Monday, December 13, 2010

Good News

I met with Dr. Weir my radiologist today for my consultation.  The results from my MRI were good and there is nothing suspiscious hanging around.  I will go in next week for a planning session where I will have a CT scan.  She will use the images from the CT scanner and a computer to map out the area that will be treated.  Because of the Christmas holidays, and that I'll be heading to the cottage for a few days, I'll be starting my radiation treatments the first week of January and I will have a total of 4 weeks (20 days) of radiation.  And then I'll be done.  Whoohoo.  Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Radiologist Booked

I received a call from the Cancer Agency today.  I will meet with Dr. Weir on Monday December 13 at 12:45.  I'm assuming I won't start radation until after Christmas.  I guess this is a good thing but what a way to start the new year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MRI booked

I am scheduled for my MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) on Friday Dec 3 at 2pm.  I am still waiting to hear from the radiologist to find out when my radiation treatments will start.  Stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dodged A Bullet

To quote Dr. Davis, "you dodged a bullet".  She successfully removed a 1cm tumour and surrounding fat and muscle tissue.  She also removed the lymph node which was benign.  The good news is that I won't need chemotherapy.  I will still need 3 - 5 weeks of radiation.  And I will also be scheduled for an MRI which will double check the chest and surrounding area.  I am so happy and relieved with this news.  Whew!

So for now I will celebrate.  And then wait again to hear from the radiologist.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Breathe in, Breathe out

I'm having a hard time relaxing.  If I only had a dock, some sunshine and a book.  It feels so strange to feel happy that the tumour is out, yet at the same time, a little voice inside me keeps asking “is it really all out”?  Living with Cancer demands courage, self-awareness, and that secret source of power – a sense of humour.  I've never been in need of a sense of humour but after the surgery fiasco a constant reminder is good.  It keeps me normal which is what I want.  And also, the fact that being so "trendy" and on the pulse... getting diagnosed with breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I can't help but have a sense of humour.

So. for that voice, I will tell it to “piss off” today and every day until Nov 10 when I see Dr. Davis again.  That is when I will know for sure.  In the mean time, I’ll just keep on keeping on.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy and tired

Long day at the hospital…lots of hurry up and wait…arrived at 7am for admission and then once I was all hooked up to the IV I waited for a few pre-operation procedures. They wheeled me off to Radiology where I had a Fine-Wire localization.  This is a proceedure where the radiologist places a very fine wire into the tumour.  In my case the tumour is small so it will "point" to the area that needs to be removed.  The next proceedure was the Sentinel Node Biopsy.  This is used to identify and remove the underarm (axilliary) lymph nodes closest to the cancer site.  This proceedure takes place in the Nuclear Medicine area where they inject a "radioactive tracing agent" into the affected area and wait for it to move towards the lymph nodes under the arms.  All I can think of is the bright green glowing liquid from the Nuclear Plant where Homer works in the Simpson's but I'm pretty sure it's not the same stuff.  A short time later they wheeled me into a rocket ship type tube and took 2 "scans" or pictures of my upper body which will higlight the nodes for the surgeon.  Then back to surgical day care where I wait.  It is approximate 11:30 and my sugery is scheduled for 2:45 but in reality doesn't happen until 3:45.  Don sat with me the entire day (aside from grabbing a quick coffee) and didn't leave until just before I was wheeled off to surgery.  Its a lot of time to hang but with book in hand (The Hunger Games) which I finish, the time goes by fairly quickly.
Surgery went well.  Dr. Davis called Don to tell him everything went as expected and that she was happy with the removal of the tumour (very small) and 2 nodes.  She wants me to have an MRI and a follow up appointment in 2 weeks where we'll get the pathology results and a better idea of the next course of action. 

If this weren't enough for one day here's what happened after I woke up:

