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  • Writer's pictureKate

"Excellent Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy"

I received the MRI results from the scan I completed earlier this week. The radiologist included in the report, "excellent response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy." Plain language- the chemo shrunk the shit out of my tumor. The mass on the enhanced MRI shrunk from 6.7cm x 4.0cm x 3.6 cm (original MRI) to 1.8cm x 1.6cm x 0.8 cm (MRI on 7/31/18). And, my lymph node which was previously slightly enlarged is now within normal size limits. These are all good signs, and I am feeling some relief. The nurse practitioner who read me the results report, said the remaining mass may or may not still contain active cancer cells. It could just be scar tissue left over (fingers crossed). We won't know for sure until after the pathology report comes back from surgery. If there are no active cancer cells in the mass or the lymph nodes, then my response to chemo would be considered "complete pathologic response," which is what we are shooting for. I truly hope this is the case because it ups my chances of beating this stupid thing!

Speaking of surgery, my bilateral mastectomy is scheduled for August 31, 2018. And, after consulting with the plastic surgeon, I am looking at immediate reconstruction as my best option. That means as long as everything goes well during the mastectomy portion of the surgery, reconstruction can happen at the same time, and I won't have to have extra surgery later on. I am hoping this works out so I can heal up and get back to life. My surgeon said typical recovery time is around 6-8 weeks, more laying around the house I guess. We won't know if I need radiation treatment until after surgery results are in. I'm hoping no, but from what I've read, most women with positive nodes and my tumor size/type have to have it following surgery. We will see how it goes.

I have been feeling slightly more energetic this week, and hoping each day I get stronger and feel better. Fingers and toes are still numb, but aren't as painful as they were last week. I had a dream last night that my eyebrows and eyelashes grew back over night and were much thicker. The dream was so realistic, I thought for a moment when I woke up that it was true. Unfortunately, that was not the case, I still look like a bald cancer patient 😒

Not much will be going on until surgery, so I may or may not post an update before then. In the meantime, I have two classes to finish up for school this month, the surgery date is my deadline. The house projects continue with the garage being demolished earlier this week. The slab is supposed to be poured next week. Pups are getting walks multiple times per day since we can't let them in the yard unsupervised at the moment. I am enjoying walking them while I still can. Hoping to plan a garage warming/no more cancer party sometime later this fall. 

Picture on the left is before demolition, and picture on the right is after.

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