July 11, 2018
In the past 2 weeks, there’s been a lot of conversation about what to do with the new node in the middle of my chest. The conversations, what they’ve told me of them, have been around whether it makes more sense to include this node in the radiation fields or if it makes more sense to go back to a systemic chemo approach.
The pathology of the biopsy came back late Monday, and it’s positive for metastatic breast cancer. It is also HER2+ which means that the characteristics of my cancer aren’t changing. That part is good but also concerning at the same time. This also isn’t a huge surprise. It’s better than finding out that it’s lymphoma, or lung cancer or a new primary cancer of some other kind. The concerning part is that this tumor started to grow while I was on chemo, and am still on the targeted chemo intended to eradicate it.
Lots of questions going through my head. What is going on here? What’s up with my immune system? Why isn’t my body fighting this off? Is my cancer already turning drug resistant?
The answers are mostly “we don’t know.” What they do know is that they’ve had a patient whose cancer did something similar and they tried an approach they’ve seen work with other cancers that they’re going to try. So this node, along with the others in the immediate vicinity, will be added to my radiation plan. Then, starting next week, I will be getting a new, platinum based chemo. Cisplatin is what’s called a radiosensitizer. When it attaches to cancer cells, it makes them more sensitive to the radiation treatments. The hope is that we’ll be able to kill all of the microscopic cancer that’s left. The other patient they mentioned is almost 2 years out from her last radiation and she’s doing well. I am praying that this will work for me as well.