Saturday, October 9, 2010
I had my MRI yesterday at the Breast Center in Fayetteville and got to see the images and receive results soon afterwards. I was right. I really like being right about just about anything...except this time. In comparing the previous scans from 10 weeks ago to the current scans, my tumor has, indeed, grown...a lot. This is after three grueling rounds of chemotherapy. This, according the doctors, is NOT supposed to happen.
Dr. Grear, the radiologist who went over the results with me, said that in the vast majority of cases the tumor would have gotten much smaller, often disappearing entirely. She kept apologizing and just seemed flabbergasted at what was on the screen before us. I was too. My case is very rare...maybe 1-2% of the time this happens. I like being rare and unusual, but not this time. By golly, why couldn't I just be plain ol' average. Let me be wrong and average. That sounds pretty good right now.
She wasn't certain of the next step, but quickly made an appointment with Dr. Cross, my breast oncologist. I'll see him next Tuesday and find out where we go from here. Dr. Grear did say, obviously, that the chemo is not working, so that will stop. Her guess was that they'd want to just go ahead with surgery. That's fine with me. I want this thing GONE!
On the positive side, the nodes still appear to be clear. Even so, there could be microscopic cells that don't show on an MRI. We won't know for sure until they actually remove the sentinel node and check. We need to be praying for clear lymph nodes. If they are clear, then the fact that this chemo is not working will not be quite so devastating. One of the main reasons for chemo is to make sure and kill any stray cancer cells anywhere in my body. It "cleans the blood", as I've been told. The sentinel node is the first place the cancer would appear outside of my breast, so if it's clear, then that's a very good thing. If not, then I don't know.
Another positive...maybe I'm finished with chemo. The thought of that really does make me feel better. I hate chemo.
Emotionally, this was a tough week for me, but I woke up feeling considerably better and much more optimistic today. It's hard discovering, after spending so many weeks thinking I was kicking cancer's butt, that it is still thriving and growing like something evil inside of me...like it, unlike me, was actually thriving on the chemo. That knocked me for a negative loop...but I'm better now.
Like I already said, I'll find out more on Tuesday. I'll update this as soon as I know. Thanks for all the good wishes, wonderful and encouraging words, thoughtful prayers, and love. I am blessed so much each time I read a response, email, text or card from so many of you. I am terrible at responding and have been horrible at thank you notes. Don't think your encouragement hasn't made a difference in my life, though. It most certainly has! God bless you for your kindness and love.