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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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Monday, June 30, 2014

Sore Throat and Liquid/Soft Diet

When I talked to my radiation oncologist before I started this she pretty much guaranteed me a sore throat due to the anatomical proximity of the cervical spine and the throat.  There is just no way to avoid hitting it and still radiate the majority of my c-spine.  She said if it got bad and I couldn't eat much to let them know and they had some medication I could take.
Thursday, June 26, 2014

1 down, 9 to go

Radiation day 1 - set up and marking + treatment of cervical spine C2-C7 and  thoracic spine T1-T5.  45 minutes of pure hell!  I forgot how claustrophobic it makes you feel to be bolted down to a table with a plastic mask and have your hands and feet hog tied together to pull your shoulders out of the radiation zone.  Worst is over though.  Going forward, it will just be the treatment.

Spine Radiation

I got sentenced to 10 more radiation treatments to knock back this spine metastasis.  They will be using the same hog tied and masked process they used last time.  Fun, fun... For a refresher on what the process is, click on the link to read more and it will take you to the blog article from November.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Doctor's Visit Update

Totally exhausted, but so much to do.  I had to take a quick break and update everyone on today's visit.  The disease is now extensive in the bones of my spine, but not enough to cause it to compress.  The bad part is that the disease is spreading into the soft tissue areas around my spinal cord that protect the spinal cord and there is a risk for a nerve to be affected if nothing is done.  My local oncologist is recommending radiation to that area.  I'm all for that and do not have any dates or amount of times I have to go in yet.  I will find that out at the initial consult with the radiation oncologist (using the same one as I did in the past).

As far as the treatment plan goes, I spoke with my oncologist and she said there was a trial that would fit me nicely and not burn another one of our possible standard care drugs.  It's in a second phase 3 which is way late in the game and working well for people who are unsuccessful on endocrine therapy (which is me).  She is going to see about getting me into this one as soon as the radiation is complete.

In the meantime, I'm rather exhausted and trying to get things cleaned up around here so that some people can come out and look at possibly fixing some of the things that never got finished.  My mom has found some volunteers to help out.  Between my appointments, work, Katie's schedule, and Jesse working all his days off to make up for days he takes off without pay (his new manager is making him take his PTO when he goes with me instead of letting him work in the waiting room)....  we have a thousand unfinished projects in this house still.  So I have to get this place straightened up so it can be toured by a bunch of strangers.  I'm worn out and still have 4 rooms to go!  So back to it.
Sunday, June 15, 2014

MRI Results and Treatment Plan

Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with my local oncologist to review my MRI Results and talk about a new treatment plan (since the current one isn't working).  MD Anderson is recommending I take care of anything necessary on the MRI Results, then get on a standard of care therapy for a while to get the cancer back under control.  That sounds reasonable, so I'll see what the local oncologist suggests.
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Finally Got an MRI Scheduled

So I ended up having to contact my local oncologist, get MD Anderson to send over the CT Results and what the MDA oncologist thought was going on, then wait for the local oncologist to look it over, but I finally have an appointment for an MRI this afternoon.  I'm really hoping that the tumor on my spinal cord isn't pushing on anything... I guess I'll know soon.
Monday, June 9, 2014

Never Going Back Again

♬Been down one time, Been down two time, Never going back again 

I was planning to go down to the ER after work to get the MRI done that my oncologist told me to go to the ER to get, but I ended up having to go earlier because I was having chest pains and extremely short of breath for about an hour or two. So, I listened to everyone telling me to go and I had my mother take me to the ER - and I'm never going back, again!
When I got there,they got me back quickly, and did an EKG.  The EKG did not show anything, so they put me in a room and left us for several hours.  Eventually, a doctor came in and I explained the current issue with the chest pain and breathing difficulty (which by this time was no longer a problem because it had been several hours) and I also told him about what my oncologist had asked me to go to the ER for (the cervical spine tumor that is probably pushing on a nerve that has the potential to cause paralysis).  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

In Limbo Again

The trip down to MD Anderson turned out to give all bad news.  The scans I did on Thursday show progression in the liver which disqualifies me for the trial.  It also means that the current hormonal therapies I'm using are not doing the job on their own.

While I was there, I mentioned the pain I have been having in my shoulder and upper back.  My oncologist thinks this pain is most likely caused by a tumor in cervical spine (C5 to be exact) pushing on a nerve.  If this is the case, it is something I have to have treated immediately as it could lead to paralysis.  He actually wanted me to go to the ER that day to get an MRI, but since I was in Houston and had a full weekend planned, I opted to wait until I got home. I'll probably go up there tomorrow after work or something (as long as none of the warning signs occur - which would mean I'd have to go immediately).

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