Last week was rough

My appointment with the radiation oncologist did not go as planned.

As I said before, a couple of weeks after my bi-lateral mastectomy, my breast surgeon called to inform me their chemo and radiation recommendations were being reconsidered. I was told to start looking into egg preservation and we were devastated.

So, at my appointment last Tuesday, imagine our surprise when my medical oncologist (chemo oncologist) informed us chemo was not necessary.

Let me start by saying at the beginning of the appointment, she asked me what I knew. I told her what my breast surgeon told me. She looked confused and excused herself to call my breast surgeon.

When she came back into the room, her only explanation was the breast surgeon was telling her information that contradicted the pathology report. So, she excused herself again to call the pathologist.

The next time she returned, she still looked puzzled but said again, she didn’t think I needed chemo.

WE SHOULD HAVE ASKED HER WHY NOT. WE SHOULD HAVE ASKED HER WHAT CHANGED. 

And even though our relief was met with uneasiness, we decided to believe a miracle had taken place and I was being spared from enduring the difficult side effects of chemo. The main one being the possibility of us losing the chance to have our own children.

Last Thursday, Feb. 23, I had my consultation with my radiation oncologist. She held my hand and pulled up the images from the MRI I completed back in December 2016.

What we were seeing again was a large area on my left breast soaked up a lot of contrast during the scan. Mom and I always wondered why, I supposed we asked the wrong person, but the radiation oncologist (who I love as much as my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon) talked us through everything.

She explained the pathology report said that I had stage 1A breast cancer, but it only accounted for the connected invasive cells that formed a 1 cm tumor. She said it was unusual, but what it did not account for was the large area of breast that contained sporadic areas with invasive cells.

If the invasive cells would have connected completely, the tumor would have been 9 cm. And if we follow the logic that these cells had every intention on forming a single tumor, the tumor size would indicate a stage 3 diagnosis.

We were floored and once again, devastated. 

Just a day ago, we were celebrating no chemo and here we were being told I indeed needed both chemo and radiation.

I started to cry. I thought we were nearing the top of the mountain, but it seemed as if the climb was just beginning.

My radiation oncologist said she was looking to connect with the medical oncologist to explain why the disciplinary conference felt the need to take a more aggressive treatment route. I, personally, am looking to find a different medical oncologist altogether.

Had the medical oncologist disclosed the information that had been explained to her by my breast surgeon and the pathologist, we would have asked for a more aggressive treatment plan.We would have avoided this emotional roller coaster altogether because we were already prepared for the chemo conversation on Tuesday. We weren’t prepared to hear different news on Thursday and that sucks.

I just need all my doctors on the same page and while I was tempted to say because my life is in their hands, that isn’t true. My life is in God’s hands and I’m trusting Him to bring together the right team and to give my team the wisdom to make the best decisions for me.

At this moment, I’m not worried about chemo or no chemo.I know God will see us through. I’m just trying to focus on all the other opportunities God has to bless us with a miracle (or a few) on the rest of this journey.

HealthJasmine SouersComment