Day 28: DENIED… No PET Scan… Macy is off the hook….

Day 28: DENIED… No PET Scan… Macy is off the hook….

So, insurance denied the PET Scan, which the doctors office told me is not that uncommon due to expense. So tomorrow morning I go in for a bone scan and CT of my abdomen, chest and pelvis. (Try not to let that green eye of envy show….) The Oncologist really wants to make sure we know what and where and that we do our due diligence. But patience is running out… feels like a ticking time bomb is living in ‪#‎killerleftboob‬… and I don’t like it… not one bit.

So I guess tomorrow I get injected with some radioactive isotopes, which have to hang out in my body for 3 hours, but while we are waiting for them to do their thing… which would be bind to my bones, I will be getting the CTs. I really am ready to get moving after these tests though. We are done right? I mean… they are finally out of tests right??  We will see if I am glowing tomorrow night from all the radiation.

In other news, we have decided to sell the house in Snohomish, we are going to try this “For Sale by Owner” thing, if anyone out there has any experience or advice, feel free to weigh in…

Thing is… Cancer is not cheap, let it never be said that I have cheap taste in anything….  So looking at paying a realtor points (which are well earned and well deserved… don’t get me wrong) vs. paying for Chemotherapy… well… I am leaning towards paying for the Chemo… I know I know… I really know how to party!

This also means that Rick will be looking for a place to rent up North, since his work down here is finishing up and he will be working in the Seattle area for awhile. So…. if you know of any fabulous rental opportunities in the Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Bothell area be sure to let us know.

No pH update today.. I forgot. 20mg of Melatonin is a serious amount of Melatonin! Hope my body adjusts to this…. holy heck!

Oh and good news! I still like the haircut today. Lisa was a real trooper… she had no idea we would basically be spending 5 hours in the salon… (Did I forget to mention that?) I do keep reaching for my hair to pull it out of my jacket, etc. Good thing is that if I really miss it, I can pull it out of the baggy I have stored in…

And hey – I love you guys. You are all amazing. Your love, positive energy, prayers, humor and support keep my spirits high. Seriously. I appreciate you.

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ #killerleftboob ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬

Day 25: East vs. West, a small success and a funny

Day 25: East vs. West, a small success and a funny

Met with the surgeon yesterday. I got the impression that he did not care for Naturopathic treatments. I have seen a Naturopath most my life, since I had a stroke at age 25 actually. But that is a different story. One of the things I always find interesting about Western medicine is “ranges” on blood workups. For example, my Vit D is 27.3, the surgeons office recommended I take 2000IU daily, the Oncologist bumped it to 10,000. The Surgeon made a comment… “Well “normal is 30” – what did they bump you up to? 50,000?” The range for normal is 30-80. The Oncologist wants to see my Vit D at 60-80. Apparently Vit D is critical to immune strength – which I will be needing over the next few months.

The surgeon mentioned that MRI’s tend to exaggerate tumor size. So I did a little web research (whatever did we do before the inTARwebs?), seems that about 30% of the time MRI exaggerates by .66 cm when contrast is used. Mine have apparently increased in size by 3cm and 3.6cm. He did say that based on size alone this would put me at Stage 2 without knowing for sure whether it is in the lymph nodes or elsewhere. He wants to wait until after we get the PET Scan results to decide on whether we will do surgery first or chemotherapy first.

We should hear Monday on pre-authorization and hope to get the PET Scan done early in the week so hopefully we can get moving on getting rid of it. I am a data person, so I love getting all the data, but at some point you start to feel like… seriously? have we not analyzed the crud out of it yet?  Of course, the peace of mind or reality sammich a PET Scan will offer will make it worth the wait.

We also talked about what to expect post surgery. In a word… EW. So so so much EW.

Ok so some wins… in my search for food stuffs that are alkaline and realizing that most my normal foods are now off the menu I am starting to find new options. So… successes:

  • Thank you Shannon, I found some instant Cafix and it is actually alkalizing to boot! Mixing with a half of a Starbucks Via in hopes that people will still like me as I transition off the coffee and to the teas
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk is pretty good. It is not like milk nor is it like cream and the flavor is not too strong of coconut, it is mildly alkalizing and so far it compliments my organic vanilla tea (thank you Suzanne) beautifully.
  • Quinoa is going to be one of my new go-to foods. Made a chai spiced quinoa porridge with chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and coconut milk. Added dried fig, dried apricot, slivered almonds and dried dates with a smidge of 100% organic maple syrup and liked it very much. Very filling and doesn’t take much.

My pH was 6.5 this morning. Goal to get it above 7.

Oh and the funny. The Surgeon wanted to do another breast exam to see if he could identify the borders of the tumors… (yeah yeah…). Anyway, I said to him: “You know, just last night I told Rick that the next man that touched my #killerleftboob was gonna punched in the throat.” He looks at Rick, awkward pause, Rick says, “I didn’t touch it… so your up.” No, I didn’t punch him… may have fantasized a little… it hurts people… oi!

As all’y’all have figured out by now… I cope with bad jokes and humor.

#strongerthancancer #embracingtheadventure #killerleftboob #hawtrightboob #breastcancer

Day 24: But it isn’t supposed to be aggressive?

Macy Dog PET Scan WhatDay 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