Della Henriksen Della's cancer journey

First post: Mar 12, 2018 Latest post: Mar 6, 2019

Welcome to Della's CaringBridge website.  Although it's not fun to have to use a CB site, Tom and I are grateful that you care enough to visit this site, and we are happy to share our journey with all of you.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December after a mammogram picked up a suspicious mass. MRI confirmed small tumor, so a lumpectomy and radiation were the anticipated treatments.  However, post-surgical pathology reports revealed not only multiple lymph node involvement, but the tumor was 2 1/2 times what was read on the MRI.  Therefore, treatment has now changed to right mastectomy with lymph dissection, with chemo and then radiation.
Because the MRI did not 'see' the full extent of the tumor, and future scans on the left breast may not detect new cancer, I have decided to undergo bilateral mastectomies to prevent an occurrence on the left.  I will have surgery on Monday, March 19 which includes not just the mastectomies but immediate reconstruction as well, using my abdominal tissue to reform the breasts (DIEP flap technique).  I will be in the hospital 5-6 days. As soon as I am healed I will begin chemo, maybe 2-4 weeks post surgery, for 16 weeks, then a month to rest and recover, then radiation probably 5-6 weeks.
For those interested, I am T3N1 estrogen (+) progesterone (-) HER2 (-) invasive lobular cancer. My chemo will be 8 weeks AC protocol, then 8 weeks T protocol, then month to recover, then 5-6 weeks radiation to R chest wall and axilla.  My care providers are part of the new Cancer Center here in Omaha, right down the street.  
As Tom says, This is a shit sandwich no matter how you look at it, but we'll just get through it.  I am blessed to have so many role models who have faced this disease and overcome to being a survivor on the other side.  I have a strong husband as my rock, wonderful children, a tremendous support system of friends and family here to support me, and prayers coming from around the globe.  All in all, I'd say I'm in a good spot. d

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