  • Don comes to get me with the kids.  They don't usually let kids in the day surgery area but because it's the end of the day and virtually empty they say its ok.
  • I'm tired but am in good spirits to see the girls and Don and just want to get home
  • Everyone is standing beside my bed and the nurse starts to unplug the HR monitor and take the IV out
  • The next thing I know, Emma falls back into the wall with all the oxygen, compressed air, electrical and various medical supplies
  • At first I thought she wasn't paying attention and backed into it but no she collapsed…hitting her head on a table and/or floor
  • She was out for just a second
  • Nurse is over in a nano second…lots of avail beds so the next thing we know Emma is on a gurney with a HR monitor getting her blood pressure checked
  • Large bump on her forehead…probably nothing but the Nurses are adamant that she goes to Emergency
  • Emma is fully cognizant…more scared than anything
  • I have to get dressed quickly and get into the wheel chair
  • Next thing we know an aide arrives and Emma gets wheeled to Emergency and I follow with Don pushing me in the wheelchair…WTF is happening !!!!
  • VGH doesn't treat kids but a doctor is kind enough to give her a quick exam…he doesn't think it's a problem BUT recommends we go to Children's Hospital….seriously ? we're in  hospital but can't get treated…
  • the Dr. looks at me and says "what's up with you?" "Well I've just had a partial masectomy and sentinal node biopsy and just got released 5 minutes ago that's all".  He then says, "Ok, so you have to get home, so instead of getting an ambulance for your kid, your husband has to take you home first and then take Emma to Children's"
  • Everyone jumps in the truck… Don stops at the pharmacy for my meds and then drops Jules and I at home and Emma and Don head off to Children's
  • Surprisingly small lineup at Children's and as soon as Don described how and where Emma's fall happened we got "relatively" fast treatment (only 2.5hrs)
  • No problems... Other than upstaging me, Emma is all good…very bizarre
I realize that being a parent means nothing is about you.  Even if you have Cancer.  And I'm ok with that.

I am doing well today, tired but happy knowing the tumour is out. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surgery Date

I received the confirmation on my surgery date this morning.  Yah! It's Tuesday October 26.  Things are looking up again.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Limbo Land

I wish someone would call me and tell me they are taking the cancer out of my body now!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Great Day

Just got back from a meeting with the surgeon…all very positive.

I have a small low grade tumor (Infiltrating Duct Carcinoma)…approx 1cm in diameter which will be removed on Oct 27th.  It's a Grade 2 which means it's growing at a "moderate pace".  At the same time they will do a biopsy of my lymph nodes…"just to make sure"...we'll get results mid Nov….early indications (from a series of tests…estrogen levels etc) are good.   The tumour is HER2 (cancer gene) negative.  And Estrogen positive which means it will respond well to anti- estrogen therapy.

If my pathology on the lumpectomy and lymph nodes comes back negative then around mid Nov, I will start radiation treatment…once a day for approx 3 weeks. 
We're not out of the woods yet but we left the surgeon's office feeling very optimistic.  Thank you all for your love and support.  It is so humbling to see, feel and hear what my fantastic friends and family are willing to do for me.  I am grateful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tues Oct 12, 2010 - The Back Story

Here are the facts - plain and simple.

I found a lump on the armpit side of my left breast.  This was mid June 2010. I have found lumps before and they often went away. But I have been obessed with my health ever since my mom died of lung cancer 3 years ago.  I immediately called my Dr. for an appointment to have it checked out.  Dr. Kurdyak, my GP is an amazing man.  He is very thorough and empathetic.  He was able to get me in for an ultrasound at the Breast Cancer clinic right away.  June 21, 2010, it was at this appointment they told me to come back in 6 months.  With great relief I left for a 2 month vacation with my family to our cottage in Kelowna.

I have a annual  mammogram every Sept and this appointment took place on Sept 13, 2010.  I was called 2 days later and advised to come back for another mammogram and ultrasound.  This appointment was scheduled for Sept 24.  It was at this appointment that the radiologist recommended a biopsy.  My core biopsy took place on Sept 30.  I received my biopsy results on Oct 7 at 4:30 pm.  Dr. Kurdyak told me that all 4 core samples contained cancer cells.  But he stressed that the good news for now is that the tumour is only 9mm in diameter.  That is less than a centimeter.  And there was no sign of it on my last year's mammogram.  So technically it has only been in my breast for less than a year.

My appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Noelle Davis is Oct 13 at 9:30 am.  My moto for today is "The Unknown is None of My Business".

The Birth of a Blog

I've always wanted to start a blog.  About Books.... not about myself.  I thought you could only get away with talking about yourself in an interview or on a date.  Well, as life threw me a lemon my friend Andrea said "make pink lemonade"!  So I am now starting a blog to talk about myself and my pink lemons.

On Thursday October 7th I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  It was the longest day of my life.  It is now Tues October 12th and although time is going by faster, it is not moving fast enough.  I am in the process of limbo.  Waiting to see the Surgeon.  Once she sees my biopsy results and scans then I will know what I have ahead of me. 

In the meantime ladies, feel yourself up right now.... and often.