Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Total freak out!

If you haven't already heard here is my big news. I have Breast cancer.
I wanted to start this blog to keep everyone up to date on whats going on with my boob(s). LOL! Come on people laugh a little. Its the only way I'm gonna make it through this. Let me start with a little bit about how this all came about.

Several months ago I noticed I had what looked like to be a piece of dry skin on the end of my nipple on my right breast. Of course I didn't leave it alone I picked it. While doing this I was walking into the bathroom my elbow hit the wall making my finger nail go into my nipple. It was bleeding and didn't feel to great but I thought egh whatever it'll heal. Several months past and it hadn't healed. I tried everything band aids, ointment used for breast feeding, gauze, going braless for almost a week. NOTHING seemed to help. Several more months passed. One night my husband noticed a small lump. He asked me whats this as he poked at it. I about jumped out of my skin from pain. I didn't really feel anything til he pointed it out. So then it became something that I would constantly play with. My sore on the end of my nipple would get better and then worse. A couple days after my husband pointed out this small lump it had become huge and was very tender. So I made an appointment with my Obgyn to have a breast examination along with my yearly pap.
6/17/10 so I explained to the Dr what happened. She said it looked to her like maybe there was a infection at the surface. As far as the lump was concerned she didn't even acknowledge that she could feel it. She had her associate come in and take a look at it. He too agreed that I should take some antibiotics as it probably was infected. He told me as far as the lump as you get older the tissue could become more hard I guess. I don't even know what the hell he really said alls I got out of it was it was nothing to be worried about. I got the script for the antibiotics. I was going camping up in Door County that weekend. They suggested that I wait til I got back to take it as it could cause nausea. So when I got back I started my meds that I would take for 4 wks. Something told me stay on this get a mammogram, get a second opinion. So I did. On 7/8/10 I had an appointment with a much smarter Dr. He ordered me a mammo, mri, amd lots of blood work. The soonest they could get me in for the mammo was 7/22/10.

7/22/10 had my first mammogram. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined. The tech was very nice, friendly an informative. After she was done she had me wait for the radiologist to read my results. She came to say she needed to take a couple more. The radiologist thought it would be a good idea that I have a ultrasound right away. So the mammo showed two spots that were questionable and the ultrasound showed five. As i was leaving the tech hands me a pink single stem rose. She says to me this doesn't mean that you do or don't have cancer its just a thank you and good luck. G thanks!!!!! :)  So my next step was a ultrasound guided biopsy.

7/26/10 I meet with a surgeon to discuss my biopsy. He performed the one biopsy at the tip of my nipple. And recommended I have the others done at the hospital with the radiologist because there were multiple spots that needed to be biopsied.

7/28/10 I had the ultrasound guided biopsy. I was not a happy camper. It took over an hour they took 9 biopsies and put in two markers so I was stuck with a needle 11 times mot including the needle sticks to numb the areas. This was so NOT on my to do list. I walked out of there looking like my right breast was a DD. I was to go home rest and ice my right breast for 20min every 60 min.

Now the worst part waiting for the results . WAITING WAITING WAITING WAITING!!!!!!!

The biopsy was done on Wed so they thought I would hear something by Friday but most likely not til Monday.

7/29/10 So all day long I was getting check up phone calls from the hospital and Dr's. They wanted to make sure I wasn't having any signs of infection, that my pain was tolerable and that I didn't have a ton of bruising and no bleeding. At approximately 3:35pm I got "THE CALL". Dr.Schwab - surgeon who did the first biopsy called to tell me that all the biopsies that were taken came back to be cancerous. Alls I could say was ok, ok, ok, ok. Of course I was shocked. I wasn't expecting to know as it was only Thursday and I was told I wouldn't know anything til most likely Monday. So in just the few minutes I spent on the phone with the doctor my whole life and world seemed to be flipped upside down. Alls I could think is I'm 30 this can't be.  I instantly called my husband. The tears came and I was emotionally a mess. Might I add at this awful moment I was HOT mess!!! :)
I couldn't even get the words out to tell him. He was with a customer and quietly said Hun I'm sorry but I have to call you back. I found myself shaking walking back and fourth. The kids were all home and I didn't want them to see me like this. It took me about 20 min to get myself under control. The second I had convinced my self that I could do this Jesse (my husband) called back. He was in hysterics. It was horrible I couldn't even share this awful moment with the one person I wanted to share it with most.

