Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30

Much has happened so far this week.

I was able to get with my Doctor's office on Monday and find out what I needed to do about getting the CT scan done. They put me on Predisone - 2 hits on Monday and 1 hit Tuesday morning - to pre-treat me and I was able to have the CT scan - contrast dye and all - yesterday around noon. I didn't swell up and look like Quasimodo this time - in contrast to what happened to me years ago - to the disappointment of some of my friends who were hoping to see what that looked like.

When I picked up the prescription for the Prednisone - the Pharmacist asked me if my Doctor had mentioned that I might have a hard time sleeping when I take the pills. I said he hadn't said anything. He suggested I take something - anything - to help. I did take something. It didn't help. I hardly slept that night. I felt like I had some great energy for a day there - even with no sleep. That was a bonus.

I don't have any results from my tests back - but I did have a call from Dr. Morgans office and I am scheduled to start my chemo on Friday - May 2nd - at 10:30 a.m. Yikes! I suppose I will get the test results then.

And - I had all of my hair cut off earlier today. Jeff Martin at Dexterity Salon - he used to cut my hair years ago when it was short - got me in after calling him only yesterday and cut my hair off. We had three decent size braids that I am donating to Locks of Love - an organization that makes wigs for children that have lost their hair due to medical treatments from donated hair. I will post pictures on my blog site. The salon will send in the hair for me - everything. Jeff was so great. He has offered to help me once I start getting hair again to get it into some sort of reasonable cut. He is awesome and it was good to see him after so many years.

I also saw my sweet friend Jennifer at Cafe Niche that's connected to the salon. She is my best friend from college. It was so good to see her and cute Amanda - her sister. The food there is awesome. You all should give it a try.

My hair is SHORT! It's really cute - but it's SHORT! It will, however, only be 2 - 3 weeks before I lose it all anyway according to the statistics. And, I got to donate a lot of hair to a good cause.

Marian Decker brought over several scarves for me this weekend and showed me some techniques. She is such a great ally to have right now. I have ordered some scarves and cotton beanies and am going to a place in Trolley Square later to look at American Apparel - they apparently have some really cute scarves to tie in different ways and some girls at Dexterity and my friend Jennifer recommended them.

So, that's the latest. I am hoping for the very best in regards to my chemo treatments. I really hope I won't get too sick and don't feel too knocked-out energy-wise. I am praying for this and really hope I can work and take care of everything I need to over the coming months. I may not be very social - I need to stay away from crowds and sick people. I will just have to do what is best for me to stay healthy and keep on track with my treatments.

So many of you have offered to help me and want to know what you can do. I really don't know yet - but I promise I will let you know if there is anything you can do for me. Honestly, your prayers and concern mean the most to me.

As everyone was coming in to my Gospel Doctrine Class on Sunday - I got very emotional. I had this overwhelming feeling that many of the people coming through the door had been praying for me. It was unreal. I have been having so many experiences like this. I am so grateful to all of you.


Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25

Today was a sort of stupid day.

I went to the hospital for more tests today - a bone scan and a CT scan. I went in and they gave me the contrast dye for the bone scan - which you have to wait three hours after they give it to you before they do the scan - then I was supposed to have the CT scan. I have told the entire medical world that I had a horrible allergic reaction to Iodine contrast dye during a CT scan many years ago. The tech at the time told me the reaction was bad enough that I should wear an emergency medical bracelet - which I don't - shame on me. I am yet to have an appointment with anyone that doesn't ask me what I"m allergic to and I always mention this.

So, I got to the CT scan desk and they handed me a bottle of Gatorade looking stuff to drink. I had - with me - papers that mention the allergic reaction thing. Just to be sure, I told the tech that I was allergic to Iodine contrast dye and wanted to make sure the stuff they were giving me was okay for me to take. She made a phone call to someone who told her that I had to drink a different kind of stuff - more like yogurt smoothie-type-stuff that was just gross. I drank all of it - 2 big bottles in 1.5 hours - after which someone comes and tells me that they are sorry, but they can't do the test on me because of my previous allergic reaction and that the newer dyes they use still contain Iodine and they usually pre-treat cases like mine with a steroid to avoid any problems and they are REALLY sorry and I will have to make other plans next week for the test once they can get in contact with my doctor.

