Thank YOU for the funds raised so far. A total of $690.00 from YouCaring and $450.00 via private email bank e-transfers has been raised. We are off to a good start with $1140.00 raised to date!
I thank my friend Susan for setting a small ($5000.00) fundraising campaign up on my behalf. She asked me for an update, so here we go. I will focus on treatment:
I just had one consultation with a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency. I knew before my appointment, that they had me down for 3 treatments; chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy.
I get to choose whether I do chemo or not. It is not an easy decision!
The medical oncologist and I started out our consultation talking about the statistics of death and dying from my type of cancer. Yes, we had that conversation. To me, it sounds like I have a very good prognosis, but we still do not know. Nobody knows, I learned. Anybody can be taken, and anybody can survive.
Long story short, as I understood it, IF I add chemotherapy to my treatment plan, out of 100 women with my type of cancer, I would add an extra 5% benefit in the form of a chance of survival. Add hormonal therapy and that adds another 5% on top of that.
So is the 5% benefit to doing chemotherapy, and possibly being very ill as a result, huge enough? It IS possible I am already cured (apparently) and it IS possible I can be cured without chemotherapy. Nobody knows. They may overtreat and I get worse, or treat, and I am cured, or at minimum, have a better chance at long term survival.
Is a probable 5% benefit, enough to outweigh the risks of chemotherapy?
Or is the risk too high? I already have chemical senstivities and chemical allergies and chronic pain. Chemotherapy may just make things worse. It is possible.
Is a possible 5% benefit worth it? Is that a big enough percentage?
This is the decision before me right now.
Chemotherapy adds also, about 4-6 months of treatment. I would then definitely be looking at (and so I am told) one year to start feeling well again, they estimate, after all three treatments, healing and recovery time is complete.
I will be doing radiation therapy for sure, and I left the medical oncologist with a prescription for hormonal therapy to try it for 2 months and then check in again. I decided to give it a go and so far I feel great, much better, in fact.
But I am still undecided on chemotherapy.
So I will be going to appointments at the cancer agency on July 8th, to meet with a second medical oncologist and also with a radiation oncologist as well. I will decide after that time, with them, on which treatment plan to follow and whether to go for chemotherapy or not.
I really hope treatment starts swiftly after July 8th. I have been working through this breast cancer thing since December 2013. The worst part of this journey is definitely the waiting. The best part of this journey is the love and the people jumping in to help me out. The best part also is, I think that British Columbia has leading experts in the fields of breast cancer treatment and they will care for me the very best they know how.
We are in good hands, in Canada. We are blessed with an excellent medical care system. That I know is true, compared to some other countries. Thank you Canada.
I have a very good chance of completely wiping cancer out and kicking it goodbye!
What is the bad news?
One, I already knew that my cancer was a high grade 3/3. That is not good. Two, it was invasive.
Three, something called “lympatic space invasion” … I have it. You don’t want it. This means that the cancer traveled away from the mass via lymphatic system or bloodstream. You don’t want to have this.
I AM optimistic and I am grateful for your support. Please share the link to others via email and social networks, grab the code for the widget (to the right) to add to websites and blogs.