In no way did I mean for the post about how to help people going through this to come back to me! It is now my turn to make others aware of how to help others with breast cancer. I mean with odds of 1 in every 8 women are diagnosed with BC??? One of you will know someone else, or you may be thrown into this club yourself. It was just to help others. With that said, thank you Jana, for the pedicure gift card I am going this weekend!!!! DATE DAY WITH MY BIG GIRL!!
So it is official my best chance to raise my survival rate is to do combined therapy.
My diagnosis is Premenopausal (I know sounds weird, but with all these crazy estrogen hormones it makes a difference in the treatment.) Stage II A (meaning it is really the size (2.2cm) and the grade(high) of the tumor since it's not in my lymph nodes, and there is no evidence of it metastasising) ER +, PR +, HER 2 (NEG~ my hyphen button isn't working!!) Invasive ductal breast cancer. And then there is my age that seems to be consistently referred to. ( I tell ya what, 40 isn't far away but 38 is SOOO young according to these diagnostic assessments. Maybe hitting 40 won't be as bad as I thought!!!)
There are 4 types of treatment; Surgery, which is really the only cure, Radiation ~ this is a no brainer, especially since my margins were not clear enough and there is a focal spot that they are concerned about, Chemotherapy ~ because my margins aren't clear and my age, and Endocrine ~ which due to the fact that I have a ER and PR + tumor they suggest it.
I was given an 75% survival rate. Not bad, but I tell you what, I would have asked to retake the test if that was my score. With combined therapy meaning chemo, radiation and hormonal therapy I would bump my chances another 16%. I don't know about you but if I can bump my survival rate to 91% why wouldn't I ? And A or a C? I want and A!! Those my friends are good odds.
I went into this believing that this was going to be the suggestions of the doctors. I wasn't disappointed but elated would not be the right word either. Let's just call it o.k. with the results???? Like I have said in other posts, it's gonna be a long year.
Before you judge the decision that I am about to make please refer back to how you can help someone going through this 'journey'. Thou shall not judge. I am doing what several professional opinions are suggesting and because of my age, I need to be aggressive. I have a long life to live and I am intending on not letting cancer be the thing that takes me out of this world. I know that if God had a different plan He would have led me to that by now.
Here is the history of breast cancer treatments.
They first found that there were different chemo cocktails that worked. I am not going to name all the drugs because I don't know the name of some of them.
They tried combinations of them and discovered that some worked better then others. The inequality sign is how he explained it to me.
CMF < AC they found that (Doxorubicin, aka, Adriamycin and Cytoxan worked better together then CMF? notice how they stopped using that altogether.)
AC~T > AC adding Taxol to AC worked better then AC alone.
AC < TC
AC~T ? TC They aren't sure which one works better because they are still trying it out, however, both are effective.
This is where my 2nd opinion will come in on Feb. 28th. The first docs are recommending AC~T for me. This is at the Tulsa Cancer Institute where I actually felt very comfortable. I think it had everything to do with the name and the place. Ample parking, smaller building, yet still TONS of people, young and old, and amazing receptionists. So sad!!!! This Cancer thing sucks!!! We are also doing more testing on my tumor. ( I find it fascinating how many places the little 2.2 cm shit is being sent to.) The more information the better. I will also be getting a few tests on my heart to make sure it is in working order. The oncologist said that I am healthy and I should respond to all of the treatment easily. Said that I will be at about 70% energy level. Isn't that the life of a mommy of 3???? 70%???? I thought it went down 10% every kid you had??? Just kidding!!! I am curious what that really means.
I also was given the o.k. to travel a bit. I will be taking the kids home for their Spring Break!!! YIPPEE!! Colorado here we come for a little bit!!!