It’s been a whirlwind week for tests and appointments…4 clinics in 4 days!
-On Tuesday it was a contrast MRI to determine if there was anything funny going on in the right breast (not so much) and to get a better look at the lymph nodes on the left (they did, indeed, look abnormal). The MRI unit they use is specific to boob viewing and I continue to be amazed by diagnostic technology these days…we’re living in the future!
-Wednesday was a lymph node ultrasound and biopsy (it had already been scheduled previous to boob MRI, but those results gave them a good jumping off point). They noted the lymph nodes were thickened and took a couple more core needle biopsies to figure out why.
-On Thursday we had the first appointment with my medical oncologist, Dr. Ruth O’Regan (delightful lilting Irish accent, btw) to discuss treatment options. She had the biopsy results from Wednesday, indicating cancer cells were found in the lymph nodes, which means those little assholes made it outside the breast. Well, boo. That does change the order of the treatment a little bit: we’ll hit it with the chemo first, then surgery, then radiation. Hopefully the big ‘ol, big ‘ol boob tumor will shrink from the chemo and then they’ll have a better idea of how the other cancer cells in my body are responding to the chemo cocktail (since they are more difficult to see…sneaky little bastards!). Plus there’s a better chance of saving the lymph nodes if they respond to chemo (if they did surgery first, they would pull them, which increases the likelihood of lymphedema on the left side…I’d like to avoid that if I can because I like having similarly sized arms that both work properly). We also discussed the possibility of participating in a clinical trial to test a compound they have had some success with at the Phase II experimental stage. There doesn’t seem to be a downside, but a big potential upside, and I can withdraw at any point, so we’ll likely go for it. Whether it helps kill my boob cancer or not, the study will expand knowledge about the drug and how triple negative breast cancer responds to it. SCIENCE! This does mean that I have to live with this freakin’ large ass lump in my boob for a few more months. Knowing the tumor is still there, feeling it constantly and reminding me of its presence, is unnerving. I want it out. I’m not gonna play around, I hate HATE knowing it’s there…that there is a mass of mutated JEB cells that I’m feeding and keeping alive unwittingly. STUPID CANCER! But, if that’s what it takes to beat this shit, that’s what I gotta do…
-Today (Friday) I had a CT scan to take a look at the rest of my body (chest, abdomen, pelvis) to see if the cancer has spread outside the lymph nodes and taking up residence elsewhere. Got to drink a bunch of artificially flavored contrast solution – bonus! Won’t likely have the results until Monday, so now ya’ll are going to be waiting with bated breath just like us…pretty shitty, huh? But you know what is keeping me from obsessing about it and getting all down in the dumps? You guys! All the wonderful comments on the fb, as well as here…I feel so loved, and strong, and supported ❤ Thanks for carrying me, you wonderful people, you! One of these days I’ll take some pics to post on here…a little bling to look forward to.