" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Friday, March 21, 2008

Meeting with Oncologist

I hope everyone is having a profound Good Friday. How's the fasting going?

I met yesterday with the Oncologist in San Rafael for the first time; it was a mixture of news, both good and bad but nothing too surprising. She went over the biopsy reports and the post- surgery pathology reports with me and made her recommendations. The most disappointing news was that she still feels I may be a candidate for radiation therapy- she is submitting the case back to the radiologists for review. Due to the indeterminate total size of the tumors (there was the part I felt, plus additional areas around it that had unclear boundaries) she (and the surgeons) are counting the total tumor size as 3.3 cm. Because the border of the cancerous area was poorly defined and came in deep, there is a chance that not all was removed in the surgery. The radiology board will make the call as to whether or not they can trust that it was removed completely. For you cancer buffs, here was the status of the tumor:
Her2neu negative
Estrogen receptor positive
Lymphatic invasion suspicious

Cancer in younger women tends to be of a more aggressive nature for 2 reasons- first the cancer itself just tends to be a type that is more aggressive, plus when you are young and healthy your cells are dividing so rapidly and your systems are moving so quickly (as indicated by my very quick recovery from surgery) which enables the tumor to grow and spread more freely. Because of these factors and the possibility of lymphatic invasion (cancer in the blood vessels of the tumor) they are going to respond with maximum aggression and give the strongest chemo available. I will be taking dense dose chemotherapy-8 doses total, given every 2 weeks for a total of 16 weeks in treatment (as opposed to every 3 weeks for a total of 6 months). The first treatment is scheduled for April 7 (the doctor wanted me to have a full month to recover from surgery) at 1:30 pm here in Kaiser San Rafael; if all goes according to schedule I would be finished around July 28th. It is common, though that a treatment would need to be delayed for a week or so if I catch any bugs or if results of blood work indicate anemia or low blood cell count, etc.

So now I'm waiting to hear back from the radiology board. I was hoping to avoid radiation with all it's potential long- term side effects, but all those are outweighed by the risk of recurrence.

Please send me your intentions- you have my email, most likely.

Happy Easter, all!!
Love, Faith

PS Trisha wants the record clarified- she was in the adoration chapel, NOT the cafeteria, when the doctor came out to report(see last posting). She sent me an email from Germany, simple and to the point. "I was praying, not eating".


Kasia said...

Trisha's in Germany?!?

hopeyg said...

Hey Papes, What happened? You had a mastectomy and suddenly your picture looks like Our Lady of Czechowa!

lauranp said...

Hi Faith! I came across your blog while going through Kasia's blog. I just wanted you to know larry and I are praying for you and will keep you start date for chemo 4/7 in mind for extra prayers. I have a prayer intention for my friend Shireen who is suffering greatly, her husband of 2 months filed for divorce while in the military overseas. She is a devout Catholic and doesn't know what to do.
Have a wonderful Easter,
God Bless