Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Complications ... Yuck

I saw Dr. R today, my fabulous surgeon. This was the first time I saw her since my surgery on June 24th because she has been on vacation and then the July 4th holidays got in there. Anyway, she was concerned about the infection from last week but was happy to see that the breast looks great and those flu-like symtoms have disappeared. EXCEPT, as some friends know, I have experienced a killer case of diarrhea since yesterday morning (along with a headache that seems immune to Tylenol). Well, as it turns out, the diarrhea is related to the antibodics that I am taking for the infection. But I have to keep taking the antibodics no matter what (esp. since I am allergic to so many other antibodics). So she suggeste taking Imodium and sticking to yogurt. So after eating yogurt all last week, I guess I am back to it again this week.

Dr R and I then went over my pathology report. Good news -- as we know, no sign of cancer in the lymph nodes. My tumor turned out to be just under two centimeters (small but it still freaks me out a little to know that was there and I didn't feel it!). I am having a (very expensive) test done right now called "OcotypeDX"; here is the actual description:

"The Oncotype DX breast cancer test is the only multigene expression test commercially available that has clinical evidence validating its ability to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as recurrence in early-stage breast cancer. The Oncotype DX gene expression assay is intended to be used by women with early-stage (stage I or II), node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer who will be treated with hormone therapy."

So, in other words, there is still a chance that I might need chemo, though all signs are indicating radiation treatments. I thought that my radiation treatments started tomorrow since I have the radiation consultation tomorrow BUT Dr R said that this is just a consultation, nothing else. I can't start treatment, she said, until I meet Dr L, my oncologist. I don't meet with Oncologist Dr L until July 20. And now I am super-stressed because I wanted to have the bulk of radiation done BEFORE school started in mid-August. She said she would try to move my appt up -- it's just that Dr L is apparently very good and what she does and she books up fast.

Two more things. Dr R could not take the drain out of my breast because bad stuff is still coming out. I really wanted this off because it's itchy and uncomfortable. And the second thing -- and this is a big one -- I will need surgery again in just a few weeks. During surgery, the doctors take out the tumor and the "margins" around it. Pathology results show that three of my margin sites look great; the one closest to my chest cavity does not. And that means that Dr R needs to go in again. If she doesn't get all the bad stuff out, it will (in all probability) grow again. Maybe I am being overdramatic but this is depressing news. I desperately want to get back to running (and my normal life) but now I have another bump to cross. Not fun.


  1. Oh, D, I'm so sorry to hear about the complications. I wish this could all be over for you. Please let me know if you need anything! Tim and I are here for you. He knows more dirty jokes than I do, but I'm apparently a far more entertaining drunk. ;)

  2. Thanks, Sarah! I may be up for a dirty joke pretty soon! :D And I can be a pretty entertaining drunk myseld from what I understand! :D