Faith's Mom

A Mom's battle with breast cancer from a Dad's perpective
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PET Scan

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Sue had the PET scan today. The results are very good. It looks like the cancer is only in the breast tissue, no nodes or other organs, bones etc. A very welcome relief.

With the new information the clinical staging stays at IIB.

Our schedule for next week is as follows:

* CORRECTION * Wed 9/19 we have a consultation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.  We want everything done so far reviewed again to get agreement on diagnosis and plan of care. If all parties agree Chemotherapy will begin on Friday 9/21.

I will keep you updated as new information becomes available, please subscribe to the blog if you want e-mail updates.


After the Shock

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After the shock of it all I have some more news and information to report. Some of it is better, some not as good. To date Sue has had a Mammogram, Ultrasound & Biopsy of the tumor and a local lymph node.

The biopsy results are as follows:

  • Tumor type: Invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Histologic grade: Grade 3
  • Tumor Prognostic Profile: Triple Negative; Ki-67: Unfavorable; 75.37%
  • Lymph node: NEGATIVE (Negatives are not 100% until the lymph node itself is removed and pathology is completed).

Clinical staging is now: IIB, The original staging was III because of the tumor size of 6cm, since there seems to be no lymph node involvement it’s been revised to IIB.

The other biopsy facts indicate that this is a very aggressive and fast growing cancer and since it is a triple-negative (TNBC) it will only be susceptible to chemotherapy. The other modes of treating breast cancer such as hormone therapy would not be effective.

The recommended course of chemotherapy is three agents Adriamyin, Cytoxan & Taxotere (ACT) along with a bunch of meds for nausea, promotion of white cell production & steroids. A very powerful mix that is infused every three weeks for approximately 6 cycles (18 weeks).

The PET scan is on Thrusday (9/13/12) and will determine if the cancer has become metastatic (spread to other organs or tissues). Our hopes and prayers is that it has not. It will be difficult enough to fight in this one location.

The plan also remains to not perform surgery until after multiple cycles of chemotherapy. Multiple reasons exist. First they want to be able to physically see that the chemo is working on the tumor (the can measure growth and shrinkage) it will put things in a better position for eventual surgery and in TNBC it is the standard of care to have.

More good news to come after the PET scan on Thursday.

By the way I’m doing it again will be Sue’s blog to follow our battle with this breast cancer and for updates along the way. It’s going to be from a husbands & caregivers perspective. As a man we are driven to fix a problem when we see it. Once again I’m in the position where I cannot fix it but must contribute what I can to make it better and hopefully help someone else out there going through the same thing. Since I will be the source of information, as Sue may not feel like discussing this as her treatment progresses, I like this medium to communicate all the facts at once with the largest audience possible.