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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some pretty great news!!

I feel like I need to apologize for having such a bummer of a day yesterday... A sweet young woman (that I've known since she was about 5 or 6 years old) and who is all grown up now with a beautiful daughter of her own in college, read my blog and wrote me an e-mail that made me sit up and take notice (I hope she won't mind me using some of them here....she said 'the Peggy she remembers  is one of the spunkiest, feistiest, liveliest people she has ever met, and that there was no doubt in her mind I was going to tackle this cancer and literally kick it in the rear'.   And she's right....that is who I am.  I don't know what brought on the doom and gloom....but I hope you will all be glad to know's gone and today I was ready to hear (not necessarily what I wanted to hear) but what I needed to hear....the truth...and guess what........ 

The 3 lymph nodes they removed were completely clean.  The tumor was slightly larger then they originally thought (1.5 CM) but they got it all.  I did have a few minuscule cells scattered around the tumor that were the very beginning of cancer, but they feel confident they got all of them with the margins they removed.

Unfortunately they didn't think I would be considering chemo (that was my decision since this was the 2nd round--I'm a  pro-active kind of girl) they had not sent the tissue off to the one lab in the United States that does the percentage test of recurrence....and now that they understand I want that done, they are going to send the tissue off, but the results could take 10 days to 2 weeks.

I have an appointment with an oncologist tomorrow and we will further discuss the need for chemo.  They are going to start me on an oral medication (after radiation) that I will be on for 10 years.  It inhibits the growth of estrogen in the body (because my tumor this time, and last time, were estrogen positive)...that is to say the tumor feeds off of the estrogen.  I asked him to repeat himself 2-3 times to help make sure I was understanding him correctly.  What I understood him to say is that the medicine (probably Letrozol) may actually do as much (if not more) then chemo would do.  The surgeon basically said, he understood my concern since it was the second time, but that he feels the side effects of the chemo may well not be worth the risk of taking it....when the chemo may do no more than the oral meds could do.  

So I am not as gung ho about doing the chemo.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow when I talk to the oncologist.

Chemo is nasty stuff and can reek havoc on your if the oncologist agrees that there would not be much gain from doing chemo, I may just do the radiation. And I am hoping to see the radiation oncologist sometime next week.

The surgeon said I am healing very well and that if I wanted to return to the gym tomorrow I could.  I asked him about lifting weights and he said that was fine that the lifting of weights would not tend to tear the internal sutures, but that maybe I might want to start with some lower weights than I usually use and build back up.  He said he would advise against things like Zumba or Jazzersize where there is some rapid flailing of arms....and that probably even that wouldn't tear the sutures, but it may prove to be no problem.  I don't do zumba or jazzersize anyway.  But he did say I could power walk (as long as I don't get too wild with my arms) and  I could absolutely do spin and strength work or yoga.   Since tomorrow is Friday, I think I will take it easy for the remainder of this week.  But for sure next week I will be back in the gym. 

For those of you who might be following this because you are in a similar situation and want to hear the info I am sharing with you here, the doctor said there are really reliable good statistics that prove that breast cancer survivors...........and actually just about anyone....benefit greatly from exercise....even if it's just walking 1/2 hour for at least 4 days a week.  

So perfect music to my ears....
That's the message I'm always trying to get out....the importance of exercise....whether you have breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, are over weight.......or just plain want to avoid all of those things.....Get up off the couch and start moving....

And I have to keep reminding myself what's and that is attitude.......I've turned my frown upside down and I am ready to face this demon and finish it off!   

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