Monday, July 09, 2012

My Cancer






Today I met with the surgeon and the Oncologist to work out a treatment plan. I really liked them both, and they gave me a LOT of information and things to think about. They kept making statements that started with "your cancer"...it was kind of surreal. Where I am adjusting one day at a time to being someone with cancer...I don't know if I have put enough ownership on it to claim it as mine. Matter of fact, I prefer not to claim it and just pass on it altogether....alas, no such choice.

I have infiltrating ductile carcinoma...triple-negative breast cancer. 'Triple-negative breast cancer refers to any breast cancer that does not express the genes for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) or Her2/neu.' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-negative_breast_cancer) .

The good thing is I probably will not need radiation. However, I will need chemotherapy and surgery. We are going to start with the chemotherapy which gives me time to think about what I want to do about the surgery. Both the surgeon and the oncologist recommended starting with chemo...the surgeon because it decreases the size and makes a lumpectomy easier...the oncologist because they can see how the cancer reacts to chemotherapy and know if it is working or not.

The type of Chemo for "my cancer" is ACT chemotherapy: Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Taxol (http://www.ecancerchemotherapy.com/act-chemotherapy.html). I will start with the Adriamycin/Cytoxan every other week for 4 weeks and then I will move onto the Taxol once a week for 12 weeks. After that is complete I would either have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy depending on my decision.

As far as the surgery goes, we did sent a blood sample off to the lab to determine if I have the breast cancer gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2)(http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA). If I test positive for the gene, that means I am more at risk for getting breast cancer again or ovarian cancer.

My oncologist ordered a PET, Brain MRI and an Echocardiogram and sent me home with packets of information to read. I have an appointment again on friday to talk with him more about it all and set up a plan of action (hopefully). There is a lot to think about between now and then. However, I feel confident in my doctors...my oncologist even gave us his cell number so we can all him with any questions or concerns (he also said feel free to text message him).

My favorite statement was "your life should not have to work around your treatment but your treatment around your life". He feels very strongly about not changing my life and enjoying our normal schedule and plans. PLUS, he thinks Mark should buy me a bike...what is not to love about this Doctor :)

2 comments:

tmgeso said...

Hi Holly, I am a friend of Jill V's and she shared your blog with me. I also had Triple Negative and after having seen treatment through to the end, and doing LOTS of research, I have to say that you are on the right path. Attitude is everything... keep your chin up... this IS beatable. I had the same exact chemo regimen prior to surgery in order to shrink the tumor. Triple Negative can be very aggressive, but it responds VERY well to chemo. My tumor shrunk from the size of a billiard ball down to where it was undetectable. You are doing the right thing to have the BRCA testing done. I am BRCA1 positive. If you have any questions or just want to vent to someone who really knows what you are going through... just shoot me a message... in the mean time... Get it, girl! You can do this!

Brandy Jimenez-Baltier said...

I have an amazing book I want you to have. I think you are just twisted enough to enjoy it like I did.

*hugs*
~b