Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dr. N Update

Today was the long awaited visit with Dr. N. I was expecting some definitive plans of ACTION about what treatment plan I’d be getting started with.  However, that is not the case.

Turns out I’m in a gray area for what happens next. Ugh.  Ok... 

We already knew that radiation was on my horizon and treatment plan, but because of today’s revelation Dr. N has said that he is really on the fence about whether or not I should also do some chemo. 

Why you ask, because the tumor had multifocal spots (those were the seeds on the strawberry, click here if that makes no sense), inside those individual spots/seeds the cancer was in the lympho-vascular system of the tumor itself. 

Yes, you remember correctly that the larger lymph system is not involved (negative sentinel node), but within the tumor itself it was in that lymph system, which means a few bad cells could have snuck out.

So how do you make a good decision on this topic?  You take it to the Tumor Board.  Who knew there was such a thing; not me.  I've recently contributed to a work project that went to the Board of Directors and they heeded our advice, but I’m not sure I’m as well qualified to weigh in on this topic. 

Apparently Dr. N will present my case history to six oncologists, a handful of radiologists, a handful of surgeons, and the janitor (just kidding on that one).  They will go through all of the details and then they will vote on whether chemo is recommended or not; majority rules.

My goal remains unchanged, to be cancer free, so if chemo is needed, I’ll sign up.  Dr. N said that he would recommend four treatments each three weeks apart (over the course of 9 weeks).  Larry asked if this would make my hair fall out, and yes it will.  I think I will cancel my haircut next week and wait and see what the Board decision is before I spend any extra money on coiffing my locks. 

Dr. N also ordered the oncodx typing of the tumor.  Both L and I thought that Dr. A had already done that, but Dr. N called him right there and no, he hadn't.  So that means that we’ll have to wait two weeks to have those tumor slides from the lumpectomy tested. 

The on-co-d-x is genetic testing on the tumor itself to see how receptive the tumor would be to chemo. A score of >18 = chemo for sure. <18 it’s more of a toss-up (those are my words). 

I've been doing pretty well keeping my mind off the waiting.  Sissy reminded me this evening that patience is a virtue, but let’s get on with it. Amen, Sissy. 

While I’m sharing I’ll also tell you how I’m really doing… I did have a bit of a freak out moment on Saturday at a graduation party, it wasn't the graduate, but the casual conversation among party guests. One of their mutual friends has cancer and has the positive gene and sure enough it’s currently popping out all over her body. I got really antsy after that and left the party not long after.

Then I was reminded that God already knows how all of this is going to work out. The genetic testing that I’m having done will not be a surprise to Him.  He was there when I was knitted in my mother’s womb.  He knows EXACTLY how I am put together, and whether or not I have a gene mutation or not. So I’m back to feeling ‘normal’ and not freaked out. 

The summer bible study that started Monday on 1 & 2 Thessalonians is going to be fabulous; Linda this is what I was going to tell you.  

Matt does a great job of keeping me busy, by our mutual agreement, so that I don’t think too much about all of this crazy stuff.  However, by Wednesday afternoon I had reached my personal capacity for the week (I can’t remember the last time that happened, but it was crystal clear yesterday). I did get everything completed that needed to be done for the week and so I could take a couple of days off, and keep things on track with the project I’m working on. 

Today J and I are off to visit c & e and their parents Janet and Clayton in their new house with a YARD, so I’ll get a few days of rest and relaxation, though Clayton did tell me he’s been saving some of his honey-do’s for when I’m there so I don’t get bored. 

Next steps:
  • 6/18  (Happy Birthday Garrrr) Genetic read out; previously scheduled
  • 6/19  Tumor Board read out and perhaps a plan of ACTION???? Let’s get this show on the road already.

Answered Prayers:
  • Based on several people’s feedback to me, God has been glorified
  • Healing from surgery (I’m back to exercise walking at regular distances and speeds and gardening aka weeding)

Prayer Requests:
  • God would continue to be glorified
  • The Tumor Board would have wisdom and discernment in making their decisions
  • That I would be well enough to make it through the full nine weeks of Bible study
  • I would be cancer free

1 comment:

  1. I'm praying, Andrea, for wisdom, discernment, and peace.