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12/28/2016 Latest post:
As many of you may recall my mother Susan's battle with Breast Cancer began in 2003. Her treatment consisted of a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. After a successful fight we were elated to receive the "cancer free" diagnosis. Unfortunately, just 7 months ago symptoms of shoulder pain, swollen lymph nodes, fever and unplanned weight loss presented. The following week a lung cancer screening was recommended and a Chest CT was ordered. The imaging reports identified two nodules and a large banana size mass in the lower lobe of her lung. We were all devastated and sought out the opinion of a thoracic surgeon. A few days later the surgeon called and said not to assume lung cancer, he said the mass was not the standard shape. The doctor explained the mass-like image could be scar tissue and or inflammation from COPD . His recommendation was to reimage the lungs in 2-3 months before jumping to a biopsy. We literally counted down the days of what felt like the longest 2 month EVER! During this time mom was finally able to kick her smoking habit and to our surprise the scans showed the mass had greatly reduced in size. As you can image this was the best news we could have ever received. The Doctor again recommended a repeat scan in a few months. Despite getting the great news, we weren't convinced and requested a second opinion. The following week a PET scan was ordered. The imaging results this time were not nearly what we had hoped. The scan lit up throughout her spine, hips, lymph nodes and long bones. The big C word was confirmed and yet again our devastation set in. More tests ordered and more waiting... The biopsy was completed and the pathology was sent off to determine the primary. We were then referred to an oncologist who later gave the prognosis of Stage 4 recurrent Breast Cancer. This time the treatments options offered include hormone therapy pills, radiation and chemo pills. Unfortunately this stage is not curable and the treatment plan is palliative. Mom says... "I'm tough, I beat it the 1s time and I will keep fighting"!!!