What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

And Today Continues on the "Positive" Side of the Meter

Our drive into San Francisco was beautiful this morning. Traffic was not too bad. We allowed 2 full hours and had about 20-25 minutes to spare to get settled and use the restroom. Alura arrived just seconds before us too.

We had barely entered the reception room when Vickie, a SVHS Classmate, called over and said hello. We met once before at the Round Barn Cancer Center about 4-5 years ago, when she was accompanying her friend to treatment, as she was doing today too. Her friend is LMBC too (Liver Metastasized Breast Cancer). We had a moment to chat briefly.

We were taken back to a room pretty promptly, and they took my vitals down. Then one of UCSF Hospital Fellowes came in and introduced herself. She was to do a full review of my case, update it with anything new, then report to Dr. Michelle Milesko right before she comes in to consult with us. And it pretty much went that way. There were a few nuances of things that took place over this past year that I shared with her. Then I'd say they each spent nearly an hour with us; and the Fellowe took notes for us while we met with Dr. Milesko. I also recorded the session on my phone.

Basically, we learned we are on the best path right now with everything we have in place and are considering going forward. This is pretty much what I expected to hear, and it was very reassuring. We also learned of some other options that might present them to me down the road; and that is helpful and hopeful.

Here is a brief summary:
  1. If I experience significant side effects that are intolerable or there is progression to the disease, there are other chemo regimes, including taxol, that can be used.
  2. We'll be doing a CT Scan after 2 chemo chcles (6 weeks) of carboplatin/gemcitabine. If the liver responds and/or breast, then we would continue this cocktail for possible 4-6 total cycles.
  3. Based upon my response to chemo, I could consider palbociclib and fulvestrant. Timing would depend upon response to chemo. And keep in touch with UCSF since other clinical trials using other cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors or MTOR inhibitors may be an option in future.
  4. Immunotherapy has a slow response rate in BC and since this is growing quickly, we would hold off on this now. Maybe an option for the future.
  5. You will be on lifelong treatment with different combinations of chemo or hormonal therapy.
  6. Any questions, please contact us.
So no real surprises; just new names of medicines we hadn't heard before. And then we found a sweet deli across the street from the hospital to debrief and get some lunch. 

Yay, we're done. Let's get some lunch!

We were home by 2:30pm and I have been relaxing and catching naps since then. 

Hoping for less brain fog tomorrow; but really, this is much more doable than last week. And I have all next week off too, so should have time to hopefully kick back a little, maybe take a walk, who knows. Time will tell...

Another Good Day!

THANK YOU for continuing to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Life is Good... SOMETIMES

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, no longer a SURVIVOR, 
AND a Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!

THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. I look forward to your comments.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like they are on top of things and great to know that the St Joseph's team is on the right track. Thankfully you can keep going for treatments close to home! Love and prayers! Nance


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