This was something I could have been told 1.5 hours earlier - thank you! If I don't have cancer all over my body - I will shortly. I have been loaded with all kinds of chemicals and radioactive material this week.

So, I only had the bone scan - and some additional x-rays they ordered after the bone scan - which is not fun when they make you get more tests based on the test they just did. That has not worked out for me well so far.

Oh well, I guess I will find out next week what the next steps are on the CT scan. My doctor is out of the office today and they won't be able to get a new order from him until early next week. I'm still planning on my first chemo treatment a week from today - but we'll see if that changes based on not being able to have this test today.

I know this is not the biggest deal. It's just a little frustrating when you have so much going on and you're missing so much work already to waste time and energy like I did today. I never in a million years thought I would say this - but I am actually looking forward to starting the chemo part of this and kicking my cancers butt. I want the tests part to be over - at least for now. Remind me that I actually said this in a few weeks. I'm sure I will deny it.

Aside from today's snafu, I am still doing very well. I am healing from the surgery very well. I had a lovely experience with a Patron at the Salt Lake Temple last night doing Initiatory. I am amazed at how many choice moments I keep having since beginning this trial. I have received so many emails, calls, notes, everything. It's still so overwhelming. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Thanks again to all of you. I won't quit saying that. All of your prayers and love are keeping me sane - at least my version of sane - hopeful and positive.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23

You know, this is truly a roller-coaster.

I had my first meeting with my Medical Oncologist today. His name is Dr. Ross Morgan. I thought he was great and I really liked him. After going through my case, he decided that I should have some more tests to insure that the cancer has not spread to other parts of my body.I know I had heard that it would be highly unlikely from other doctors – but he wants to be sure.

I had a test on my heart done today to make sure it is strong enough to handle the upcoming chemo. I will have a CT scan and a bone scan this Friday. If everything is okay from these tests – I will start my chemo treatments next Friday – May 2nd. Wow!! That seems really soon. Marian, get those scarves ready.

I hate the test parts. I feel like they are somewhat pass/fail and I haven’t passed some of the tests I’ve had in the last month. I am praying and hoping that there are no more findings that could mean the cancer has spread anywhere else in my body. I need all of you to help me pray for this as well.

As for the chemo – he is prescribing that I have treatments every two weeks – 8 treatments total. The first 4 treatments will be combination of Adriamycin and Cytoxan and my last 4 will be Taxol. Marian, you may be a lawyer, but you hit this on the head. I will have to inject myself on days 4-12 between treatments with a drug that will help my bone marrow so my body can be ready for the next treatment.

He told me I will probably loose my hair between weeks 2 and 4 once I start treatment. If you have an extra hat or scarf – please send it my way.

I will start radiation treatments 3 -5 weeks after having my last chemo treatment. They should last between 5 and 6 weeks - every day - Monday through Friday.

This is honestly what I expected to hear on the treatment side. I didn’t realize I would have more tests before the treatment and that scared me a little. Looking at it – we really need the Big Picture to make sure my treatment is right and there won’t be other problems later. I just know that the waiting for the results part is hard for me. It’s very trying emotionally and hard not to be scared.

I had another wonderful blessing from Bishop Foster with President Alldredge last night. I know that the blessings I have received have truly helped me. I know that everyone’s love and prayers have truly helped me. I have already experienced some great miracles and know that there will be more to come.

I found out on Sunday that cute Camille Thorpe – a friend, fellow-MP19er and actually an associate of mine from work – is putting together a quilt for me from pieces of fabric given to her by my friends, etc. If you want to add your own piece, please let her know. She is taking 5” x 5” pieces of fabric with your name embroidered, with fabric marker, whatever. Make sure your name does not get close to the edge of the square.