7/30/10 I had an appointment the next morning to go over my "options". Options are great except in this case. Options = Decisions. So the Doctor explains to Jesse and I that I have what is most likely a Stage 2 Infilitrating ductal carcinoma, poorly differentiated. In otherwords Aggresive cancer in all the areas that were biopsied. I also have what they call Pagets disease. So basically my entire right breast is garbage.
   Paget’s disease of the breast is an eczema-like change in the skin of the nipple, and 9 out of 10 women who have it have an underlying breast cancer. The underlying breast cancer may be an invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma. Paget’s disease affects about 1–2 out of every 100 women with breast cancer. It is most common in women in their 50s, but can occur at a younger or older age. One of the signs/symptoms is usually a sore affecting the nipple that doesn't go away. UGH Hello HUGE RED FLAG!!!! Why did my obgyn not know about this? So anyway he goes on to talk to me about surgery a Mastectomy. I am not a canidate for a lumpectomy my chances for reoccurance would be high. So he shares with us the details of the surgery. He then starts to talk to us about Chemotherapy. That was it I lost it. I sat there completely speechless. Alls I could think is you want to remove my boobs and know your telling me I'm going to loose all my hair. Well shit why don't you just take my freaking crotch too!  Sorry! I had to share that with you. I'm mean come on how am I suppose to feel at all like a woman. I finally have grown to like who I am and what I look like and now this. So so so frustrating. The rest of the conversation for me was a blur. The word Chemotherapy was what but me over the top. There are several options for reconstruction.
SOOOOOO my next step was meeting with a plastic surgeon, oncologist and genetics specialist.

8/2/10 Today was a absolute waste of my time. I was suppose to have a doctor appt @ 9:30 with the plastic surgeon. Jesse and I drove all the way to Kenilworth to be told your appt is at 9:30 PM.
PM What?????   So we hurry back to go over to NIMC for my MRI @ 12. We got there a little early so I went and got copies of my reports. Got my slides from pathology and my films from my mammo. So its finally time. I get back there and the girl asks me the first day of my last period. 6/28 I tell her. Apparently this is a problem. The mri is very sensitive and will pick up hormone activity so its best if you are on day 2 or 3 of your cycle at that point hormones will drop drastically. So anyway I still had my appointment at 9:30 pm to go to. Jesse and I left a 8 pm in hopes we would get there a little early and people watch. :) At 8:45 we are almost there and Jesse notices he has a missed call. Its the Doctors office cancelling my appointment because the Dr had a ER. Oh the poor girl that had the duty of calling me got an ear full. I was PISSED!!!! I just drove here for the second time today for nothing! I was glad this day was over.

8/3/10 My appointment that I knew was going to be the hardest for me. Dr. Dragon - oncologist
He was very nice and extremely informative. He went over the details with me and different chemotherapy regimens. At this point seeing him is a little early in the process. I will need to see him after surgey for Chemo. Not sure if I will be doing this treatment. I am considering an alternative treatment in place of the chemo. I would have no hair loss, no nauseau or sickness. Something I still need to think about. Something in me says DON'T do the chemo.

8/4/10 Appointment with Dr. Fenner - plastic surgeon. He will be doing my reconstruction. There are basically 4 different options for my reconstruction. One satge implants, two stage Tissue expanders, DIEP/Muscle sapring Free TRAM flap, Latissimus Dorsi Flap. I'm sure your all thinking hugh? What does that all mean. I could explain it to you but it would take me forever so I will just ask that if your really curious you can look it up on line. Some of the pictures can look pretty scary beware.

