Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this site to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Dee Ann was diagnosed with Stage I or II DCIS breast cancer in her right breast on May 19, 2020. The type of cancer she has is aggressive and is what's called "Triple Positive" (HER-2/NEU +, KI-67 >10%, ER +80% with a tumor grade of 3/3) which means it is hormone and estrogen reactive. In the past a triple positive diagnosis was concerning, but the good news is that because it was caught early in Stage I/II and there are many anti-hormonal treatments today such as Herceptin that are known to dramatically reduce risk. Her surgeon described her breast cancer as "highly treatable" even "highly curable."
After several biopsies and discussions with her surgeon, Dr. Curcio recommended a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy. Dee Ann and I researched and discussed this at length and ultimately decided on a double mastectomy. Surgery is taking place on Wednesday, July 22. This is a rather long surgery (up to 6.5 hours) and Dee Ann will be in the hospital over night. I will be bringing her home at some point on Thursday, July 23. Over the next 3 weeks she will be in recovery and mostly resting in bed. She is not allowed to raise her arms above chest level during that time nor operate a vehicle. While recovery may take some time and the first few days maybe challenging, overall we are very optimistic and look forward to the future.
Once Dee Ann has recovered from surgery, the next recommended steps are chemotherapy (Taxol - 12 weeks long, once per week) and hormone treatment (Herceptin - 1 year, once per three weeks). We are still researching whether the Taxol is absolutely necessary as it has the extreme side effects including hair loss, weakened immune system, etc. Currently the oncologist is recommending taking it so that is the current plan. Herceptin will happen no matter what since the cancer found is HER-2 positive. We will update everyone here once we know what treatment Dee Ann will undergo and when it will start and end.
Thanks for all the well wishes and positive thinking. We really appreciate all the offers of help!