Monday, August 17, 2009

More Breast Cancer Details

I don't want our blog focussing too much on what I am going thru with breast cancer. At the same time, I don't want to start a new blog about the health issues.

So read if you like, or skip it if you like.....

Butttttt, I think it's important to keep raising awareness about breast cancer. 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer. For your sake, or your wife's sake, or your daughters' sake, please donate to the Cancer Society.

Research has been such an important part of breast cancer treatment. What was studied a decade ago, may be helping me today. Women survive breast cancer and live for decades more (here's hoping I'm gonna be one of them!)

And so, here's the reason why I have had to wait 2 more weeks till I find out about chemo. It's because I have entered a study called The Tailorx Trial NCIC CTG MAC.12/ECOG PACCT-1. (Yeah, try memorizing that little ditty)

It's a study out of California, and Kelowna Cancer Centre is one of the Centres joining the study. The research done in this study will hopefully further define treatment options for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women have to be estrogen-positive, node-negative to participate. If you know already what that means, I am sorry.....if you don't know what that means, I hope you never have to learn.

So anyway, that's me....ep into the study I went. Here's what will happen (to the best of my knowledge).....the info came out of the appointment with the medical oncologist and the wonderful staff at Kelowna Cancer Centre.

My tissue (from surgery) will be sent to California, where it will undergo further testing. Those tests will result in my being given a Recurrence Score. If I score 10 or less, I will receive hormonal therapy only.

Score 26 or more, and I get chemotherapy plus hormonal therapy.

Score between 11 and 25, and I get ONE of the following:

hormonal therapy
chemo plus hormonal therapy

It is that "middle" group of women that the researchers want to learn more about. My oncologist put it this way....."We ask ourselves, are we overtreating women with breast cancer?" Does everyone NEED chemo?

So these are the types of questions they hope the study will help to answer.

I must say I can back out of the study at any point, and go for whatever treatment I (and the oncologist) think I need. During my consultation, she did tell me she wants me to have chemo, then she brought up this study.

What do I get out of this study? I get to find out the likelihood of a future recurrence. I think I need to know that for my own peace of mind.

What do future generations of women diagnosed with breast cancer get out of this study? Hopefully, clearly defined treatment.

I feel I have to participate in the study. If women didn't do this, the benefits for future generations would not be there. Research is so important, it just makes total sense for me to do it. AND, I'll do what makes total sense for me to do, with regards to this health issue.

So, I'm going it for myself. I'm also doing it for my nieces, my future granddaughters, and my daughters-in-law. And I'm doing it for all the women who will come after me, who hear those words....You Have Cancer.


And here's another thing I really want to mention. You, you dear people who bother to read our blog.....I so appreciate every single one of you! We have had the kindest comments from so many of you, thinking of us, wishing us well and praying for us.

And I thank you for that...from the bottom of my heart.

And finally....I am not worrying. Really, I am not. Ever since I found that damn lump, I have not worried. I refuse to. It won't accomplish one single thing, except to stress me out and I don't need that.

I am trying to handle this with logic, humour and love. And one really cool thing is....before I had the surgery but after I had the results, I was sitting on the porch, looking out over our gardens.

And I thought to myself, now is the there anything I really want to do? Cuz, I should do it...and you know what? There wasn't one single thing.

I'm happy with my life, I'm ecstatic with my boys, I love my husband to pieces...I wouldn't change one thing.

And THAT has given me so much peace....thank You Father!

What will be, will be..... Sphere: Related Content


Linda Foley said...

Your post made me cry Annie... cancer is hard, very hard. I know from personal experience. Not that I have had cancer but a couple of very dear people in my life have. I think it is even harder to stay positive than to have the cancer. You are such a strong women Annie. You're going to beat this thing!


msholiday said...

Wow, you are an amazing woman. I feel fortunate to be reading your blog. You are so positive, I know your out come will be good. Yes I will donate to the Cancer Society.

Kickstart said...

Best of luck and I like your attitude (I always think that`s half the battle right there).

I had a cancer scare, though not cancer (thankfully, the mysterious and sudden lump that took half my thyroid was benign) and I can`t express enough how well the BC Cancer Agency handles taking things very seriously immediate and works behind the scenes to find a cure.

In the future, maybe we have a cure or maybe not, but at the very least the treatment is going to get better and better. There`s signs that eventually chemo won`t even make people sick (Senesco Technologies is working on such drugs).

Aunt Krissy said...

That's why I come to your blog. I admire your attitude and how that you love life! ( And that really honking huge garden that you have!)

Cicero Sings said...

You have a wonderful attitude. I'm glad you are content with your life. There is great gain in being content.

My sister had cancer of the uterus and of the bowel. The radiation killed what bowel remained so now she is on TPN and lives a miserable life though she tries to keep an upbeat attitude. I'm glad that you may get some alternative treatment.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Annie, when I have checked in this summer, I somehow missed your breast lump posts earlier on.

I admire your attitude, and pluck!

Thinking of you down here in the Northwest!

Jen said...

Annie I am so sorry. (((HUGS))) I am hoping everything works out for the best. Awareness is part of the key, and I am a supporter through and through. I actually participated in the Blogger Boobiethon for breast cancer a couple of years ago. I had Greg take a very tasteful photo of my breasts to submit. I plan on doing so again in the future.

Anonymous said...

I admire your great attitude! Good for you for making the best of life before squeezing it all in because a possibility. We should all live so fully. I've passed this post on to my friend Mary. She had a double mastectomy two weeks ago and is hoping to get her drains out today. If there's a trial available to her she's going to do it. She's cancer free now. If there's something she can do to help someone else she'll be doing it. I've admired her wonderful attitude too. I'm blessed to be in the company of two wonderful women!

Anonymous said...

My sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. She shouldn't be alive today, but she is...its been six months she never would have had. They found the cancer in her lymph node now, and she is terrified. She has always been terrified. I wish she had your attitude, so that she could have understood the gift of the days she's had since being diagnosed. I, a guy, find your courage to be truly inspirational. May God's Will be done...

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