Yesterday was a much better day. I really liked both of my doctors. They were both very thorough and had a few positive things to say, which was nice!
I am finding that the process these doctors have really makes a difference. The surgeon I met yesterday is the head of a new “Breast Center” in town. The hospital received a big donation to create this center, and it houses a large imaging center for scans, a genetic testing center and two new and very qualified breast surgeons there to treat people. In addition, they have social workers and patient advocates to help anyone with breast cancer.
If I had done my scans there, a patient advocate would have called me within an hour of getting my results to guide me and tell me what to do next, answer questions, etc. That would have been awesome. I really think that would have helped. They also have support groups and a social worker that you can talk to about how to tell your kids, etc. Basically, they have people there to help you with whatever you need.
A friend who went through this recently told me how to make a binder to keep everything organized and I have been running around going to Office Depot to get just the right stuff for it. If I had gone there first…they have the binder all set up for you. Small example, but these people were on it.
Also, just the whole way they sat down and explained everything to me was so different from anyone I have seen. And…it just happens that every person I met with was a woman. Very different style and process from any of the other places. I liked it. Of course, the most important thing is the qualifications of these doctors, which I also feel comfortable with.
From everything I heard today my prognosis still looks excellent and as long as there are no surprises during surgery the cancer should stay manageable and small.
The oncologist yesterday explained that while a very small tumor is a good thing, my treatment after surgery will all come down to the genes of the tumor. The genes will tell them how likely my cancer would be to come back.
So, treatment will depend on this big test they do on the tumor. The Oncotype Test (often referred to as “onco test”) will analyze 21 genes and give me a score from 0-100. Based on the score of that test, they will decide what types of drugs I need to treat the cancer (this will include whether or not I need chemo). I will get the results of this test in about two weeks.
I am anxious to get to MD Anderson to see if they agree on everything I have heard so far. MDA has their own version of the onco test, so it will be interesting to compare scores.
I am sure this is TMI for some, but its definitely helping me to write.
Happy Friday to all my amazing peeps!