Sing for the joy that's found in setting up the pins and knocking them down

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The facts, the plan...

Here are the high points and the plan for those of you who like medical updates as seen by a middle-aged mom.

I have infiltrating ductal carcinoma--breast cancer. I had a mammogram in July that appeared normal, but in all likelihood it was there already but not noticeable. For the record it was my left one that betrayed me and I stumbled upon the lump after feeling a twinge or pain or something that caused me to rub in that area. I'm saying it was God forcing me to do a self exam.

I'm also something called triple positive which was really scary to hear, but I find out that it's actually good because I'm more reactive to treatment. Evidently my breast cells are more receptive to things--go figure.

Lots of you have wanted to know what stage...I've heard they're putting me at Stage 2b. Two because of the size of the tumor, b because I have at least one node that's already positive for cancer.

One of the good/bad things of being triple positive is that I'm positive for the category of HER2/neu. It's a factor that might have been a death sentence as recent as 10-15 years ago, but because of progress in cancer treatment, it's now the cancer that you want to have. They have an antibody that works perfectly against this. On top of that they have an additional med, approved just 2 weeks ago by the FDA that improves the effectiveness of this by 30%! My oncologist was giddy--I kid you not. "You picked the most amazing time to have this kind of cancer!" I'll be the second patient at Abbott to get it this new med.

The plan:

Because of the positive node and the invasive nature of this cancer, they want to hit it with chemo first--6 treatments, every 3 weeks, 18 weeks--starting one week from today. That brings us to April. Then we'll do surgery--yet to be determined how extensive. Then I'll continue the antibody meds for the rest of the year, followed by an oral med for several years following. The ongoing med is because this cancer is a gypsy and likes to throw cells out into the body and we want to be sure that we keep those all in check for the future.

Okay, so that was way too long for a facebook post. This weekend I will be starting to post updates on my blog. There will be medical stuff, updates, my ramblings and hopefully a chance for me to get back at writing.

Love to you all. Thank you for the prayers, I truly feel carried by them.

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