|Finding Your Sunshine||
It has been a long time since I have updated anyone on my health. I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for a couple of years now. If you are new to the Stage IV breast cancer world, then you should know that Stage IV is considered terminal. The average survival rate is 2-3 years after diagnosis. I am halfway through my 6th year. I am very, very grateful for all the time that I have lived; and will continue living.
Last July (2016) we took a short vacation to the Outer Banks. While I was changing into my swimsuit, I felt a lump in my breast. It was where my primary tumor was originally. I was very scared as you can imagine. Once we were back from vacation, I made an appointment with my oncologist. I went through a biopsy, mammogram, and ultrasound. Yes, it was my original tumor making an appearance again. My surgeon and I were on the same page. That page is, "if its not broke, don't fix it". There are no clear cut studies about taking that original tumor out and life extension. It is not bothering me, which makes my decision to leave it alone easier. We are already treating the cancer in my body as a whole, so we are just going to wait and see. I was at total peace with this decision, and still am.
Yes, I am still ER/PR+ and HER2+.
The best news - It is contained. It has not spread anywhere else in my body.
Treatment plan: To stay exactly the same.
Herceptin every 3 weeks through my port
Letrozole (a pill) everyday
Venlafaxine (a pill) everyday
Xgeva - a shot in the stomach every 6 weeks
Fast forward from last summer to now.
My last cat scan and bone scan do not show any signs of cancer anywhere, ( YES!!!!) except that pesky tumor in my left breast. What does this mean? After another mammogram, and ultrasound, meeting with my oncologist, and surgeon we have found that the tumor has grown. The tumor has increased in size from 0.9 x 1.7 x 1.2 cm.
to 1.8 x 1.4 x 1.2 cm.
The treatment plan is to stay the course.
We are still going with watching and waiting. I can live a long time with a tumor in my breast, years. The important part of this equation is that there are not any other signs of cancer anywhere else.
I am sure this just does not seem right to some who will read this, but I am really comfortable with this decision and trust my team.