I read a cute little comic about being a cancer patient. In it, it mentions gone are the 9-5 work weeks that don’t come with a “sick day.” Oh ain’t it the truth. I can’t remember the last time I worked a full 5 days of the week. My weeks consist of teaching, writing sub plans (which I’ve become pro) and driving to doctor’s appointments. Actually, it’s more riding to doctor’s appointments.
We chose Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for treatment. It was logical. We live 30 minutes from the #1 breast cancer treatment center in the country. Wouldn’t you go there too?
I have an amazing team of doctors. Each time I visit it is a surreal experience. Knowing that every patient in the building has cancer is incredible. It’s a very busy place.
Last week was another round of tests. They had scheduled an MRI and genetic testing.
The MRI was uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn’t tolerate. The genetic testing was a meeting with a lovely genetic counselor and a draw of a single vial of blood. I opted for the comprehensive genetic panel as opposed to the basic. Since I have no genetic history I felt it was the prudent choice.
The tests were on Thursday and by Friday my nurse navigator called to give me the MRI results.
They were positive.
Positive as in good. The scans were looking for cancer beyond what can be seen on the mammogram and ultrasound. We know of 2 tumors in the left breast, but that was it. The nurse informed me that the results show no new disease beyond what they already know of. The lymph nodes continue to look clear.
This is good. Very good.
It is not enough to give me staging yet, I don’t think. I believe the surgeon will still do an axillary node biopsy when she does surgery just to be 100% sure. It won’t be until then that I’m given staging.
Monday I am meeting with the plastic surgeon and then the breast surgeon. We will be discussing my options and begin making decisions on the extent of surgery. The appropriate route is a single mastectomy of the left breast. However, I will need to decide if I want them to take the right as well. It is a tough choice and one that I am having a hard time making.
As you can imagine this is all very stressful.
My spirits are high. However, the stress is taking a bit of a toll. It makes me oh so very tired. I’m good until about 3:30-4 in the afternoon and then I’m exhausted. Many days I nap for a bit when I get home from school. Other days I fall asleep on the couch at 7:30. Friday, our lovely friends came for St. Patrick’s Day. This is MY day. I cook the food, I put on the show. This year I couldn’t do it. My amazing friend Jenny coordinated it all. She invited friends. She delegated the food making. She even did the majority of the dishes. I did nothing. I hugged friends. I had a drink. I played a game. I sat on the couch. I loved it. I needed it. I cannot thank them enough.