Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Sure There's a Silver Lining Somewhere...

My oncologist, Dr. Jahagirdar, called me tonight (about 7 pm) to give me the results of my path report. Not much good news there, unfortunately. So, here goes:
The area of cancer (not necessarily a tumor) is 3.5cm (1 1/4"?); 3 of 9 lymph nodes have cancer; stage 2B; estrogen and progesterone negative; Her 2 positive. Her 2 is a hormone that, in my case, causes the tumor to grow, so I will have to get herceptin infusions to block the hormone.
The plan will probably look something like this: Adriamycin and Cytoxin (not sure about spelling yet!) chemo cocktail every 2 weeks x 4 (2months), then another chemo drug, Taxol, once per week for 12 weeks. I will start the Herceptin at the same time as the Taxol, and the Herceptin will continue on for 7 (?) months.
Also, the margins of the lumpectomy were not clear, so I will need another surgery(re-excision) to remove more tissue. Dr. J. thinks I should consider a mastectomy, because then I wouldn't have to have radiation, and I wouldn't have to worry about the margins coming back clear. It is possible that if I have a re-excision that the margins still may not be clear and I'd have to go back in again. Now, I do have a lot of tissue, but removing even more tissue could leave me quite lopsided and disfigured. I want to wait until we have the genetic test results and talk to my surgeon about all my options before I make any decision.
Next Friday I have my ct scans scheduled, and Dr. J wants to try to get some other tests done too. He wants me to have a bone scan (breast cancer sometimes travels to the bones), and an EKG and Muga test for my heart. Some chemo drugs are hard on the heart so they do the tests first. Someone should be calling me tomorrow to schedule everything for next week. I took next week off too because my surgeon didn't want me going back to work yet.
We are all a bit bummed right now. I'm leaning heavily on God. I'm scared of what the scans might find, because I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.
Rest assured though, God is with me.


  1. Sorry to hear about your path report. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

  2. Brennan says, "I love you Grandma!"

  3. Hi,I too have stage III-b colon cancer. I found two pea sized lumps in my breast and have a mammo and ultrasound this week. No history of colon cancer or breast cancer in my family.
    I was wondering if your drs said there was any connection between colon cancer and breast cancer?
    You and I share a lot of things...I am a Christian, love Jan Karon's books (did you get the newest one?) and like Boston as well. You are young! I remember when Boston hit the "scene"in my early 20s. I am 57 but believe I am forever 30.
    Take care. You have been through so much. I enjoy your blog.
    I have a blog too
    if you are least you can see what I look like!!
    Thanks. God bless and keep you!