On January 3, 2017, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in my right breast and Metastatic Ductal Carcinoma in my right axillary lymph node after finding what I thought may have been a lump in a routine self-exam on Monday evening, December 19, 2016.
After a few ultrasounds, my tumor was confirmed, and after biopsies were taken of both my tumor and the swollen lymph node found in the imaging, the diagnosis was made. After a series of additional tests, imaging and medical appointments throughout January, two additional tumors were found and biopsied, genetics testing was done, and treatment determinations were made. I am diagnosed with "clinical" Stage 2b - which relates to the size of the tumors and the effected lymph node they can tell via testing. Once I'm opened up in surgery, they will be able to determine my "pathological" staging when they put actual tissue to the lab.
The general treatment plan at this point is 5 months of chemo, followed by a month of recuperation, then surgery, followed by recovery and the beginning process of reconstruction, then possibly radiation. Reconstructive surgery follows either within months or half a year (2018) from original surgery depending on whether radiation is necessary. At some point likely after, or perhaps during, reconstructive surgery, I'll have my port removed. Then, hormone treatment will be required for 5 years to follow. I got my port installed on February 1st and my chemo started on February 3rd.
Through all of this, I have received SO much love and support from you all, I just want you all to know how grateful I am for each and every one of you in my life. According to my providers, given my age, my otherwise good health, and my current diagnosis, I have a "very good prognosis" and I will happily receive any and all prayers to support a journey of effective treatment, smooth sailing recovery and a life lived long and well!