Happy 2015! Wake me up when it’s over

Happy New Year! 🎉🎉🎆🎇🎇🎉🎆🎇🎉

I hope everyone had a fun and safe time ringing in the New Year.

My Dec. 31st was pretty quiet. My parents came for dinner so we could celebrate Christmas, Dad’s birthday, and New Year’s all in one go since Mom and Dad were in Mexico (no fair!) for the first 2 occasions.

Now that we are 12 days into 2015, I am ready for it to be over. I don’t normally wish for time to pass too fast but this year has not been filled with much good news. So far, I have 2 of the 3 biopsy results I’m waiting for and I’m  batting a pretty big zero.

First off, the biopsy result of the little bump came back. Positive for breast cancer. That means I will need surgery to make sure all the cancer is removed. When the biopsy was done my surgeon had to go right down to the muscle so surgery may not be much fun. I don’t have much tissue left above the muscle.
In the same phone call from my oncologist I learned the cancer in my lymph node is ER negative. That means the presence or absence of estrogen does not effect cancer cell growth so the letrozole and zoladex are not helpful. There is a question of whether the cancer in the lymph node is a mutation of the original tumour or is it a new primary. My mammogram came back negative for cancer which is an indicator the new growth is a mutation. But, since mammograms aren’t the most sensitive screening tool, I am scheduled for a breast MRI tomorrow to see if there’s something really tiny going on.
The Her2 results are not back yet, but I should hear something soon.

When my oncologist called me with the results, she had already brought my case before the local tumour board to brainstorm what the appropriate treatment of the lymph node should be. Turns out my current situation does not have any reported precedent so the docs are winging it.
After reviewing my history, the tumour board recommendation was that I go for a PET scan.
If the PET scan shows the only really active cancer is in the lymph node, then the recommendation is that I go for surgery and have the right axilla lymph nodes removed. The consensus was that it is worth going with an aggressive treatment since my original treatment plan was so aggressive. No point in going hard core at the beginning just to wimp out part way through.

The idea of have more lymph nodes removed doesn’t seem like a great idea to me. I am still dealing with the lymphadema in my left hand. And there is the question of what do I do about blood work, treatments, bone scans, CT scans, or anything else I may need done that involves a needle? Does that mean I will have to get a port? I really don’t want a port. I don’t have much excess fat in the area where it would go so it would stick out and drive me crazy.

I am scheduled to see my surgeon on Friday to discuss the idea of lymph node removal. Perhaps she will be able to suggest other locations for port placement or at least have suggestions for what to do if both arms are at risk for lymphadema.

My PET scan is booked for next week in Vancouver. That is one positive I get out of all this, an excuse to visit Vancouver and all its wonderful people 😀

So, the beginning of 2015 is starting off the way 2014 ended, tests and more tests and with nothing actually being resolved yet. The next week will be action packed. I’ll post again once I learn something new.

2 thoughts on “Happy 2015! Wake me up when it’s over

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