Last Friday I had breast cancer surgery. It’s weird because I was diagnosed with the cancer in June and there are times it seems like everything has moved quickly. Other times, like the last week, has seemed so slow!
My breast cancer got detected early. I cannot preach about getting a yearly mammogram enough! Without question it’s what saved me. I have invasive ductal breast cancer which is the most common kinds and one of the most treatable kinds. Again, I’m lucky!
The tumor I had was in my left breast and was small. The tumor was taken out along with four sentinel lymphnodes. The surgery was outpatient surgery, so I didn’t even have to spend the night in the hospital. Thank goodness! I’ve definitely had enough hospital stays the last year.
Along with my breast cancer surgery I had a D&C. Unfortunately my pap spear came back with an issue this year too. Two tumors were discovered but both were benign. The D&C procedure was done to take care of them and to rule out cervical cancer. Again, I got lucky!
As of right now, I’m still unsure if I need chemotherapy or just radiation. Part of my tumor was sent off to be tested to see which treatment I’ll need. There’s a test called Oncotype DX that is a diagnostic test that can estimate the likelihood of the breast cancer returning. The Oncotype DX analyzes a panel of 21 genes within a tumor to determine a Recurrence Score. The Recurrence Score is a number between 0 and 100 that corresponds to a specific likelihood of breast cancer recurrence within 10 years of the initial diagnosis.
I’ll get my test results next week. If the number is high, then there is a high likelihood that the cancer will return and my doctor will recommend chemo. If the number is low, then I’ll just have to go through radiation. I cannot lie, waiting is stressful. If I need chemo, a port will be put into my body for the next year. If I just need radiation, then I’ll go five times a week for a month.
No matter which route I have to go, the surgeon DID get all the cancer and it did not spread, so that’s a total score. Right now I know of four different women fighting breast cancer hard. I am truly at an advantage because my cancer was detected early.
The amount of support I received has truly been overwhelming! Never in my life have I felt so much love and support. And not just from people I know. So many people I don’t know have sent me cards and messages. The love has been amazing! Sharon Kelley even made #FightLikeMel stuff! There are keychains, stickers, and other goodies. SO cool! She makes other amazing things too. I’ve never met her but she went out of her way to create things for me. Beyond cool! And it’s kick ass to support a local small business.
I realize that going to get a mammogram is a pain and that it’s one of those appointments that we all put off. Please, please make sure you get that yearly appointment done! Early detection truly is key. And if you are battling, please know that there are people in your corner. And I’m one of those people!