Posted by: healingseeker | January 21, 2010

I met with my oncologist for the first time today

RE: I met with my oncologist for the first time today

21 January 2010

Re-cap:

23 Dec 2009     Discovered walnut-size lump on left side of left breast plus dent beside it

28 Dec 2009     Doctor at Health Dept. measured lump. It was now 3×5 inches

4 Jan 2010        Diagnostic Mammogram and Breast Biopsy

7 Jan 2010        Pathology Report confirmed two kinds of cancer in my left breast: ILC & IDC

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma – ILC Breast Cancer

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma – IDC Breast Cancer

ILC is more serious than aggressive than IDC. It sometimes leads to a mirror effect. In other words, it could have the tendency to spread to my right breast as well.

9 Jan 2010       I got 24 inches of hair cut off to give to Locks of Love. I wanted to cut it while my hair was untainted by chemo treatments; therefore, some kid can benefit from my long hair

12 Jan 2010     Met with my surgeon for the first time. He examined both breasts. He recommended chemo first, Mastectomy second, followed by a chemo and radiation cocktail third.

13 Jan 2010    Pre-Surgery appt. to fill out paperwork and answer questions. I am now on Ten Care Americhoice 45 days provisional that will be changed to 5-years with a Plan of Care form sent in from my oncologist on a yearly basis starting now.

15 Jan 2010     Surgery to implant my Sub Q Port aka Subcutaneous Port underneath my collar bone of my right breast. The narrow tubing, called a catheter, is implanted into the Subcutaneous vein near the lung. Using a Huber Needle, chemo will be inserted directly into the Sub Q Port. The chemo will run through the Sub Q Port, through the catheter tube, and into the veins. This saves my arm from being stuck over and over again with a needle. They still will draw blood from my arm and mostly or exclusively use the Sub Q Port for chemo treatments.

19 Jan 2010     Met with the Department of Human Services to fill out more paperwork about getting put on this Ten Care Americhoice insurance plan.

21 Jan 2010     Met with my oncologist for the first time today. This doctor was very impressive.

* Earlier in the day, when I was taking a shower, I found a second marble-size lump newly grown next to the 3×5 inch lump. I must admit, I fell apart. This scared me badly as we haven’t started treatment yet. I don’t want the delayed treatment to be the reason for cancer having a chance to spread to other parts of my body. My husband held me close, did his best to comfort me, and prayed with me.

* I’m proud to say that mostly I have been pretty strong. That was my third pity party since this all began. I cried between my diagnostic mammogram and biopsy. I cried the night of getting my pathology results. And I cried this morning. The rest of the time, I have held up pretty well, resting on the strength of my faith in God and the power of all the prayers coming in my direction.

* The oncologist examined both breasts. They took blood. Then he talked with my husband and I for quite a while to explain the procedures that will happen and to answer all of my questions.

* I learned a tumor, whether benign or malignant, is a mass. Tumor means mass. It’s called cancer once the tumor turns out to be malignant. So I have two tumors that we know of, one big and one small. Both are cancer.

* Once the insurance clears it, I will have a bone scan and cat scan. This will give them a baseline picture to see where all my cancer is located. They need this baseline scan so they know whether or not they are making progress. This scan will probably take place on 27 Jan 2010.

* I have an appointment that morning with my surgeon so he can look at how well the Sub Q Port is doing and to answer questions.

* It takes a couple of days to get the results of the cat scan and bone scan.

* Then I will begin 24 weeks of chemo treatments. There is a 10% to 15% chance that the chemo will cause the cancer to disappear; however, they still will need to remove my left breast to make sure. The only way they can know for sure whether the cancer is gone is to stick it under a microscope. They cannot do that if my breast is still attached to my body.

* Surgery will take place in 6 to 7 months. If the ILC form of the cancer causes any kind of mirror effect, it may be wise to get both breasts removed at once. That way, there would be no danger of getting breast cancer again. A new friend of mine said that had she had it to do over, she would have had both breasts removed at once. Instead, she went through that whole process of the left breast. A few months later, a pea-size lump appeared in the right breast and she had to go through everything all over again.

* After surgery, they will give me chemo plus radiation. Once all those sessions have come to an end, they will put me on a low-dosage chemo tablet that I would take daily for 5 years. They give one kind of tablet if I am still premenopausal and another kind of I am postmenopausal.

* Back to the chemo treatments, this is how they will go.

I will have four rounds of A&C Chemo that will be 21 days apart:

(1) Chemo known as A also known as Doxorubicin also known as the Red Devil. This is very strong chemo that will cause me to pee red for a day or two after getting dosed with this. This is what will cause me to lose my hair and feel nauseous. Other names: ADR, Adriamycin, Rubex, hydroxyldaunorubicin.

(2) Chemo known as C also known as Cyclophosphamide. Other names: CTX, Cytoxan, Neosar.

This will be followed by 4 rounds of T Chemo that will also be 21 days apart:

(3) Chemo known as T also known as Docetaxel, Taxotere, RP 56976, NSC-628503.

Then they will allow my body to rest for a bit. About 24 weeks will have passed since first day of chemo. My tumor should have shrunk and 10% to 15% chance it has disappeared.

Typical chemo patients feel fine the day of chemo and exhausted and weak the second day. You lose white blood cells and have lowered immunity the first week, it takes the second week to recover, and the third week you feel pretty good.

Then I will have surgery. After having a Mastectomy, I will have many rounds of chemo and radiation. That will be followed up by the low-dose chemo tablet for five years.

* As for my hair, some women lose their hair by the first round of chemo. Most women lose their hair by the third round of chemo. He wrote me a prescription for a wig; however, the hospital sponsors a “Look Good, Feel Good” class the second Monday of each month. There, I will be issued a wig and complete set of make-up for free. It is recommended that I throw all other make-up away as it might have bacteria in it.

* So far, I am not on any dietary restrictions. Perhaps, the oncologist knew that I might be in need of comfort food, etc. He does recommend I drink a lot of fluids, preferably water, during and around the time of all chemo sessions. Chemo is reported to dull the taste buds. Every patient reacts differently. It will be interesting to see what food will still appeal to me once chemo begins for me.

I appreciate everybody’s love and support and prayers so much! The best of everything to all of you. Remember my mantra, “I am looking good, feeling good, healthy and whole. I am a breast cancer survivor aka thriver.”

Much love,

Healing Seeker aka Debbie


Responses

  1. i hope and pray that you overcome this trial and lead a long and a healthy life.a lot of people i know personally have survived breast cancer completely.stay positive.

    • Hajira,
      Thank you so much for your words of support. Please feel free to invite those women you mentioned and yourself to http://breast-cancer-journey.ning.com/ to share your story and network with others going through that journey.

      Best wishes to you and yours,
      Healing Seeker aka Debbie

  2. Hi,I know how you feel.I have been through a lumpectomy,radiation,chemo,several biopsies and a mastectomy this past year.It helped me to read reach out ot other women,and to pray to God.
    The pathology report is very favorable,and that is also a source of my comfort.
    God Bless you in your quest for a healthy body & a long life free of cancer.

    • Deborah,
      Thank you so much! I hope are doing great in your healing process. Feel free to join http://breast-cancer-journey.ning.com/ to set up your own page and network with other people dealing with breast cancer.
      Best wishes to you,
      Healing Seeker aka Debbie


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