Dianne (and I) went the Cross Cancer Institute this morning for an appointment. Here is the information we received (and remembered).
- The results of the bone scan are very good. There is no sign of the cancer in her bones.
- Dianne had undergone a heart test to make sure her heart was strong enough for the drugs used to treat this thing, and it showed that her heart is fine. This also, is very, very good.
- Dianne’s cancer has advanced far enough for it to be considered a Stage 3 (out of 5) cancer. This shows that it is further advanced than what was initially suspected. Of course, if the cancer is as aggressive as they think, then this could be reflecting the changes between the initial diagnosis and now.
- The Dr. that measured the lumps today reckoned they were about 6cm x 8cm, which is up significantly from the last measurement taken (5cm x 5cm). The Dr did, however mention that he might be measuring differently from what the surgeon did, so it might not be totally reflective of growth.
- The tumor is graded at a Grade 2 tumor. The way the Dr explained it was on a scale of 1 to 3, this was a 2, and further explained it as least ugly (1) to most ugly (3). So, it’s not real ugly, but still ugly.
So, what does this mean in terms of ridding her of the cancer? Here is what is going to happen.
1) Dianne has to go for a Centenal Node Biopsy so they can determine if the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. As of this writing, we are waiting to hear from the surgeon as to a date for this procedure to happen
2) On March 5th, Dianne will be going for a chest x-ray and a abdominal ultrasound to determine if the cancer has spread to other organs.
3) Dianne will be starting chemotherapy in March. She will go through 12 weeks of one type of chemo (FEC), followed by 12 weeks of another type (docetaxil). She will be going to the Cross Cancer Institute for a ½ day in 3 week intervals. The day prior to her chemo treatment, she will also have to go to the CCI for an examination and blood work. If the Dr decides at any of these intervals that the tumor is not shrinking, or responding to the treatment as well as they hope, they would then stop the chemo treatments and send her into surgery.
4) Surgery? The choices she (we) will be faced with is a full mastectomy or have them try save part of the breast. She has not made up her mind yet, but we are leaning towards the full removal, to lessen that chances of the cancer coming back.
5) Following the surgery will be radiation.
All in all, it looks like Dianne and our family are in for a very long year. Up to 6 months of chemo, followed by surgery and radiation. We know that we are in the best hands possible in the team at the CCI, along with the surgeon in St. Albert. And of course, we know that their hands are guided by our Lord so ultimately, we are in His loving hands. There is no better place to be.
We thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and ask that you continue to remember Dianne in prayer.