Well, just a week ago, I stated my fear that I was afraid "SOMEDAY" I would have to relive. Never in my worst nightmares did I think that meant 2 days from my last post! I have been a little shocked, mad, sad to update so did it through Facebook which a lot of you have probably seen.
So the story goes: 2 weeks ago I decided I had better establish myself with a general doctor. I am not sick anymore and I really should have one so in the rare case that I come down with something, I can go to someone who knows my history and not to the urgent care because that was our norm. So I made an appointment for last Monday. I also had noticed about 2 weeks ago that I had small bumps that looked either like mosquito bites or sun poisoning over and around my right breast (previous cancer breast). I really thought nothing of the bumps because it was likely they were mosquito bites from being at the lake or sun poisoning since I am rocking a summer tan (not really, but more sun then I have had since I life guarded in high school). Knowing my skin on that side is sensitive due to radiation, I was not concerned. So when I went to the general doctor last Monday I had her take a look. She too said it looked like more of a reaction then anything cancer related and I left with instructions to use a cortisone cream. I did that through Thursday and noticed it was not getting any better and in fact, I was starting to see a couple of more. At that point, I called my breast surgeon and they wanted to see me Friday. Since my surgeon is through Northwestern, I see a resident and then my doctor. The resident comes in and takes a look and says she believes they are bites and as she is leaving to get the doctor says to me, I don't think you need to worry anything about this being a cancer. If it were the breast cancer, it would grow on your scar from your mastectomy or your implant surgery scar. I actually raised my hands and said "YAY" in my happy voice....Some don't know this voice, I only use it when getting good news from Doctors....Totally a fake "yay" until I can get to the car and pump some good tunes and do a happy dance after getting good news. So next comes Dr. Bethke. He is always reserve and since a majority of the time I see him, I have been sleeping, I am not good at reading him. He looks and keeps saying "okay". He decides he wants to biopsy one to be sure it isn't anything. He did what is called a punch biopsy. It did not hurt since I do not have a lot of feeling in the breast region. He then had me sit up and did the ritual of feeling my neck and collar bone and arm pit region for enlarged lymph nodes. "Okay, Okay'' was really all I heard and then "take a seat Amber''....Oh here we go. My response was "when will I learn to not travel alone to these appointments!" I thought it was bug bites or I would have come prepared with Don! He told me he was very concerned that my cancer was back due to an enlarged lymph node in my collar bone region.
I leave there super confused and pissed off! Okay, I am concerned with my health, well-being and future, but BEFORE DISNEY!!!??? Are you kidding me?! I was so upset. All of this planning and now I am going back to chemo and if I make it through the chemo, it takes months to re-coop, I can not believe you cancer! How dare you take my family vacation away! Since all that know me, know I will not sit back and just wait. Monday morning I was on the phone with my oncologist Dr. Hantel. He squeezes me in for 4:30 yesterday.
I meet with Dr. Hantel yesterday and the plan is still somewhat in the air. What we do know is this is Triple Negative breast cancer showing its ugly face again. Several times I have explained triple negative has a high chance of recurrence either locally (chest or skin) regionally (lymph nodes) or distantly (metastasised to other organs). So my cancer has decided to show in my chest wall / skin and hopefully that is it. I did blood work today and will have my PET scan tomorrow. The PET will light up if cancer is located anywhere else in my body. Right now I need strong prayers that this has not traveled any further then a local or more then likely regional (since my collar bone lymph node was enlarged) recurrence. Dr. Hantel did agree that there was no reason to put off Disney. He needs to converse with several doctors to come up with the perfect regiment of chemo for me when I return.
So tomorrow I will go through a dreaded scan and we will then leave Monday for Disney and then return for chemo. We have no idea how long or how often for chemo just yet. He has given me some drugs that they may include, but no ideas how often or the side effects. Chemo may be followed by another surgery, but he is not sure. He explained that cutting out skin is a major surgery to have the cancer hiding and reoccurring again. So we are not sure this might be a long term battle for me to stay ahead of the cancer. Hopefully not! Hopefully it remembers how rude and uninviting I was to it the first time. It will not stay! I have 2 kids that need me daily and I refuse to be taken from them. I will not go down without a fight! You all know that! I hate to bring the crazy out but I will!
I think it was somewhat of an easier blow the 2nd time around. I was very educated about the likely hood of the return so I kind of was like "aha, this is when you choose to show back up". So bring on another long and scary fight. Please walk with us and keep us in your thoughts and prayers! We have not told Justin yet if you are wondering. Only because we are not sure to what extent I will have effects. We will tell him something, we just don't know what yet so pray for that little man. He is such a caring child, this will be harder for me then hearing the diagnoses myself.
Lots of Love to all!