Mis-diagnosed for 18 months.....
Hello, my name is Peggy and I turned 41 in February. I have a 20 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. I had infertility problems after I had my son in 1991. I unfortunately miscarried 5 times before going in and having IVF and that is how we got our daughter in 2006. In October of 2007 I felt a lump in my left breast, wasnt sure that i actually felt a lump so I had my husband feel it to make sure that it was what i felt. The next day I called my OBGYN and had an appt for the next day. I went in and he felt it and mention a mammogram but all I could think of is that I had a son getting ready to go to college that summer and i had "NO INSURANCE". So I ask my doctor is there something else we can do. He says a thin needle biopsy, so i say lets do it. He says it will hurt but says nothing about how he could miss it and even by hitting the spot could still miss the cancer cells inside. I got the call a couple of days later "NO CANCER". I was so relieved and then I called my doctors office back about two weeks later and told them that it had grown and it hurt really bad. I went back in to see the nurse practioner who told me she could not tell if it had grown because she did not feel it the first time. I informed her that that is why I had ask for my doctor. Days, weeks, and months go by and I am calling about 1 time every month stating that the knot has grown and it really hurts bad. They said to me that cancer doesnt hurt. In April of 2009 I go into his office to have a regular OBGYN visit and he did another THIN needle biopsy that came back NEGATIVE again, supposedly. In July of 2009 I woke up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep with pain in the left breast. My husband demanded that I go back to the doctor and make them look at it again. Well this time I couldnt see my doctor but saw the other doctor that was in the same office and he told me that I had to go and get an mammogram. I was walking out the doctors office door and on the phone with the hospital to make an appointment for the test. That was on Friday and the appointment I got was the next Monday. Before Monday got there I found another knot under my arm. I went in Monday and the doctor was worried about the one in my breast but not the one under my arm, went back the next day and they did an ultrasound guided needle biopsy on both the knot in my breast and the one under my arm that he wasnt worried about. Because I refused to have one tested and NOT the other. The next day I got the call from a nurse that said "I am sorry Miss Voils (maiden name) but you have CANCER". I do NOT remember anything else except handing my husband the phone and crying.
The next week we started the process and what a process it is. My surgeon is a very dependable, down to earth, and extrordinary person. He goes that extra step to make sure that your care is the best that it can be. He gave me my options in full and suggested that i see the oncologist as soon as possible. He gave me a suggestion that was new in the breast cancer area. He told me that instead on doing surgery right away we could try and do chemotherapy first, then surgery and then radiation if still needed. I thought about it and had several conversations with my husband over the next couple of days. What we came up with was that he was right, for me it worked out that doing chemotherapy first and surgery second allowed me to think things thru and go thru all of the emotions that are realated with cancer. It allowed me to make a solid judgement call on what was best for me and my family. My decision was that I never wanted my family to have to go thru this again and that a double masectomy was best.
During the cancer treatments I did not wear a wig, because that was not me. I just have a hard time with artificial things on me. After my masectomy the breast cancer center called and wanted to know if I wanted a prostecus, I giggled and said No thank you.
Now after a year and a half I am still having problems, with depression, anxiety, pain, and trying to figure out who I am now. No matter how much I try to go back to the person I was I cant get there, but I am realizing everyday that I am not that person, I am someone else. I think that this is the hardest part, especially at the age of 41. But the one thing that I can hold on to and always will is the fact that I have my kids and my husband. I LOVE THEM and HOLD ON TO THE STRENGTH THAT THEY GIVE ME.