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Showing posts from September, 2023

second port = success + remembering it

  It was a really tough week last week! Last Tuesday, the breast surgeon FAILED at getting a port placed in during my surgery. He attempted three times (leaving many wounds on the left side of my neck/chest). This rarely happens... and he told my mom waiting for me (& later me) if he pushed any harder he would have killed me. This really upset her - and didn't make me feel better that I would have to do it all again in a few days with a different doctor. So, my mom is also out - she is like I cannot take you this time. And my husband is in - and along for ride this surgery. This time the port will not be placed by a Breast Surgeon, but by an Intervention Radiologist (port specialist). All of my veins were closing up the closer it got to my heart (maybe from the radiation in 2013) and making the port dangerous to insert. It took a bit of work, but they finally got one in. While I am glad the port is in, I remember more than I wish I did from the procedure. I also think it would

carpe diem

New Day, New Oncologist Despite waking up sore (and I am super sore from the 3 failed attempts to put a port in my neck yesterday), I am actually hopeful about my next doctor's appointment.  It's time to meet what will hopefully be my new Onc?!?! My husband and I ended up going to this appointment together. Normally, I go to these alone. However, after the port debacle yesterday and the insanity of my medical journey just to get me here, I was feeling the need for some extra support.  It turns out, the new Onc was super nice. He didn't try to placate me and was very honest about my cancer and the obstacles I have had to get here (from the way I had to fight for a biopsy and be heard to the fact I never got any real call from my Onc since my Fish (Her2) results came in).  And while my original Onc's nurse has called to see about scheduling an appointment, my original Onc had never even taken the time to call me with my actual cancer results after the Her2 pathology came

today's surgical adventure = port failure

Sometimes thing go according to plan... and sometimes they don't. Sometimes things happen... and sometimes they don't. Today happens to be a don't day for me! My mom has been going through a lot recently. My dad was diagnosed with Metastasized Melanoma (in his lungs and a few other internal places... no external skin... crazy), and his treatment has been very challenging. So, my new cancer diagnosis has added another layer to the cancer crazy going on in our lives. Hence, she and I decided she should do the easy stuff for now. Taking me to get my port placement was supposed to be easy. She was ready for something... well, less cancer stressful. Turns out is was a much harder day than expected... My mom was with me when I had  my first port surgery in 2013 . As a joke I said, "I'll try not to die," when they wheeled me off for surgery. Yes, I did that then... and I did it again this time too. She decided to video me saying it and we laughed as they me away. Hon

GrandeBrow - product review to try and keep my eyebrows

Product Review of Grande Brow Part 1: A video review Before Chemo Treatment Started Part 2: I will make an update video to show if Grande Brow worked for me when chemo hair loss starts!

double down doctors

So my daughter and I finished our whirlwind college tour of the Northeast (on Thursday), and I was back in town for two doctor's appointments (on Friday). With little sleep and a lot of questions, I hit the ground running... The Breast Surgeon So, this was my breast surgeon from Cancer 2013. He did my port surgery and lumpectomy. Now, he was the first doctor I was actually meeting with to discuss my Cancer 2023. FACT - we all know that should have been my Oncologist. However, if you have been keeping up with my journey, you realize that my Onc is not exactly doing what she should... more like what a doctor should not. Let's get the interesting stuff on the blog first - he feels my boobs up with his eyes closed. It is a little weird. I am lying on the table with my husband next to me getting my breasts felt up by another man while a female nurse watches alongside my husband. If that isn't a complicated and odd sentence... and a sentence no one thinks they will write?!?  He

bad news summary

I have  Triple Negative Breast Cancer that Metastasized to the Lymph Nodes as a Cancer with an Unknown Primary. 1st bad news - I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  (aka - "... cancer is not fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or HER2 protein. Only 10-20% of breast cancers fall in this range.")  2nd bad news - I have NO Primary Tumor in the Breast  I had never heard of this and had to go find out what that means. It is called CUP (Carcinoma of Unknown Primary) or Occult Primary Tumor.  (aka - "Carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the body but the place the cancer began is not known." "These cases make up about 2% to 5% of cancers diagnosed in the United States.") 3rd bad news - I went from 2 Axillary Lymph Nodes to "Numerous (10+) Lymph Nodes" in just a few weeks. (aka - oh (insert a curse word of your choice) - it is spreading fast and aggressive.) So, bad news review:

triple negative breast cancer in lymph nodes (cancer of unknown primary)

Brief recap: Monday - my Oncologist called and we had an uncomfortable exchange. She told me she was going to call me with my Her2 results. Tuesday - my results were added to my Pathology report that I am unable to get and all my doctors and nurses were gone for the day. It's Wednesday, and I hoped that someone would be calling me soon. Results Day, Wednesday My daughter actually had a meeting with a coach before we were scheduled to go on a campus tour the school. We arrived early and decided to get out and enjoy the view before her meeting. Not a minute before the coach began walking toward us, my phone rang. It was the Oncologist nurse who was telling me that my Her2 was negative.  I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Yikes, I already knew that was the option... but I was hoping it was not the option I would get. I can't fully remember the things we said because I was walking toward my daughter and the coach. And she knew. She knew by the look on my face. She could read my

almost news, with hidden Her2 results

So, I was still waiting on my Her2 results. And on a trip visiting colleges with my daughter. Yesterday, I had a not so awesome conversation with my Oncologist (which was really a sucky conversation ). While I set it aside, I realized my Her2 results were really essential in my diagnosis. So, I was ready to find out what type of cancer I had. With no news, all I could do was go on with our trip and spend time with my daughter. Of course, we both were hoping I would get a phone call during the day to let us know the results, but that didn't happen. However, we did not let it bother us. We had multiple schools to see and lots of fun to have.   From the the beautiful shores of Connecticut to the busy streets of New York City, my daughter and I had a blast! We drove and visited Yale, UConn, NYU, Columbia, Rutgers, and Princeton. Only a few of those colleges were really on her list, but we tried to drive by the others just to see what they were like since we were nearby. Plus, it was a