That Went to Hell Fast

September 20, 2018

My regular Oncologist is out of town at a conference, so the  Radiation Oncologist is keeping tabs on the MRI results this afternoon. She told me that if I hadn’t heard from her by 4:30 pm to call her. I didn’t have to make the call. She was calling me as soon as she had results and a plan. I knew in my gut when I saw her number on my phone shortly after 4 pm that it couldn’t be good news. I’ve not had a clean scan result yet. I wanted there to be one, but no.

Nope, it’s definitely not good. It’s downright shitty, in fact. I have two metastatic lesions on my brain. Fuck. One is nearly 4 cm (2 inches) in my parietal lobe, and the other is about 2 cm (1 inch) in my occipital lobe. The Radiation Oncologist’s already contacted a neurosurgeon and I have an appointment first thing tomorrow.

Per the Radiation Oncologist, the initial plan is to remove the larger one in my parietal lobe and probably radiate the smaller one rather than remove it. They are concerned about doing more damage by taking the 2nd one out. Until they can get them both treated, I’m being put on a reasonably strong dose of steroid to keep the inflammation and brain swelling down from the tumors.

Everyone says that of all the cancers to have, breast cancer is the one you want. It’s the most studied, the most researched, and the one with the most funding. Well, that’s partially true. There are up to 21 distinct structural sub-types and at least 4 different molecular sub-types of breast cancer. When determining which drugs to give to a patient, the oncologists have to take this information plus which biomarkers the cancer and the body’s response are secreting into account because not all drugs will work when certain proteins and biomarkers are not present. So for example, immunotherapy drugs work when a certain protein is present. This is why directly supporting cancer research is so important. The kind I have isn’t the most common. My cancer occurs in only about 25% of all breast cancer cases. That means that it’s less researched and there are fewer treatments and it’s less likely to just lay down and go into remission like everyone else’s. It’s angry, shitty cancer. That’s clearly not changing. Shit. Shit. Shit.

More tomorrow after my appointment with the Neurosurgeon.

About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
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