It has almost been 1 month to the day since we received the breast cancer diagnosis. The focus of your life changes so completely that it is difficult for me to remember what was normal before. The Martini Ziekenhuis is now familiar and walking the route to the Breast Cancer clinic is almost automatic. As we were waiting for our appointment to hear the pathology results I noticed another young couple across the room. They were us 1 month ago. He was sitting there on his blackberry scrolling through e-mails while she was called out of the room every 20 minutes for another test. I remember the anxiety of that waiting. I tried to keep myself distracted but until you know the outcome it’s impossible.
On to my results from today. After you get the initial awful news…everything after that becomes relative. We got some relatively good news today. My cancer has been diagnosed as stage 2b grade 2. In other words the tumor in the breast was 5 cm and had spread to 3 out of 11 of the axillary lymph nodes under my arm. It is also classified as a grade 2 with a grade 3 being the most aggressive. It was removed with a good margin so the surgeon is confident that we got it all. There are a lot of other medical details about it but that doesn’t need to go up on the blog. The normal treatment path is 6 rounds of chemo therapy. OK…that sucks but we were expecting some chemo. I will be going in for a few more tests next week to make sure it hasn’t spread further but we have good reason to be happy because the news today could have been worse. The one note our surgeon mentioned is that there was some metastasis into the blood vessels around the tumor and he was going to bring it up in a multi-disciplinary meeting this week to discuss whether prophylactic radiation may be necessary. But that will be after the chemo…and in my brain nothing I need to think about immediately. On our current radar screen is trying to fit an IVF cycle in before the chemo gets going. Small steps. 🙂
As we were leaving the hospital the couple from the waiting room was walking slowly down the hall. He looked like a bomb just went off and she was sobbing into his shoulder. Ugh…we’ve been there too. Everything in us wanted to give them a hug and say that we were sorry but we decided that probably was creepy. Instead we said a prayer for them and walked to the car. What a difference a month makes.