Let the freak out commence…

Monday I went for my ultrasound.

It was much more uncomfortable than the one performed on my left breast a month ago. The report was marked “stat” so they would be read within 24 hours. I also had blood work done.

I got my blood work results Monday evening. Slightly elevated WBC, low HGB, low HCT, low MCV, low MCH and high RDW. Curiosity got the best of me and I looked into what those results could mean. Anemia is something I’ve had most of my life (that was the low HGB). The other results could be from anemia, could be from malnutrition (not really possible) or they could be from cancer.

Today, I called my doctor’s office and asked about my results. The lady I spoke to sent an email to my doctor and his nurse saying that I was ok with getting results over the phone and through a different doctor (mine is out of town apparently). Mind you, when my last ultrasound and mammo results came in, the nurse called and let me know everything was clear. That is a result they can (and are encouraged to) give over the phone.

My doctor’s nurse called me back a few hours later to inform me that they couldn’t give me “these kinds of results” over the phone, that I had to have the surgeon discuss them with me in person. The surgeon is out of town until next Thursday but I was told he would see me Thursday at 3pm.

Now I’m paranoid. If it was clear, they would’ve told me right then. So there’s something there, right? It seems ridiculous to make someone wait so long for bad results. Right?

Meeting with the surgeon

I’m not very impressed with my surgeon.

He was in the room all of 2 minutes. He poked and prodded my breasts looking for signs of cysts (didn’t find any), didn’t listen to me when I explained my symptoms and got upset that I didn’t have an ultrasound on my right breast before seeing him.

Plus side, I do have another ultrasound scheduled for Monday.

Negative side, my breasts still hurt from his cyst check.

Referrals…

April 14, 2017 is the day I will have a consultation with the general surgeon.

I got the call Monday after another appointment with my doctor didn’t go as planned. More swelling, more pain.

I’m to the point right now where everything feels numb.

Tuesday was the first day where I didn’t once think about my breasts. We went to Knotts as a family for the first time. The girls has a blast. Even the baby had fun on the few rides she was able to ride.

We ate like pigs, I went from 0-82mph in 2 seconds on a roller coaster and according to my step counter, I walked almost 8 miles that day. We left at 7am and didn’t get back until midnight. A full day of not thinking about what was happening. A full day of fun and excitement.

Here’s hoping April 14th brings me good news.

Distracted for a moment…

Tonight my husband took on our youngest girls while I took some time to forget about life for a bit. A few friends and myself went to the theatre to see Beauty and the Beast. I was lost in the movie. I sobbed. I beamed with joy. I clutched my seat in angst and fear. I forgot about the possibility of cancer. And it was amazing.

I usually despise remakes. I had never seen a remake that I actually enjoyed. I think that’s because I get so emotionally invested in the characters and the way the movie was put together that the idea of changing it makes me ill. I was fully expecting the new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast to be the same. But being a big Hermione Granger fan (yes, Hermione Granger, not Emma Watson), I had to give it a chance.

My girlfriends and I saw it in 3D. It’s been a few hours and I still have chills! I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m trying to stay away from details. And it’s hard because the details are what put this movie over the top. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it. Now! And in 3D if possible. You won’t be disappointed.

Noticeable changes

Day 5 of the new antibiotics showed no improvements. In fact, the swelling in my right breast has gotten a bit worse. I called my doctor’s office and left a message. Within an hour, I got a call back asking about symptoms. I was told they would call me back by 5pm TODAY with an appointment for the breast specialist.

It’s now 1:00am and no call. It’s officially Saturday which means I won’t get a call until Monday. Lord knows when I’ll actually see the specialist. Tonight I noticed that my breast was achy. It reminded me of the way my legs feel the day after a decent workout. I felt it out (something I’ve been avoiding doing for a while) and it wasn’t hard to find a nice sized bulge, a little smaller than a golfball, on the right breast. It was so noticeable, it shows up on pictures.

This was a development I wasn’t prepared to have. Not that any of it is something I’m prepared to have. But I certainly wasn’t expecting that. My cat climbed on me in bed this evening before I got up to vent on here and literally attacked my chest. Thank goodness my thick comforter was on me. My 20 lbs black cat lets kids pull on her, dress her up, etc, never lashes out on anything but bugs, attacked my chest.

I hope I see the specialist this week.

March 28th

As I predicted, I am not sleeping tonight. There are currently seven tabs open on my computer, each with a different resource, a different story or different google image searches that I’ve been scouring over for hours.

I took a break to do some classwork that I had missed this last week and it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked at the underside of my breasts in a week. That’s pretty impressive considering a week ago, I was using my phone camera to video the underside of my breasts (large breasts = hard to see) at least 4 times a day.

So I did what my overly obsessive self does and I brought out the camera. It didn’t look too bad. Some additional redness that I hadn’t noticed before. A small red dot (bug bite maybe?). Then I noticed that there was a smallish (maybe 1″x 1″) area that looked thicker than the rest and had some very noticeable peau d’orange going on.

Well shit.

