Norma’s Story

Site created on August 1, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. 

Here is update on Norma's recently diagnosed breast cancer. After receiving the news of Norma's pathology we went to consult with Norma's surgeon, Dr. Jane Hui. This was at the new UofM Masonic Cancer Hospital. I attended the dedication of this new building a couple years ago. I'm so proud to be an active Mason in Minnesota helping to fund charitable projects like the beautiful new cancer hospital.
Dr Hui was very good in explaining everything to Norma and I. Norma has invasive Mammary Carcinoma Nottingham grade 1. The size of the tumor in her right breast is 11cm long. Dr Hui recommended mastectomy rather than lump ectomy because of the size. 
Norma and I decided to begin with a research trial that will utilize a new drug along with chemotherapy. If the trial is successful that may change the method and order of treatments. Usually they go in order of:
1 surgery 
2 chemotherapy
3 radiation
4 endocrine therapy
In Norma's case we are opting for chemotherapy/research trial 1st to see if that is successful in shrinking the tumor.After the chemo she will have a "right skin sparing mastectomy and axillary sentinel lymph node biopsy."

They have put us in touch with the plastic surgeon who will do the reconstruction. One plus to the mastectomy is that insurance will cover the left breast (which doesn't have cancer) and Norma can have breast reduction surgery done in both breasts. Norma has wanted this to help her with sore neck etc.  
Dr Hui tells us that this cancer is stage 2a and very treatable and survivable.
This treatment will interrupt the new 10 week outpatient alcoholism treatment that Norma just started Monday. 
Thanks for your prayers and support in all of this.
We love you all.
Bob and Norma

Newest Update

Journal entry by Norma Bayers

Hi everyone, and thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Recovery is going very well this time. It is a much less invasive surgery, and no signs of infection thus far. I am having a bit of pain when it is getting near time for the next does of pain meds, but that is getting better too. They did give me a nerve blocker, so it may spike up again. My Dr is good about giving me what I need without giving me too much. 

I was already out and about a little yesterday. I took a short walk to a coffee shop 2 blocks away. It was pretty hot and humid, so I had a coffee and read a bit before walking home. That was about my limit for the day, but it was nice to be able to do that much already. As Bob said, I will be on the Ibrance for a total of 6 mo to a year. I'll stay on the endocrine therapy for up to 10 years or until I would have already reached menopause. I have started to get short but frequent hot flashes, which are tons of fun, especially at night. Sometimes I put on and take off the covers up to 5 times before I can settle down to sleep. Yuck! Well, I know I'm not the first to deal with this, nor will I be the last. I am taking melatonin to help me sleep, that has been awesome. I was having too many nights of very iffy sleep, which didn't help with work at all. 

Overall, I am doing very well. I just need to follow all my Drs orders and keep communicating with them what I'm experiencing. 

Thanks again for all your thoughts,
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