One day not too long ago, after sharing lunch and conversation, Carrianne turned to me and said in a voice that tried to sound casual and unconcerned, “did you ever have a lump?”
She knew it was time to get an expert opinion, and indeed, that lump turned out to be invasive ductal carcinoma – stage 2b breast cancer. The tumor is on the smaller side (2.7 cm) and the cancer type is responsive to hormone therapy, which is good news for long-term results. There is at least one lymph node involved, which makes matters a bit more complicated.
After consultation with the surgical oncologist at Aurora Health Care and the cancer care team at Froedtert Hospital, Carrianne has chosen to proceed with treatment at Froedtert. After additional bone and CT scans returned clear, a treatment plan is now in place, including two upcoming surgeries on October 8 (lumpectomy and node dissection) and October 22 (reconstruction). The plan is to begin follow up treatment with chemotherapy likely to start about four weeks later and continue for four or five months, followed by a couple months of radiation therapy, and long-term hormone therapy.
Carrianne is eager to get going on the path to wellness and recovery. She puts it this way: “Although a couple weeks of forward progress were lost in the process of seeking a second opinion, it feels like it has been worth taking the time. The Froedtert team has been incredibly attentive, thorough, informative and collaborative and are approaching my treatment with a gravity I appreciate. I do not doubt their commitment to achieving the very best possible outcome.”
Okay Team Carrianne – now is the time to send a tidal wave of good wishes and positive mojo for a simple, successful surgery on October 8, and continued healing in the days and weeks ahead as she tackles this new challenge.