Getting the Diagnosis: Triple Negative Invasive Mammary Ductal Carcinoma

2017 was a H-E-Double Hockey sticks kind of a year.

We bought a project house in September of 2016 and spent the majority of the year renovating it. It was one of those projects you love to hate as it ate away at our finances, took time away from family and friends, and stole sleep, peace, and energy! But now that it is done, and we live in it, we Love to LOVE it! It has become our home.

I told my sister it was most likely the hardest year of my life. And that was before I heard the word “cancer” come out of my doctor’s mouth. I’m going to rewind here a little – and before you start thinking about the “what ifs”, the “if onlys”, etc – just know I’ve already thought them all and they get you nowhere – so don’t do it. Don’t think it, and definitely don’t say it 🙂 So let’s start at the beginning.

August – while showering I realized that this bump was in my breast. Self-breast exams are so important and how I found my lump. If you’ve ever had a plugged milk duct, that is exactly what it felt like (which makes sense now!), but I hadn’t nursed for over a year and a half so I knew it wasn’t that! I figured it would go away by itself, but after about a week I made an appointment and went in to see the doctor. He told me it was likely a fibroadenoma, fairly typical in females my age, and gave me directions to keep an eye on it.

Fast forward to November. The lump had changed size maybe a little, but mostly was starting to hurt, and felt a little different. I still wasn’t too concerned about it, but knowing we planned on getting pregnant in 2018, I wanted to have it removed before we did. So I made another appointment with my doctor. Things from there moved quickly.

I had an ultrasound and mammogram the same day, November 21, followed by a breast biopsy a week and a half later. Ryan’s grandmother passed away and we attended her funeral the same weekend while anxiously awaiting those results. Monday I called the doctor’s office and was told the doctor would like me to come in and see him. I knew then, that the news wasn’t good. Ryan rushed home from work and we got the news together December 11.

I have been diagnosed with Stage 2 or 3 (depending on a few more results) Invasive Mammary Ductal Carcinoma. This means that my cancer started in the milk ducts in my breast, and are no longer contained within the ducts. So far, there are no signs of metastasis in the chest wall, lungs, etc, but it may have spread into a lymph node (which would make it stage 3). The tumor is not fed by hormones, as all of the hormone receptors came back negative. This typically means that the cancer is more aggressive. It also means that it cannot be treated with hormonal therapy, and Chemotherapy is THE medical option.

The last month since then has been a whirlwind of traveling, doctors appointments, holidays, and waiting. We’ve seen specialists in Idaho & Utah, got a second opinion, created a treatment plan, had a CT scan, MRI, and are now just waiting on all the plans to be approved with insurance.

While this is definitely not a trial I would have ever wanted or asked for, I hope that I can remain positive, lively, and MOVE THIS MOUNTAIN! God will help me move this mountain. It is going to be one heck of a climb, but I’ve always enjoyed hiking, and mountains, sooo here we go on the craziest hiking trip of our life thus far…..

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