After having some unusual breast discomfort and pain, she scheduled an appointment with her Breast Surgeon. Kris had a benign breast lump removed in January 2013, and since has been under continued surveillance and had been attending regularly scheduled 6 month mammograms and ultrasounds. After 2 years of clear imaging, she went back to annual mammograms. So just this past March 2017, Kris once again went for her routine mammography and ultrasound. Although she wasn’t feeling like her breasts felt 100%, she was told “you are good, see you in a year”.
So let’s fast forward to September 2017, where Kris was having additional breast discomfort and pain. She scheduled an appointment on October 10th, 2017 with her breast surgeon to check out her pain and they suggested a mammography and ultrasound. With a suspicious area identified, a biopsy was performed that day and a biopsy marker clip was placed. On October 16th, 2017, she was called with the news “You tested positive for breast cancer”. The call was so unexpected, it almost seemed like how can someone call with this news. Aren’t you normally told to come in for a follow-up? They also said that during the post-biopsy mammogram that there was another suspicious area identified. So on October 18th, so she went back for an additional mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. The second suspicious area ended up being more than double in size, when compared to the first and was also malignant. Now there was a dual diagnosis….. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. This diagnosis was immediately followed by genetic testing, MRI, additional images and lengthy and emotionally draining appointments with additional breast surgeons and plastic surgeons in order to develop a plan of care. One opinion, then another opinion and then ultimately a final decision…..bilateral radical mastectomy with reconstruction.
She underwent a bilateral radical mastectomy on November 8, 2017. During the surgery, a 3rd tumor was found which had gone undetected during any of the previous testing! But you think okay well surgery is done. Luckily, the 3rd tumor was removed during the surgery, along with all the breast tissue, so it has to be gone.
Which brings us to today. We had hoped that since it appeared that it was caught early, that she might not need further treatment. Unfortunately, the surgical pathology report showed that this won’t be the case. One of the tumors, the larger of the 2 identified showed overlaying margins, which means this is not a clear pathology report. This means, there is still cancer. In addition, one of the 3 lymph nodes removed during surgery, has tested positive for metastatic carcinoma and poses a further concern.
So now without question, Kris will need further treatment. Depending on the results of the Onco-type path report, the oncology treatment would be a minimum of 4 to 6 months if she only needs radiation, and 6 to 8 months if additional chemotherapy is needed. Once the oncology treatments are complete, it would be another 2 to 3 months before the reconstructive surgery could even begin. In addition, she will also be on Tamoxifen, which she will be taking for up to 10 years.
With three kids, and bills to pay, things will be tight. As her friends we would like to put Kris’s mind at ease so she can focus on her recovery, and not worry about bills. So our group, her friends, knew we somehow needed to assist her during this overwhelming time.
Won’t you help us help her?
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