When a positive is a negative…

This week was a big week overall.  On Tuesday I met with my oncologist and the geneticist and on Wednesday I met with the radiation team.

The pathology and results from the tumor board review are in.  Turns out my cancer is HER2 positive.  Basically  my cancer cells have a mutation that causes an excessive amount of this protein – that’s what fuels the growth of my particular cancer/tumor.  It basically means my cancer, left undiagnosed or treated, would have been pretty aggressive.

My surgeon put my case before the tumor board because the targeted treatment for HER2 is aggressive as well – it would require three months of chemo prior to radiation, then several weeks of radiation and a continuation of chemo combined with a HER2 cocktail of sorts for the rest of a year.  You betcha I wanted them to be sure before I started down that path.

The tumor I had in the midst of the calcifications only measured 3 mm, or .1″.  Very, very tiny.  And though the invasive part of my cancer was larger than originally thought, it was very very tiny as well.  There was no cancer present in my lymph nodes to boot.  With all those things taken into consideration, the board, and my doctor team, did not feel it warranted chemo/HER2 treatment.  When I weigh the commitment of time and sickness compared to the potential benefit chemo would bring me, I agree as well.  That’s not a route I feel we need to go at this time.  With that — I moved on to see the radiation team.

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Doline.  He’s built like a linebacker with a teddy bear disposition.  We started the meeting with a fist-bump, we ended with an agreement that I would undergo 20 treatments of radiation rather than 30.  My margins all around where the cancer used to sit were completely clear and again, no cancer had traveled to the nodes or anywhere else (as far as we know) in my body.  I start treatment November 26th and I’ll go every day, Monday – Friday through December 21st.  Not looking forward to it, but thankful the treatment is available.

From that meeting I was taken back to the CT room so they could map my breast for radiation treatment.  They marked me with a Sharpie marker in several places, these will get tattoo’d (literally) at my first appointment.  My first tattoo, {sigh} not exactly how I’d pictured it.

Once done, I will have quarterly meetings with my oncologist for a time and of course more in depth mammograms, but in general, I’ll be able to move on from this blip in time.  And for that I am also thankful.

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