Thursday, May 28, 2015

Moving fast

The folks at MD Anderson don't give a person much of a chance to breathe.

We met with the oncologist today. The CT and bone scans are scheduled for Monday. A MUGA test is yet to be scheduled.

The AC (Andriamycin/Cytoxan) chemo is scheduled to begin on the 15th of June - every two weeks for 4 cycles followed by Taxol once a week for 12 weeks. Will have the port put in place soon.

The anti-nausea prescription is already waiting for us at Walgreen's.

We will remain in Arizona for another 4-1/2 to 5 months. If it is determined that radiation is required, we will be here longer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Post surgery report

Just got back from seeing the breast cancer surgeon. Pathology results confirmed most of what was suspected. The largest growth in the right breast was 2.8 cm, but there were multiple sights. The sentinel lymph node was cancerous, so additional nodes were removed. Of the 27 removed only 3 were cancerous. The pre-cancer growths in the left breast were also numerous but were still contained within the ducts. The sentinel lymph node examined when the left breast was removed was found to not be cancerous, so no additional nodes were removed on that side.

This changed the right breast to stage 2B and the left breast remained a stage zero.

Because only three lymph nodes were involved, radiation therapy is not anticipated. Because three lymph nodes were involved, chemo therapy is anticipated.

CT and bone scans are scheduled for the near future. One of the three drains left in place following surgery was removed today. Removal of the other two is eagerly anticipated.

We meet with the oncologist on Thursday.

Spirits are good, pain is bad, drugs are good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Out of the hospital

Four hours of surgery, 2 hours in recovery - she was still groggy when they rolled her in to her room. Her face was ashen, her body orange from the beta-dine. The surgery went well. They tested her lymph nodes and found activity in the sentinel nodes under her right arm, so the first two levels of lymph nodes on that side were removed. This means she will need to undergo chemo therapy and possibly radiation. We will know more next week when the results on the other lymph nodes are in. We meet with her surgeon on Tuesday.

Lynn is in some pain, mostly from the three drains left in her chest. We have to empty the drain twice daily. When they drain clear and the amount of fluid reaches a certain level, the drains will be removed.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Biopsy results and surgery

Lynn goes in for double mastectomy on Wednesday the 20th.

Not the news we had hoped for, but what we expected. The cancerous and pre-cancerous growths are too many and too far apart for lumpectomies.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Left breast

So glad we came down here for treatment.

Lynn had three, MRI guided biopsies done today on her left breast. Much less trauma. She was uncomfortable, laying face down in the MRI machine for two hours, compressing the right breast that had been examined yesterday.

Just have to wait until Friday morning to get the results.

Post Script: Spent the night (5 hours) in the (very cold) emergency room. The incisions wouldn't stop bleeding and Lynn was in great pain. New dressings, an ultra sound to look for problems and a shot of morphine. Got to bed at 3 a.m.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Right breast

Somebody at the hospital looked at all of the work that was scheduled for Lynn's breast tomorrow and realized that it couldn't all be done in the time allotted, so they called this morning and asked her to come in today at 12:30.

The general surgeon in Fallon did not implant a marker (or clip) in the tumor when he did the biopsy. They did that today. They also took three core needle biopsies of the second growth in Lynn's right breast (and placed a marker). After that was done, they did another MRI and a mammogram to be sure that the markers were identifiable.

Tomorrow we return to have the same procedures done on the three suspected tumors in Lynn's left breast. Results of today's biopsy should be ready then.

On Friday we meet with Lynn's surgeon again to discuss the results and to make a plan.

Lynn is very happy with how she is being treated at Banner MD Anderson thus far.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

MRI 5-9-15

The results of the MRI were not what we had hoped. The original tumor in the right breast is larger - 3.2 cm vice 2.0 cm - than previously thought which makes this Stage 2A. An additional area of concern was found in the vicinity of the original tumor. The MRI also revealed three spots in the left breast that require biopsy.

The MRI showed that the cancer does not appear to have spread to the lymph nodes.

Biopsies will take place next week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Return to AJ

Lynn and I begin a new adventure today. Not the one we had planned for this summer. We had quit our part-time, minimum wage jobs so we could travel. Lynn has never been to Yellowstone N.P. We thought we would visit friends and family across the west.

She discovered a lump in her right breast. These lumps are not unusual for her as she has always had cysts. This one scared her. Her Mother and Grandmother died of breast cancer. Lynn has been getting mammograms done since she turned 30.

This mammogram results showed the need for further testing. A biopsy of the lump was performed. The biopsy results confirm cancer is present. We don't know yet how bad. We don't know yet if it has spread to her lymph nodes.

Medical care in Fallon is spotty at best. An hour drive to Reno for every treatment/appointment did not appeal to us. We made arrangements to get treatment at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, AZ. The hospital is not far from the RV park where we still own a home, so we made the move to Apache Junction FOR THE SUMMER!

Our first appointment (I say "our" because we are in this together) is this morning at 9:30.

Post Script:

Five hours well spent. Happy we made the move down here.

News is about as good as it can be considering she has cancer. Initial thoughts are that it is invasive ductal carcinoma, about 2 cm in size. Stage 1 A.

We won't know for sure until after surgery, but it sounds as though a lumpectomy, radiation treatment and 5 years of taking a endocrine therapy pill rather than the chemo infusion treatment will be the plan of action.

Had an MRI today and will discuss those results with her surgeon on Friday.

Got a lot done in five hours today.

Feeling better.