Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today I had my follow up appt  and unfortunately despite all the prayers, hugs, office supplies, candles etc, I DO have cancer :(

Here is what I remember from the whirlwind of thoughts and decisions that I faced this afternoon:

Its called invasive ductal cancer. Even the dr was shocked that the test came back positive. I have no factors that would indicate a possibility. So, because we hadn't expected it to be cancer, my last operation wasn't to the degree it should have been - basically, they were just doing a biopsy - what they did see concerned them so they took as much as they could see but when the tested it, it came back positive to the edges. Had they know that they were dealing with cancer to begin with they would have taken a much larger sample so the the edges (or margins) would have tested negative. 

In order to assign a stage to it, they also need more information. There are 3 factors the T - N - M. I forget what they all are - I got so much info today my heads swimming. But we only have the T which is the diameter (2cm) which will be more than that since they didn't get it all. One of the other factors is whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or not and I think the third is depth but i'm not sure on that. As far as the lymph nodes, there are 2 options in removing and testing them - one would be to remove several at different levels (close to the breast, a bit deeper, and close to the muscle wall) the second option is to inject radiation and dye to track where the drainage is and then remove the infected lymph nodes based on what "lights up" 

So at this point, I have 3 options to remove the rest of the mass (by following x-ray, and mammogram findings) plus one of the two lymph node options or option 3, to remove the entire breast (mastectomy) 
After weighing our options, recovery, chance of reoccurrence etc... Zac and I decided to go with the mastectomy. "sigh" While its not my first choice, we DO believe that it is the best option to make sure that we remove all of the cancer in 1 surgery and severely lessen my chance of reoccurrence. 

When my dr went to consult with the other surgeon and check the schedule for a date, he found out that they may be able to do reconstruction at the same time - Which I am totally for! Hey if I can have one surgery instead of 2 and not have to go with out a boob for months waiting for the reconstruction, I'm all for that! They are checking with Plastic Surgery to see if that is an option and if the date will work. So right now we are looking at do the surgery in 3 weeks (Dec 9th)

As far as chemo and radiation, because they won't know until they remove it and test it what exactly they are dealing with, they can't tell me if or how much I will need. Most likely there will be some just as a preventive measure. 

On a somewhat positive note, a few people have told me that they can take the fat from your stomach and butt to do the reconstruction with - I SO hope that is the case! That would be the most amazing thing to happen for having to go thru all this crap! Although I'm sure the recovery would be hell. Heck of a diet plan - throw in some chemo and I'll have the body I've always wanted - Not sure I'm up for the price I have to pay for that though.  I'd much rather just stay fat!

For now, there are all sorts of test and stuff that need to be done prior to the surgery - so I'll have a busy few weeks ahead of me.  Thank you so much everyone who has been there for me already in all this.  Not feeling alone in all this is a huge deal to me.  I can't bear the thought of not being there for my Men - they are my world!  Although I don't know why this is happening - why me?  why now? etc..  I am confident that I am strong and I won't let this get me down.  Cancer won't win - I WILL!


momofpeg said...

praying for you Jolene!!

Mandy M said...

You know how much I love you, and I'll do anything I can to help you get through this! Stay strong, Mama!

~ said...

I'm speechless... okay, more candles. You can beat this! If anyone can, it's you. (((HUGS)))

Jobina said...

Jolene, I found you through Mandy's blog, we used to go to church in Winnipeg together. I'll be praying for you!

Vergori Family said...

Jolene, you are in my prayers. Please keep us updated. I will be thinking about you and asking God to surround you with comfort, grace and faith and bring total healing to your body. I love your fighting spirit and hope you hold on to the same tenacity even in the rough patches.

Love you.


Zinn family said...

Jolene, unfortunatly I understand all the lingo your using in this blog. I am sure you know by now that both my sisters are battling breast cancer. My sister Cathy had a double mastectomy as a preventative measure and STILL got it. Everytime I pray for them, I will be lifting you up as well as DEb and so many other women. I don't know what is going on these days, but I do know that cancer is not winning, no matter how hard it is trying to.

Nichole said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, Jolene. I'll be praying for you!