I met with my surgeon yesterday to do last looks on the lump before I go into surgery.
The doctor, who is normally quite chatty especially about organic gardening, fell silent while ultrasounding my breast. I’m getting increasingly adept at reading ultrasounds especially after I gave up looking for a baby in the black and grey fuzzy screens. I couldn’t see any ominous blobs lurking on the ultrasound so I guessed her silence wasn’t a bad thing.
Usually the surgeon takes a picture of the ultrasound, measures the tumour and we compare it to how big it was on the previous visit. Not this time. I asked her about the size of the lump and she said there was nothing to measure. It is still in there, but now it is so small and indistinct it no longer has a readable length, width or depth. The last time the blob on the ultrasound screen was 1.3cm in length. It didn’t look like it would go away completely so the doctor didn’t put a little tiny plastic flag inside my breast to be able to find the site. At the end of the scan yesterday she said “We should have put in a marker.”
A few months ago I had an bi-lateral breast MRI which confirmed my cancer in the left breast and also gave recommendations to follow up regarding some suspicious activity in my right breast.
On Wednesday I had the same MRI and although I don’t have all the official results, the MRI specialist called my doctor and said it looks great. The cancer in my left breast has had a “substantial decrease”and is now a “non-mass like enhancement,” which is a fancy way of saying it is no longer a lump so it couldn’t be measured. In especially fantastic news the right breast is free and clear!
The bad thing about chemotherapy is that it attacks the entire body, the good thing about chemotherapy is that it will attack cancer anywhere in my body. Since I am at a slightly elevated risk for ovarian cancer, which is hard to detect, this chemo could have also knocked out any cells even thinking of dividing down there too.
It would be fab if all this meant I could get time off treatment for good behaviour, however I still need to do surgery, chemo, radiation and then take a drug called tamoxifen. The surgery will be to take out the last of the cancer cells as well as a clear margin. Pathologists will analyse the cells, thats when the doctors will decide if I need a second surgery and how much more chemotherapy to give me. My surgery date for my lumpectomy is the morning of November 15th.
I am going to celebrate today by buying myself a yummy expensive health drink.