Sunday, December 25, 2011
I'm not writing this to be depressing. Instead, I'm blessed on this special day. Things could be far worse for the new medical crisis. My first thought was, "oh great, what a fabulous Christmas and Birthday present to receive". Now I've thought more and realized I am indeed blessed to have found it and that it's not nearly as bad as it could have been.
It's official. The Tampa VA Hospital tells me I do have Invasive Mammary Breast Cancer. It is still quite small (appears to be less than 1cm) although that's about all we know at this time. Other tests from the biopsy are still pending and more are to come. I had my own private Nurse with me at the appointment - James. Nothing has been staged yet, nor a specific treatment plan determined until these additional tests are done and completed. As of now, they don't think I'll need a mastectomy although they won't commit to that yet. The extra tests are to determine if the lymph nodes are involved and if anything is even hinting at beginning in the other breast, because this is an invasive kind. The thought right now is to have a lumpectomy and radiation and then take Tamoxifen for the next five years. So long as none of the other spots don't show to be a problem. The MRI will tell about that or if more biopsies are needed. I'm told it's been there for five to eight years before getting to a size that could be found.
This may well account for the months of low-grade fever multiple times daily. This will NOT kill me, unless I do nothing. My sisters are now at a far greater risk to get breast cancer too, with their Sister and Mother both having had it.
Met with the Team at the Breast Clinic, including the Surgeon. We spent almost two hours in the appointment. Since I was the last one of the day, they were able to spend extra time with us. Guess what! This VA hospital is the only one in the US with a Breast Clinic like this. There's only one test they cannot do on-site and will send me out to have it done. Very state-of-the-art equipment. They believe that they are on the same par as the Moffitt Cancer Center here in Tampa. Any one who lives here would know about that place. That's were I would likely go for a second opinion.
I'm really okay. The weight of knowing yes or no has been lifted. I'll be busy for the next few months. Hmmm...I might just decide to go to Panama City Beach again for Spring Break as a vacation after all the treatment! LOL I went last year with my Cousin to help chaperone five high school senior girls. OMG, what were we thinking! At least they're in college now. Told her Daughter I'd consider it if her Mom goes. hahaha The kid wants us there to be chief cook and bottle washer. We had fun though. This time I'll be sure to wear some gauze slacks on the beach. Found out last year that I no longer can be out in the sun without covering up for more than 30 minutes. Otherwise I get a sun rash. Sucks to have been born with red hair!