8/9/10 The appointment I've been waiting for.  Dr. Winchester also known as Mr. Popular everybody wants to have their surgery done by him. I am suprised I was able to get in as soon as I did. We talked about the entire process from the removal to reconstruction. There are several more tests he is recommending I do prior to giving me my surgery date. I need an MRI of the left breast, CT of chest, PET scan and genetic testing. All of my doctors are thinking I have a mutation to a gene. I have no family history of breast cancer and I'm 30. So I have scheduled the MRI and CT for 8/12. I also will have the genetic testing done on 8/16.
So unitl then I will keep busy with coaching cheerleading, enjoying the rest of summer and getting the kids ready to go back to school. I will keep all of you updated. So far I've only had two break down emotional days. I did have a really bad day on Sunday. I was yelling at anyone who got in my way I was just pissed at the world. Its time to sit down with the kids and let them know whats going on. I need help around here and they are gonna have to step it up. I can't do everything. Its driving me to be angry and frustrated.


  1. Mandy I love you.
    I am crying as im writing and reading this.
    Just remember i am always there for you.

    -Megan Ringel

  2. Mandy, I can't even imagine what you are going though!! You are a STRONG girl and will def get through this fighting and kicking all the way!!!
    If there's anything you need or I can do PLEASE let me know!! I am here for you!
    You are in all of my thoughts and prayers!
    Love you, XOXO
    Chrissy Riemann

  3. Mandy, I know you can beat this and you will!! I am praying for you. Let me know if you need anything!

    Jacki Spencer

  4. Your words,thoughts and prayers mean alot to me. Thank you!

  5. Mandy...my mom is going through the same thing right now....not the same cancer but breast cancer...our surgeon is Dr. Schwab too...let me know if you need to talk...do you still have my number?? It's the same number since forever ago...message me on FB if you don't....I'm here for you girlie...You're in my thoughts and prayers and right now I'm shedding tears for you but I know you'll be ok...just remember to keep your chin up!!!

    Shannon Kaufman-Deubel

  6. AWWWWW! Thanks Shannon. I actually switched over to Evanston. I wanted to make sure I had the BEST for my reconstruction. NIMC does not have a breast cancer center so I wanted to go somewhere that had one. The team I have choose to work with seems to be very well known and very very very good at what they do. Tell your mom I wish her the best!

  7. Mandy
    This is Geri Shannon's mom and I want to tell you that you can and will beat this....I too was horribly emotional about the whole thing but have learned to take one day at a time and it has worked. Don't get me wrong you will have days where you want to kill everyone who looks at you but in time that too will pass. Now my motto is....it is what it is and it's not gonna beat me!!! Having my breast removed was not as hard as I thought it was gonna be. Remember Jesse loves you for who you are not for your breast and hair! Losing hair was what i thought was gonna devistate me, but girlfriend it's only hair and it does grow back. As far as nausia and etc. from chemo they have all the drugs to stop that now so that's something you can talk to you oncologist about. Remember your doctors are there and when you have an appt. and go home not remembering what they said (which happened to me more then once) call them they're more then happy to repeat. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and if you need anything at all let Shannon know and I will be there for you!!!


  8. Geri,
    Thanks soooooooooo much. Ya I have been on a emotional roller coaster. Some days worse than others. Jesse and I are finding ways to laugh as much as possible. Funny you should mention not remembering what they say. I get home and my husband is telling me thats not what they said. I now take a notebook with me. Hope you are doing well. Keep in touch and I'll let ya know how everything goes.

  9. Mandy,
    My thoughts are with you. You are so brave & courageous. It takes a lot to be able to share what you are going through. My Mom had Breast Cancer as well. Reading your visits to the Dr.'s & the whole decision process, I can relate how difficult it is on you as well as your family.
    Continue to stay strong. Do not loose your wonderful sense of humor! You have a solid support system around of people who really care about you. Please know, I am one of those people...

  10. Mandy,
    As I read this while wiping away tears, I keep coming to the feeling that you are one STRONG BRAVE woman! Thank you for sharing your story and just know that you have a LOT of prayer warriors praying for you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you and your family!
    Janette Sfire

  11. You are the most selfless, strong woman i know.

  12. Mandy,

    You are such an strong women! I really dont have the words. I will pray for you and your family you are truly an insperation to me!
    If their is anything I can do please Let me know!
    Love ya,
    Christine Bart