We had my appointment with the oncologist today. Such a relief. My scans came back clear of any evidence of the cancer having spread. I quote from the lab reports "NO METASTATIC DISEASE SEEN".
And the hormone receptors are estrogen and progesterone positive. This is a REALLY GOOD THING for treatment. They can use hormone therapy to starve the cancer. But chemotherapy is a strong recommendation, especially with my age. Chris and I were prepared for that news.
Then, if all goes well (and studies show that younger women respond well to chemo), a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy every day for 6 weeks. And then 5 years of tamoxifan, by pill. That's the hormone therapy part.
They also took blood to test for the BRCA gene, but she is predicting that its negative. The results on that can guide my decisions regarding surgery, if I want to go beyond the lumpectomy to a mastectomy, etc. Also, to inform my family of any risk to them, as well.
So what's next:
1. I'm doing an echocardiogram to clear my heart for chemotherapy, which is a standard protocol.
2. They've evaluated my veins to see if they are viable to give the treatment. All looked good. Depending on how the first few treatments go, I might be advised or can just decide to have a port put in. That's basically surgically putting a hole into my chest that they can access for the purpose of giving the treatments. Then when I'm done with chemo, they will take it out.
3. I need to make a decision regarding my future fertility. There's a Zolodex (sp?) shot they can give me that will shut down my ovaries temporarily throughout the treatment, so chemo doesn't effect them as much. And that decision has to be made in the next 24 hours. Oy.
4. Chemo learning class tomorrow afternoon.
5. Chemo starts next Wednesday. Its two different halves. One is called A/C. Once every two weeks, 8 weeks long. The other is called Taxol. Once a week for 12 weeks. They are very flexible in finding a schedule that works well with my work schedule. And I can keep working as long as I feel up to it. Chances are I'll just be feeling yucky for a day or two afterwards and will be ok the rest of the time. And then a shot the day after to boost the immune system.
5. I will lose my hair. yuck. But, hey, fun wigs in my future, right?? I was thinking I would cut my hair short-short too, so that chunks of long hair aren't falling out when its time.
Chris (a.k.a. Superman) and I went out to lunch afterwards to my latest favorite restaurant, Ladybird Cafe. Its Fat Tuesday and the Mardi Gras parade came through the restaurant. There's "a moment" again. Life celebrating my good news. Although the chemotherapy is sure to suck really bad, I'm happy that things aren't complicated (considering) and that my treatment is typical of many many many other women who have beat this and gone on with their happy awesome lives. I'm so excited. So many good signs. Guys, I'm gonna kick cancer's butt! And when I'm super grumpy and not feeling well in a few weeks, I can be reminded that this is all for a purpose. Fighting cancer and shut the door on your way out!
Chris and I also had some yummy peanut-butter-chocolate pie to celebrate after the glorious music. Finally, good uplifting news! So relieved!
Mardi Gras Parade :)
Notice Superman across the table...