Update on timeline

I talked to my doctor. He has no problem moving things forward, but here’s the catch.

I need to have an MRI before I can have the lumpectomy/axillary lymph node removal. The most accurate MRI results will not be till at least day 7 of my menstrual cycle, which is not until the second week of October. What does having an MRI before then mean? Potential false positives, i.e., areas of shading that appear to be cancer but are not. What happens if the MRI turns up (false) positives? Additional biopsies.

The biopsy SUUUUCKED and I do not enjoy the thought of having additional, possibly unnecessary biopsies. BUT I also do not enjoy the thought of chemotherapy, or twiddling my thumbs for another two weeks while I ponder the lesion growing in my boob.

With that said, MRI has been moved forward to 9/30, and results should be available 24 hours after the procedure. After that, doc says the lumpectomy/axillary lymph node removal (which from now on I’m calling ALNR because come on) can be scheduled fairly quickly.

So now, MRI in a little over a week. Fingers crossed for good (and in this case, “good” means “negative”) results so we can just go ahead and get this sh*t out of me without any further testing.

Out, out damn spots

So I emailed my doctor this morning, because I want the damned cancer out.

They KNOW I have two small spots of high-grade – that’s dangerous, fast growing – cancer in my right breast. Based on the tests they have done – mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy – they THINK there is no other cancer in my breasts and that the cancer has not yet spread to the lymph nodes. And finally, only 1 in 500 women tests positive for the BRCA gene, and since neither of my grandmothers, my mother, nor any of my aunts have had breast cancer, AND my 23andme results came back negative for the three BRCA mutations they test for, I feel fairly certain mine will come back negative as well. With all these things in mind, how much sense does it make to keep waiting? It’s fast growing but not in the lymph nodes yet – how long will it take to get there? What if it only takes a month? So then I have to do chemo because rather than act quickly we chose to bide our time and see what the stupid test results said? The only test result that truly matters already came back and it said HI YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER.

My doctor replied and said he’ll call me today to discuss options. We’re going out of town this weekend and I am hoping he presents me with the “You can have the lumpectomy on Monday after you return” option.

A rolling stone gathers no moss and all that. Will update when I know more.

Monday Monday

Doctor’s office called this morning to schedule my MRI, and it needs to be done at a certain point in my cycle, so I won’t have it till 10/5. Pretty frustrating because that means there will still be a lot of questions until at least then, and obviously my surgery won’t take place until at least October. Grr.

Also got a copy of my biopsy results. Most of it is, of course, Greek to me, but here’s the main part, which may mean something to you if you’re, I don’t know, in the medical field, or have had breast cancer:

Invasive carcinoma with the following features:
Histologic type: Ductal of no special type.
Histologic grade: High.
Nottingham grade: 3 of 3, score 8 of 9.
Tubule formation: Poor, 3 of 3.
Nuclear grade: High, 3 of 3.
Mitotic rate: Intermediate, 2 of 3.
Lymph-vascular invasion: Absent.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): Present, with abundant cancerization of
Architectural pattern: Cribriform.
Nuclear grade: High.
Necrosis: Present, Central.
Associated calcifications: Absent.

Lots of questions, naturally, among them: if we decided to have another child, is this going to eliminate breastfeeding from this boob? May seem a silly triviality, but it’s all the little things that make the big worry.

Anyhow, going to try to stay busy today (or if not, take a Xanax that my primary care doc prescribed me, God bless her) and read some more of the book my friend Beth sent me (The Breast Cancer Survival Manual – so far, so good). That’s it for now.