The slow start to yesterday meant that I didn’t get my second blog post written. I shall try and get caught up today (before I completely forget what I was going to write about), but no guarantees.
So yesterday we received some mixed news about the pathology. Specifically, the cancer in both breasts is IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma). Both are also ER-positive and PR-positive. We don’t know yet about HER2 as that test takes longer. This is a good thing, as it means there are more drug options for treatment.
Left Breast (this is the scary one):
Ki-67 count is 38% (this says it is still growing quickly)
Right Breast (the nurse used the term ‘well behaved’)
If you want to better understand pathology, there is a great resource: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/path_checklist
Today we find out what all this means. We are meeting with both the surgeon and medical oncologist from Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). Tomorrow we get a second opinion at the Stanford Cancer Center.
I’m torn between the two environments. In part it will depend on what the treatment options are an who is more suited to doing them. PAMF has provided excellent service so far. It is easy for me to get in to see people and I have access to my care providers via email (mostly – apparently the system will not let them email malignancy pathology so I’ll get a printed copy of my reports at some point today). The nurse navigator phoned me yesterday and was awesome. She was able to follow up with the surgeon, collect all the info I needed, and call me back. That saved me an immense amount of time trying to track down the surgeon. I can see that being a very useful thing. In some ways, the decision will depend on the treatment options – and whether I will have the options I need at PAMF. I’m not actually interested in some of the stuff they do at Stanford – like nipple sparing surgeries and things that are done to help with cosmetic reconstruction. Honestly, I cannot see putting myself through the unnecessary surgeries to save skin that might be diseased. I’ll try to talk more about my outlook on that latter.
Need to get moving this morning. Feeling much better than yesterday. The ER and HR positive news was good news, but also I got some great anti-anxiety meds from my family doc that meant I got a good night’s sleep.