Day 24: But it isn’t supposed to be aggressive?
Met with an oncologist yesterday, I should say “interviewed.” I feel pretty lucky that really the only question mark has been the plastics member of the team, but I have time to find that person.
Great news, this guy says he has zero cases of relapses from his early stage breast cancer patients. YAY! He also coordinates with a naturopath and Chinese medicine. The goal being to support your immune system and have it engaged in the fight.
Bad news, my tumors are significantly bigger on the MRI as compared to the reports from the mammogram and ultrasound. They were 1.3cm and 3cm and now they are showing as 5.6 and 4.3. I have had the same radiologist for all reports and the oncologist will be giving him a call to see what his thoughts are on why. There is still swelling and there is a large hematoma noted on the MRI as well. According to the Oncologist there are a few things to note, 1) this should not be aggressive per pathology due to the low nuclear grade and HER2 results. 2) If they truly are that size we may want to consider neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy to reduce tumor size and make sure that the borders are easier to identify for the surgeon.
The Oncologist also said that tumors around 1cm have about a 10% chance of metastasizing where as tumors around 5cm have about 50% of metastasizing. So… guess who is getting a PET scan ordered? I will tell you, a good good friend of mine wished and prayed for me to have one, having been through this she said she just prayed for me to know. With this tumor size, he wants to make sure it is not in the chest wall or anywhere else before surgery. We are still hoping this will just be considered “locally advanced.”
He bumped my vitamin D to 10,000 IU daily and wants me taking 20mg of Melatonin which left me feeling like a hungover sailer this morning (apologies to all you sailors out there). He also wants me to avoid Soy products due to estrogen and this being ER+. Food is gonna get complicated… and now I do need to be serious about kicking coffee and sugar out of my diet. *sigh* Cruelest thing yet…. Green tea is not countering melatonin hangover.
I see the surgeon today. I talked through surgery with the Oncologist and he supported removing both for the reasons I laid out as I understand them. I keep telling the doctors, tell me if this is BS, I am doing my own research and if I am speaking an internet BS story correct me…. but this is what we know is true: 10% of breast cancer is this type of breast cancer, at least 20% of this type of cancer is bilateral, this type of cancer does not show up on mammogram, *might* as it advances show up on ultrasound, and truthfully can even be missed with MRI. So, although my #hawtrightbreast came back via MRI as cancer free, it did have some fibroids or something in there … and face it… bottom line is that yearly I would be having exams that would not really tell me if I had cancer until it had advanced enough to be a tumor like now on #killerleftboob
We also talked about hair loss, he said that unfortunately breast cancer chemotherapy drugs tend to cause hair loss, even though it is different with everyone I should be prepared. So…. I cancelled the appointment for hair color and instead will be scheduling to have it cut. If it doesn’t fall out – GREAT – it will grow out again, its just hair. If it does, I will have a good amount to start with when it comes to having a wig made with my own hair.
So.. we will see what the surgeon thinks when we see him in a few hours. If we do chemo first I am probably 6-10 weeks out before surgery, if the surgeon is confident, we do surgery within the next few weeks.
Oh… and I memed my dog in the image above…
#strongerthancancer #embracingtheadventure #killerleftboob #hawtrightboob #breastcancer