Alysia Diagnosed at 40
I discovered a lump on my left breast positioned at 9 o'clock on November 16, 2011. I went in to the doctor the following day and a mammogram was ordered. With detection of a mass, I had an ultrasound done. On Nov. 23rd it was discovered that I had a tumor approx 3.4 cm. The tumor mimicked a fibroadenoma but cancer was suspected. After the long Thanksgiving Holiday (so it seemed to me), a biopsy was scheduled for Dec. 8th. The doctors weren't quite sure what it was they were looking at, therefore sent the sample out for further testing. On December 15th they discovered I had a high-grade malignant tumor but could not yet say what type of tumor it was due to the image of the tumor.
My first oncologist recommended immediate surgery and also ordered a PET Scan for the following Monday. She thought that I should have a lumptectomy, but with size 38DDD breast I said no way, I want a mastectomy. Then she said to just do the one breast and if it came back & the other breast needed to be removed, we can do it later. Yeah right... go through it again, I again said no way I'm having a bilateral mastectomy. She did not know what type of tumor I had because she had never seen that type of pattern before. When looking at the labs it continuously said metastasis. I knew what that word meant, I'd already done my homework... I was paranoid the entire weekend.
My pressure shot up to 174/120 in pure agony. I had the scan done but had to wait for the radiologist to communicate with the oncologist. In the meantime, I met with the surgeon after the scan and talked about my options. When the oncologist got word that it was localized she recommended a lumptectomy once again with possibility of having radiation. My surgeon said it was whatever I wanted, and after reading the reccurance rate, I didn't want to take the chance of it coming back in my breast. So, on Dec.22nd I had a bi-lateral mastectomy. I woke up the following morning feeling great. The surgeon couldn't believe how wonderful I looked and felt.
After the final biopsy was done I was finally told that I had a rare form of breast cancer... Triple negative Metaplastic carcinoma with clear margins and no lymph node involvement. The tumor had grown to 5.6 cm and because of size alone I was said to be stage 2b. The recommendation for this rare type tumor is a bi-lateral mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy... NO RADIATION! I found myself a new Oncologist and I love him! I started chemo a month later and had my last round May 3, 2012. Chemo was very hard for me. I was hospitalized twice for several days, but that is a thing of the past.
I started my reconstruction by having tissue expanders placed July 3rd. I was supposed to have the implants put in Oct 5th but because my GYN discovered tumors on both my uterus and ovaries, it was suggested I have a hysterectomy ASAP for precautionary reasons. October 8th I had a hysterectomy and thankfully they all were benign. During chemo I started having ear fluid build up in my left ear. .. the same side that my lump was in... how ironic. Later in 2012 I was supposed to go back to get a tube put in but totally put that in the back burner because my grandmother had taken ill in early December and nothing else mattered. Long story short, our Father called her home February 20, 2013. Around March I noticed the fluid build up once again. Then in April, my nostrils starts running and leaking to the point I had to stuff tissue in my nostrils in order to stop them from draining. Then one day my left ear was in so much pain, I barely could move. I cried all the way to the ENT. She treated me for an ear infection. .. that didn't work. She then treated me for a sinus infection... that wasn't working either. Finally, she scheduled me too come in to have tubes put in. Before she put the tube in, she ran a second hearing test and my hearing in my left ear was deteriorating. As she put the tube in fluid burst out. She sent me next door to the neighborhood hospital to do a CT scan. Well, there were signs of a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leakage which can lead to meningitis.
Long story short, I was sent to Tampa, FL to see an ENT surgeon and neuro surgeon to administer cranial surgery in order to patch my severely deteriorated bone that connects the ear and the brain. I was in the hospital one week before surgery and finally had cranial surgery June 3, 2013, and was in there a week afterward. I've had several spinal taps afterward, in which I struggled with. I lost a lot of memory and my vocabulary was ripped from me. But as I am typing this, most of my memory has come back and my vocabulary is so much better... To God be the Glory!!!!!
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