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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Echo Cardiogram and MD Anderson Resolutions

This morning I slept through my alarm. I was up too late last night with post-chemo insomnia due to the steroids I guess. Luckily, Jesse managed to make sure I got up in time to get ready for my echo-cardiogram. I woke up feeling ok, but went ahead and took my l-glutamine and mobic as a preventative for the taxol achiness. I started to get ready for my appointment and the phone rang. It was the oncologist from MD Anderson that we had spoke with while we were down there.

While I had him on the phone I took the opportunity to ask him why he had recommended taxol over abraxane...( my oncologist here and him both had recommended it). His response was that abraxane hadn't been thoroughly tested enough for him to be sure that it was as effective as taxol. It was a viable alternative and did look promising, but until further research had been done he wasn't recommending it to his patients. Sounded reasonable.

Next, I asked him why the ki-67 results had turned out so differently (30% vs 50%) from the two different labs. He told me that the 50% was actually not the tumor biopsy material, but rather the axillary node biopsy material. So, since the ki-67 is an indicator of growth rate, it appears that the axillary node cancer is growing faster than the tumor cancer. Since the axillary nodes are the gateway to the rest of the body, this does not sound too good. Luckily, Taxol is MORE effective on faster growing cancer cells... so maybe the taxol will clear my nodes!

I asked him about the x-rays that hadn't yet been read by their radiologists. He told me he'd send the CAT and the PET scans over to the radiologists for reading. I asked him about the reconstruction surgeon appointment I still needed. He said typically the breast surgeon likes to see you first, then make you an appointment when they determine you are a candidate for reconstruction. I explained to him that the only reason I was even wanting to have the surgery done there was that they offered more reconstruction options and experience that I could find here, and so the reconstruction appointment was more important to me than the breast surgeon appointment, but he said he couldn't do anything about that, but would have someone follow up.

I went back to getting ready for my appointment, and the phone rang again. This was another person from MD Anderson calling to ask me what all I still needed resolved. I told her what the oncologist was taking care of and asked her about the breast reconstruction and mammogram issues. (oh the mammogram issue is, that I dont want to have another mammogram done unless absolutely necessary. Due to the density of my breasts, they offer no diagnostic benefit and are extremely painful due to the soreness of my tumor and especially now that I have that chemo port!). She gave me the number of the nurse at the breast surgeons office they have me scheduled with and told me to talk to her. I tried to call her after I got back from my appointment, but she's out this afternoon. I'll have to call back monday.

So I get ready just in time to run out the door to the appointment, despite the phone calls. I get there and I had been told to go up to suite 300... which turns out to be incorrect, so I go back down to suite 108 and I'm about 10 min late. Oh well. I didn't have to wait long in the waiting room for them to get me in. While I'm waiting the stomach pains kick in. I'm balled up in a chair with my knees up to my chest trying to squish the stomach pains when the echo cardiogram tech calls me back. The test took about an hour. It was just laying on a table with some contacts taped to me and a sonogram like devise rolling around to view my heart from different angles. She recorded video of my heart beating, and sound wave type graphs of the rhythm etc.

Once that was over, I headed home. By this point my stomach pains are terrible. I was glad to get home and get the heating pad on it. The heating pad helped some, but didn't eleviate all the pain. Finally, I decided that I was going to have to give in and take something. Around 1:30 I took a Phenegran to prevent the nausea I usually experience when I take narcotic pain meds. I also ate one of those yogurts with the active cultures to protect my stomach. This actually reduced the pain a little on it's own, but I went ahead and took half of a Hydrocodone around 2:00pm.... Feeling well enough to update this blog now.. although a bit groggy... so excuse any rambling, typos or mistakes, as I'm a bit drugged up!


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