Monday, August 9, 2010

Email to Family and Friends: Information from a Clueless Patient (Me)

Tuesday, August 3
(Much of this information may not be 100% accurate, since I am, after all, still clueless.)
Hello my friends,

Met with Dr. Cross today. I think it was a good meeting...the first of many such appts. I learned that my tumor, while fast growing, is also ER+/PR+ (Google it, if you must), which is the easiest type to treat, as far as chemotherapy. They have drugs that can kill it. Yay! He said my case was very unusual, in that this is such a fast growing tumor, yet I am ER/PR positive (it's usually triple negative with my type of cancer - a bad thing). So I'm happy and giving thanks for the ER/PR thing.

Also found out I will need to get genetic testing done to see if this comes from some sort of defective (mutant!) gene that could be passed on, since that is very typical in this type of cancer. If I have the BRCA mutated gene, then that's a problem for my descendants. If that is the case, he recommended that my sons (and nieces, I assume) should also be tested (it can also increase the risk of other types of cancer). I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Also, if I do have this gene, they will recommend I get my ovaries removed.

They are setting up an appt with Dr. Beck, the oncologist, and will call me tomorrow with that info. I see Dr. Bell (general surgeon) on Friday to discuss the port they will be placing under my collarbone for chemo, etc. Don't yet know when that will begin. I guess when I see Dr. Beck, I will find out. I should have chemo on some sort of regular schedule for several months, then will have 4-6 weeks off, then they'll take out a lymph node (out-patient surgery) to check and make sure no cancer. If it shows clear, I'll have a bilateral mastectomy about a week later. That won't happen for a while, though. Not looking forward to that.

This is going to be one heck of a journey and I am ready. So thankful that I am going to live and also beginning to feel thankful for this trial in general. It was time for me to do some serious growing. I'm sure God must be frustrated with someone like me who needs a cattle prod to get moving sometimes. But He knows me too well, so here is God's big ol' cattle prod, getting me off my spiritual butt and moving towards Him again...and I praise Him for it!

Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement, wonderful advice, and mostly, your prayers. What a difference you have made!

Love to you all,

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