Amanda Phaydavong

First post: Jan 22, 2020 Latest post: Jul 27, 2020
Amanda was diagnosed with stage II - grade III Breast Cancer. Amanda's care plan is to go through chemotherapy (6 months) first, then surgery, then ending with radiation. Below is the timeline of events:

11/25/19 - 11/29/19 Thanksgiving Week
Amanda found a lump on her left breast doing a self-examination. She started to feel a slight pain in her left breast that Wednesday. The intensity of the pain increased dramatically during that weekend in her left armpit. 

12/4/19 - Wednesday
Amanda had an OBGYN appointment on this day and they set up an appointment with Iowa Radiology for a Mammogram and Ultrasound.

12/11/19 - Wednesday
After performing the Mammogram and Ultrasound, Amanda and I were informed that there were two solid masses (one on the left breast and one on a lymph node in her armpit) and that they needed to perform a Biopsy on the two areas.

This is where it hit us that breast cancer was a "real" possibility and we needed to prepare ourselves. 

12/16/19 - Monday
Amanda had the biopsy of the breast and lymph node done. We had to wait for the results to be given via phone the next day. 

12/17/19 - Tuesday
Amanda received the call confirming that the two areas were cancer. The diagnosis was left breast mass: high-grade infiltrating ductal carcinoma and left axillary lymph node: positive for metastasis

At this time we were hit with the terrible news, but being the strong family that we are, we transferred our sadness to the mindset of getting ourselves prepare to battle this awful disease. 

Unfortunately, we had to wait a couple of weeks before we met with the surgeon and oncologist due to the holidays and that it usually takes 10 to 15 days before you meet with a surgeon. During this time, our family enjoyed a great holiday season! The boys were spoiled! My staff at Southeast Polk Junior High surprised us with a generous Hy-Vee gift card and my great friends of Adam Bolander, Jeff Zelenovich, and Andrew Olson helped me finish my long list of "Daddy-to-do-List" that Amanda created a long time ago. 

1/7/20 - Tuesday and 1/8/20 - Wednesday 
We met with Scott Hamling (surgeon- The Iowa Clinic at Methodist) and Matt Hill (oncologist- Methodist John Stoddard Cancer Center) on the days listed above. After meeting with these two doctors, we felt a lot better about our situation. We were information-overloaded, but the two doctors did a great job explaining everything so we understood. Listed is the medical information that came out of the two meetings:
- Stage II Breast Cancer - Very Curable
- Amanda's diagnosis is one of the most common types of breast cancer
- Grade III - faster growing/aggressive
- Triple Negative - Doesn't have any of the hormones they test for
- Treatment Plan - Chemotherapy first to reduce the size of the tumor, then a less invasive surgery 
- Chemotherapy will last for roughly six months
- Radiation will come after surgery
We didn't expect Chemotherapy first, but with the grade of cancer, chemotherapy is effective against a triple-negative type of cancer. The chemotherapy will decrease the tumors significantly that when surgery comes along, the surgery procedure will be a lot smaller.

1/9/120- Thursday
Amanda had a chest MRI, which results showed no evidence of addition masses/tumors in the right breast - which is GREAT news!

1/16/20 - Thursday
On this day, Amanda had minor outpatient surgery to have a Chemo port implanted underneath her right collarbone. This port helps out with the Chemo treatments. Chemotherapy can be hard on veins, so this port better serves the process.

1/17/20 - Friday
Amanda went to get a CT and bone scan in the winter storm that we received. The great news that Amanda's cancer has not spread anywhere else except for the two previous spots already known.

This is all the current information on our situation. When new information comes, I will post them to this website. All of us are doing good and we are just trying to keep things as normal as they can be. Amanda is ready and anxious to start treatments. We feel that we have a great care team and plan, so now we just have to go through the process of beating this disease. Currently, we are just waiting for insurance approval for Chemotherapy. We have told Scottie, so he knows Mommy has a sickness and will see the Dr. more often, but he does not fully understand the full extent of breast cancer. For those who ask how I am doing (Scott), I doing good and I am just focused on doing whatever I can to make Amanda's situation better. Lastly, Amanda has cut her hair short in preparation for the hair loss side effect. We want to THANK everyone for the current and future love and support for our family!