Fresh from vacation, I started off the New Year with a breast cancer diagnosis.  On January 9th, I had a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy that showed invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast with lymph node involvement.  After a fun-filled week waiting for my pathology report, I met with a local oncologist and learned that my cancer was locally advanced and high-grade (badly behaved).  My samples were estrogen positive, progesterone positive, and HER2 negative.  In the space of three days, I had a full-body PET scan, a breast MRI, surgery to put in a central port, and my first dose of chemotherapy.  

Heart bandage courtesy of my breast surgeon who placed my port for chemo

First chemotherapy

Thankfully, I am a super multitasker and was also able to schedule a second opinion at MD Anderson, shop for wigs, network with other breast cancer survivors, and meet with a child specialist who will help Julia handle the stressful changes that are coming.

My treatment plan may change but will look something like this:

AC Chemotherapy (4 doses bi-weekly starting January 23rd)
Taxol Chemotherapy (12 doses weekly)
Ring the chemotherapy bell in early June!
Mastectomy and lymph node removal in early July
Ovary removal (suppressing hormones is critical!)
Radiation (5 days a week for 6 weeks)
Endocrine therapy for 10 years

I still need genetic testing, a biopsy to look at a suspicious lymph node near my lung, and more scans to track my progress from chemotherapy. 

Some of my friends and family want all of the details and some people (I'm looking at you, Dad) start pacing like a caged lion whenever a medical term arises.  This way you may all peruse at your leisure.  I'll also include some funny anecdotes.  Jeff has found plenty of opportunities for jokes already.  Like when I got thrush as a side-effect of chemo -- yes, thrush is the throat rash that babies get and the medication instructed me to wait 20 minutes before feeding -- and I temporarily lost my sense of taste and Jeff remarked, "Well, that explains your choice of head scarf."  Aren't supportive husbands the best?