SO MANY TESTS! Geez! I am glad to be done with them as of today. You don’t realize how much that takes out of you, but I am completely wiped and almost looking forward to chemo starting Monday so I don’t have to spend my days running back and forth to the clinic, waiting in rooms with sick and annoying people and being poked and prodded.
I only flipped out 2x this week, which I think is pretty good for how much I had to endure and how much worry and stress was running through my body. I have cut down on my food intake significantly, mostly due to nerves. I have also cut back on caffeine because I learned that increased my panic and worry immensely.
Here were my appointments and life for the past week (felt like much longer than 5 days):
Monday: New Oncology visit with Dr. Anderson and team. Was a spring blizzard and all schools around us were closed. Went to the appointment and wanted to celebrate having a plan by going to J. Selby’s but they were closed due to the storm. So, we went to Old Chicago and Target to get some shopping done.
Tuesday: Andy went to work. I went to work too. It was a rough time, I cried at least 3x, and I only stayed 45 minutes because I couldn’t do it. Luckily I was in and out, met with the boss, had a good cry with my bosses boss, cleaned up my space, grabbed my computer, talked to a co-worker about her daughter’s new adopted dog, and off I went. I arrived for my PET scan and was told I couldn’t do it because I had peppermint tea earlier in the day which could throw off the test. I burst into tears and the poor tech was undoubtedly scared of me. I mean, what do you do when there is a sobbing newly diagnosed cancer patient in front of you crying because she couldn’t have some stupid test done that day? She frantically found me another appointment within the week because I managed to squeak out, “I start chemo on Monday and I need to have this done!!” I went home and cried some more.
Wednesday: Andy went to work again. I went to have a breast MRI. I then met with my breast cancer surviving co-worker for coffee, it was great to sit and talk with someone who understands exactly what I am going through. It felt wonderful and empowering. I then went to meet with a wig lady who runs a shop out of her basement in St. Paul. She said she wants to retire but can’t because the need is so great and no one wants to fill it. She gave me a free synthetic wig, which is kind of cheesy and I doubt I will wear it. But, bless her heart for being so darn cute in her own wig and helping me out. The wig that looked and felt the best was priced at $2,000….yeah, I don’t think so.
After having a good day, I got a call from my oncologist late in the afternoon. He wanted to talk about my tumor pathology results which had gone unchanged even after the second check. Estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor positive, HER2 negative. He then read me my breast MRI results which had just been released and his tone changed. He had been talking about how he didn’t think a DNA test for my tumor was needed at this time and how we could just forge ahead as planned with chemo. Then after reading the MRI results he told me the tumor was potentially much bigger than we had originally thought, potentially 6.7 cm, and there was the potential that it had spread to at least one lymph node because one was lighting up on the scan. He did repeat that MRIs are very sensitive and not all of that large mass might be cancer. We talked about the potential for some of that to be a hematoma from the biopsy, because I told him it felt much larger since the biopsy. That was a possibility, but he said we wouldn't know definitively until surgery. He then took over and instead of asking me what I wanted to do, he said he was going to send my tumor sample to California to be tested for DNA to determine if it is in fact progesterone positive, and that we would need to get chemo going ASAP. I reminded him I started Monday and he was glad I had an appointment that soon. That was scary to hear his whole demeanor change. I asked if this meant my tumor was up staged, he said yes, potentially, but that we were still aiming for cure. Duh, what else would we be aiming for Dr. Anderson? Wasn’t very comforting to say the least.
Thursday: PET-Scan, Echocardiogram, and chemo class.
Friday: Smart port placement procedure, lymph node biopsy. OUCH, and OUCH!