Apparently my eggs are responding well to the fertility drugs. So well in fact that it only took 8 days to get to my trigger shot. This shot signals my brain to think like it is already pregnant so I won’t ovulate, allowing the extraction to take place. This will take place on Thursday. Also on Thursday I will be having my re-excision done. Both procedures involve IV sedation and take about 15-20 minutes. Should make for an interesting long day. I’m excited for this all to take place. But it only means that chemo is lurking around the corner.
Egg extraction went great! We got 8 eggs with 7 of them being mature. And my tissue margins came back clear. Woohoo! GIANT THANK YOU to Dr. Mottla & my nurse Crystal at Shady Grove Fertility and to Dr. Tafra my surgeon. You guys are amazing and have made these two steps in my journey so positive and memorable. I am thankful for all you have done to ease mine and Chris’s mind through all we’ve gone through so far.
Time to begin my fertility shots. They coordinate this process with the start of your monthly cycle. Total process from start to finish takes about 12-14 days. Let the fun begin.
Met again with my oncologist to discuss chemo. Once I’m done with the fertility process, I will start chemo. I will be undergoing dose dense chemo where I go once every other week for treatment for 16 weeks. I’ve been given prescriptions for anti nausea medicine. Not convinced that they will help. Probably just make me fat. Steroids, gotta love them. Nothing like being fat and bald at 31 due to self induced poisoning.
Oh yeah. I’m suppose to be staying positive. The word chemo seems to make that very difficult for me to do.
So we finally got the call from the dr. First the left side showed nothing but fibrocystic tissue. No masses or anything suspicious. That is one piece of good news. We’ll take it. Second my chest X-ray, blood work and bone scan all came back clean with the exception of my vitamin D which shows I am deficient. Something my doctor says we will tackle after treatment. Now for the big results. All the invasive cancer has been removed! The tumor is gone.
However there is one margin of tissue around the tumor that didn’t have a clear enough edge which my surgeon is not pleased with. This means another surgery to re-excise that area to get the clear margin. Not to bad. But the best news I saved for last. My nodes tested negative! This is huge. Bigger then I can comprehend says my dr. I’m beyond happy with this. And I think for the first time Chris can breath a sigh of relief knowing I’m not going anywhere.
My MRI results came back and they are showing a suspicious area on my left breast area. Oh joy. But first things first, surgery. On September 13th I had my lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy. This should remove the tumor and remove the first two lymph nodes so the can see if the cancer has spread. This will all decide if I’m still at stage 1 or if we are dealing with a whole other set of rules.
While waiting for my results which will take a couple days, I have to have an X-ray of my chest to check my lungs, more blood work, and a full body scan. These are all tests that aid in staging the cancer as well. I also have to go and have the left side checked out. This means a mammogram and an ultrasound. If they locate something then another core needle biopsy to be sure. I’ve been told that mri’s sometimes give false positive results especially in the area of the breast because the tissue is dense. Sure hoping there is nothing to worry about. We could definitely use good news.
In addition to talks of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy and reconstructive surgery I had another important issue to tackle. Since one of the possible side effects of Chemotherapy is early menopause, we also decided to meet with a fertility doctor to discuss our options.
After receiving all the information we decided to proceed with the egg retrieval process of IVF. We will be working with Shady Grove Fertility. This involves about 7-10 days of giving myself shots and having daily appointments for blood work and ultrasound. Once the eggs are at a desirable size, I go in for a minor surgery to have them extracted and frozen. All in all its a really wonderful reassuring feeling knowing we can still have a baby when all this treatment is said and done.
Next stop surgery then our first meeting with my oncologist to discuss my chemo schedule. Time to get down to business. First things first, I am in need of a nap. So much information.
Doctors appointments. Everyday practically. First stop meeting with the surgeon. Dr. Tafra was the surgeon I selected. Chris and I met with her to discuss my diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan. I have Infiltrated Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1 Grade III, Triple Negative Tumor. Ok, so stage 1. It can’t be too bad? I mean a lumpectomy and maybe some radiation. I’ll be good to go in a couple weeks, right? Wrong. The key word or words in my diagnosis are Grade III and Triple Negative. The staging has to do with the size of the tumor and how far it has spread. So for right now (yes it could change) its a 1. The grade shows how rapidly the cells change. Grade III is aggressive. Great. Triple negative means that it tested negative for the three main hormones that usually fuel cancer growth. In a nutshell, they don’t know what fuels it.
And because of these two lovely things my doctor utters the words I’ve been dreading to hear. Chemotherapy.