Okay gang; I’m gonna try and summarize and not be too boring on this one, but some of you want the facts, so here they are:
I had my annual routine mammogram in February and they called me back for a “second look” a week later. Went to the breast imaging center downtown at St. Lukes for another mammo, both 2D and 3D, followed by ultrasound. I kinda knew things were not shaping up in my favor by the way the ultrasound tech was acting…what can I say, I’m good at reading people. Then she brought in the radiologist, who also did her own ultrasound and took measurements etc.. The radiologist said there was an irregularity and they wanted me to come back at 9 am the next morning for biopsy of the lump and the lymph nodes. I asked her if it was cancer. She said, I think it is, but that’s why we want to biopsy right away. Ya, that’s not what you want to hear, but I appreciated her honesty. Jack drove me to the biopsy procedure the next morning, which was a Friday. They said I’d be called at 4:30 the following Wednesday with results and that I should be somewhere with the phone that I could speak privately and freely. This was a nightmare time for this to happen because Jess arrived home that evening from Moscow and she had her medical boards the following Tuesday. I had to keep all that was happening from her, because she really needed to concentrate on getting ready for the big test. It was agonizing. The call came one day early, from Renee, who I now know to be my Nurse Navigator. She was kind and knowledgeable and explained my findings of cancer and my “pathology”. She said I needed to see a surgeon and an oncologist and told me a lot of stuff and I just feverishly took notes while trying to hold my shit together. I had recommendations for three surgeons and one of them was able to open time in his schedule to see me on Wednesday, the next day.
I had to pick Jess up from her test because I had dropped her off in the morning, not wanting her to have to deal with traffic or anything else. So, in the car, on the way back to Mountain Home from Nampa, I just told her what was up. We both cried and I told her that I needed her to be my medical advocate and my eyes and ears because I was honestly still reeling with the shock. She stepped up immediately and started researching that night, while simultaneously keeping my wine glass full. That gal will be a GREAT doctor one day. he he
We met our surgeon the next day and we knew almost immediately that we were right where we were meant to be. The whole family went, Rod, Jess and Jack….we kinda filled up the doc’s office, but it takes a good team to kick cancer and this is my team. Lots of explaining and planning went on for over 2.5 hours. I had a trip planned for Mexico with the girls two days later and he said…GO! Have fun and them come back ready to kick some cancer ass. So….we did.
Today I met with my oncologist and we have a plan. It’s LOOOONG and complicated and doesn’t sound like any fun at all. But, we are looking toward the cure and no one said it would be easy.
So here’s the facts, just the facts: I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. It’s pathology is: Grade 3, HER2 positive, KI67 Index 70%, positive for Estrogen and Progesterone receptors. BOOM! Fancy, right? They refer to it as triple positive. Nothing about it sounds positive to me, but I’ll take their word for it. Basically it means that it’s aggressive and it likes female hormones and it’s growing rapidly. It’s in my lymph nodes, but it’s only on the left side. But the good news is that there are two chemo drugs that target HER2 and my chemo cocktail will include those drugs.
There’s lots of scary possible side effects and shit like that, but I’m pretty tough. I gave birth twice without anesthesia. This can’t be that much harder, right? I mean, Jack was a BIG baby!
So, I’ll start my Chemo next week. The port goes in on Wednesday and then Chemo on Thursday. It’ll take six hours to pump all that poison into my system and then I just let it do its thing for three weeks. Then I go back again three weeks later and do it again. We do that for six cycles. Then I’ll have a month off and then surgery and then radiation every day, five days a week for three weeks (I think—-I kinda got the deer in the headlights look around that time) and then I continue with the HER2 chemo until March of next year. Whew! Once we kill this bitch, I have to take hormone suppresors…that sucks….and then I can also get reconstructive surgery. I think I’ll get two, perfect, perky, 20 year old tits. Because, by then, I’ll really deserve it!!! Everything else on me will have aged a couple of decades, but my boobs will be beautiful. = D