The breast surgeon recommended an oncologist and he squeezed me in at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 19 – the day after my diagnosis. I immediately liked him because he was willing to go into the office early – before it even opened – to see me.
I had a restless night of sleep and was up early and at the oncologists office way earlier than I should have been. I went in and the oncologist greeted me, took care of my new patient paperwork, took my vitals – all the stuff that his staff would usually do. I immediately knew this would be my oncologist – he made time for me, he didn’t feel as if he was above anything and just made me feel very comfortable.
We discussed my family history, and unfortunately, walking in the door I knew more about breast cancer that one wants to because so many women in my family have survived this horrible disease.
What I didn’t know, however, was that there are so many different types of breast cancer, I also did not know, specifically, what type I had.
My oncologist told me I was “triple negative” … ok, Negative! Good news. As it turns out, triple negative is the worst. Basically, I lack estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
My actual diagnosis was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Triple Negative Breast Cancer. My oncologist told me this is a very aggressive cancer and can quickly spread to my liver, lungs and bones so he ordered me an MRI, bone scan and chest X-Ray to make sure it hadn’t began spreading.
My saving grace … early detection. I have been getting annual mammograms since I was 25. There was no lump, no indication of cancer or abnormalities, yet I had one of the most fatal cancers for young women. Thank God that we caught it in stage one … or I may not be here today to write about my experience.