July 12, 2010

Allow me to jump in...

Hi, all.

For those that haven't followed my time on other modern communication tools (MySpace, Facebook et al.), you may not know how bad I am at sticking with any solid form of correspondence. Of course, for those of you who've known me long enough, you also know how bad I am at the old-timey kind, too--thank you notes, I'm talking to you! I mean to do my best at keeping this timely and relevant, and I have my trusty Renaissance Man to fill in the gaps when I just need to go to bed.

So, to give the fullest current picture, I'll spew out the rest of the facts as I currently know them. I have, at the lovely age of 34, been diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. It is ER/PR negative (hormone receptors) and Her2/neu negative, or what they call "triple negative". I have read in some sources that this is a more aggressive type of cancer (to be abbreviated CA by me, 'cause that's how we do it in the medical world) with a poorer prognosis, but there are a lot of other factors that lead to that point. It also tends to respond better, paradoxically, to chemo, which will be a definite part of my treatment regimen.

I've talked with the family about the genetic testing, so I feel comfortable sharing that my cancer is related to a BRCA1 mutation that is the same as one my paternal aunt Kathy had. Again, there are implications for the family for their risks, but I feel that is a side discussion to have with them. For me with the known mutation, it increases my risk of a recurrence or a new CA in the other side dramatically, and it also comes with a significant ovarian CA risk. These pieces will play a major role in the surgical interventions I choose and some other major life choices, too.

What else do I know? I've had an MRI that showed my L side is clear (whew) and the R tumor is about 3 x 1.5cm. There are nodes that look "suspicious" on ultrasound and MRI, so I had one biopsied and should get the results tomorrow. My reconstruction options would all have to involve implants unless I gain about 20 lbs, and I'm kind of weirded out by implants so would probably opt for no immediate reconstruction with the surgery. I've got a few more consults/return appts to talk through the options, so I'll keep you posted as I try to make up my mind.

Blah, blah, blah. That wasn't anything fun or interesting. Let me work on it.

I'll throw in a picture of Olive in the meantime...

This is what she thinks of cancer:

I agree.


Joiner of Fine Furniture said...

OLIVE ROCKS..!! So does MOM!

Sue said...

Olive does rock! Hey Jenny - don't know if it would be helpful to you or not but a friend of mine (also having a big time family history) recently had surgery and reconstruction. I don't know, but I think, she would be willing to speak with you (I'd have to ask) if you wanted some "experience" info. Just let me know and I'll ask.