Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Oncologist and PET Scan Day!
We went to visit the oncologist today. He answered all of the questions I had written down. Which was great. He said the reason he wanted to meet with me before the surgery was to talk over why I chose the bilateral mastectomy instead of the lumpectomy. It was nice that he wanted to make sure I chose this option after a lot of thought and not flippantly because of fear. He has some patients that do it (that are my age) and do not opt for reconstruction. I can't imagine not having reconstruction and in his opinion this was a really bad idea. I told him that Kevan and I discussed it and prayed about it quite a bit. We also talked it over with my surgeon. Due to my age and the chance of getting breast cancer again we all thought it was the best choice. I think for my sanity it is good too. I don't want to worry about every little lump I find!
He said if the PET scan comes back okay and the surgery doesn't reveal anything else then he recommends doing a 2 drug chemo regimen (cytoxan and taxotere) - 6 cycles - once every 3 weeks. Also, he is recommending Tamoxifen (hormone therapy) for at least 2 years after. He normally recommends 5 years, but because Kevan and I still want to "try" to have children I will stop after 2 so we can try to have a family. Although, chemo can sometimes make a woman go into premature menopause, but we will pray that doesn't happen.
I want to go read about all the side affects to my potential chemo drugs, but I better leave that to someone else. It might freak me out. Also, I asked him how long I would be bald. I was thinking a month or so. I can deal with that. Nope!! He said 9 months!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. I will be without hair and eyebrows for 9 months! lol!! I am trying to laugh it off because if I really think about it....I might let my vanity get to me. All those mornings that I complained about having to straighten my hair....I'm sorry. I am thankful I have hair. Kevan was very sweet and told me how he is sad too because he really loves my hair. I was glad to hear he likes my hair. :o) Hopefully, it will grow back just as nice and I will be more thankful for what I have....even for the bad hair days.
A couple of days ago Kevan and I were watching a movie and I felt a little tingle in my "other" breast (not the one that I know has cancer). Well, it is a new lump and it is pretty large already. Kevan and I thought it might just be a swollen lymph node, but the doctor felt it today and thought it was another lipoma. Which was what they kept telling me the cancer in my other breast was. So, this also confirmed the bilateral mastectomy. I can't believe I found another lump and that he even looked concerned. Glad it will only be there for 2 more weeks and then it will be out of there!
The PET Scan.....was not that fun. I couldn't eat or drink before the test and the test wasn't until 1pm. So, I was STARVING by the time I got there. I thought I would just go in, drink some stuff, lay on a table and it would be easy. Not so easy. I had to drink 32 ounces (that is a lot of ounces to someone that does not drink much) of this nastiness. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to make it within the hour time frame, but I downed it within an hour, but not without some funny faces and gagging. lol! I was quite proud of myself. Then, they called me into a room with a recliner and hooked up an IV line. They wouldn't let my mother-in-law back with me. (Judy, thank you for going with me and being so patient - I needed you there and it meant a lot to me) I asked the guy if he could take a picture of me in the recliner and he said, "No. I would rather not, but maybe one of the others might do it for you." So, that is why I only have the picture below.
This is what my feet looked like while I laid in the recliner. lol! I was freezing so I was glad they gave me a blanket. Anyway, once he added the IV line he injected the radioactive chemical into my body. Then, I had to lay there for a whole hour. Doing nothing. It is hard for me to do NOTHING. Once my hour was up they had me empty my bladder and then it was time for the scan.
They did a CAT scan first. Which meant that they had to inject the contrast dye into my IV. It does it automatically at a certain point and they did not give me any warning. I didn't appreciate this at all. It made me feel sick all of a sudden and then I felt warm all over like I wet my pants. lol! Don't you love how I explain things. lol! If you've had this procedure you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Then, they finally did the actual PET scan. I had to put my arms over my head, which meant they were not under the blanket. I was FREEZING! I couldn't move so my arms were just out there cold as ice and I couldn't even rub my hands together. Next time, she said I should ask for a blanket for my arms. I really hope there isn't a next time. I didn't enjoy the process.
Now we are just waiting on the results. She said my doctor would receive the results tonight, but that she didn't know when he would call me to discuss them with me. I'll update the blog once I hear something.