Here we go again! How did we possibly get here again?!?!
Well, as life would have it, cancer came back to visit our family again. On the morning of May 17th, I had my regularly scheduled annual mammogram. Never has there ever been a concern, so needless to say I wasn’t worried. Later that day, I received a call that I needed to have an ultrasound done. What?? How is that possible? Knowing that many people have follow-ups and they were just fine, I was still feeling okay. Wednesday morning, I have my ultrasound to rule anything out. The procedure took all of five minutes. The technician leaves the room to have the radiologist read it, which is standard process. As I am waiting, all of the worries come rushing in. Wow, that was short. It can’t be cancer, can it?? The technician returns with a doctor. He explains they see a mass and we need to do a biopsy. Did I have time to do it right away? Needless to say, the little bit I was holding on by crashed away and was replaced by sobs and tears. It was too soon!! We just went through this! How can this even be happening? What/how do I tell Jim and the kids??? Of course, I had the biopsy right then and there. As usual, it is a 3-4 day window of time before you will know the results. All I was praying for was to know by Friday. To have to wait the whole weekend would be crushing. Thankfully, not so thankfully, the call came Thursday night, “you have cancer”. Again what, how, why, seriously??
The following day lead to a phone call with my cancer navigator. She will be my new point of contact for many months to come. She informed me that I have high grade, triple negative, invasive ductal carcinoma. It is also high grade ductal carcinoma in situ. Lots of terms for this nasty little thing. What it comes down to is that I have a fast spreading cancer that will not react to any hormone therapy. Chemo is my only option. I am also on the young side for this type of cancer. Due to that, I will need to have genetic testing to see if I have any other markers we need to watch for. May 25th, we met our oncologist to learn the plan. I will have 20 weeks of chemo, surgery to remove what we hope is only the tumor bed and wrap everything up with radiation. This was all dependent on what the surgeon suggested, too. The following day, we met the surgeon and she agreed. We want to take an aggressive approach due to the aggressive nature of this type of cancer. By doing chemo first, we will know if it is working for me. If not, we change it up until we get the results we need. I will lose my hair and that is fine with me. A small price to pay for health! June 1st, I had an MRI to make sure it is only the one mass and hopefully not in my lymph nodes. News came early on Tuesday. No other masses and no abnormalities in my lymph nodes. Unimaginable relief!! Then can the call from the geneticists, the first nine markers for other breast cancer concerns were back and all negative. Other than the fact I have cancer, these were wonderfully positive messages. Friday I will have an ultrasound to make sure my heart is healthy. One of the chemo meds (one of the same ones Marshall had) can cause heart damage. If all is well, I will have surgery to have my port put in for chemo on June 8th with my first chemo on 6/10.