I have been asked several times in the last few days about my story and how I figured out I had cancer. I figured I would just lay it out there for everyone.
Todd and I went on vacation on June 8th. I noticed then that my breast looked swollen and bruised. I just figured Chase had hit me there and it was bruised. It never got better just worse. So on July 8th, I went to my ob-gyn thinking I had a bruised breast. He order a mammogram that day. During this mammogram, the lady who did it insisted that I get a special mammogram ordered by the end of the week. She kept telling me it is very important. On July 9th, I called my doctor and told him that I needed this special testing. He ordered it and I was at the doc by 1:00 p.m. by 2:15 they told me I had cancer. The following week was a blur.
Here are the symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer:
Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange), which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema (swelling) in the breast. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward) (3). These symptoms usually develop quickly—over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, above the collarbone, or in both places. However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions such as infection, injury, or other types of cancer (1).
I was not aware that the symptoms I was having was cancer. I always thought that breast cancer was a lump.