Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oncology visit 11-21-12

Today was a visit with Dr. Reddy my oncologist. Let me give you a run down. If you have questions, please post them. I will try to answer what I know. If I don't know what the answer is, maybe it is something I need to bring up to Dr. Reddy.

The Sentinel Node biopsy showed no cancer in the nodes. However there were traces of cancer going to the nodes. Because of this they can not say that I do not have cancer in my bloodstream. This is not good news, but it is not the worst. All means is that I do have to have chemo. They said with that and because of all the other circumstances like my being young and no reason for cancer, I need the chemo. Without any treatment and just the surgery the cancer would definitely come back. With radiation and hormone therapy only I would have a 70% success rate. If I have chemo, radiation and hormone therapy I have a 90% success rate. 

He did remove all the tumor. There was  a complication other than the brackets being broken inside of me. The tumor had started to wrap itself around a nerve in my breast. They had to remove that nerve. Who needs feeling in their breast right? No, he said it was one little nerve, not going to make a difference. With what was removed it was not considered a lumpectomy, it is listed as a partial mastectomy. 

They want me to rest a bit, so chemo starts December 4th. It will take the longest due to them wanting to do it slow as an introduction. They fully described how each visit will be with blood work to make sure my white cell count is ok (or no treatment until it is) then the process will be 2-3 hours at a time. The next day I return for steroids and injections to keep my white cell count up. This will go on, a treatment every three weeks for 12 weeks. So I am very lucky only 4 rounds of chemo so far. We will countdown! 

After that we will rest for a couple of weeks then it will be radiation every day for 7 weeks. After that hormone therapy for five years. 

Here is a good thought! I will keep my PICC line and that is how I will get chemo. He said that is how Chemo was originally given before a port was introduced. So every week I will go to Texas Oncology and they will clean my PICC line and change my bandage until we are through. So keep your fingers crossed that this holds.

They gave me tons of reading material on what will happen like between the first and second round I will loose my hair. I am going to go soon and get a super short cut so I will not be so traumatized with it falling out. I keep hearing stories of women driving down the road or cleaning house and having to clean their hair up along the way. I don't think I could handle another meltdown. However I am sure there are more to come.

My advocate Jennifer is trying to get me into a study group through Texas Tech. They are studying the effects of women with Breast Cancer. She thought it would help because I would speak with them and other women and it might help me sort through something personally in dealing with the big C. So lets hope the grant they have been given will be able to provide for me too. 

Well that is all for now. I want you all to know how much I love you and you mean so much to me. I apologize if I have exploded at you (TIM) and will try harder to get better as it goes down the road.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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