Monday, April 28, 2008

4/28 Update

I received great news from my surgeon this afternoon - my margins were clear and only the one lymph node was affected! This means no more surgery! WooHoo!!! While I was officially listed as "Stage IIB" my doctor is confident that with chemo and radiation I should be just fine moving forward. He also removed the lovely drain that had been attached to me for the past week so I finally feel normal; still a bit sore and my left upper arm is still numb but overall I could not be happier with the result! We are waiting for the DNA results on the tumor after which I will meet with the oncologist; most likely some time next week.

I'll be back at work Tuesday and am looking forward to attending the wedding of my cousin Kristen, this coming weekend in New Hampshire. Again - many, many, thanks for all of your support, thoughts and prayers during the past few weeks - having you along side me has made this journey much easier to travel thus far!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

4/17 Update

So - here is the deal: Surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday. I face a lumpectomy with chemo and radiation. I'll be going to NYU Medical Center. Not sure if I will keep my newly blonded hair or not but I will let you know. We (my surgeon, Greg and my mom) decided to go ahead with surgery without receiving my BRAC test results. I think my doctor was a bit taken aback when he was talking about tamoxifen and I asked if he did cheek swab to determine if I would metabolize it correctly or not - sometimes working at Medco does pay off! However, I knew I had the right guy today when he survived my interrogation by my mother! I can always have everything (both breasts and my ovaries) removed at a later date if necessary but general consensus seems to be this will just be a "blip" in my life and then I will get on with it - although I cannot run for 10 days so my Lehigh run will have to wait.

My diagnosis is not a secret, please feel free to share - I hope that all my female friends will get their mammograms and also pass along my experience - if even one person is is detected early and saved my story is worth telling!!!

Also, I wanted to let you know that my friend and co-worker Shannon will be walking in my honor on May 3rd in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women.
After all the years I have been a walker or runner I never imagined that someone would be walking for me! Please consider supporting Shannon in her walk - her team sponsor, Linens and Things, will match her fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. Also - for my female friends (and to my male friends, tell your partners!)- get your mammograms! Thankfully technology is so advanced that we have been told my cancer has been (hopefully) caught early. Self exams are a good thing as well but please be vigilant with your preventive screenings too!

I just have to say to all of you - thank you!!!! Many of you of supported me in the past when I did breast caner runs/walks and I have to say I can now truly appreciate their full impact. Also, I have to say that the outpouring of support I have received has been overwhelming and for this I thank all of you. Without you to talk to, cry to, yell at, etc - I could never get through this. I have never been someone be shy about expressing what life has throw my way but I cannot even articulate my emotions in response to the feedback have been given when explaining my situation. While it is scary how many of you have a close friend or family member going though similar or worse, everyone's willingness to help has brought me to tears - you are all so wonderful. I do not discount the power of prayer or positive thoughts so keep it coming! And if you see me in a pink wig, get ready to boogie down as the best is yet to come!!!

Look out Britney!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4/14 Update

Step one after dealing with the fact that you actually really have breast cancer (...are they sure that was my lab test??!!!....)- find a surgeon.

Mission accomplished. I 'll be using Dr. Richard Shapiro at NYU Medical Center. Both Greg and I liked him a lot. His credentials are impeccable and he had a more positive approach than either of the other two surgeons I previously consulted with. Of course he will wait until he has all results but he said he thinks I am a candidate for lumpectomy followed by careful monitoring. Of course he will wait until I have the BRAC results back. And Erin - he mentioned the Oncotype Dx test as long as my lymph nodes are clear.

So, now I get to be poked, prodded, as well as scanned and hopefully I'll only face an outpatient based lumpectomy followed by the joyous experience of chemo and radiation. I'll take it over losing a body part - so much for Greg's Pam Anderson fantasies!

Talk to you all soon - thanks for the continued support!

Friday, April 11, 2008

4/10 Update

Just wanted to pass along the latest updates. I have met with two surgeons one local NJ doc another in NYC at Cornell Medical Center. I have one more consultation at NYC Cancer Care Center on Monday. Basically it looks like as far as they can tell, I am stage 1 which is a very good thing! However the location of the tumor makes lumpectomy questionable so I may be faced with a mastectomy regardless of stage. Also, I am awaiting the results of the BRAC 1 & 2 genetic test. If I test positive for either gene, I will need a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed. The positive side of a mastectomy is I would l not need radiation and possibly no chemo either.

I will keep you all posted as to my progress. Next week I also have a bone scan, two CAT scans an MRI and a core biopsy - should be a fun week! ;-)