Welcome to Mem's Palace our CaringBridge website. We are using this site to keep family and friends updated.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
My journal entries will tell you a little bit more about Mary's Palace, for this story..
"It's just the facts Ma'am"
In Mid September we learned Mary (Mem) has breast cancer. After many tests and Dr visits we know the following:
The cancer/tumor is in my left breast (lower outer area) it is a 2.5 CM tumor
It is an invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) - this means it is not contained in a breast duct, but has spread outside of the duct.
Our results from the pathology test from the biopsy helped us learn the following about this little invader ...
- Estrogen positive 90% (ER+),
- Progesterone positive 70% (PR+), and
- Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 gene is amplified (HER-2/neu+)
- p53 tumor suppressor gene - abnormal
this gene normally is a tumor suppressor, that helps regulate cell growth.
My results show uncontrolled cell growth.
The test measured a Ki-67 protein to determine growth rate, results are shown as unfavorable.
Our results from the PET Scan yesterday helped us learn a little bit more:
- A left axillary lymph node is also involved. No other areas of involvement.
Using a book I purchased - Straight Talk about Breast Cancer and http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging#stage2
my Stage is IIB (I will confirm with Oncologist) for Invasive breast cancer (IBC) based on the following:
- the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but no larger than 5 centimeters; small groups of breast cancer cells -- larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters -- are found in the lymph nodes OR
- the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but no larger than 5 centimeters; cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel node biopsy) OR
These results all brought me to today, my first day of chemo, I am getting the following, administered in my PowerPort :
Two drugs (Herceptin and Prejeta) that attach to the cancer cells and stop them from growing, the goal is to shrink the tumor
Two drugs (Paraplatin and Taxotere) these will attack all cells - cancer and others, the goal is to get rid of these and let healthy cells come back
The hardest part so far was telling my Dad and our children, my sibling and coworkers. The amazing part is the sense of joy and peace I am feeling, and I know this is because of your outpouring of love and support.
My chemo treatment is important for my physical well being.
I am learning very quickly how much your love and support will be the necessary treatment for my spiritual health.
Watch for my first Journal (Journey) Entry it will be posted in a little bit