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4/5/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Nancy has been diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2, grade 3, triple negative breast cancer. There is a tumor in her right breast measuring approximately 2.4 cm and another mass of approximately 7 mm in her left breast that has not been biopsied as of yet. There are suspicious lymph nodes under her right arm that have been biopsied and awaiting results. Nancy will be undergoing a CT and PET scan in the upcoming week to check for cancer in the other parts of her body. Nancy has been tested for the BRCA gene and is awaiting results that will help determine the course of her treatment.
So far, Nancy has been to both Rex/UNC Cancer Center and Duke Cancer Center for treatment opinions. At this point in time, it seems that Nancy has found a good fit with the team lead by oncologist Dr. Kimberly Blackwell at Duke. She has a followup appointment with Dr. Blackwell in a week to discuss the results of her biopsies and her BRCA test as well as to outline the beginning of her chemotherapy treatments.
At this time, Dr. Blackwell and her team feel that it is best for Nancy to start with an aggressive course of chemotherapy (12 weeks followed by 4 more weeks; once a week) to first shrink the tumor and the cancer in her lymph nodes before going into surgery. Her doctors feel this will help to give her more time to make a decision about surgery as well as to lessen the likelihood of lymphedema (swelling in the arms) from surgery on the lymph nodes. Once surgery is complete, the doctors will decide if she needs another course of chemotherapy before Nancy is given a round of radiation treatment.
We thank you all for caring so much about Nancy and reaching out during this time. If you would like to help and have referrals and contacts you would like to pass along, please email Diane Wolk (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cat Nguyen (email@example.com) and we will pass your information along to Nancy.