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When Bad Goes To Worse !

Yesterday started off a day like any other. Got up, got Nat on the bus, scrubbed my newly zit covered face (knew the stress would "catch" up to me sooner or later, but I didn't think that I would end up hittin' puberty a second time around!) Once Natalie was on her way to school, I skipped my morning meds so I wouldn't fall asleep - I then showered, dressed, and drove across town to East Jefferson Hospital where this Oncologist had an office. I filled out mounds of paperwork, and allowed them to copy my records back to 2005.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this doctor or not because he didn't seem to listen - but one thing I did like was that not only did he answer my questions, he answered them in a way I would understand. I was glad to FINALLY have some answers and more understanding of everything! But once I knew what the deal was, I felt like a dumbass!

You see, I told you all the pathology of the tumor my surgeon found and how it compared to my original tumor - but I neglected to read further down the page to the diagnosis that was made. I had skimmed over it several times before looking for a "staging" but could not find one. I assumed that was what all the scans were for, to help determine staging and if it had spread. While each scan recommends additional scans, this oncologist told me yesterday to just slow down and breathe. It's not like it's going anywhere fast. He seems to think that this is part of my original cancer - and though he can't really explain how it happened, he's almost positive that my body is just one of the few that did not respond correctly to the meds, which is believable to me because as a teenager I had a bout with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. It went on for over a month to no avail. I got a shot in the butt, multiple RX's for antibiotics, weekly paps. The doctors swore it was gone - I cried in pain. Finally they sent me to the hospital to have a MRI, only to find out that I still had it. I never responded to the meds. A weekend full of IV treatment and I was finally all better. So I believe his theory could be possible. What I can't believe is that I read right past the problem when looking for staging!

The diagnosis reads: Biopsy from the right breast reveals infiltrating, moderately well differentiated, duct carcinoma of the breast. The tumor is seen to invade skeletal muscle and extends to the margins of resection.

My original diagnosis was infiltrating ductal carcinoma and was a stage IIa. What I missed here was "the tumor is seen to invade skeletal muscle." Since all my scans came back ok, and show no signs of metastatic disease (even what appeared on my bone scan as possible metastatic or degenerative disease, had the metastatic portion over-ruled by the pet ct scan) I can say that the cancer is localized to the remaining breast muscle wall.

Originally, I had a modified radical mastectomy done in 2005, but since the cancer has invaded what is left of that muscle wall, I will have to speak with a surgical oncologist about removing the remaining skeletal muscle. I won't know till I meet with him next week, or maybe not even until surgery exactly how much (how deep or wide) will have to be removed. However, I do know that my plastic surgeon has mentioned before that he is able to move muscle from one area (butt or back) to my breast to make it work, so let's just hope that not only it can be done, but that my body will accept the switch on the first try

Also, I was told that my treatment will depend on the findings after the skeletal muscle is removed - so chemotherapy or radiation is still a possibility, though this guy seems anti-radiation. And of course I will most likely be taken off the Femara and given something else, hopefully something a wee bit more effective!

I may not have gotten specific answers as to how, but I am quite satisfied with the answers I did receive.
Now it's time to go do the taxes, hope it's not as painful as I've imagined. One bad day in a weekend is enough, though with Ruben leaving Sunday I suppose that will be two....and maybe taxes will just make three. If I could I think I would just go back to bed now!

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