Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cancer info

Dave and I met with the breast surgeon, Dr. Borden, today. He went over all of the details that he had gotten thus far, in layman's terms. He also did the biopsy of my lymph node--measured it first with ultrasound--it was 1.5 cm. We'll get those results the beginning of next week. Usually it only takes two days, but because of Thanksgiving, it will take longer.

There are a few scenarios:

Scenario 1: If the cancer is just in the breast, they will do a lumpectomy and pull the sentinal node at the same time. The node will be tested for cancer. If negative for cancer, I will begin just radiation.

Scenario 2: If the cancer is in the nodes as well, then they will do the lumpectomy, pull the sentinal node as well as other nodes in the area to see how far the cancer has spread. Then I will have chemo and radiation and will be sent for a PET CT to see if the cancer is anywhere else.

IF I am a candidate, I could get a new type of radiation where they set a balloon in place of where they take out the tumor. It is connected to a catheter and releases the radiation gradually over a period of 12 days and then radiation is done. This sounds preferable to having to go 5 days a week, an hour a day for weeks at a time. HOWEVER, they usually do this procedure on people over age 50. Dr. Borden will be speaking with the radiologist, Dr. Silverstein, to see if I can qualify at age 42. We'll see.

I have to decide between a lumpectomy and mastectomy before my surgery. Neither gives me a better chance of survival, so I figure I'll go for the lumpectomy...I could always have a mastectomy later on if needed.

We're still waiting on the results of the cancer being estrogen or progesterone receptive, or Her2, or something called TRi___. It is an invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 1 if no lymph nodes are involved, stage 2 if lymph nodes are involved, stage 3 if lymph nodes are involved and it has spread elsewhere...don't even want to talk about stage 4. So far I'm happy with stage 1, but I'll know more next week.

I've got lots of literature to read, and some tylenol to take for that lymph node biopsy. This should keep my mind occupied for a while.

Also, my brother-in-law, Gary had some really horrible news. His cancer has not gotten better and the doctors say there is nothing else they can do. I pray that they find something to take his pain away. It's just awful how much pain he's in.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! I'll be doing the same.

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