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.