Results…and it’s good news!

Today has been the weirdest day yet. I’ve been at work all day with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. I’ve been grumpier than I usually am purely because I just wanted to know if the cancer had spread.

I left work at 3pm and as my husband drove me to the hospital, I actually had a feeling that everything would be fine. I don’t know why. As it turns out, I was right. All of the prayers from my family and friends clearly worked. When we arrived, the waiting room was not terribly busy but unfortunately, we were kept waiting for nearly half an hour. Nothing exciting on TV and some random man was talking to us about his antiques business.

Finally, we got called into the same room as before. The consultant and the nurse took their positions and I was greeted with the best words, “It’s good news. The biopsy result is lymph node negative. Our first step will be surgery.”

This was of course wonderful news and it did feel like the proverbial weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I did have questions again. A massively long list this time having studied the literature they had given me on my last visit. I will try to summarise what I was told.

At the moment, they are unable to stage the cancer. In order to do this, they will need to take out some of my lymph nodes. Therefore, during my operation they will carry out a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). They cannot tell how long the cancer has been there but they suspect I caught it in its early stages.

The million dollar question as to whether or not I will need chemotherapy remains unanswered at the moment. The size of the tumour makes it less likely, but my (youthful) age and the fact that the cancer is grade 3 and HER2 positive make it more likely. What they may do post surgery is send some of the tissue to New York (Why can’t I go?) to carry out an Oncotype DX test. This will show whether the cancer is likely to recur and whether chemo would be beneficial. My thinking is that we will be unclear about the treatments for some time.

In terms of treatment, the order of events will be: pre-assessment next week, a radioactive isotope marker injection in Bedford on the 8th November, operation in MK on the 9th November, then 2 weeks of waiting for the results. Depending on what they show, I would have chemo first, followed by radiotherapy and herceptin. Radiotherapy will most likely be a 15 day cycle over 3 weeks and will take place in a private hospital in Linford Wood (every cloud and all that!). In the event of me needing chemo, it’s likely to be for 6 months.

So, I have some lovely things planned over the next couple of weeks. Then I will go for the operation and take it from there. I was advised not to work after half term as I should avoid the risk of infection that close to the date of my operation. Next week will be my last week of work for a while. Hopefully I can still go and cheer on my hockey team but we shall see.

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