Camille Thorpe
Or, just bring it to the MP 19th Ward house – or give it to me. I will make sure she gets it. She wants these by May 4th.

My house looked like greenhouse there were so many flowers after my surgery. I am healing well from surgery and have worked all of this week so far. The pain is starting to come. It's not too bad, but the numbness is starting to wear away and I can feel my nerves starting to try to connect. I haven't had any infection and the incision sites look good. I'm feeling a little tired, not tons of energy. Other than that, I'm doing really well.

Thanks again to all of you for your love, concern and prayers. I keep saying it, but I really wish there was a way for me to let you know how much they mean to me. I feel them. I know you are praying for me. I know that they are being heard and making difference.


Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18

I just got back from an appointment with my surgeon. They removed the drain from under my arm and said everything looks good. I can take a shower and wash my hair this weekend – yeah!!! No more just baths and keeping under my arm dry.

Nothing new to report really – my final pathology was exactly as Dr. Rosenthal stated on Wednesday. I haven’t been given the 100% all clear on “no more surgery” but she said she is almost certain that there isn't an Oncologist alive that would require me to have more surgery. Dr. Sause, my Radiation Oncologist, is out of town and she wasn’t able to confer with him. She did, however, confer with one of his associates and he – too – said he doubted that Dr. Sause would want me to have additional surgery. So, I’m at 99.9999% and holding – but quite certain I won’t have to have any more surgery – at least for this.

Except for the one measly pre-cancerous cell – I had very healthy margins – much larger than Dr. Rosenthal thought she would get pre-surgery. My mass ended up being 1.7 centimeters – a little larger than originally thought. Still only 2 nodes showed cancer - which is still a miracle to me considering that it did not look like that would be the case.

I meet with Dr. Ross Morgan - my Medical Oncologist - next week. Dr. Rosenthal recommended him and Tammy Lewis gave me a huge thumbs-up on him. I will work with him to figure out my treatment - whether I have radiation first or chemo first.

Other than a killer sinus-type thing and a feeling like I have a little bug - I am feeling great. I worked 6 hours at the office yesterday and am at the office today. The pain has been minimal. I have a feeling it might get a little worse once the nerves start coming back. The most pain I am feeling right now is from the chunk for my thumb that I cut-off using one of my really sharp new Henckles knives cutting bread last night. I have problem with this. This is the 4th or 5th time I have done this in the last 6 months. Someone stop me!

This will be my last update email. From here on out - I will post updates on my blog site:

I'm still looking for a better name than Cynthia's Updates. My friend Scott Sorrenson suggested MediCyn - which is really funny - but he said he was just kidding.

I feel so blessed and grateful. I wish I could somehow relay how grateful I am to all of you for your concern and prayers on my behalf. I can literally feel your prayers working for me. At the risk of sounding selfish - keep them coming. I know I will continue to need them.

On a side note - Rod Snow also got some good news this week. The biopsy from his throat came back clean. He is very grateful to all of you that have prayed for him as well.

I love you all!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 16

Good News Today!

Firstly, my surgery went very well yesterday. I had to be at LDS Hospital at 5:30 a.m. My surgery started around 8:00 a.m. Who knew it took so long for them to get someone ready? And, I have discovered the best part about being in a hospital. The blankets that have been in the warmer. They are the best!

My surgery went great. The doctor was able to do a lumpectomy with a lateral dissection of my lymph nodes. Dr. Rosenthal had a pathologist look at the tumor and he agreed that it visually looked like they got good margins. I woke up and, honestly, didn't feel too bad at all. I got a little nauseated and they put something in my IV that actually gave me a small allergic reaction. It made me nervous for a few minutes, but turned out to be only a slight reaction. Overall, I felt great. I was home by 2:00 p.m. I came home and napped for a couple of hours and then got up and visited with some dear friends and Bishop and Sister Foster. Shawna took me to the hospital - was there when I woke up - and stayed with me last night. Thanks again Shawna for the loving care and attention. I actually slept quite well last night. The pain hasn't been bad at all.

