I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are safe with the stormy weather the past few days! Our holiday was lovely and relaxing!
I finally had my appointments with my oncologist and surgeon, both the day before Thanksgiving. After being sent into a tizzy the week prior after my doctor used the word “metastasis” in a phone conversation, I felt a bit more comfortable after the actual appointment. I took my two pages of questions and got answers to everything.
First is “how did this happen?” and the answers were that either a) there was a dormant cell that’s been there from the get-go that suddenly decided to show it’s ugly self, or b) it’s something more systemic like a metastasis. Because they don’t know which way it started, the doctors must recommend the most conservative approach. Because the pathology shows this to be the exact same cancer as the original, that’s more troubling than if it was a brand new cancer.
My treatment plan will start with surgery, scheduled for December 20th. It will be an outpatient surgery and isn’t expected to be “too bad”. My double mastectomy wasn’t really bad, and that included two breasts and a few lymph nodes. The only concern is that the tumor appears to be attached to the pectoral muscle, so they will need to remove some muscle as part of the procedure. How much/deep won’t be known until they perform the surgery.
I will have genetic testing done. I never had this done previously because there appeared to be no family history. However, a recent study indicates that there is benefit for ALL women with bc to get genetic testing. With more advanced protocols, this information can help target the appropriate treatment. In my mind, it may even help find other genetic links to increased breast cancer risk.
I will be consulting with a doctor at University of Pennsylvania, presently scheduled for December 30th. Based on a conversation with them today, the date may get pushed into January so they have enough time to receive the pathology from the tumor excision. This doctor has more expertise in hormone therapies and can help identify the best overall systemic treatment options. Given my issues in the past with Femara, I am hoping we can find a solution that works with the side effects of Femara.
I will likely need radiation, although I have not yet met with my radiologist to discuss the details. It’s a local recurrence, but it’s small (1-2cm) so hoping radiation is limited.
So that’s it, surgery, consult, radiation, and systemic hormone therapy. On top of this, I will continue with my alternative healing modalities. I am back to hard core plant based diet; I had allowed some less-than-healthy foods into my diet and it’s time to get super serious again. It’s amazing when you do it 100%…I’m already down 6 pounds. I will continue to do yoga and tai chi, and I’m now walking 30+ minutes a day on my new treadmill! I’ve added reiki to my routine and am even looking at getting my medical marijuana card (which my oncologist does not support, but, oh well!). I will continue to see my naturalist, who has been generous, thoughtful, and always brilliant!
I feel better having a plan. And, yes, it’s great news that there is no real metastasis, that all my scans look beautiful, and my bloodwork is great. Being as healthy as I am will help me get through this, hopefully with flying colors!
IMDb: The Game Plan (2007)