I agree that you shouldn't beat your self up over what has happened in the past. Be present with the here and now.
Second - get a 3 rings binder. So you have a place to store lab and test results. Also all the doctor's notes. Keep blank paper in the front and start writing down any questions you think of. Take this to the appointments so you will remember to ask those question of the onc team. Having someone to take notes during the appointment helps. No matter what you say or think your mind will go blank and you might not remember much of what the doctor says. The note taker will help with that. That person can be family, a friend, or anyone you chose. I took a friend from work on my first dozen appointments.
If the doctor says something you don't understand make him/her explain it another way so you do understand,
Patients that are actively involved in their own care fair much better then those who just say whatever to the doctor. Learn all you can about breast cancer. Here is a good place to start. We can supply information and answer any questions you might have.
Yes, this board use to be much more active but there are still some of us hanging around and we will be more then happy to help.
The size of the tumor has little to do with the staging. It is more about location then size and if it is confined to one area or not. Staging can be important but not the be all end all of everything. I was diagnosed at stage 4 from the very beginning. That means the cancer was in my breast and also in my spine. I had yearly mammograms and even had my lump biopsied 3 times and was told it wasn't any thing to worry about. Guess what? It was something to worry about the the first doctor screwed up the biopsies big time. It is what it is. You need to know that I was stage 4 15 years ago and I'm still here fighting the big fight and continue to believe that somehow I'm going to win this war.
Hang tough. Fight like a girl. and ask any question you want. There is no such thing as a good or bad patient. There is only a patient that needs help and that is you
take GOoD care