Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Cancer Journey - Part 6: The Oncology Consultation & A Day of Tests

We saw the Oncologist on November 21st. It was a LONG wait in the waiting room and exam room before he finally saw us. But, he took his time with us, looking over the pathology reports and explaining that there were two types of cancer. First, there was the extensive DCIS (which is non-invasive cancer, but was aggressive; and, if not taken care of, would turn into invasive cancer), and the already invasive tumor (which was a Grade 3 out of 3 - highly aggressive). He said, because of the threatening conditions of this cancer, he felt there was no other option than to recommend at least a single-sided mastectomy. Wow... not what we wanted to hear, but we knew he was right.

The idea of losing a breast comes with a wide array of emotions, thoughts, and opinions - not just from ME, but from others as well. The only opinion that really mattered to me was that of myself and my husband and, in the end, our main concern was to just get the cancer OUT so it doesn't spread any further. My family is more important to me than any part of my body. I was still hoping and praying I would not need to lose BOTH sides but, if that was the solution, then so be it.

The doctor ordered an MRI, CT, and Bone Scan to be done on November 30th. These tests were to give us more information before the mastectomy took place. He said, they would show if the cancer had spread to any other organs or bones, or to the other breast. We were told that, as long as the cancer had not spread, there was a good chance I would not need to have any other treatments. So, that is what we were hoping for! 

November 30th was the long day of testing, but everything went fairly well. Here’s a brief rundown of the day:

  • Was injected with radioactive stuff at 7:30 a.m. to get ready for the Bone Scan 4 hours later. Also had to drink a cup of nasty grape juice, then wait an hour to have the CT.
  • CT was the first test done. Had to drink more juice junk, and was also injected with a contrast. The CT itself was painless.
  • Went shopping for 2 hours, then came back to do the Bone Scan at 11:30. Seeing images of the bones made me nervous and made me wonder why some spots were brighter than others.
  • After Bone Scan came the MRI. That one took the longest. This one also had a contrast they injected me with. I had to lay face down for 40 minutes in a noisy tube.
  • Went to lunch at Arby’s, then picked up the kids at a friend’s house. Got home around 3:30.
  • The drink they gave me caused loose stools, but that was the only side effect, other than fatigue the next day.
  • More waiting for test results.
  • More clinging tightly to God’s hand.
  • The "What if..." questions were beginning to surface.
Check back tomorrow to read about the
"What if..." Trail.

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