How many??

Wow…anyone that tells you that core biopsies don’t hurt is full of *#%..

Monday was pretty grueling (as evidenced by it taking me until now to write). They do all of these things under a local anesthetic (lydicain) which is general used in dentist’s offices. Well, guess what, I don’t respond well to lydicain. Not a big shock, but still. It made the process of taking the samples that they needed much worse that it should have been.

We got the core needle biopsy of the main tumor (yes, we can refer to it as such now). They also got the biopsy of the microcalcifications..actually I think as tiny as they are they just removed them all, but it amounts to the same thing. The smaller mass they couldn’t find. A trained technician and the radiologist herself couldn’t find it on that test had to be postponed until this coming Monday when we’ll go back to have an MRI guided biopsy, if they can find it then. There is some speculation that it may have been a ‘ghost’. We’ll see. My luck doesn’t seem to be running in that direction right now.

The next day the doctor called….it’s cancer. Okay, we kindof expected that. The microcalcifications were benign. This is *very* good news. The tumor is smaller than was originally thought (1.8 cm). This is also good news. It is an interductal carcinoma, the most common sort of cancer for women my age. It has a Blooms Anderson score of 5, which means that it is a type 1 cancer on that rating, the best it can be…also good. The bad news is that it’s invasive, which means it has broken through the tumor walls and started spreading to the surrounding tissue. Only surgery will tell how far and whether it has affected the surrounding lymph nodes. The doctor remains hopeful that such a small (he said it) tumor will not present a significant spread. We can hope.

Currently, I am scheduled for surgery on Thursday, August 4 at South Austin Hospital. I’m supposed to meet with my oncologist, Dr. Larry Tokaz, on Monday afternoon. Go to the hospital for intake paperwork on Wednesday morning and meet with Dr. He (pronounced – huh) Wed afternoon. Dr. He is a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist. He is also the leading teacher at the school of Chinese medicine here in Austin. His private practice specializes in supporting patients of orthodox cancer therapy with traditional chinese medicine. I will be very interested to meet with him.

If you call and noone answers or we can’t call back, please don’t think that we don’t appreciate it. I do, we do, we will. It’s just a little crazy right now. I sometimes feel like I should have the phone grafted to my ear, I spend so much time talking to people. And sometimes, I just need to not talk at all.

Everyone is being so amazing in there support of us. The school is helping with Aidan’s tuition. We’ve found a counseling center that offers individual support for children whose family are experiencing major illness, for free. Wow. We’ve had so many people offer to be here, to cook for us, to help with the children. Thank you all. Your love and good wishes are inspiring and help me get through the waiting.

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