So I had my PET scan yesterday and my chest MRI this morning. I was anxious to hear the results, fearing the cancer has spread to other organs since I've had it for a while but didn't know it. The big news today was that the cancer has not spread beyond the breast and axillary lymph node in my armpit (which we already knew about from the mammogram and biopsy)!
Hugh relief. Although it was funny because I was happy to hear that news, but in the moment I took it very matter-of-factly. It wasn't until about 10 minutes later, walking back to the car, that I had the big emotional reaction. Thank God! Not that it would have necessarily been a death sentence if it had spread further, but it would certainly mean more treatment.
So, 16 weeks of chemo with treatments every other week. The nurse will call tomorrow to set that up, hopefully for next week since the tumor is quite large (estimated at about 7.5-8cm) and aggressive. The surgeon's office will call and set up an appointment to install the port, and I have to get some other scan done on my heart to make sure it will hold up to chemo but there's no reason to think it won't. However, we can get going before those things happen, if necessary.
The chemo should shrink the tumor, plus kill off any stray cancer cells that may be floating around. I also need to meet with a genetic counselor to see if I have the BRCA gene, which along with the size of the tumor come surgery time will influence my decision whether to do a lumpectomy or single or double mastectomy. Radiation will come some time after surgery and before reconstruction.
So that's the news. I don't have much else to report...I'm still tired, it still hurts, but I'm in good spirits. I feel more confident than ever that this will be a bump in the road, not an end.
Continued gratitude for the love and support! It helps me more than you know. I want to do a post listing all the helpful suggestions I've gotten about surviving chemo, and maybe share some of the wonderful survival stories I've heard as well (if you sent me yours privately, I'll keep it anonymous as some people don't want theirs shared with their name. If it's ok to add your name, let me know). And, of course, I'll keep up the updates on my progress.
Celebration dinner tonight!