% chance of survival and she is alive and kicking 18 years later. I have read a lot about DCIS because they check and recheck me each year due to some spots that show up in my ducts.

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