Friday, July 31, 2009

All in 1 week

Friday, July 24, 2009 - Mammogram & Ultrasound of breasts scheduled. Mammo results were conclusive and Ultrasound cancelled. We left St. Francis Hospital in Maryville, MO, with a follow-up appointment scheduled with my Primary Care Physician, PCP, and a strong indication of cancerous growth in the left breast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - PCP shared the official Mammo results which are listed below and referred us to the General Surgeon at St. Francis Hospital the next day.
The medial half of the left breast shows a dense mass with multiple calcifications.
Size of this abnormal area is nearly 9 cm.
Left breast neoplasm.
BIRADS 5, highly suggestive of malignancy.
Appropriate action should be taken.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - The General Surgeon recommended a transfer to the Olson Breast Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and she coordinated a consult with Dr. Silva the next day. I also visited the Breast Center at Heartland Regional Medical Center, HRMC, to register and explore possible options.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 - I arrived at the Breast Center with my Boxing Gloves, committed to convince Dr. Silva and crew that I AM READY FOR THIS FIGHT! Dr. Silva and the entire staff convinced us that we are in good hands...he is intelligent, intuitive, an expert, an educator, and passionate for the quality of life of his patients. He performed a fine needle aspiration and confirmed the presence of cancer within 30 minutes. A core needle biopsy followed to take a core cross-section sample to determine the specifics of the cancer. Unfortunately, the results of the core biopsy take days instead of minutes. Dr. Silva ordered a MRI of the breasts (both) and armpits, CT of the chest/abdomen/pelvis, Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan. Amazingly, the leadership at my employer, HRMC, in St. Joseph, MO, was willing to coordinate and arrange for all the tests to be completed the next day. Dr. Silva is very supportive and tolerant to allow me to complete as many of the tests and procedures as possible closer to home during this entire process. Dr. Silva's plan is to begin chemotherapy as soon as feasible after he shares the results of the above tests and biopsy. Chemo will last 4-6 months with the goal to reduce (ideally eliminate) the cancer. The cancer will be monitored during the chemotherapy to ensure the shrinkage. He will have the ability to adjust the chemo meds if necessary and place markers to aid in future surgery. During the chemo, I will go through a complete genetic test and counsel to determine genetic predisposition. Surgery will follow the completion of the chemo. Ideally, the cancer will be eliminated and based on the marker(s) placed during the chemo, Dr. Silva will be able to remove the tissue surrounding the original location of the cancer. We bought into his philosophy and plan of treatment. There are several factors that will affect the final plan and outcome, and we will hopefully hear the final results and plan of action at the scheduled appointment on Thursday, August 6, 2009.

Friday, July 31, 2009 - We were able to successfully complete ALL the tests at HRMC that Dr. Silva ordered. My Heartland co-workers went above and beyond to make this day a success. Now...the waiting game...expecting results next Thursday.

Just getting started...

As soon as I get more organized, I plan to post the history of the last week of our lives. Long Story Short...breast cancer confirmed...Biopsy, MRI, CT, Bone Scan completed. We will receive results and put all the pieces of the puzzle together Thursday, August 6, 2009, in Omaha, NE, at University of Nebraska Medical Center Olson Center for Women's Health under the care of Dr. Edibaldo Silva, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., Surgical Oncologist.