Lee Esbenshade

First post: May 23, 2017 Latest post: Mar 26, 2020
I have a sort-of brand new diagnosis:

Extrapulmonary small-cell carcinoma involving breast paranchyma VERSUS [=or] poorly differentiated triple-negative breast cancer stage 3A. They decided they won't be able to determine which it is, so they will treat me for both types.

Both are aggressive cancers, and recurrence is not uncommon, but it recurs fairly quickly. Dr. Scott expects a cure, however—we caught it early and they will watch me closely after treatment.

So, it is back to the original treatment, with one chemo drug added that addresses the small-cell cancer possibility:

1)      AC x 4 doses (8 weeks)

2)      Taxol plus either carboplatin or cisplatin x 12 weeks

3)      Surgery

4)      Radiation

Dr. Scott wanted me to know that I am very welcome to get a second opinion. The tumor board does not believe it will add certainty to the diagnosis, but they want me to be able to feel as clear and settled about the treatment as possible. Dr. Scott would probably recommend I go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. At the moment I feel that the main reason I would want to do this is to hang out in the hospital with Mom, who just broke her femur while visiting my sister there and is having a partial hip replacement today. But I feel satisfied with the treatment plan and my sister is taking care of my parents.

My chemo symptoms are nausea, tiredness, and visual sensory overload for about 8 or 9 days. Also, for the first three days, I have jitteriness--like running around with no energy, because of steroids in the drugs. After the first treatment, days 10-14 were much better, though I was still tired.  I am doing mostly well emotionally and psychologically and am feeling positive about the treatment and excited to start binge-watching some good shows. I am SO GRATEFUL for the outpouring of caring thoughts and love from all of you. 

A note on food help (for which Buell and I are very grateful): The nausea that comes with the meds makes me unsure of what I'm going to tolerate at any given hour, so though I am glad for any food help that will save dear Buell from burnout and nourish us both, if you feel inclined to check in on the latest food fad, you can check with Buell via email, otterpup8@gmail.com.

Now from my friend Beth:,
 "Lee is just like herself, only very tired. The chemo is powerful, so she is handling fatigue, nausea, and other side effects, but she is doing it beautifully, with the help of her boyfriend Buell, her family, and friends. Both Lee and Buell will appreciate help with meals. PLEASE KNOW: Lee has very little energy for talking. This website should help you keep informed and express your feelings to her. So, as far as calling, texting, and emailing, you just may not hear back from her. Rather than dropping by unannounced, please text message her about the possibility of visiting in case she feels up to it. She loves you, but needs to conserve her energy. Thanks so much for holding our precious girl in your heart."