Monday 2 January 2012

What I've Got, Exactly

As I said in my first post, I have been diagnosed with Stage IV Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer.  That means that the cancer has spread beyond my breast and lymph nodes to other parts of the body, in my case the liver and bones.  Usually it goes into the lymph nodes first, but my cancer hasn't been found there; it seemed to go straight out to the liver and bones.  I don't know if that's uncommon, but it isn't a neat fit in the breast cancer staging guidelines, a summary of which you can see at this link.

As part of the biopsy, breast cancer is examined to see if it has any of three particular receptors:  estrogen; progesterone and Her2.  My breast cancer is positive for all three receptor.  On the negative side, Her2 positive cancers tend to be aggressive.  On the positive side, positive receptors give the doctors more options, and in the case of Her2 a more powerful option, for fighting the cancer.

At the moment, Stage IV breast cancer can't be cured.  It's treated as a chronic disease.  As my medical oncologist said, my cancer is through me head to toe (literally in my bones), so he's going to treat it head to toe.  This is why my treatment started with chemotherapy, unlike many women's breast cancer treatment, which would begin with surgery.

I can see some patients wanting to start with surgery to get that tumour the hell out of their breast as quickly as possible.  I didn't look at it that way.  And as it turns out, the chemotherapy I've had, which started in late October, has already noticeably shrunk the breast tumour.  I'll have a CT scan next week that should be able to tell us exactly what impact the chemo has had to date.  I have mixed feelings about getting the results.  On the one hand, I can tell, and the doctors have confirmed that the breast tumour is smaller to the touch than it was.  On the other hand, I missed about a month's worth of chemotherapy as a result of having been hospitalised and receiving radiation therapy in late November. I'm afraid of how much the cancer may have advanced during that time.  The scan should be able to measure the breast tumour as well as the liver tumours, of which there were many.  It won't have as much detail about the bone metastases (mets).

What I can tell you about the bone mets is that they have weakened my bones in a number of places, to the point of causing fractures.  I have a couple of compression fractures in my lower spine as well as a non-displaced pelvic fracture.  The radiation therapy last month focused on these areas.

The greatest part of the discomfort my cancer has caused me is due to the bone mets and fractures.  I need a walker, and in tight spaces a cane, to get be able to walk.  I really can't walk one step under my own speed.  The walker helps to keep the weight balanced on both sides of my body so that I don't further damage my pelvis.  If the pelvic fracture were to move, become displaced, I would likely need surgery to reposition it and secure it with a pin or strap.  I don't want that.  The recovery would, I'm sure, be much longer and more painful.

1 comment:

  1. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Clara David I’m a citizen of USA, My younger sister was sicking of breast cancer and her name is Sandra David I and my family have taking her to all kind of hospital in USA still yet no good result. I decided to make search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady called peter Lizzy she was testifying  to the world about the goodness of a herbal man who has the roots and herbs to cure all kind of disease and the herbal man email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man @herbalist_sakura for my younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I receive the cure that I am in USA, he told me That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from the hospital please contact or whats app him +2348110114739  you can follow him up on Instagram @herbalist_sakura for the cure, he will help you out with the problem. And if you need more information about the doctor you can mail me