Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brutal Honesty

I've put off writing this post. Partly because I needed to get a handle on my emotions, and partly because I simply didn't want to do it. It's ugly.

Two weeks ago on May 18th I had surgery to remove the breast cancer and some lymph nodes. It was a long procedure by the time it was all done, but it was outpatient and I came home that day.

The surgeon successfully removed the cancer with clear margins, although we found out later the margins were very small. He also removed four sentinel nodes (lymph nodes they light up because of nuclear injection ahead of time to determine the drainage pattern and those most likely affected) and five other nodes. They all tested negative. We found out late on Friday the 20th and thought chemotherapy would not be necessary.

We met with the surgeon for a follow-up on Monday the 23rd. When I asked him specifically just to clarify my assumption on chemotherapy, he said there was a slight possibility and that he and the oncologist would be reviewing the slides from the surgery, etc. I had an appointment with her on Wednesday the 25th. Even though I still had a niggling worry, Hubby kept saying it was slight.

That appointment with the oncologist was something that I can't even put into words as far as my emotions go. We basically found out that the tumor was twice as large as they originally thought, so it was 2.2 cm. There was also an additional test that my original biopsy sample had been sent off to have performed. It's for HER2, and the first pathology test was inconclusive, showing it neither positive or negative and indicating the need for the FISH test. The FISH test results were back and showed that my breast cancer was also HER2 positive. This indicates an aggressive cancer.

So I was officially labeled Stage IIA (T2N0M0) with a 2.2 cm tumor, no node involvement, no metastasis, ER+, PR+, and HER2+. We still caught it early, but I'm getting ready to go through the ringer.

We go back to the oncologist today since I was a little too upset to agree to anything last week. Soon I will be getting a port put in surgically. Her plan is to leave it in for a year and a half. That will allow me to get six months of chemotherapy, four treatments three weeks apart followed by 12 weekly treatments. Then I will receive herceptin for the HER2 which is given once a month for a year. It has it's own nasty set of side effects. Somewhere in there I will start radiation. Tamoxifen for five years is still part of the plan for the ER+/PR+ aspect of the cancer.

So these are the medical facts. I can't even begin to put my emotions into words here right now.


Mari said...

You have been on my mind so much in this past week. I've been praying for you as you have come to mind. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. I'm thankful for no node involvement and clear margins!
Love you and will keep praying.

Jill @ Sneaky Momma said...

I am so sorry you're having to go through all this. Praying for you, sweet Kayren. (((HUGS)))

It's me said...

Oh my dear is so hard to hear this......i wish you all the best darling.....go for it !! you can do this...!! love you...praying for you....and burns lots of candles for are in my thoughts blessings form

JMS said...

Kayren, obviously we have never met but I have tears in my eyes just reading this. I have to admit that the time between postings made me realise that something was not quite OK.

Hugs and prayers for you and your family. May God give you all strength and endurance, patience and perserverance, and above all, faith that He has a plan for all our lives.

With love

Julie in Australia

Bobbi said...

I had been the length of time meant things were either very good or NOT. God is STILL God...and He is able!! I love you...and yours...and although I'm sorry that you have to walk this road...I know we share faith in the same GREAT GOD...and he will be walking with you...all the way!!

Betsy said...

I've been praying that God will flood you with peace and calm and assurance. It will be hard but keep us updated and let us encourage you! It will be a hard year for sure but millions of others have done it and you can, too! Big hugs and LOTS of prayers. God can do anything! I'm so glad you have a supportive family...that is going to be huge.

Brenda said...

Praying for you. Please keep us updated on how to pray for you.

MomsTheWord said...

I'm choked up just reading all these medical facts and yet I know they just scratch the surface. It's going to make you a stronger vessel for Christ. Your family is prepared to love and take care of you. "His strength is perfect." much love...

onlymehere said...

Kayren: I pray that these treatments will give you a good result. I follow your blog but since I check it on breaks at work I don't often have time to comment. Thank heavens you caught this early. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.

readingmom said...

I have been reading you blog for about a year. You have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since you posted about your cancer. My husband is a 10+ year survivor of colon cancer, which was diagnosed when he was just 35 years old. Emotions run rampant with a diagnosis such as this. Not only yours, but your husband's and children's also. At the time of my husband's diagnosis, our children were 9 & 3. I know it is so hard on you and on them but just know that God is all-knowing, all-wise and that He is with you always. My prayers are for peace in your heart and for a quick and complete recovery of you body.

The Stylish House said...

I’m deeply sorry this is happening to you. I’ve wanted to call everyday, but knew this was a difficult time so waited for your post. Life certainly has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect them.
I will never know exactly how you feel, but I understand about waiting for a diagnosis and receiving uncertain news. Hope is such a powerful word and I firmly believe you will triumph, but I dearly wish you didn’t have to travel down this road. I’m praying you receive a total healing and for peace and comfort during this time.

Alum Groups of Delta Delta Delta said...

Kayren, You have been on my mind
ever since you told of the up
coming surgery and have checked
your blog daily for results.
I send you the biggest hugs possible and prayers that you
will meet each day with your
courageous inner self. You are
a very strong woman who will
gain much success and will
triumph over this nasty snag in
your life journey. Bless you
and know that many are behind
you. Prayers and Hugs, Myke

Rochelle said...

Oh dear, sweet Kayren. I'm so unbelievably upset for you. I can't even put into words my reaction to your post. How absolutely awful. I'm sad, mad, and frustrated for you with all of this... the surprises, the twists & turns, and all the so-not-fun stuff you'll be going through.

Our utmost thoughts & prayers go out to you & your family. I can't even imagine what you are feeling. I know it sounds trite in this kind of moment, but you've got to keep trusting in the Lord & keep your eyes on Him. Don't try to fight this thing on your own or in your own strength, you'll lose. Stay true to Him. Isaiah 43:2. Find your strength & satisfaction in Christ.

Hugs & prayers & love to you!!

Betsy said...

Kayren ~ I'd love for you to put up a little blurb on your sidebar....just a date of the next thing on your treatment calendar and what it will be, such as your port being installed. That way we can see it and be reminded to pray instead of finding a post that gets buried with other tooth islands. :) xo big hugs and prayers!!

MamaChaos said...

Hey Kayren - I've read for years and haven't commented much. Not sure if it's of interest to you, but my pastor's wife has had two bouts with breast cancer (two different types) and keeps a blog with her oncologist here:

MamaChaos said...

Shoot! Wrong blog address. Never had a cause to send anyone there before! Here's the right address:

Heather said...

Kayren, I've been out of the "blog world" so much lately that I am out of the loop. I'm sorry you are in the midst of this and pray that the Lord would hold you high and give you great peace!


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