Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday 3/24/11

It has taken me a day to really process what I heard from Dr. Graham last night. The news was good.  I do not have inflammatory breast disease.  My punch biopsy confirmed it as did the PT scan.  The interesting piece is that my lymph node cancer has remained completely localized to the left armpit and about 5 – 7 nodes in the pectoral area. It appears that originally the axilla node was “Her2 positive” and the breast mass was “) negative,” creating a “discordant” condition. I’m now presenting as “triple negative” which creates a “concordant” diagnosis.
Ok, I’m on a major learning curve here and may not be stating this all correctly….so bear with me. 
The bottom line is that I’m treatable and will probably be facing 18-24 weeks of chemo, followed by radiation. My brain scan was also normal.  The doctor was quite surprised and told me he fully expected to have my tests come back showing the cancer had spread to my brain and other organs. He was 90% sure, based on his clinical exam, that I had IBD.  I guess my case is unusual so he is presenting it at a research conference he is attending.
Oh yeah, also talked to him about the lifestyle and dietary changes I’ve made based on the research I’ve done including “The China Study” as well as the flax seed oil/cottage cheese/ regiment from Dr. Budwig . He is familiar with both as well as other treatments and supplements and told me that he felt there was definitely some weight to the alternative methods and told me keep doing what I’m doing and to keep him informed.  Also he is very interested in keeping my side effects from the chemo to a minimum and will follow things closely. He mentioned that he will adjust the dosage, and change drugs if necessary.  He doesn’t believe that one size fits all – music to my ears J 
It finally hit me about 11:30 last night that I had been preparing myself to hear that I was dying.  I realized then that I’m not and the relief was so huge that I just took a deep breath and let the tears flow.  I think I’ve been holding my breath for the last couple of weeks and didn’t even realize it. 
I had my first chemo treatment in this new cycle this morning.  What a difference from VA. The Infusion clinic is located in Dr. Graham’s office.  There are lots of windows with a great view, comfy leather recliners to sit in, AND I have my own nurse “Sandy.”  She will be with me through my whole course of treatment and even gave me her card with her phone # on it so that I can call her with any issues or concerns.  I also met another woman who is just starting her treatments. She called us a “sisterhood” and was there with her husband and daughter.  Great sense of humor! 
I left the treatment feeling a little woozy, headachy, and detached.  I wanted to go home and lay down but I had scheduled a restorative yoga session so decided to go.  What a great decision!  I came out of there feeling energized, grounded, and reconnected.  Even had enough energy to go for a 20 minute walk this evening.  I ended up scheduling for next Thursday following my next treatment as well.
All in all it has been an amazing two days.  Thanks to all who sent such encouraging words and virtual hugs.  I am sitting her in gratitude for having such amazing family and friends on this journey.


Deborah said...

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Am beyond words as I'm sure you are as well. Your ONLY job is to heal. How very, VERY smart of you to devote yourself to that and nurturing everything in you it will take to accomplish that mission.

Blessings are abundant indeed, MJ.

cindy said...

how wonderful!!!!! God is an amazing God. He hears the prayers and answers them. You were wise to listen to your heart MaryJo. God bless you and so happy to hear the news!!!!!!!!