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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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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I had two doctors appointments today. The first one was with the surgeon. He said everything seems to be healing up nicely and he removed the drain. (YAY!) I have to continue to keep pressure on it until Sunday and then I can do what I want again.

Second appointment was with the oncologist. She referred me to a radiation oncologist which I have an appointment with next week. The radiation oncologist is near Baylor Grapevine. She said it was a brand new building with the latest and greatest equipment. I have an appointment there next week for consultation. I should be starting it in a couple of weeks. We also discussed the post chemotherapy regimine that I'll be doing called Tamoxifin. It's something I have to take every day for 5 years to reduce my estrogen (which in turn further reduces the chance of recurrence).
Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow and Updates

I spent Wednesday at the JPS Cancer center off Terrell street advocating for a friend of mine. She has Melanoma and is really having a hard time with Interferon. Her side effects are severe and I wanted to go with her and talk to her oncologist and see if we could find her some more options. If you pray, please be praying for Melissa. She is only 29 years old and has two kids. She needs strength to make it through, and to find a chemo option that she can handle. I had her oncologist check into clinical trials. I need to go pick up the 5 they found Monday.

We had about 12 inches of snow here yesterday. For those of you out of state, this broke the record for the most snow Texas has ever had since they started recording weather data. I was feeling pretty good and went out and tried to help Katie build a snowman. I tired out pretty quickly though. But at least I got to get out and join the fun for a change! Pictures of us having fun in the snow are here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=150973&id=524167895&l=9446b308f8

Last night I couldn't sleep. The Hydrocodone seems to wire me, but if I don't take it, I have too much pain to sleep. Not sure what to do about that. I finally fell asleep about 4am this morning out of pure exhaustion. Today I'm a little tired, and my incision is really itchy and sore. The constant pressure is really beginning to bother me. I only have about 4 more days though and I'm sure I'll manage to make it through it. I REALLY hope they can take out the drain Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Went back for my follow up after surgery today. I had been waiting for this visit all week. I was expecting to get my drain out and be done with this part of my treatment. I got some good news and some bad news today.

The good news is, the chemotherapy worked. It shrunk the originally 2cm tumor own to 1.4cm. The 3 nodes that were removed were completely cancer free. Also the lymphatic vessels showed clear. (On the initial biopsies, at least one of the nodes was positive for cancer and one of the core samples from the tumor showed lymphatic vessel invasion).

They got clear margins around the tumor. This means no re-excision. And, the surgical wound where they opened me up is healing well. YAY!

But, the bad news is, I have to wear the drain at least another week because I didn't realize the importance of keeping pressure on the surgical area. In my release papers it said to wear either an ace bandage or a sports bra at all times to decrease swelling. I did this for a couple of days, but I didn't see any swelling, and wearing the bandage or bra cut into me and caused more pain, so I decided to take it off.

I found out today, it not only reduces the swelling, it helps to compress the surgical hole they created, which in turn, reduces the amount of fluid my body produces to fill it. The reason I didn't experience swelling was due to the drain. If he removed the drain today it would have swelled.

So, the surgeon said another week, at least, with the drain (depending on how much fluid shows up in it). He said if I want the amount to reduce, I have to keep the surgical area bound tightly with either an ace bandage or a sports bra, 24/7 for the entire week, and continue to do it for a while after the drains are removed.

This is VERY painful to do. The elastic cuts into my skin after a few hours and pushes the drain tube into my side. It makes the pain jump from about a 4 on scale of 1-10 to about a 7 (and it's a steady 7). The hydrocodone they had prescribed me wasn't helping with the lower level of pain well, so I asked if I could have something better (since I'll be dealing with level 7 pain).

The surgeon prescribed me a higher dosage of the hydrocodone (7.5 instead of 5) and I can take 1 or 2 every 4 hours. I'm really hoping this makes a difference and helps me get through the week! I'm very disappointed and really dreading being in pain all week!

I came home and put on a sports bra and it's already killing me. At 7pm I can try out the new higher dosage. Pray it works! I'll do anything to get this annoying drain out of me!

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