Today I have been feeling really good. I got up fairly early and replied to some work emails and hung out until I went to my appointment with Dr. Rosenthal this afternoon. She always schedules a follow-up appointment after surgery to make sure everything looks okay. When I got to her office - her nurse removed my bandages from the surgery and then Dr. Rosenthal looked at everything and said that it all looked great. She had received most of my pathology from surgery. Now for the really good news:

Only 2 lymph nodes show any cancer - a miracle! By sight, she said she was worried that number would be much higher.

And, I have clean margins around my lumpectomy with a microscopic area of a precancerous cell. They are not completely done with the pathology but she said that no matter how it turns out - I will most likely not have to have any additional surgery. This is much better news than I thought I would get. I am SO grateful!

I have another appointment on Friday to have the drain removed from under my arm and should have the official report on the pathology. Dr. Rosenthal has recommended some medical oncologists and I am sure I will be meeting with them in the next week or so for my next steps. She said that I will ABSOLUTELY have radiation and will have some sort of chemotherapy and probably hormone therapy as well.

I am feeling so happy tonight. And, Sandra Guzman just brought me a cake that I will have to have a picture posted on my blog site. It is too funny!

Thanks so much to all of you - once more - for your love, kindness and prayers. Honestly, the flowers, plants, cards, notes, food, calls - everything - it's overwhelming. I am so grateful to have all of you in my life. Because of your love, prayers and concern, I am truly being blessed.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15 - Surgery update via Angie Vriens

I just got off the phone with Shawna who had just spoken with the surgeon. Cyn came through it very well. They feel like they got all of it with good margins. She had a pathologist look at it and he felt good about it as well but of course will not know anything for sure until tests are run. They did take several lymph nodes that were enlarged and the surgeon said that will be draining through Friday at least. They were able to keep what Shawna said are “the important parts” so that’s a bonus. She is still in post-op and will soon be moved to Recovery where Shawna will be able to see her and then take her home. She anticipates she will be home early this afternoon. So, so far so good.

Quick update April 14

Sorry to be getting this out so late. This day has been incredibly busy. I have to be at LDS Hospital at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and my surgery is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. I'm glad I will be sleeping through it. I will need it!

I met with my surgeon late this afternoon - more like early tonight. Her office was packed and she was running about an hour and a half behind. She felt so badly that I had to wait so long. It must have been such a long day for her. We went over the possibilities of the surgery. It's still quite scary and I had some moments after the appointment. I'm finding that - through this thing - I have to give myself some time to get my head around the possibilities and realize that - no matter what - I am going to be okay. This really isn't in my hands and I have to trust the one whose hands it is in.

I had an amazing blessing tonight from Brother Jeff Anderson - Doctor extrordinaire - with Brother B and Bishop Slater attending as well. It honestly made me feel so much better about the surgery - everything. It really is going to be okay.

I will have Shawna or someone send out an email and let you all know how things went tomorrow.

Thanks again for all of your love and prayers. I am getting through this day by day because of you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11

So, when I said I wouldn't have any more information from the doctors this week in my last update, I inadvertently lied.

I had a surprise phone call yesterday. My surgeons office called and, even though I don't meet with her until late Monday afternoon on April 14th, I am scheduled for surgery the next day - Tuesday, April 15th. They won't know what time the surgery will be until after noon on Monday. Frankly, I don't even know where I'm having the surgery. I'm guessing the new hospital, but I don't know.

They have me scheduled for a lumpectomy and a removal of the lymph nodes from my arm pit. They are hopeful that they will get clean margins and no further surgery will be needed. This is what I am praying for. It's outpatient surgery so I will be home later the same day.

Treatment will be determined after the surgery when they biopsy all of the lymph nodes and mass. As I mentioned before - I will more then likely have chemo with a possibility of radiation afterward.

Our dear friend Rod Snow is having a biopsy on Monday. Some of us are fasting this Sunday. We would love for any of you to join this fast with us.