I definitely think it’s time for this mama to shut down the computer, drink a glass of wine and soak in a tub of hot water. This is something I can’t deal with right now. Here’s to praying that I wake up tomorrow with perfectly normal breasts and I can laugh at how crazy this all ways, chalk one up to being overly sensitive and go back to obsessing over my children and their crazy antics.

Good luck to me ❤

Knotts Berry Farm

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do with my kids is get season passes for one of the amusement parks in Southern California. We don’t live too far from the Los Angeles area and our girls are the perfect age for amusement park fun. The problem is 4 season passes for ANY theme park in our area is several hundred dollars. Money we don’t have.

I found out this week that due to a reduction in my course load, I will be getting a portion of my loan put into my bank instead of sent to my school. Normally, I would send this immediately back to the loan company as I don’t want to pay interest on any unnecessary loans. In light of recent events, however, I thought what the hell! If this ends up being what is feared, I want to enjoy life as much as I can.

So that’s what I’m doing. This week, my family will become annual pass holders for Knotts Berry Farm. I will say that it was a nice distraction, researching theme parks and costs. It was after finding out that Knotts doesn’t have blackout dates that I decided it would be a good choice for our family.

Bucket list item, in progress.

Antibiotics

It’s been 7 days on the antibiotics I was given.

Today, I went back to the doctor. She bounded into the room with a lovely, cheerful smile on her face. “Good afternoon! How are the antibiotics working?”

Well, I haven’t really had much change. They are burning a bit more than they were though. That could be the infection working it’s way out, right?

That cheerful smile faded from her face. “No change? At all?” She looked genuinely concerned.

Other than the additional burning sensations, no. No change.

She sat in front of her computer for a few minutes. I was nervously tending to my children whom I had to bring with me.

“Ok. I am going to change your antibiotic. We’re going to try Amoxicillin 875mg twice a day. If there is still no changes by Friday, call the office. No, scratch that. No changes by Wednesday, call the office.”

What happens if there’s no change?

“I’ll let the breast surgeon explain it to you if that’s the direction we have to go with. Good luck”

 

I had been doing so well not researching like a maniac. Not looking over my breasts 10 times a day. I actually got sleep the last few nights! I probably won’t be sleeping tonight. Tonight, I’m back to researching every possible outcome for IBC. Every statistic. Every story I can come across. I’m absorbing as much information as I can. Knowledge is the key to successful treatment. At least in my eyes.

Doctor’s Appointments

All day yesterday, I was on pins and needles. My breasts were swollen again, warm to the touch, my skin was still slightly pitted. My husband couldn’t watch our baby as he had to get up early for work and my appointment was late in the day so she went with me. For an hour and a half, we waited in the room , she was the perfect distraction.

I had a list of the things I had been experiencing the last few weeks and the days in which they happened. I had worn a loose bra so there wouldn’t be extra lines dug into my skin (my right breast was now so large that it didn’t fit in any of my normal bras). When the doctor finally made it into the room and apologized for the wait, she complimented me on how beautiful my daughter is. I smiled. Usually I soak up this attention. My daughter is gorgeous (I might be a bit biased). She is one third of the light of my days.

But now was not the time to keep my waiting.

I told her about my list of symptoms and she looked it over. Then she had me lay back while she examined my breasts. “It could be Inflammatory breast cancer. Or it could be mastitis.” I told her about my bad family history of breast cancer. She smiled. “It’s rare that a woman of your age would have cancer, even with a strong family history.” I explained that that’s when it hit my family. And I rattled off statistics of IBC and how younger women are the ones hit most.

“I’m going to start you on some strong antibiotics. 500mg of Keflex, 4 times a day for 10 days. It will take you that long to get into the breast surgeon anyway. And if it is just an infection, this will clear it up before then.” I tried to explain that my gut told me this wasn’t an infection. She smiled again, “stay off Google honey. And good luck.”

I think it finally hit…

It’s 1:30am here.

And out of no where, it hit me that if this is what I am thinking it is, there’s a chance I won’t be around to see my kids start school. The prognosis for IBC is less than 35% after 10 years.

I know it’s ridiculous to worry and cry over something that hasn’t even been diagnosed. But that doesn’t stop my mind from going there. Because what if? What if this is bad? What if I am going to need chemo treatments? My husband works odd hours so him taking me to treatments is unlikely. My closest family is in their 70s and have health problems of their own. I have friends nearby but none of whom I would want to place the burden of that upon.

Then there’s my kids. My 4 year old and my 6 month old. Both of whom are very much attached to me. I can’t even go to the store without my 6 month old having a hard time. If I walk outside during her nap, she wakes up. Our bond is, insane. What will they do if mommy gets so sick from treatments that I can’t take care of them like I do?

So many what ifs are going through my head right now. The positivity I’ve been trying to keep is gone. I’m a sobbing mess. My house is quiet (which is rare). I can hear my baby breathing in the monitor in her room. My 4 year old is snoring quietly on the bottom bunk in her room. My oldest (step daughter) just barked in her sleep (she dreams she’s a dog often) and I can hear my husband’s c-pap machine in the other room. All noises I took for granted just last night.

I should be in bed myself. But I can’t sleep now. I’m praying that I will be writing a new post in a week laughing about how scared I was and how this was nothing at all. Even though my heart of hearts knows that won’t be the case.