Sunday, July 20, 2008


July 18
Ultrasound this morning to get as definitive answer – as close as possible before surgery - on the size of the tumor(s). The radiologist reviewed previous films and reports and believes that the mass is a total of 2 cm x 1.5 cm. Much, much better than 4 cm!! It means a much smaller incision and I will be a good candidate for a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy).

I had the pleasure of sitting around the hospital for 4 hours until my next appointment with the surgeon. I put the time to good use and transcribed the CD from the first meeting with the surgeon (don’t know what I’m talking about? Start at the beginning and you’ll see ). I heard things I had no idea she said on Tuesday.

I asked the surgeon about hypnosis before surgery that studies have shown decreases fear, pain, need for anesthesia and pain medications. She hasn't seen this at Virginia Mason and went on to say that they would probably have to start now for me. I think I was just verbally poked? Vic thought it was funny.

My meeting with the medical oncologist was great. I like her! I should have seen her first along this journey and not the surgeon (I think I said this earlier somewhere). The BC is Grade 3, Stage 1 (maybe 2 after surgery). Early breast cancer detected on screening which is the best kind. I am joyous!

I will have a port given my recent non-success with IVs and vein collapse. I am joyous even more! They can draw blood from this port, they can put contrast in it if another MRI or PET scan is needed. Port = no needles

Here are some pictures of a port . . .not for the squeamish:

Here is a safe, non-squeamish website of a port:

I am not a medical doctor; each woman’s breast cancer is treated differently as it depends on the type, size, grade and stage. But this is what is recommended for my BC:

Given the negative HER2, tumors like mine tend to have best results from chemo in terms of recurrence. Recurrence of cancer can happen in the first 2 years, but after 5 years, I am safe( r ) with chemo and radiation. The treatment is definitely more intense than those women who have hormone-fueled tumors. But it’s a shorter time frame – compared to the hormone-fueled that have to take pills for 5 years. I will start chemo 3 weeks after surgery. I will have 4 infusions of Docetaxel (Taxofere) and Cytoxan every 3 weeks. If there is cancer in more than 1 lymph node, the number of infusions would be increased to 6.

There will be some nausea, but no vomiting (Yeah!!). Definite hair loss and fatigue. The red and blood cells will be lowered. After the first infusion, I will have an idea of the pattern of fatigue and nausea and other effects for future treatment.

I can breathe now.

Vic continues to have episodes of dizziness and low blood pressure. Some of the side effects from the meds are bothersome. He will see his Internist on Monday to talk about the side effects and the continued dizziness and low blood pressure. Two weeks to go for his surgery!! We can't wait!

Some of the useful links I've found for cancer and treatments, especially for Triple Negatives. (If two negatives make a positive, what does three negatives make?)

No Surrernder Breast Cancer Help

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation forum

No comments:

Post a Comment