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Welp, it’s cancer

May 27, 2021

Q: So how did you find it? WTF!! What happened?

It was Thursday (5/6) in the late afternoon, and we were both done with work a little early. I was in the hot tub with Anthony enjoying my life. He asked me how I was doing, and I said, actually I am doing SO good right now, it’s like everything is going really well and I just want to soak in it. Classic Russian novel foreshadowing shit.

Then I got in the shower and found a lump in my left breast. It was weird, because I’m pretty aware of my body, and it appeared really suddenly. I got on the OneMedical app, booked an appt that same evening, and went to the Dr, where she gave me a breast exam and referred me to go get an ultrasound and mammogram for the following Tuesday (5/11). I expected… I don’t know, something similar to an x-ray. I did not have any prior knowledge of what a mammogram actually is, and was slightly disturbed at finding that a machine exists to flatten your boob while it x-rays it.

Tuesday morning I got my first mammogram (which normally you’re not supposed to start until 45…). Anthony went with me and sat in the waiting hallway the whole time and got texts from me about how weird the mammogram machine is.

I met a wonderful nurse named Agnes. She was probably in her early 60s, clearly very experienced, and led me through the whole process and explained every step that was going to happen in advance. She said “sorry, I know this room is cold” and “sorry, I know that’s uncomfortable” and other versions of sorry a lot, which was comforting.

Once the Dimension machine was done with me, Agnes went to review the footage. She came back and led me into another room for an ultrasound, which is *exactly* like the pregnancy ultrasound: some blue jelly (warm this time), a little wand, and a screen where I could see what she was seeing.

On the screen, we saw a big black irregular mass. It looked sort of like this on the ultrasound machine:

I’ll talk about the biopsy, which I got the same day, in another post. It sucked. The cliff’s notes is that when the biopsy was starting, they kept asking if I was ok because I was quiet. I told them, “Yeah I’m fine, I’m just singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees in my head.” And I actually was totally fine. Then after they punctured me the second time and it really hurt and bled, I started crying. Afterward, Agnes told me, “It’s a journey. You just got on the first step.”

Then we went on vacation to Hawaii (which was perfect and amazing) and I got the call on that Tuesday, 5/18. The nurse spent 30-45 min with me on the phone explaining everything, and then I went to the beach with my best friends (several besties not pictured, I’m looking at you, MH, FF, EZ, and MG). I love you guys.

Here are my results from the biopsies, one in my left boob and the other in my left lymph node.



IDC, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, stage 2

Tumor size by imaging: 32mm

Grade 2 (scale 1-3). — growing faster than we’d like, basically

Estrogen receptor positive

Progesterone receptor positive

Her2neu status: negative

Ki-67/Mib1: ~50% (high)

Lymph node involved by carcinoma

So now it’s time for an MRI, and waiting for a mammaprint result, and then also trying to get a second opinion from UCSF coordinated. Phew!

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