Today is a BIG DAY. I will get much more information today, including the MRI results and hopefully the Her2 test and the plan for chemo will be laid out for me. Since learning of the possibility of having chemo first...I'm now wondering how soon! I mean, if they are going to do it first, I could start chemo next week already! I'm trying to get mentally ready for that, since I was expecting it more like a couple of months from now. But, it really depends a lot, I think, on my own personal cancer. I'm getting ahead of myself since I have no idea yet what the plan will be. I'll find out today and I'm glad! I think the unknown makes me more anxious than the known. When you're waiting on test results your mind will wander around to places you don't want it to go. You try to control it, but it still wants to go there. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still feeling very positive. But, I have a lot of anxiety about the "unknown". So, I'm glad today has finally arrived so I can find out these results and find out "what's next". When you find out you have cancer, you want it out of your body....RIGHT AWAY! And I have to remind myself that it was only last week when I was diagnosed, so in reality, things are moving along really fast.
One thing I really like about the Breast Center I go to is that they give you a copy of every lab report (maybe they all do....I don't know). But, I like having those reports and seeing exactly what they say. So, Monday when I was up there, they gave me the ER/PR (hormone receptor) lab report and I was just looking over it this morning. Well, on this report the Estrogen Receptor was at 99% positive and the Progesterone Receptor is 71% positive. So, that's good. Then it shows a Ki-67 as "HIGH (36%). Ok, I'm the type of person who wants to know what that means! So, I turned to my friend "google" and found that it is a way of telling how fast your cancer is growing. It is an antibody marker to a tumor antigen that can be found in breast cancer cells. Anything above 20% means the cancer cells are growing and dividing at a rapid pace. Honestly, this doesn't necessarily surprise me. When you consider that I had a mammogram last August and they saw nothing and then I had another one in March and it was there and already at 2.5 cm, I figured out a long time ago that it evidently was growing fast.
Now I don't necessarily find this particularly frightening, although I wish it was a slow growing cancer. In one way I find it calming because it tells me it hasn't been there for years and just missed on my mammograms. Yes, my mind has taken me there. When you just had a mammogram six months ago and nothing was found, you wonder if they "missed it". With this test showing it's growing rapidly, it gives me a peace that it hasn't been there for years and just missed. So, it gives me peace that it's been found "early". I already was graded at "2" which already told me it was faster growing....but not quite as fast as grade "3". Now I can see where they got that information from. I actually find this all fascinating. The good thing about all of this information is that it tells them how agressively to treat the cancer. They will know how better to treat me by what these lab tests are telling them. So I thank God that there has been so much progress with breast cancer that they can now test for all of this. I am finding that even with bad news you can find good! I look at that 36% and think...."well, better than 75%, or 85%, or 99%!). I will admit though, that the faster you feel like it's growing, the faster you want it out. LOL! I just want that thing out of me! But, on the other hand, I'm glad to have had the time to think things through and decide what type of surgery to have, rather than being rushed with that decision.
One thing I do know. I do not want this cancer to dictate my life. While I know it's going to take over part of my life whether I want it to or not, I will do everything to keep my life "normal", going on with my "normal activities", as much as possible. There may be some bumps in the road ....but this cancer does not rule! I am not dying of cancer...I'm living with cancer! Many women live years and years after being diagnosed and I expect to be around to watch my grandkids graduate, get married and make me a great mamaw! And with all of the research that has been done, I know my chances of survival is so much better than it used to be. I thank everyone who has ever donated or raised money for this research! I am a life that is being helped by your donations!
Well, I need to start getting ready to roll up to Greenwood. I've been keeping that road hot! Erin (my youngest daugther) is going with me today. She also went with me Monday. Jennifer (my other daughter) is at work so she's been unable to go, but she is a school teacher and will soon be out for summer break, so she'll get her turn at going with me. I'll be doing my chemo and radiation up there, so there will be plenty more trips for her to take with me! And hubby (Larry) just found out he has to take some days off work because the earthquake is affecting the Toyota business, which affects the plant he works at. This is not good for the paycheck, but maybe the timing is good and I can arrange appointments on the days he'll be off so he can go. Like I said, I try to look at the "good side". He's unexpectedly off Friday and Monday, so he'll be able to go with me to the Radiation Doctor on Friday.
Until later.....schedule your mammogram TODAY!