Saturday, March 17, 2012

Information Overload

What a week it has been. I don't think my life has been any crazier than it has over the past 3 weeks, and I know it is only the beginning. Phone calls, doctor appointments, scheduling, work, and making sure I still get my daily WOD to prevent stress.

Here is the update: My radiologist and nurse navigator (which is like a case manager) requested my MRI to be done sooner rather than later, so I actually went in this past Wednesday. I may be one of those weird people, but I was quite intrigued with that device and wish I could have seen the computer screen images at the same time the images were being taken. Quite fascinating I must say. Anyway, while I await for the results, they were also able to schedule an appointment with a surgeon and genetic counselor. I also was able to schedule my first appointment with an oncologist, which I will be meeting with on Wednesday, March 21st.

The appointment with the genetic counselor was interesting as we went through as much as my family history as possible (going back to my great aunts, etc). They drew blood (I have been de-sensitized by needles at this point in the game.) to test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. If genetic testing comes back positive, then there is a high hereditary factor and the likely hood of developing ovarian cancer later in life rises. I will know the results in 2 to 3 weeks.

First surgeon appointment (and I say "first", because I am trying to schedule appointments with other surgeons and oncologist to get other opinions.) was a little information overload, but at the same time I had already gone over the different scenarios in my head beforehand. He did an examination then discussed my MRI results. Since he is only a surgeon we did not go in great detail about the types and staging of the cancer. So, the tumor on my chest wall is a little complicated. Because of the size, it is actually going into the pectoralis muscle. It is suggested I have chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then have surgery to remove it (which could start as early as the next 3 weeks). If they were to do surgery on it first, then they would have to remove part of the muscle wall. As for the other tumor near my armpit, they would want to test to see if it has spread to my lymphnodes, in which they would have to do surgery. There was another area of concern that showed up on the MRI but in my right breast, so I will be having a biopsy done on that site to see if it is begnine or cancerous.

Here are the options/scenarios: For my left breast, since the tumors are in different quadrants, a lot of breast tissue will have to be removed, so a mastectomy is recommended (which reconstructive surgery of course). Now, the tricky part....if my genetic blood testing comes back negative AND the right side biopsy is negative, then I could play with the idea of keeping my right breast. IF the genetic testing comes back positive and biopsy positive, then I may want to consider a bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery.

This is only the first surgeon opinion. My case is going to be brought up in a tumor board meeting, in which a team of surgeons and oncologist look over my profile to discuss each of their treatment plans. I just want to make sure I choose a team I am comfortable with and can trust. So the next few weeks I will be "interviewing" a couple more teams to get their take on my case.

In the meantime, it is slowly hitting me that this is all happening. I have my little moments when I get upset, but for the most part I am very optimistic about what lies ahead. Nothing but positiveness is coming from this entire situation. Trevor has been the absolute best and I can't imagine a better person to walk this journey with me. I am very thankful for his family right now and am glad we have them. I still miss my family terribly. There is nothing like joking around with my brother, the comfort of my mother, and talking UT football (no matter what time of year) with my father. I have told them I would rather them be out here for surgery and recovery, since there is not much anyone can do at this point. I have to keep re-asuring them that everything is fine (hear that mom?....Everything is going to be OK! Trevor is doing an amazing job!) And thank all of you reading this for your continued support and goes along way. =)

Now go have some green beer!



  1. You got this, I'm here with you all the way!

    Nicole B.

  2. Keep staying positive.

  3. Green beer it is and cheers to one mutha suckin' tough-ass chick! You rock Allyson. Addy and I are cheering you all the way!

    Love and prayers sent your way,
    Carol and Addy

  4. keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.


    sean and ashley

    1. I think the cupcakes definitely help. XO to the sweetest couple ever! =)

  5. Stay strong lady! Awesome attitude.

    Becca Kyle

  6. You always kicked my ass in bootcamp - you'll kick this ass too! Love ya!


    1. ROCHELLE!! I MISS YOU!! Thanks so much for the encouragement. =)