Kay Niebrugge

First post: 8/24/2016 Latest post: 1/19/2017
Hi family and friends! Over the the past 5 weeks, we began a journey we hoped we would never face. We are so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends that offer love, support, and an amazing prayer army. It has been an emotional roller coaster of tests and some really scary days waiting for results. It is so hard to call everyone and tell the story. I worry I will forget to tell someone an update and increase their anxiety, so we will try to update through Caringbridge. My posts will probably sound a lot like a health care professional for my medical friends that want the details, so for my non-medical peeps, please just smile and overlook it  :O)   I have been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal breast carcinoma Grade 2. It is ER positive, PR negative, Her-2 negative. I am scheduled for surgery 8/25. After much discussion with my surgeon and oncologist, we have decided that based on my history and clinical presentation a double mastectomy is the best approach. The staging of my disease will be more clear after surgery. The tumor size as well as the nodal involvement are required to determine the extent of the disease. Those results will guide my post surgery treatments.  Although the mass is measuring up to 2.2cm on MRI, we are hoping that the actual cancer within the mass is smaller. Here are some of the encouraging tests... Upon physical exam, my lymph nodes can not be felt, nor do they appear enhanced on the MRI.  I had a bone scan and thankfully the results were normal. My CA 15-3, which is a blood test for cancer antigen, was normal. My metabolic panel (includes liver and kidney function) was normal. My sed rate is normal. Some of the more aggressive cancers have been ruled out. I am sure I have forgotten something!   Whew, so... that is where we are.  I am so lucky to work in an amazing oncology practice and am being taken care of by people I have worked with for years who care about me very much. My "work family" is an amazing group of cancer experts and I feel like I am in good hands - my angels on Earth!

Cancer is a very scary thing, not just for the patient, but for everyone that cares about the patient and even for people who care about those close to me. I told Luke, Abby, and Nathan that there is not a book to tell us how to respond, feel, and act so whatever they do is perfect! Each of them is dealing with this in a different way, but they are all loving me and rallying around me the way they always do. Doug is my rock and I can not find words to express the depth of my feelings for him and how he is carrying me through this. He really meant it when he vowed "in sickness!!" I could name so many people who are lifting us up, but don't want to forget anyone! Thank you so much to everyone that is praying for us and loving us!  Love to all of you right back!


"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed , for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isiah 41:10

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