I got the call from Dr. Arredondo's office today around 9:30 am to come over when I could so they could squeeze me in. I went over around 10 am and saw him around 11:30 am. Initially he had read my BRAC test results incorrectly and told me that I was negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2, which I thought was good news. Dr. Arredondo did not act too reassuring at that point I think because then the question was raised that if I don't have the genes what caused the breast cancer? Also, this meant the road for this was somewhat unclear as to how to treat it. His nurse came in after about 5 mins and handed him that paper with the results on it. Suddenly, he apologized and said that I did test positive for the BRCA2 gene and that he had read it wrong. I guess this was somewhat better for the fact that we know now why I got breast cancer and have a more clear picture of how to treat this. For my family members, this means that they will have to be tested for the gene as well because it is linked to breast, ovarian, colon, rectal, and prostate cancers in people who test positive for it. We don't know which side of the family the gene came from, but it can sometimes just be a random mutation that happens in someone. So then we discussed the odds of the cancer coming back in that breast or the other one. My odds are much higher being that I'm under 40 yrs old. At 5 years out the odds are only like 3% but by 25 years out my odds jump to 63%. I don't like those odds, so the big news is that I will have a bilateral mastectomy to decrease those chances. Also, I will need to have my ovaries removed by the time I'm 35 because my odds of getting cancer in them is much higher too. We had discussed in the last visit with him and with several other nurses that we had wanted to have another child, but today the reality hit me that this just isn't going to happen. I guess I had come to terms with it. Chris and I had made the decision that if there was a hormone component and there was any risk to me by having another child, we weren't willing to take that risk. Chris and I thank God so much that he gave us such a precious child to raise. Brenley is the light of our eyes and will now be spoiled rotten by her parents even more (so watch out!). We are never against looking at adoption in the future but we have more important things to worry about right now. The next step in the process now is to have my first appt with Dr. Pruitt, my oncologist, next Friday at 1 pm. We are going to try to do chemo first to shrink down the two masses and the try to get clearer margins for the mastectomy. If everything goes as planned, we will decide on what chemo is going to be best, and then Dr. Arredondo will do day surgery to put in a port in my chest area for the chemo. Then, chemo will begin. When they feel like it is time with the chemo, they will stop this and it's surgery time. They think they can reconstruct the right breast since it doesn't have any cancer in the same surgery, but they are unsure if we can go ahead with the left reconstruction that day too. Dr. Proffer will be my plastic surgeon for this, and I have my FUP with him on Oct. 19th. Now if for some reason I am not a candidate for chemo at this time, we will proceed with the surgery first. Dr. A thinks I will probably do the chemo first though. So......I wasn't real surprised at the news today and had mentally prepared myself for this just in case. I agree with Dr. A that this is the more traveled, clearcut road vs. not having the gene. The only good news that I can think of from today is that I will get that breast surgery that I always joked about and insurance will cover it. That's a bonus! I have never really taken the easy road when it comes to medical situations and surgeries, so I wasn't too surprised that this was the outcome. I know that nothing is bigger than God and that he is still carrying me through all this and taking the burden off my shoulders. Yes, I still feel peace about this and know that this can only come from God. He is my rock! Again, I thank each of you for taking time out of your days to send cards, texts, or e-mails and most importantly to continue praying for healing. I feel that God is already working on my healing because my breathing and headaches are much better. Praise God. If anyone has any questions for me please don't hesitate to contact me. I want to open and honest with everyone because I'm not ashamed of this and maybe this will help someone else down the road. God bless. Shay
Wanted to update you on some good news today. I finally got to talk to Dr. Neese, my primary care physician, about everything that was going on. She immediately ordered a chest x-ray due to the breathing/swallowing difficulties I had been having. Although, praise God for answered prayers, I have been feeling really well the past 3 days. The chest x-ray did not show anything new and the lungs, heart, and bones all looked normal. This also is an answered prayer. I also saw my biopsy report for the first time and it stated that they did not find any calcifications in the 3 specimens that they did lab work on. That sounds like good news since they had thought there were some there when they did it. I guess calcifications can be an indication of cancer if there is no mass. I had the two masses and suspected calcifications, but now we know that was not in the biopsies. Dr. Neese called me back today after she got the results of the x-ray, and she states she will look at it herself on Monday just to double check everything. I'm feeling really good today and staying positive about next weeks results. I can feel God already working through every aspect of this situation, and I praise him for taking this load off my shoulders. God is sooo good! Please continue to pray for the doctors and nurses that will be taking care of us during this journey and thank God for good news for the weekend. Love ya'll. Shay
So it all began when I turned 31 yrs old and finally broke down and got a primary care physician. I joke about this often because before this year I was pretty durn healthy. I'm not overweight, not over 40 yrs old, don't smoke or drink, don't have a family history of breast cancer, and I workout often. That is why everyone including myself was shocked when we learned I had breast cancer on September 1st. I had been having a lot of testing and medical issues this year including difficulty with breathing and swallowing at times and headaches, but none of my doctors had come up with anything good to explain all my aches, pains, and problems. I just attributed it to getting older. Around Aug, 24th, I had found a lump randomly in my left breast. It didn't concern me at first because I figured like a lot of women that it was just a cyst that came up. I had never felt it before so it couldn't have been there that long, right? Not the case. I had it checked out by a nurse practitioner for my OB-GYN, and she told me we would keep an eye on it. A week went by and I had been having some burning and shooting pains under that breast. I decided to get it checked out. They sent me to the Northwest Women's Imaging Center for an ultrasound. We ended up also doing a mammogram (which women do not lie when they say that they squeeze you so hard that you feel your breast may pop!). Shortly after a radiologist came in and gave me the shock of my life by saying, "I'm going to be frank. I think it is cancer". I thought she was kidding at first. Then, reality slapped me in the face and I broke down. They wanted to immediately do a biopsy. I called my husband, mom, and sister to let them know the news and quickly was taken back for my procedure. It was suppose to take little over an hour, but ended up taking over 2 hours and involved a lot of pain and bleeding in the process. That was a really rough day and so where the next few days of recovery and taking in the news. The following Tues, I got the official reports from the biopsy that confirmed that I have GRADE 3 (not to be confused with stage 3) invasive ductile carcinoma breast cancer. I spent the next few days lining up some good doctors with the help of friends and family. Last Friday, Chris and I went for our first appointment with Dr. Arredondo. We spent about 30-45 mins in the room while he educated us on so many things and was very thorough in answering all our questions and concerns. He was very comforting to both of us, and we left there feeling like we were in good hands. We came to the conclusion that our first step was the BRCA blood testing to see if I carry the gene for breast cancer. Once we get those results early next week, we will decide our plan of attack from there. I pray for the easier route and for the test to be negative for the gene. I will be posting our findings next time. In the meantime, please join me in asking God for a negative test result.