Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Get The Ball Rolling

I met with the surgeon this morning, and it mostly went like this....wait 15 minutes, talk to doctor 5 minutes, wait another 15 minutes, talk to doctor 5 minutes, wait 15 minutes, talk to doctor 5 minutes, then all done.

Basically, he and the plastic surgeon were discussing the best way to do my incisions to conserve as much skin as possible without killing it (making sure it gets adequate amount of blood supply). So, I will go in 2 weeks from today to begin series of surgeries. The first surgery will be an outpatient procedure, in which the surgeons will do a sentinal node biopsy to see if the cancer has reached my lymph nodes and the tissue under my nipple. In order to conserve the remaining skin and nipple, they need to remove "some" breast tissue in order for it to form its own blood supply before the actual surgery (to prevent it from dying). Once I have adequately healed, I will go in for the masectomy, where they will then remove the tumors and remaining tissue and insert the expanders.

So we are looking at mid May for the entire process to begin. THANK GOODNESS! I am one day closer to being cured and back on a consistent schedule! =)

I think out of this entire experience, I am most nervous about the pain to follow surgery. Although, according to some survivors in my support group, the pain was minimal and they were back on their feet within a couple days. Thank God for modern medicine! I'm sure I will be getting anxiety as the day nears, but I know I will feel better and be healthy in the end. I have worked so hard over the past year, and I am probably in the best shape I have ever been. The thought of possibly losing some strength frustrates me, yet makes me that much more determined to defy the odds.

"Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goals" 
~ E Joseph Cossman


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today Is A Good Day: Genomic Profile Results

After 3 weeks of waiting to hear from the oncologist in regards to my Genomic Profile of my tumors, I finally was able to meet with him today. The Genomic Profile consists of 3 tests: mammaprint, targetprint, and blue print.

My mammaprint (gene profile) results: Low Risk. 10 year Distant Metastasis-Free Survival prior to treatment ~90%. What this basically says is that I can expect my risk to be reduced  up to 50% with adjuvant hormonal therapy.

My targetprint (gene expression) analysis: ER (estrogen) Positive, PR (progesterone) Positive, HER2 Negative. ER/PR expression predicts potential hormonal therapy benefit. The targetprint quantitative gene results enable clarification of uncertain or borderline immunohistochemistry results.

My blueprint (molecular subtyping) results: My cancer is what they call "Luminal-type" and are typically hormone receptor positive tumors predictive for hormonal therapy sensitivity. Mammaprint "Low Risk" and "Luminal-type" combination cancer is predicted to have a clinical course similar to Luminal A, usually treated with hormonal therapy.

In other words, NO CHEMOTHERAPY for this girl....just straight to surgery! *Doing the Happy Dance*

It is not yet know if I will need radiation or chemotherapy after surgery. Once the surgery happens, they will know more on how invasive the one tumor is, in addition to, if the cancer has reached my lymph nodes. But for now, I am basking in the news of not having chemotherapy before surgery! I meet with the surgeon Monday morning to go over the specifics of surgery and schedule the date (make sure to check back here next week for more details).

I will be going through fertility treatment the next 2 weeks to freeze some eggs. Day 1 of that begins bright and early tomorrow morning. Joy. By the way, Fertile Hope through the Lance Armstrong Foundation is a blessing! We would not be able to go through this process without the help of their services. I am forever grateful! Here is the link:

On a different note, I finally did a rope climb today at crossfit (a few times actually!), AND I FINALLY strung 2 pull-ups together yesterday (YAY!)! I have set small goals for myself and and am checking them off one by one. It feels so great to be surrounded by such supportive and encouraging people (near and far). The thing that has kept me positive through this entire journey thus far is the continued words of encouragement, support, prayers and good vibes from each of you. Family, good company, laughter, and exercise are good for the soul. I genuinely appreciate each and every one of you. A special shout-out to those who have consistently kept in contact with me; no names needed, you know who you are.  =)

"Filthy Fifty" = 26min 58 seconds.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Live. Laugh. Love.

My apologies for not updating my blog for 3 weeks. No need to worry either. It has been so nice not having to schedule doctor's appointments or even THINK about health related "stuff", so I have been enjoying each day as it comes. For the first time since I as diagnosed March 7, my health has not crossed my mine for a good 10 days. It's been GREAT!

Not much to update about the tumors and doctors since my last blog. The oncologist wanted to do additional testing on my biopsies to see how my cancer would react with chemotherapy. We are still waiting on the results. If the results come back positive, then I will have to go through chemo. If negative, then obviously I won't have any chemo. So no clear treatment plan has been drawn.

I have met with the plastic surgeon to go over the reconstructive surgery process. I will, in fact, have to get a masectomy on my left breast. I have 2 cancerous tumors that are in different quadrants of my left breast. So, I will have to decide if I want to have the right side removed to prevent future tumors. As for the genetic testing, it came back negative for the BCRA1 and BCRA2. Because of this, it makes the decision of having a bilateral masectomy a little more difficult. Though I really don't want to go through this again in the future. Anyway, the reconstructive surgery is quite a process. At the time of surgery, the surgeon will place a balloon type device (an expander) under my chest muscle. For about 6 weeks, I will go in every week to have silicone slowly pumped into the expander until it reaches my natural breast size. Then I will go back into surgery to have the implants done. Fortunate enough for me, my nipple will be conserved. =)

The last thing I have to do before any of this process begins in see a fertility doctor. I will be placed on tomaxafin for 5 years after surgery, and unfortunately a side effect is going through early menopause once you are done with it. You are not allowed to conceive while on tomaxafin due to the high risk of birth defects and other complications. So, it was highly advised for me to freeze some eggs (which is a 2 week process in itself). Out of this entire experience, this bit of information has been the toughest for me to bite. The possibility of hair loss and having my breast removed is nothing compared to the possibility of not having a child. Each day has gotten easier though. If it's meant to be it will be. =)

Last but certainly not least, on April 6, 2012, Trevor proposed to me! He proposed at a very special spot dear to he and his family: Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach. He had his sister's help with the planning, in addition to, having one of his great buddies help him capture the moment. We had planned a weekend getaway to Vegas 2 weeks prior, so he planned/timed the proposal on our way to the airport. **No we did not elope!** It was the perfect start to my spring break. I am lucky to have such caring and loving man in my life. I couldn't imagine going through this journey with anyone else.

After our Vegas vacation,  my brother flew out here to visit the entire week. It was so incredibly nice to have an entire week with family. I have missed hanging out with him so much. We did everything from exploring the art galleries in Laguna, to hiking, to spending a day at Disney, eating some delicious food, laughing, being dorks, and more importantly our morning conversations over coffee. He and I always have fun time with each other, and the timing was just right. I can't wait for him to visit again! =)

So, that's a little update on the past 3 weeks. I hadn't forgotten about updating my blog....there just has not been anything to report on my it has been so nice living the moment. I am crossing my fingers I find out something on my biopsy results this week, so be sure to keeping checking in with the blog.

Going to enjoy the beautiful weather today.