I read well into the night last night. I’m trying hard to figure out my pathology. I understand it now and there is good and bad news. I have stage 2 disease, although my particular type of cancer is difficult to classify. My surgeon said yesterday it has grown to the point that it has converted into “something else.” The cancer cells have become unidentifiable as breast cancer. If the pathologist didn’t know it came from breast tissue, they wouldn’t be able to tell under a microscope. It could come from anywhere in the body. This is not the case with most breast cancer.
The cancer responds to certain hormones, making me a good candidate for hormone therapy. That’s where people take Tamoxifen or something like it for five years after treatment.
The size of the tumor itself (the solid, central part) is 2.2 centimeters. This puts it into the category where I will definitely get chemo.
My lymph nodes are clear. This is very good. However, this type of cancer is so virulent, it’s hard to be certain nothing slipped through. This is another reason for chemo.
Much of the bad news for me is how this kills my dreams. The most rational course of action would be to remove my breast (possibly both breasts depending on the MRI), hit me with radiation and a hard course of chemo. It would make my odds of survival extremely high — over 91%. I would have reconstructive surgery when all is done.
But this means I will not be able to have more children, I will experience a sort of menopause during chemo and may be pushed into early menopause, wouldn’t be able to breastfeed if I could have kids, and I have a long, hard couple of years ahead of me. And I wouldn’t have breasts. This is hard, hard, hard.
The good part of today was that Ben and Christine came to visit. It was awesome just to sit around and talk all day. I only got weepy once or twice and they were a great distraction from the unsolvable problems at hand. Troy made some sort of arrangements to have more friends come over tomorrow. I think this is a great idea! It really kept me out of my own head to have them here today. Plus, it’s always good to see them.
Also, Colleen came home tonight! Yay! She had a great time with Grandma, Grandpa and J.C. She got to go on a train ride. Her first train ride and she rode in the engine because Grandpa knew the engineer! I think her favorite part was the swimming pool at the hotel, of course!