View Full Version : confused about yesterday's Dr's report

04-28-2006, 05:52 AM
Hello all:
This is my first time posting.. I have been watching for a while and have been impressed with how great this group is and how informative ..

A little about me... Mastecotmy in Jan. 04 with reconstruction... stage 1, no node involment.. er pr-.

I moved from Louisiana in July of last year... Since that time, I have had 4 mammograms done and 5 ultrasounds done.. the last one done was March ( last month)... all came back ok.

The Dr. has kept a close eye on me....

I felt a lump 2 weeks after my last visit to him.. after the mammogram, and ultrasound was done... I was not scheduled to see him again for 6 months.. I started to ignore it but changed my mind and saw him last week... He did a biopsy and I got the results today... Ductal breast cancer, grade 3 in the other breast.

I do not understand , how all of this happened??? HOw can the report be ok in March of this year , and one month later, I am looking at this diagnosis..

To make matters worse,, I have no insurance... I retired when I moved here from Louisiana.

So , I guess my question is this.... what do I do Now???

The Dr. wants to do surgery asap. which I am in agreement with.

I am asking for help from the group with suggestions, or any advise.. I hate to make my first post like this..

I have noticed some great support and help from all , so I need a plan of action..

My body is numb right now with shock..

thanks to all who reply in advance

04-28-2006, 06:35 AM
I'm so sorry that you now have breast cancer in the other breast. As you know a recurrence doesn't have to be in the same breast as does mets. You can get it anywhere and it is still referred to as breast cancer. I was diagnosed Oct 2005 with advanced stage III ductual, ER/PR-, HER+++. I have opted to have chemo before surgery to try and shrink the tumor and I have one more chemo round to go. The tumor has not shrunk and 2 weeks ago I developed another tumor in the same breast. I am scheduled for surgery (bi-lateral mastectomy) June 8. After surgery I will have radiation and herceptin. My mammograms have always been normal, including the one from last year. I myself don't have much faith in them.

In your case I would suggest that a sonogram be done and also perhaps a CT Scan, bone scan. Don't delay -- cancer grows fast. Best of luck to you.

04-28-2006, 07:05 AM
Dear Charlotte

This could very well be a new primary in the other breast and not a recurrence of the first lump. The only way to know for sure is to have the pathologies compared.

Do you have Medicare yet? If not, can you apply for Medicaid? You should find out. Obviously you will need surgery and you might be able to "cut a deal" with the surgeon and hospital. See if there are special needs groups, and your local Komen society to help defray the costs. Others on this board may also have some suggestions to you in regard to cost. Can the hospital help you out if you volunteer time etc (after your recovery). Also, contact your local American Cancer Society office about scholarships to apply for or donations from them.

Just some thoughts.

Kindest regards


04-28-2006, 10:43 AM
Hello Charlotte -
So sorry to get to know you like this!
But there is a lot of help and support here.
Do you have dense breast tissue?? I do (did) as many here can attest they did too. My annual mammogram was less than three months before I found my lump. The technician said my tumor had to be the same density as my normal tissue not to show up, as it was not in a hard-to-see area.

You have decided on surgery, but did not say what kind - lumpectomy or mastectomy. I was fortunate to get special breast MRI's in the early days of this type of scan. Without insurance, they are expensive. These MRI's confirmed only the one tumor, which turned out to be very aggressive and advancing well into my lymph nodes.

Come back with an update or any more questions, OK?

04-28-2006, 11:09 AM
Hello Charlotte,

It sounds like there have been a lot of changes for you in the last year. Despite that you sound like a very practical person actively dealing with what comes your way. Do you have family or other support system where you are now?

Mammograms work okay most of the time, but unfortunately for some the cancer can be indistinguishable from other breast tissue. As shocking as it is to find out the bad news, it is good that you trusted your own perceptions with this new lump instead of just passively waiting for the next exam.

This site is a very good support group and may be all that you need, but you can also find out if there is a local support group where you live where you might find information that is particularly helpful in figuring out the local ins and outs about how to deal with things financially.

Please let us know how things go.


04-28-2006, 11:43 AM
Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for sharing your situation...you've come to a very safe and supportive place here and the women who responded to you have helped me in so many ways in the past as have others on this site. I can't tell you enough how good the advice is and may the comments that these women have offered to you show you that you're not alone and give you the support and courage you need.

We're here (and there) for you!!


04-28-2006, 01:42 PM
Hi Charlotte,

We really don't have enough info from your description. Why are you here, a group that deals more on women with HER2 positive characteristics. Where do you live, in a big city where there are choices of service? You stated that you retired and moved from LA, are you eligible for social security Medicare? Do you have relatives or close friends that can take care of you, physically, medically and financially? This group includes people who are knowledgeable at different levels of cancer staging, sometimes much easier to communicate than with your own doctors. We are sorry that you are depressed and feel not knowing where to go, but it is normal for most of us. We are together in the same boat. Hope to hear from you again.


04-29-2006, 06:36 AM
Welcome to our group. Did your pathology report indicate your HER2 status? That will help determine your treatment options. Although most of the women here are HER2 positive you are more than welcome to remain and participate if you are not.

There are resources available to you:
Financially, I would investigate Social Security Disability. You will be eligable for medicare after 2 years, if you don't have that now. Your local congressman can help you in applying. Did your oncologist restage you? You mention that you were sytage I in 2004, but this new tumor may qualify you to be restaged as Stage IV. At that point SS Disability is almost automatic.

Also most pharmaceutical companies will provide medicine free of charge based on your financial status. By federal law you can not be refused medical treatment based on an inability to pay.

There is tons of additional resources available to you. You may want to visit our resources page: http://her2support.org/resources.html

Warmest Regards

Kimberly Lewis
05-10-2006, 08:08 PM
HI Charlotte, It is kind of amazing that no matter what we do to prevent it BC just charges in there seemingly unstoppable! Sounds like you got some good advise already. When I needed it the Govt. came through with med. to cover me.... Now I am on my husbands Ins. but early on in NY I had good medicaid... Hopefully you are in a state that has good coverage. Best to save the anger for fighting the cancer I guess! Hoping and praying the best for you. Kim