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About a year ago I went to my family practitioner with a very sore lymph node in my left axilla. He ordered an ultrasound and referred me to breast specialist, Dr. Pricilla Strom. She looked at the ultrasound, did a manual exam, and felt like it was nothing to be concerned about. "Probably homones.." It has inflamed about every other month since then but I could relieve it by drinking a vinegar cocktail or theraputic grade grapefruit oil in water and it would be gone the next day. Hind-sight is so interesting....I wonder if we dismissed it too easily back then.
Back in late January, I noticed a hard nodule above my clavicle bone on the left side. No pain. I just waited a few weeks and it wasn't going down so I mentioned it to my FP when I had Jacob in there for strep. He said if it wasn't gone in two weeks, come back and we'd check it out. So that's essentially what I was doing. Just so happened, middle of March, I noticed a knot on the side of my left breast. I call Dr. Fordham the next day and he got me in for an appt immediately. He did a CBC. Came back normal, good actually. Scheduled Xray and CT scan at Habersham medical center. Never really heard the results of that...just that there was indeed something there. No, Really??? Ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram came next next. Came back "normal." (I won't go in to my whole theory and philosophy on Mammograms on here.) By this time I already had an appt. scheduled with Dr. Strom in Gainesville. So I gathered my records and went to see her on May 9. I was expecting an aspiration of the "cyst" in my breast and possibly a biopsy. My records were not on the CD properly from Habersham and Dr. Strom could not see all the images. In addition, she said she was not real concerned about the knots in my breast, that it was probably just fibrocystic breast tissue. She said she was more concerned with the inflamed lymph node in my left axilla. However, we were leaving for Texas the next day for celebratory events for Lainie's college graduation and wedding. She suggested just to wait until we got back and get the correct records from Habersham. On May 16 I returned to Dr. Strom. Her technician did another ultrasound for what was to be a needle guided aspiration from the breast tissue and biopsy of the lymph node. Dr. Strom decided from the ultrasound that I did not have 1 big cyst, but many little cysts, so she did not aspirate the breast tissue. She did gather tissue for lymph node biopsy and from that, I got the preliminary diagnosis of breast cancer. It was a message on my cell phone, and that's basically all the information I received. However, I called and her nurse made appointments for me which is what I have been doing most recently. I had a PET scan last Thursday 5/25. Results showed that I didn't have cancerous activity anywhere else other than the left breast, axilla, and neck area. It also showed that my uterus was "enlarged" and that I needed to follow up with my Gyn about that. Dr. Strom said it was "probably stage 3" and looked to be the type that would respond well to chemotherapy. I wish I had been a little sharper on the phone to think to say, "I'm a big girl. I can take it. I have multiple graduate degrees, and it's ok, you can tell me the name of it. I'll go look it up and read about it." But I didn't, and now am just anxiously waiting for my appt with Dr. Charles Nash, Oncologist on June 5. I also did a breast MRI today 5/31, so I guess that will give more detail about location and size of the cancer cells.