And, thanks to sweet Betsy Hintze, I have a blog site.

Go to:

The photo is a self portrait of my feet as I am kayaking with my friend Bruce Lindberg down a beautiful part of the Snake River around Oxbow Bend in the Tetons. The quote is one I found that I really like right now - for obvious reasons. Please feel free to go there to check on updates. Also, you are welcome to post comments there. I will get emailed when you do.

If anyone can come-up with a better name for the blog site - you're welcome to send suggestions. I will even credit you on the site. Just nothing too cheesy. I can't think of anything that doesn't seem too cornball.

Thanks again to all of you for your love and prayers. I don't know what I would do without you!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April 9

Hey everyone!

I thought I would send an update today since I already have all of the information I will have from the doctors this week.

My surgeon - Dr. Rosenthal - just went home from her office feeling very ill and had to cancel my appointment this afternoon. I won't see her until Monday - April 14th - later in the afternoon. So, still no surgery scheduled. She schedules surgeries on Tuesdays, so potentially next week, but I'm guessing it will be the following week. Shawna was going to go to my appointment with me - she insisted. When I told her the appointment was canceled, she asked me if I was bummed. I told her that I wasn't really. I think the outcome will be the same whether I meet with her today or on Monday. Also, it's sort of nice to have a few days without test or appointments. I can sense that my emotional reservoirs are being replenished. I actually feel a little normal this week. I know I will need these reservoirs as full as possible over the coming weeks.

I have had some good news this week!

I went in Monday morning for the MRI guided biopsy on my other breast - my right breast. As I mentioned last week, there was a good chance the biopsy wouldn't show anything, so I wasn't as worried as I have been with some of my other tests. Once I got there, I met Dr. Kendell, who told me that 10% of the time they won't even do the biopsy based on what they see on the MRI. He felt that even with the biopsy - there was a very good chance that it wouldn't show any cancer. I got in the machine and they administered the contrast dye. After scanning for a few minutes - they pulled me out of the machine and told me I was done. They couldn't see anything but normal tissue. I didn't have to have the biopsy. I was so grateful! I still have no idea how they would have done this procedure. I'm fine not knowing. It can remain a mystery for as long as I live.

As I mentioned before, having cancer in my other breast would probably not have changed my prognosis. It is, however, obviously a huge relief that I will have to deal with a tumor in one breast, not both.

I also had an appointment during my lunch break on Monday with a Radiation/Oncologist named Dr. Sause at LDS Hospital. He was very nice, a hand-holder, and obviously goes to great lengths to reassure his patients. He, too, was absolutely amazed that anyone had found this lump based on my exams and films. After looking over my films and MRI report, he said that my lump, or mass, was small and that the lymph node they biopsied was also small, just slightly enlarged. He said it is highly unlikely that the cancer has spread to other parts of my body.

He mentioned that the protocol for someone my age with a positive lymph node is almost always chemotherapy with a good chance of having radiation afterward. He was convinced that I should be able to have a lumpectomy that would leave my breast in tact with a good appearance while getting clean margins on the tumor. This somewhat echos what my surgeon said last week, but since I haven't met with her again, I'm still not 100% sure what will happen with the surgery. I am, however, very hopeful that this will be the case. He also told me that with the positive lymph node, they will also remove several lymph nodes from under my arm - as well as some in my breast. This is also something I had understood would happen from my reading and conversation last week with Dr. Kendell.

So, right now I am just waiting to meet with my surgeon and get the game plan for my surgery and get it scheduled. There is a good chance it will be an out-patient surgery. The book the Marian brought to me said it is best to get people home as soon as possible - that they actually do better at home than when they stay in the hospital.

That's it for the latest news on the medical front.

Once again, I want to thank all of you for everything you are doing for me. So many of you have told me you are praying for me, fasting for me, putting my name on prayer rolls, etc. Your cards, notes, emails, calls - everything - they mean so much!

