Aug 11, 2018 Latest post:
Oct 15, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Hello this is Theresa, Jessica's mother. Jessica's story starts when she noticed her left breast was sore. She felt it and noticed a lump, she told Nancy at the group home about it and Nancy said to make sure you tell your mom. She came home that Thursday before the 4th of July and told me about it. I was able to feel the lump also and we thought it was a fiborous cyst, which myself, Sonja and Ariel have all had in the past. I called Alexandria clinic the next morning to try and see a doctor to take a look but they had no opening till Monday. We took the only appointment available for Monday morning at 9:00. Unfortunately the doctor wasn't able to make it in on Monday so we ended up getting rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon the 3rd of July. At the appointment the next day the doctor confirmed the lump and scheduled an ultrasound to let a good look at it. We tried to get the ultrasound that afternoon but they had no openings but we were able to schedule it for Friday July 6. The ultrasound went well and we went home to enjoy the weekend. We got a call from the clinic on Tuesday to schedule a biopsy at the Douglas county Hospital as the radiologist didn't like the look of the mass. We were able to get a ultrasound assisted biopsy scheduled for Friday, July 13. (Hmmm, I'm not superstitious, at least I wasn't). The biopsy went pretty good with only a little discomfort and Jessica hated the clicks as they startled her. We thought all was good and expected to hear good news the next week. I got a call from the doctor the following Tuesday that Jessica had breast cancer. I, of course was shocked (really it's a cyst) but asked what our next step was going to be. He explained that I sould expect a call from the Oncologist and surgeon and we would start the process. I received a a call from the surgeon first and her first opening was July 30. After taking things over with family (Sonja) we decided to move our care to St Cloud. We have a strong support network in St. Cloud with Sonja, Jacki, Bonnie and Katie all in the area.
We were able to make an appointment for that Friday, July 24 to see Dr Ufreao in St. Cloud. He happened to have an opening and he also see's patients in Sauk Centre which is a plus with future appointments. He explained that Jessica has stage one breast cancer with 3 negative factors, which means there is not a specific cause for the cancer. He told us the treatment for this would be surgery and chemo therapy. He also wanted her to have a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread and also do genetic testing to see if the cancer was heriditary. We were able to see Dr Mallory the surgeon the following Monday in Sauk Centre. After a brief exam she advised a mastectomy of her left breast. We had an appointment for Tuesday July 24 for both the PET scan and genetic counseling. Jessica did an excellent job with the scan and was able to do it by herself without me being present. Dr Joy, genetic counselor went over all the details and it was determined to test for both breast and ovarian cancer links due to Susie and Sonja's cancer. The PET scan results were going to be available on Wednesday which happened to be the day that Dr Ufearo was in Sauk Centre so we were able to see him the very next day. He informed us that the PET scan showed only the cancer in the left breast and it hadn't traveled any further which was wonderful news.
Funny thing happened when we went to leave the exam room, the door handle fell off in Toms hand. We all looked at each other like, now what? Dr Ufearo pulled out his call phone and was contemplating who to call, meanwhile Tom pulls out pocket knife and says, I think I can get this. He was able to get the door open but we had a few chuckles about that.
We knew the genetic testing was going to take seven to ten days so they scheduled her surgery for August 14. I got a phone the following Friday that the test came back negative and they did not find any genetic factors. After consulting with multiple people we determined the best plan of action for Jessica was to go ahead and do a double mastectomy. She just wants one surgery with only one night stay and that's it, nothing more.
We will continue to get you updates and we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers, thanks for following Jessica's journey!