I posted on New Year’s Eve that they found a lump in my chest, and my worries associated with it. Well I did end up having surgery last week – another surgery, I am sincerely sick of being cut- and I’m relieved to share that it was benign. It was just fibrous tissue growing. They didn’t think it was cancer going in but had to check. I was relieved, but only slightly. I am resigning myself to the fact that this is my life now. I am now in the elite group that gets to say things like ‘oh this is just a little surgery’. That’s what my oncologist said the week before when I expressed anxiety over it. I suppose compared to the double mastectomy and hysterectomy I had, yes, it was just a little surgery. I thought I would be happier when the surgeon called to tell me the good news, that it was not cancer brewing its ugly head again. I was happy, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was just lucky to get a pass. I couldn’t help but feel like, I’m Ok – for now. I promise I’m not negative about my situation at all, I do feel very lucky most of the time. I guess I’m only sharing my fears, how I really feel about it. My 1 year diagnosis anniversary is in April, maybe as time goes on I will not feel as on guard as I do. But – for now- I appear to be cancer free, and that is indeed something to celebrate.
(by Lyn) I have this image of a boxing ring in the middle of a huge auditorium and in one corner is the year 2009, and on the floor knocked out cold and bleeding on the mats is me. It’s doing a victory dance with its arms in the air cheering, I WIN I WIN. I think it heard me bashing it earlier today, heard me talking about how I cannot wait to say good riddance and it decided to get in one last knockout jab before the new year.
I had a routine post-op appointment with the breast surgeon earlier today, I was looking forward to seeing Kate because I haven’t seen her since my left drain was removed. My oncologist suggested I talk with her about my joint pains and see if she has any ideas (she’s very involved with her patients unlike many surgeons), and to show off my radiation wounds that are still present. I assumed she would check out my chest to make sure I’m healing fine and send me on my way. What I didn’t see coming during the check-up was her fingers stopping in a specific spot on the inner ridge of my right chest. Right on the seam of my bi-lateral cut. Then she said the words we’ve all heard: “It’s probably nothing, but there is a small lump present that I don’t remember being there. I’m sure it’s nothing Lyn, but I don’t like it when I don’t remember these things so let’s do an ultrasound right away to be sure. If they think it’s suspicious I’m ordering an immediate biopsy to follow.”
She wanted to do it today, but I was unable due to having the kids in the car with hubby who had to get back to work and said Monday or Tuesday would be better for me. They said they will schedule it and get back to me. Walking out the door she said ‘well it’s not Inflammatory, whatever it is’. I know it’s illogical to be worried about having another cancer so soon, or to think that the IBC has trekked its way across my chest but I can’t help but be worried and mostly frustrated because I JUST HAD A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY!!!!! I JUST finished twice a day radiation. I just finished hell year. I am supposed to be DONE with ultrasounds, and biopsies and ‘possible cancer’. This is the exact reason I had the elective bi-lateral and full hysterectomy. To avoid this situation. I assumed one might happen in the future, but not today. Not right now. I can’t frickin believe it. I am going to assume it’s nothing and try not to stress this weekend, but the thought of going to the hospital to start this over again makes me nautious. Everyone cross your fingers for me that her prediction of ‘I”m sure it’s nothing’ is exactly that this round.
I have heard that having a guinecological surgeon and oncologist in one is a good find. I was lucky in that even though I didn’t have a guinecological cancer, there was one of the best of them in the building when my oncologist suggested a hysterectomy along with my mastectomies. Not only is his picture on the brochure for The Da Vinci machine which shows he knows his stuff, his picture is also on the cover of a new CD his band N.E.D. No Evidence of Disease has just put out. Every member of the band is a guinecology oncologist or guinecology medical person of some sort. Here is what I picked up at his office about their mission:
N.E.D. is made up of six gynecologic oncologists who always hope to deliver the sweetest message their patients can ever hear: “NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE”. Their mission is to enhance knowledge about gynecologic cancer, to save lives, as well as to bring hope through music to those undergoing treatment, and to the world at large. Proceeds from every CD sold will be donated to N.E.D. Fund at Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), which promotes awareness and early detection, and research of gynecologic cancers.
I wouldn’t normally promote one thing over another, but I know Dr. Winter personally and he’s a good guy who believes in their mission. He never once said anything to me about his band, or their projects, I only learned of it through other doctors and a small flyer at NW Cancer Specialists. I haven’t heard the music myself yet, but I am going to pick up a cd soon because I know the proceeds are going to a good cause.
Would be a nice way to describe my chest and lymph node area right now. I think burnt to a gross bubbling curdling painful peeling mess is more accurate. I am excited to say I finished radiation Monday of this week. I went twice a day for 4 and a half weeks. Even on Black Friday, they actually opened the place up just for me. I didn’t miss a single appointment and when the machine broke I agreed to driving half an hour to a different facility. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I was in a short state of confusion about what to do with myself. Of course I have my 2 year old and 4 year old to keep me busy, and there’s holiday stuff to be done, but surely I should be at the cancer center at some point today right? Then I remembered, nope I’m done. From here it’s just Herceptin every three weeks with doctor’s appts. and check-ups. Feels kind of strange after the last 8 months. I asked when my first post-cancer scans would be and was told ‘not for a while’. I’ll ask my regular oncologist at my appt. next week because I think I would like to know that I’m still clear. As for regular life, I am looking to the future. I enrolled to take a couple of medical classes starting Jan. 4th, thinking to combine my business degree and background and maybe work in the medical business field. We’ll see. It’s a nice relief to see a possible future after being diagnosed 8 months ago with IBC, what goals I’m working on don’t seem as important this minute as the fact that I’m still here to work on them.
crossposted on http:lynkelley.wordpress.com
I received this email from Patti Bradfield, co-founder of www.eraseibc.com, regarding a new IBC clinic opening soon.
I would like to bring some very exciting news to our IBC community. It is my pleasure to announce there will be a new IBC Clinic at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philidelphia in approximately six months (if not sooner).
With this new clinic opening, it is also my honor to tell you that Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli will be heading up this new facility.
Yes, Dr. C is moving to the East Coast, but the Morgan Welch IBC clinic in Houston will be working closely and with the same protocols as those which have become standardized by Dr. C and his team over the last three years.
Also, In addition to his position in the department of medical oncology, Dr. Cristofanilli will be the co-director of the Women’s Cancer Program, He will also serve as associate director of clinical research for Fox Chase’s Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute.
From the Fox Chase website : http://www.fccc.edu/news/2009/2009-11-02-cristofanilli.html
Fox Chase Cancer Center Appoints Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP, Chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology (11-02-2009)
PHILADELPHIA (November 2, 2009) – Noted breast cancer clinician and researcher Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP, has been appointed chairman of the department of medical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and will hold the G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair in medical oncology. He will arrive at Fox Chase in January 2010.
Dr. Cristofanilli is very excited about this amazing opportunity and additional facility for women across the United States.
Please read the website from Fox Chase which will give you more details about this event and also more about our friend and Doctor, Massimo Cristofanilli.