Thursday, November 16, 2006

One Step at a Time

Thank you for your concern and thoughts. I'm trying to be a little more rational about this. Since I have an appointment Monday morning with my OB, I don't think I need to try to see her or a specialist before then since it's already Thursday. When I had my appointment with the breast center, I asked them what I should do if I had any further concerns or saw more changes in the breast. Their response was to see my OB again and let her make the next logical referral. The thing is, my "symptoms" haven't changed or increased in the past week, so I don't want to jump the gun just because of what I read on the Internet. The part about my cousin is very scary, and I'm worried about her, but the fact is that her condition caused her doctors to go for a biopsy. If my doctors thought I needed I biopsy, wouldn't they have recommended it right then? The breast center I went to has a very good reputation, and two people saw me there.Of the three people who have examined me so far, not one of them said the words inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

The fact remains though that we still don't know the underlying cause for my breast changes, and that is a concern. Yes, the changes could be pregnancy related. It's just that these symptoms don't seem to be the normal pregnancy ones. Looking at IBC pictures and testimonials, my breast certainly doesn't look like the clear-cut cases, yet it does fit some of the description. The redness is really more of a pinkness, and I wouldn't call it a rash, but the skin does dimple when you pinch it, which is supposedly a sign of IBC. Although my right side has always been larger, I would say it's quite a bit larger now while my left side has really just seemed normal lately. IBC is a very rare form of cancer, and supposedly not hereditary, so really the chances of me having it are small, even if my cousin does, which we don't know yet. Of course, the chances of having IF requiring IVF with ICSI were small...

I did read some things that said all the Internet hype about IBC has created an unnecessary scare for women. Yet reading some of the first-hand testimonials from people who were diagnosed with it, I find similarities in their stories to my own that scare me.

Sometimes the Internet may cause me more harm than good. I've spun myself up into thinking I'm going to be diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer that will need immediate chemo and will cause me to lose the twins and possibly my own life. I need to breathe and take this one step at a time, and stop trying to play doctor with myself using the Internet. This is not the first time I've worried myslef sick over something I read on the Internet. I've been convinced before that I knew my diagnosis before a doctor saw me, and I was wrong.

But why, oh why, does my stupid breast have to be acting up in a weird way? Why can't some of this be easy? I finally feel pregnant--I'm showing more and more--and instead of enjoying it I'm just worrying all the time. And I do have other minor things to be worried about. My urine test showed that I have Group B Strep, which is very dangerous for babies during delivery, so I'll need to go on antibiotics when I go into labor. Swell. I also have a cough that mysteriously comes and goes, and of course there's a crazy part of my brain that's convinced the cough is a sign that the breast cancer has already spread to my lungs.

This year has been so stressful, and filled with so many highs and lows, that I just want to check out mentally for awhile and regroup. Some good news is that I had my thesis defense and passed. That was a huge burden taken off my shoulders, and I'm happy that it's over.

Not much more to say. Next week will be action packed, between the OB on Monday and the peri on Wednesday. Supposedly we will get a VHS tape of the babies. I hope I can start to relax enough to enjoy it. Didn't I say I would stop stressing by Thanksgiving? It's always something.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers--I'm going to take up some more praying with all my free time now that my thesis is finished. I figure praying has to be more helpful that spending hours obsessing over what might be wrong.


Anonymous said...

I agree about the interned being able to sometimes do more harm than good! And just when you alleviate your fears about something, a new crisis comes up and it's hard to stay on an even keel through it all! You are doing much better than I would under the circumstances and I applaud you for that.


Motel Manager said...

Huge congrats on the thesis defense - that is amazing!

I am keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that your wayward boob will resolve its bad behavior quickly, and that nothing serious is wrong with it. Dr. Google is both helpful and not, as you say.

I hope your weekend is very relaxing!

Melissa said...

Alright Emmie...How about a little assvice? Promise I'll keep it short and sweet! K? Or, feel free to simply ignore it!

My sister also has Group B strep and does the whole antibiotic before delivery thing. It has never been a problem for her, or try not to worry about that. It's fairly common.

And...congrats on the thesis! It's amazing that you have the time/will power to do so while working and being pregnant..and married...and, well you's just harder when we aren't on our own! So good for you!

And...I'm hoping the boob issue turns out to be nothing. Your concern is definately valid (not that you need your feelings to be validated) but I just hope that it turns out to be nothing more than a scare. Good luck with your appointments next week!

Anonymous said...

Hi Emmie - I read yesterday's post but didn't want to comment until you took some time to absorb all of this which by the sounds of today's post, you did, and I'm glad. While the internet can be a wonderful wealth of information, I think it's a poor way to diagnose oneself. Of course only you know how you feel and I imagine the changes in your breast are downright scary; however, as you know, you simply have to have more info first. And I believe had the doctors you'd seen been overly concerned, you would have been scheduled immediately for a biopsy. I certainly hope it is nothing serious and you remain in my prayers. Your body (and mind) have gone through so much on this journey, not to mention the standard changes one's body experiences during pregnancy!!! Speaking of...I too have been blessed with a positive result (I'm about 8.5 wks) and although I am not showing per se, the hormonal changes are unbelievable. But enough about me....Hang in there. Congrats on your thesis, and remember to breathe. Not to sound hokey but I don't believe God gives us more than we can handle. Best wishes and good luck with the OB next week. Please keep us posted. Thinking of you lots - Lisa