This week has been a different week from last week. I am doing quite well, really. I am feeling upbeat and positive - having some good news has helped a lot! And, my electricity is still on. What a bonus!

I went to the Salt Lake Temple and did initiatory last night. It was a great experience and it had amazing affect on me with all of the blessings that are given during that rite. After, I walked around and looked at all of the beautiful flowers at Temple Square. Any of you that know me know how much I love flowers. It made me happy just to see them. God is amazing!

This week, I need to give a special thanks to the following:

Natalie Mano - thanks for putting together the Race for the Cure team! My work has one put together for me as well. There will be many people running and walking on my behalf. I hope you all don't care if I cry like a huge baby that day. I know it will be a very emotional occasion for me.

Snows - thanks for stopping by Sunday night and for bringing me the book. I have been reading a couple of chapters each night and really enjoying it. It was so good to see you. I love you both so much. Rod, I am praying for you and hoping that your next test comes back negative - which is positive - right?

Betsy H. - thanks for putting together a blog site for me. Betsy and I will be getting together to put the final touches on it this week sometime. I will send you the URL out next week and you can check it for updates as well.

Catherine and Shawna - thanks for keeping me occupied and busy when I need to be occupied and busy. You both have been there immediately after I've received the "not so good news" both of these last Friday's and have fed me and helped me through those times when I have needed someone there the most.

Marian - thank you for your generous soul and all of the great information you have given me. More than anything, you are an amazing example of a woman of faith who has endured well every trial sent her way.

Thanks again to all of you! I love you all so much!

Natalie Mano gave me a printout of some thoughts written by her mother as she went through her trial of breast cancer. In them - she said many things that I can already relate too. She said that during the time she was going through her trial with breast cancer, she had never felt so loved in her life. She said that everyone should feel this loved. I so agree!

I have never felt so loved! It's overwhelming! I hope that I can quickly get on the other side of this thing and show you all in a marked way how much I love you and how loved you are.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Race for the Cure with Natalie

Come join me in the Race for the Cure on May 10th at the Gateway. I usually run in celebration of my mom (it's been 11 years since she was cured!), but this year I'll be running for Cynthia as well.

I created a team - just go to the website and go to "Race for the Cure" then "Registration" and follow the prompts. It will ask if you want to sign up as an individual or join a team. Select the team "Cynful Celebration".

You can do a 5k run or a 1 mile walk. And after the race, come on over to our house (me and Betsey Berge) for a recovery brunch.

If you haven't participated before, it's a great event. And a GREAT way to help find a cure for breast cancer and show Cynthia our love and support. Feel free to forward this to friends.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 4 - news

To my dear friends and family:

It has been a week since hearing the "not-so-good-news" that I have breast cancer. I wanted to let all of you know what has happened over the past week and update you with what I have learned.

Before getting into the details, I first want to thank all of you for the incredible out-pouring of love and concern I have felt from you. I have been so grateful for the calls, visits, cards, notes, emails, flowers, plants, get-to-gethers, dinners, prayers, talks, fasting and blessings. If I did not have direct contact from you, Shawna, Marian and others have conveyed your concern and let me know that I am in your prayers. I have been overwhelmed by how sweet, good and kind you all are.

This past week has been a bit of a roller coaster - as you can imagine. With the help of a Priesthood blessing, given to me by wonderful President Sam Clark and his cute son-in-law last Friday night and all of you that have prayed and fasted for me, I have been able to remain fairly upbeat and hopeful. I have been able to work all week and have been getting a good amount of sleep.

Wednesday was probably the worst day emotionally for me. I had a couple of different tests that day and felt really tired. I told everyone at my office that I was looking forward to going home, taking a long hot bath, and going to bed. With all that has been going on, I must have been a little preoccupied and hadn't been watching my electric bill carefully enough. When I got home that night, my electricity had been shut-off for non-payment. I couldn't believe it! Let it be a lesson to all of us. They don't mess around. I couldn't pay them enough money or bribe them to reconnect it that night and had to wait until the next day for them to turn it back on. Sweet Shawna Stoddard had both me and my 85 lb. Labrador Retriever for house guests that night. She even gave me her bed and wouldn't let me argue the point with her.

