Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cancer College

Cue the music...People let me tell you 'bout my Best Friends....
The past two days have been filled with 3 dr's appointments, boob feels, blood drawing, laughter, crying and lots of learning, that is why my two best friends look a little blurry! We have learned about BRACA, HER2, Estrogen receptors, nuclear grades, stages, triple negative breast cancer, pet scans, genetic testing, etc. I feel like I have been emersed in cancer college for the past two days. I have had two of my favorite, best friends in the world with me through it all! Kim the notetaker and Cissy the star student and 7 year cancer survivor, that asks the questions. Then there is me, going along in a daze, making the jokes to keep the fun in all this seriousness (ha kinda like high school). Except this time I retained all the knowledge learned and will pass it along, because so many have called to find out. So here is your lesson!
Tuesday we went to the Breast Surgeon and she had all the results from the MRI- good news....she believes the cancer is contained to the lump. Bad news...she wants to do the mastectomy ASAP- no waiting on my daughter's wedding, like I had hope. But like I am learning, I am not in control of this show. SO with that being said, let's hurry up, so I don't have to walk down the ailse with drain pipes coming out of my chest. It is really called drain bulbs, I call them the other, part of that humor. Dr Robbins saw that we were serious about getting the show on the road, so next step is to see the plastic surgeon TODAY at 2- whoo whoo. We have a couple of hours to spare, so what do three women with 2 hours to spare do, with all this heavy stuff going on ??? Well if it is the three of us, we go to Willie Raes and order wine and discuss all we just learned. Plus. it helps a little when you have to sit there with the plastic surgeon while he handles, measures and photographs your boobs! So day one is over and the plan is bilateral mastectomy, with the beginnings of reconstruction to take place at the time of that surgery. The plastic surgeon will implant an expander to stretch the muscle and breast tissue that remains. The whole reconstruction process takes about a year. He seemed to think getting rid of some of this "excess weight" (aka as big ass boobs)  might help the shoulder, also!
While we were at lunch, drinking the liquid courage, we decided to call back to Dr. Robbins office and get her nurse to call Dr Hahm's office and see if we could get that appointment moved up. We really didn't want to wait another week. Good news- Kimmie got it changed to tomorrow!!
So yesterday was that appointment, Kim picked me up and both of us had a little cry on the way to that appointment. Whining Wednesday- not the kind of whine we usually do! By the time Cissy met us at Dr. Hahms office, we were better. Time to get back to learning. Dr Hahm is fabulous and the best teacher EVER!! If anyone ever has to go through this, which I hope you don't...she is the person to go to! So, first she explains why I am there, usually you only go to the Oncologist before your surgery, if the surgeon thinks you might need chemo before the surgery OR the surgeon thinks you might need a PET Scan. The reason I am at Dr Hahm's office is the latter. The shoulder pain is a little concern for wanting the PET scan, in addition to the Enbral that I have been on for my RA, which causes some types of cancer.
She also does a metisistic workup- SAT word- that turned out good. My blood count, white cells and everything else looked good, so the lymphoma threat from the Enbral looked good. Dr Hahm also went over the type of cancer I have: Stage 2A Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. (Of course, all of that can change when they do the surgery- the tissue and lymphnoids will be tested again at that time). With the type of cancer I have, the only treatment is an aggressive chemo. BUT good news...I can wait on that till after the wedding! So I won't have to walk down the ailse bald headed! She ordered the PET Scan for ASAP, they should be calling today to schedule that for this week or next. Two days after that, I will go back to Dr Hahm so she can give me those results. Once she has the results, I will go back to Dr Robbins and she will schedule the surgery. We are thinking it will be at the end of September or first of October. SO, I have two weeks to get the wedding wrapped up!!
I am so lucky to have all of your support- EVERYONE!! I have received so many cards, prayers, gifts, messages and I love you all for them! I am especially lucky to have two amazing friends who have stopped their lives to be with me, to hold my hand, rub my back, make fun of my boobs, cry with me and comfort me and Lloyd! Then there is my wonderful husband who too, is scared, but is there to hold me at night when I fall apart and reassure me that we are going to get through this. I couldn't imagine going through all of this without them!

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