BC – From Stage 2 to Stage 3

Yet one more week has passed in a Tazmanian Devil manner. I find this blog is helping me in more ways than I originally realized, as it is helping me keep track of everything all the appointments, tests, procedures, etc. I was able to get some answers to the questions I ended the last post with, and I am satisfied.

The reason for chemo when the cancer is contained in one area is because cancer is not visible until around 1 BILLION cells have grouped together. So if there a a small gang of, say, 250,000,000 cancer cells hanging out in your body, even the most sophisticated of technologies will NOT see them. The chemo kills them before they are even visible. My follow up question was, if chemo kills all cancer cells, why does it come back in certain patients? Because cancer is smart and it mutates in order to survive and will lie in wait until it has enough cells to develop a strong enough “gang” to start rampaging once again. Chemo reduces, in breast cancer patients, the recurrence of cancer in the future by about 50%. I am a numbers girl, so I understand that and am happy moving forward.

The first question is now irrelevant to me, as the biopsy I had yesterday shows the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. This changes the diagnosis to a stage 3 cancer. Today’s PET/CT scan looked at my entire body to see if there are any other areas of concern, hopefully I will finally catch a break and the cancer is confined to these two areas. I will be having surgery to install the port-a-cath into my chest on Jan. 4, and chemo begins on Friday Jan. 6.

As a side note, I have to add here that the short term insurance I picked up September 1 after being laid off in August is trying to say this is a pre-existing condition, and is not wanting to pay the claims. I will let you know exactly how much 3 biopsies, an MRI, and a  PET/CT scan costs, along with everything else once I get the bills. I may be paying these off for the next 3 lifetimes! I’m choosing to worry about other things now and trust the insurance will work itself out eventually.

This is a quick update of all the facts and none of the feelings behind all this. I will update again soon with that more tangled side of this ordeal. For tonight I plan to enjoy Christmas movies with the grand kids, conversation with my step daughter and her husband, and enjoy a beer with Mr. Keel. Maybe, when the day closes it eyes, so will I and just maybe tonight I will sleep.






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One Response to BC – From Stage 2 to Stage 3

  1. Try a laughter treatment.
    And I had to tell you about a mistake of mine. I didn’t know about general anesethesia because it was my first experience. So I knew the surgeon couldn’t use any pain killers before he would confirm my consciousness was back clearly when I screamed by so strong pain. The breast cancer surgery would gave us a big physical scar and we couldn’t stand the pain without a pain killer. So I guess you need a pain killer right after your consciousness was back in clearly. You must decide what kind of the pain killer with your surgeon before the surgery. I didn’t know surgeon couldn’t use it before I awaked and he didn’t order a pain killer to the anesthetist. So I’ve screamed while the anesthetist asked the order of the pain killer by phone to my surgeon in the next surgery. Though I guessed my surgeon had to know I would feel too much pain when I was back from anesthesia.
    Then I heard some American stars were in the troubles of addiction of the pain killer like Michael Jackson or Steven Tyler. So I guess US doctors use so strong pain killer in easy. Japanese government ban the pain killers with the possibilities of addiction to the doctors and doctors use them for only the person in end stage. So I could shout “I need a pain killer! Any kind were welcomed!” But US is in the different situations. Please learn about pain killer and ask an order before your surgery. I don’t want you to be in trouble of addiction.
    I can’t use Facebook in the library’s holidays for the new year. So sorry I can’t follow all your steps. But I really think of you and pray. I hope some message from my experience help you. I’m in an internet cafe,now. I guessed I had to wright this note about the pain killer right after the anesthesia to you. I’ll come to this cafe with paying my money again if I would remember the things you had to know before the surgery. I know you have a lot of friends returned from cancers and you have also an experienced counselor. But I can’t stop myself for trying to make your surgery easier.
    I want to read you can do all in perfect and you can be free from cancer someday so soon.
    love you.


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