At the time, this wasn't very funny to me. Now, I think it's hysterical. And, having my electricity off potentially helped me get some much needed sleep since I didn't get some messages Wednesday evening that had been left about some more tests the doctors want me to have. I know it would have made me anxious that evening had I received those messages after their offices were closed and couldn't call them back. As it was, I had a great night's sleep.

I am already seeing how everything is working to my benefit. I am being comforted when I really need it. The doctors are doing all they can to get all of the information I need to move forward, deal with this thing, and get well. I have been reminded time and time again of Elder Bednar's talk on the "the tender mercies of the Lord." Things have been working together for me and I am already - in just one short week - seeing how I am being blessed daily.

Now, for what I have found out this week. This may be too much information for some of you, but I know that many of you want to know.

On Tuesday, I met with my surgeon, Dr. Regina Rosenthal. I thought she was great. She gave me the following information:

I have breast cancer in my left breast. She said it was interesting to her that they even had me come back in because the mammogram films she saw showed nothing of concern. She said it was intereting that the radiologist found anything and the only way they could have seen anything was that there was a slight difference from the mammogram films I had done 2 years ago.

I have what is called an invasive ductal carcinoma - which makes up over 70% of all breast cancers. It is 1.4 cm - which is considered small in the breast cancer world. The biopsy of the mass indicated that it is both estrogen and progesterone receptive - both good things to find out as I have more options for treatment, and HER 2 negative - which is also good as this can determine if the cancer is aggressive or not.

I may or may not be able to have a lumpectomy based on the location of the lump. My surgeon will give me her best recommendation and we will go from there.

She did mention that I have some enlarged lymph nodes on my left side - which could be an indication that cancer has spread to them. I have my next appointment with her on Wednesday - April 9th - at which time I should have an idea of what my surgery will be.

On Wednesday, I went to the new hospital for some tests. That morning, I had an MRI which showed an area of concern on my right breast. It is very rare to have cancer in both breasts at the same time (THANK YOU MARIAN DECKER FOR BRINGING DR. SUSAN LOVE'S BOOK OVER SO I COULD READ SOME GOOD INFORMATION AND STOP FREAKING OUT LAST NIGHT) so there is a very good chance the biopsy will come back clean. If it is cancer - it is not metastasis of the cancer in the other breast. It is probably a primary cancer. According to Dr. Love's book - she says that: "It is important to note that your prognosis is only as bad as the worst of the two tumors - not doubly as bad as either one." It made my night last night to read this! I am having another MRI with biopsy on Monday of the right breast.

I had a biopsy on Wednesday of an enlarged lymph node on the left side. I just got the results and, unfortunately, it did test positive for cancer. I was prepared to get this information since I had been warned that this was very likely. It's not great news, but it's news I needed to get. I know that both the doctors and I need all of the information we can get to do what needs to be done to get me back to good health. This puts me - so far - at Stage II cancer. Barring any more negative findings, this is hopefully where I will stay.

The doctor that gave me the news regarding the lymph node biopsy will be doing my MRI biopsy of my right breast on Monday. He said he really doubts that anything will show-up on the biopsy - but felt they need to do the test to be sure. He was very encouraging, overall. All of the doctors I have seen have been wonderful and I have real confidence that they will also be blessed to give me the treatments necessary to help me return to good health.

So, this is what I know so far. I will have the rest of the test results by my meeting with my surgeon next Wednesday and should have a game plan shortly thereafter for my surgery. Treatment will be decided after the biopsies from the surgery, etc.

I will try and email an update each week as information comes and let you know how things are progressing.

Thanks, once again, to all of you. I know I couldn't get through this without you, your love, prayers and concern.


FYI - I don't mind people knowing about this. If there is someone you think would like this information - feel free to pass it along.