Year 2, Month 5 and 5 days: Storm clouds and rainbows

Year 2, Month 5 and 5 days: Storm clouds and rainbows

So, it is that time again.  Time for annual testing. My blood work always tells me I am healthy, my CT always points to the interesting lumps and bumps of life that I would never know about had I not required a CT in the first place and of course… the hands on exams.  Every girls least favorite.

This time we felt a lump.  I suppose it has been there since the last surgery.  So off to get an ultrasound I go.  Results state ” 1.4 x 2.7 x 0.4 cm Continue reading

Day 19: Meet Infiltrating (or Invasive) Lobular Carcinoma (ILC).

Day 19: Infiltrating (or Invasive) Lobular Carcinoma (ILC). Today’s post is more informational. This is the shortest write-up I have found ILC. As I think about the pros and cons of unilateral vs. bilateral, there is a lot of information even in this short article that make me lean toward bilateral. Especially the part where a mammogram won’t always catch it. This is an interesting process as you think about “removing” a part of your body. Especially when you are thinking about possibly removing part of you by choice… which we really won’t know until MRI results come back.

I was talking with an amazing friend last night and finally just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Me over-thinking, ugh… this is just vanity.” My friend says, gently, “Are you sure you aren’t confusing vanity with identity.” WOW. You need friends like that. It was a hard thing to ask and they were very aware of the impact of the question. It is identity. I do need to recognize that. Now… for the informational part:

ILC starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules). Like IDC (ductal), it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. About 1 in 10 invasive breast cancers is an ILC.

Signs and Symptoms: ILC does not always feel like a breast lump. ILC cells may leave your lobes through one opening, staying together in a line. They can proceed to infiltrate fatty tissue, creating a web-like mass. This web of cancer cells may feel like a thickened area of breast tissue, and at first may not cause concern or pain. Unfortunately, if left undetected, ILC can develop into a mass that is about 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) to about 2 inches (5 centimeters) or bigger in size, before causing more noticeable symptoms.

When to Seek Medical Help: If you have any of these symptoms, get them checked out by a health professional right away:
A thickened area within your breast
An area that feels “full” or swells (not due to lactation or hormonal cycle)
Breast skin changes such as dimpling, thickening, or different texture
Nipple drawing in (retracting)

Because ILC can easily hide within breast tissue, a mammogram won’t always catch it, particularly in the earliest stages. If it does show up on a mammogram, it will be unclear as to its actual nature. Your doctor may send you for a breast ultrasound, which is better at detecting ILC than a mammogram. To get the best overall image of the cancer, you may need a breast MRI, so your surgeon will be able to see the size and location of the mass. Finally, to get a clear diagnosis of ILC, a breast biopsy must be done, so that a sample of the tissue can be examined by a pathologist.

Stages of ILC: ILC can be diagnosed from stages 1 through 4. It is more likely than IDC to occur in both breasts -– about 20% of patients diagnosed with ILC will have bilateral breast cancer. A breast MRI will help reveal this, and treatment can be tailored to combat both cancerous masses at once.

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬

Day 7: Today is diagnosis day.

Day 7: Today is diagnosis day. Probably not until after 3 pm. I am excited that I will have actual data – you know…. Because then I will have something to really worry about. This also means that a war plan is not far behind because with questions comes answers. (Also the 5 stages of grief – but we will get to that later)

The crab feed was fun last night. Also gave me a chance to practice my linebacker skills. Crowded rooms, lots of hugs and truly amazing people. 80‘s women’s suit shoulder pads coulda come in handy last night! Assigned a friend blocking duty for the left side. A few folks have seen my Facebook posts and were amazing in their love and support. I have a feeling people will continue to amaze me in wonderful ways on this journey. Is it strange that both excites and comforts me?

The U.S. greeting of “How are you?” has become slightly awkward in my mind. LOL. My usual “Great!” now feels a little false and that does bother me though it shouldn’t – but you know… for the most part that’s not a real question – thankfully. So perhaps this lil white lie will be forgiven. 😇

I didn’t have the crab – too many dangerous elbows flying at crowded tables in small spaces – and when something smarts you really feel like everyone is out to get it! . And I have no idea if biopsy sites are supposed to hurt like this – but it was a typical “Tammey” day yesterday, worked a full day and then at about 7pm my ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ was a major cranky pants. Made it home around 9:30 to my lovely ice pack with whom I have a somewhat complicated relationship.

So my good friend Dean must have seen the pain on it on my face last night. He saved me from the elbows and he whisked me away to Mercato’s. I couldn’t decide between the smoked duck gnocchi or the butternut squash ravioli, I ordered one – the waiter brought the other – realized his mistake and I ended up with both! Now that’s a fabulous mistake! . I really can’t say which was better! Best was all the space around me! No worries about a bump in boob there!

Since I have never been sick, geez… Never even broken a bone, this whole thing is a learning experience and I just don’t know what to expect – or how long it takes to heal – or what’s “normal” if there is such a thing.

On a prayer note – I appreciate all the prayer and positive energy being sent my way. I am so thankful for all my blessings, my friends and my family. Y’all just rock!

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ #‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