nonybalony's Story

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"In October 2015, I went in for a screening mammogram because I had a 'hunch' for some time that something was off. It came back abnormal. A week later, I went in for the repeat. The radiologist informed the mammo tech that it was just a lymph node and they'll see me in a year at my annual. PHEW!!!!

"On March 18, 2016, I went home from work and for some strange reason, I took my bra off. Probably to seduce my husband but, regardless, I never do that until bedtime. I mindlessly cupped my left breast and immediately felt a very sensitive, pea-sized lump in my axilla. No big deal. Back to Modern Family. But I did set an alarm on my phone to call for an appointment on Monday am.

"Monday am, I got an appointment with the doctor for that same day. Referral for US and General Surgery was placed. They called me the next day to schedule me for Thursday.

"Thursday, March 24, I was watching the radiologist perform my US. She then suggested that we do another mammo. After the mammo, she said, 'How do you feel about a biopsy right now?' I obviously said yes.

"Friday am, the report came back BIRADS 5. I was devastated. She was the same radiologist that told me my mammo in October was benign :/

"Monday, March 28, 2016, I arrived to work (oh, I work in a hospital) with an email from my doc sitting in my inbox. 'Nona, please come to my office when you get in this am...'

"IDC, Grade 3, 1.7cm. Worst day of my young life. I couldn't stop crying. How do I tell my husband? How do I tell my 3 year old? The tears have rarely stopped falling after that.

"I saw the Surgical Oncologist the following Thursday. He recommended lumpectomy because the tumor was so small. ER was 20%, PR was less than 1% and HER2 was 2+. FISH (which took FOREVER to come back) ended up being negative. That was very exciting news. That means there's a treatment, right? Another sigh of relief.

"I had my lumpectomy with sentinel lymph node dissection on April 27. It was a really easy procedure. I was out of the hospital within 3 hours of going under and the pain was minimal for 2 days and then non-existent. I couldn't imagine a better surgical team. The removal of the tumor seemed to remove most of my sadness.

"April 29, 2016, my surgeon called with the greatest news ever! Margins clear! Lymph nodes clear! No more surgery! I cried with relief and joy. It was an amazing feeling. I'm not going to to wait for my medical oncology appointment scheduled for May 25.

"But wait...

"May 9, 2016, I got a call that has killed my ability to be happy: ER/PR and HER2 were all negative.

"I have since scheduled an appointment for a second opinion, with MD Anderson and I am seeing one of the best breast doctors in the world on June 16. I am both terrified and elated. I will keep you all posted and I appreciate your being here. The ups and downs are so overwhelming. I don't know how to cope on most days, but I have to. Because of my baby. She is now asking to fix me because I'm broken and she wants magical powers because she needs me. She only senses it as I have not revealed any more than 'mommy's sick.' It's so tragic. I cannot leave her. Ridiculously depressing. And now I'm crying again.

"I have no idea what's going to happen. Chemo is obviously, the next step. I just want to go to sleep until it's all gone."

-- Nonybalony, diagnosed triple negative March 2016

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