A Long Story…

Just want to warn you that this is a really long story but here we go…

For the last 8 years I have had fibroid cysts in my breasts. I have always completed self breast examinations ever since these cysts have been present. In December I noticed a change. On my left breast the lumps felt harder. I wasn’t completely sure because that had happened in the past with each monthly cycle and they resolved. I decided to wait one more cycle and see if they changed furthur.

They in fact did change. There was more than one lump and it became much larger rather quickly. The end of January I made a visit to my family physician and he was immediately concerned. Within the next couple of days I had a Mammogram, Ultrasound and an appointment with a surgeon. When my Ultrasound was completed the Radiologist spoke with me and stated that he was very concerned with what he saw. He booked me for a Needle Biopsy the next day. That went well and the next day I had an appointment with my new surgeon Dr Donna Kolyn. An absolutely fabulous physician here in Cambridge. She was fairly convinced that by the look and feel of my breast that I would need Chemotherapy, Radiation and Surgery; not necessarily in that order. But we did have to wait for the Biopsy results to come in. On Sunday she called me to tell me that my biopsy results were a little strange. They could not see any typical Cancer cells that arise from epithelial cells. The pathologist here in Cambridge suspected that I had what is called a Phylloides Tumor. This was considered somewhat good news but to be cautious because it needed furthur testing.

At that time she stated that she had made an appointment for me this past Wednesday to see another fabulous physician in Hamilton at the Juravinski Cancer Center named Dr. Nicole Hodgson. That appointment was verrrry long…..4 hours long!!! But I felt very well taken care of. I was given a lot of information. I had brought copies of my pathology slides from Cambridge for the pathologist in Hamilton to view. So while that was being done; Dr. Hodgson sat down and told me what the possibilites were for me. Because of the size of the tumor and that fast rate of growth over the last 6 weeks, they were convinced it was a cancer. Despite what the pathologist saw on the slides in Cambridge. So that lead to a a visit with the Medical Oncologist; another fabulous physician called Dr. Tozer. He stated that because of my history and the fast growth that we could possibly be a connective tissue Sarcoma rather than a typical breast cancer. He stated that we definitely needed another biopsy completed and furthur testing done to determine the type of tumor we were dealing with. Once I was done with him Dr. Avrams visitied me; the Plastic Surgeon. He discussed what kind of reconstructive surgery I could have once my Mastectomy and Chemothreapy were completed.

As you can well imagine, I was just about exhausted from all the information. And totally devastated. So many feelings and utter dismay at what lay ahead.

Just shortly after this, Dr. Hogdson came back into the room and said the Pathologist in Hamilton had finished reading my slides and was almost convinced that it was a Phylloides Tumor. You can imagine that the rollercoaster that I was on was a little bumpy. She then stated that she had to complete more biopsies. She took three different biopsies. She got good tissue and stitched me up and told me to come back on Friday for the results.

Well, off I went to Hamilton again this morning. And apparently I have what is called a Phylloides Tumor. I won’t be needing Chemotherapy or Radiation at this time. They are going to be completing furthur testing on the biopsy samples they took on Wednesday to furthur determine if there are any Cancer cells. I will definitely need a Mastectomy with furthur reconstruction. The tumor is so large that they are not able to do a breast conservation surgery. So the old girl has to come off!!! (Sorry for the dark humor…but over the last several weeks it has been a mix of that and sadness). Once the breast is off they will complete many exams on the tumor itself. There is also a possibility that a pocket of cancer cells could be found within the tumor. It is rare but can happen. I will deal with that if it should arise but for now they are unable to find any cancer cells. And I am going to go with that.

For the first time in many weeks I am able to BREATH!!! Large, deep satisfying breaths!!!! I have a very large surgery on the horizon and sooner than later possibly within the next two weeks but I will deal with that and look forward to not having this continuing growing tumor in my left breast.

You may ask why I did not share before now about my dilemna, but I wanted to be sure about what I had before I passed it on to everyone. To those who did know, I owe a debt of gratitude. You have held me up in this terribly time and I can’t thank you enough. To name names the list would be long…You know who you are. Now that I passed this on to you all, I will keep you up to date over the next weeks as the surgery comes up. I am going to go ahead and have a CT Scan of my chest, pelvis and abdomen on Wednesday of next week and I have a Bone Scan on March 8 as well. they want to check me over good and I am more than OK with that.

So with all of that I will sign off. Take care and have a good night. I will keep you posted.




  1. Judy, you have certainly been dealing with an awful lot in a very very short period of time. It sounds as if, all things considered, the news is good. Will be thinking of you. Wishing you all good things,R/

  2. Thinking about you Judy!! It is so much to take in in such a short time…very stressful!! Sending lots of love your way!

  3. mindysmith says:

    That damn cancer is praying on another beautiful, strong woman… it certainly doesn't know how to pick it's victims…. because you're going to kick it's sorry ass!Sending lots of healing thoughts your way xo.

  4. Sounds like you have been dealing with a lot Judy. I am so sorry to hear it! As Mindy so eloquently put it, I have no doubt that you will kick cancer's 'sorry ass'! My thoughts are with you and I am sending you healing energy!! xx

  5. HI JudyJust wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers…

  6. Shelley says:

    i am requireing a lumpectomy (currently unsure if i have cancer due to weird biopsy results, so plan on removing the tumor cause it could be bad and doing much more testing on it. I live in Fergus, parents in kitchener. I met with one surgeon this week who i was refered to and he made me much more worried/scared/confused and made it clear how i looked post-op was of no concern to him, and i would not (with him) get to talk to plastics at all even tho he clamed he would be removing a fist worth of tissue.

    So as i see my family dr tomorrow to plead to see another surgeon, one who might grasp my concerns i ask your thoughts on Dr Donna Kolyn, i’ve heard good things about her, does she seem like someone concered about concerving breast as well as possible if able to, and if not understanding of fears and such? I hope you get this asap and can get back to me. I stumbled on your blog googling Donna Kolyn as she is the only person i’ve heard of other than the surgeon i met already that left me in a meltdown. I am about to read your other posts on the topic of your surgery and such to try to get some more info where possible as with my luck you won’t see this coment for at least a week.

    Hopeing to read ahead that things went as well as they could have, and no cancer was found.

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