Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Since I have started my blog many people have commented on how cheery and upbeat I am about this whole situation I have been put in. To be honest….I have to have a positive outlook on this or it will break me and I’m not going to let that happen. I believe that God put me in this and he’s going to pull me through it or maybe this is just a test to see just how strong I am….who knows.

I still have yet to get my BRAC 1 & 2 test results back yet but I have scheduled the surgery for my lumpectomy. It’s happening this Friday at 9 am. I actually have to be there at 6 am to be admitted and then off to Nuclear Medicine to have what they call a Sentinal Node procedure. Basically all this is, is a dye that is injected into me to determine if the breast cancer has spread to the lymph ducts or lymph nodes. If the dye goes to any of the lymph nodes then the surgeon will remove the lymph node and it will be tested also. It will help give the warning that the cancer has spread. I’m not really looking forward to that part only because my mom said it was extremely painful. But I’m tough…I think…guess I’ll find out then. So at the same time I am praying that it hasn’t spread.

Once that is done it’s off to surgery….It’s only an outpatient procedure-which is good. Nothings better than trying to recover from any type of surgery in the comfort of your own bed!! So excited about that :)  As far as recovery, I should be okay after a couple of days, just wont be able to lift anything heavy for a while or workout. Not being able to run is going to drive me nuts!!!

Now for the million dollar question…..am I scared? I don’t know if scared is the word. I think I am more anxious to get this over with and to find out what is going to happen next. Wish me luck!!! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

A couple of weeks ago I headed to UCSF with my support entourage in tow; my goofy sister, mom, dad, and my favorite little man in the world!!! (who's getting pushed by Papou). Doesn't Dad look good pushing a stroller?!  :)

Anyways....I decided to go because I felt like I needed a second opinion and second opinions are great. Ever since I found out I had breast cancer, I had been really confused on what I wanted to do. Mastectomy or lumpectomy, that is the question...Well, my first thought was, “Hell, just cut if off completely! I can always get implants! Why do I really need them?” But I had to think this out clearly and make the right choice for me. So off to the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center it was…

After speaking the doctor at UCSF, he was very helpful in providing me all the answers to my many questions regarding surgery options, treatments, genetic testing and how this will affect my future.

He mentioned that he felt my cancer was at an early stage but that they won’t know for sure until the tumor is removed and tested. Once it’s removed, they will do what they call an Oncotype test. This test is done on the tumor and it will give me my percentage of the cancer reoccurring in the next 8 to 10 years. Apparently because I am so young, I have a higher percentage rate of it coming back.

It was also mentioned that the cancer/tumor does need to come out regardless and having a lumpectomy is my best option for now. We talked about genetic testing and told me that it would be important for me to get this done because it would give me an idea of my potential risk with not only breast cancer but for also ovarian cancer.   So, while I was at UCSF, I got my blood drawn for the genetic test: BRAC 1 & 2. This test is also an indicator if I am a carrier of the genetic markers.

With all of this in mind and a long discussion about my options with my family, I decided the best thing to do right now is the lumpectomy. It is with this that based on the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes affected (if any), along with my age and the tumor marker results it will help decide if I should have chemotherapy, in addition to hormone therapy.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself…”Whew…This is a lot to take in!” and let me tell you it is! Honestly, it sucks!! But having my entourage with me that day meant a lot. It makes things like this a little less stressful and I wouldn’t want to do this all by myself.

For now…I wait for my test results to come back and I’m off to schedule my lumpectomy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Who would have ever thought....

So you’re probably asking yourself (if you don’t already know) two questions: 1. Why did she start a blog? and 2. What does she mean by “Who would have ever thought”? Let me start off by saying that I had always had an interest in doing a blog but I never really had a real reason to do one up until recently. See… I wanted to do one based on my love for cupcakes and all the baking that I do but really… who cares right? :) There are many of those out there and hey, maybe at the end I will change my mind but for now let me answer question #1.

Back in December my mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy in January, started chemo in February and will have her last chemo treatment on May 11! Which is super exciting for all us because I think the worst is over for her. Soon she will start her radiation for about 5-6 weeks Monday through Friday and after that she will be done with all her treatments. YEAH!!! During my mom’s journey she started a journal documenting her thoughts and feelings about having to deal with breast cancer and that’s when I thought, “She should do a blog!” Well I ran that idea by her and she wasn’t too thrilled about the idea. So here comes the answer to question #2...

Because there has been a history of breast cancer in our family, Yia Yia had it at age 82 and now with mom at the age of 61, I considered getting a mammogram JUST TO BE SAFE! I had never had one nor am I at the age where women need to start getting checked but I went ahead and did it.

I knew that getting a mammogram wasn’t going to take very long but when they tell you that they see something and need to do a sonogram I figured they were probably seeing things or this could be something serious. So, I did the sonogram and the doctor still couldn’t tell what is was and the proceeded to tell me that I need a biopsy. Was I scared? No not really because I knew it was going to be nothing. I’m too young for anything to be bad...

A couple days later I got the biopsy done which to my surprise was not painful at all. Three weeks later I get the news…..”You have invasive ductal carcinoma.” My first reaction was, “And that is what?” Working in the medical field I knew exactly what it was but you still don’t think that is what you heard. My second reaction…”Are you freaking kidding me?!” and no they weren’t. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and I wanted to vomit! I knew for sure that I was going to wake up from a bad dream and that this was not happening. Not now.

Who would have ever thought that I would have breast cancer too!

As a result to all of this, I choose to do this blog. What a better way for me to journal my experience and be able to share it with my family and friends. So on that note….stay tuned because this is going to be a bumpy ride! :)