Monday, November 21, 2011


I am very happy to share that my report went well.  I had a variety of tests this past week and so far it is looking pretty good.  My tumor markers were well within range and my PET scan did not indicate any recurrence.  My CT scan did find a couple of things, one of which was on my last scan and then a new one.

It is a mixed feeling of relief - when everything looks good, but a test finds "spots".  OK, so what are the spots?  Are they going to develop into something at some point? Then you have to tell yourself; "Just enjoy this and stop looking so far ahead!" And really I do tell myself that, but then my curiosity gets the better of me and I start to research my tests results.  I use the phrase knowledge is power from time to time on my postings, and I believe that.  But I can also tell you that sometimes too much information can just plain freak you out - or at least me.

While I was researching my test results I found it very interesting that tumor markers are different for different types of cancers.  So I thought I would share the link;  Specific Tumor Markers

I also am on a routine schedule of having a PET/CT scan every four months for my first year out of treatment.  So, I will have my next scan in March of 2012.  There is a lot of debate about having the scans too frequently and I am happy that my oncologist takes that into consideration, but being a high risk cancer patient, it is important to monitor any changes.  I am just fine with that.

Here is a good link that explains the test and what the difference is, as you can have one without the other.  PET/CT Scan

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Triple Negative

If I were playing the slots, three in a row could be a good thing – right? What are the odds of that!  Pretty exciting, no?

Well alright, obviously I am not talking about casino games and sadly in this case, it’s not such a good thing.

Triple negative has to do with the type of breast cancer you have.  It refers to the part of your pathology report that indicates if you are PR, ER or HER2 positive or negative.  And for those of you who may not have read my post on pathology reports, it has to do with what makes your cancer grow.  The ER is the Estrogen Receptor, PR is the Progesterone Receptor, and the HER2 receptor is a protein found on the surface of certain cancer cells.  

All three of these indicate what makes (and how) your cancer grow.  If you know what makes your cancer grow, you can find successful ways to treat it.

Triple Negative refers to all three ER, PR, and HER2 being negative and it is probably a breast cancer patient’s worst nightmare.  10-20 % of breast cancers are triple negative, so that’s about 1 out of 10. BUT triple negative is most commonly found in younger women under 40 or 50.  And according to various research for women in the USA, women under 40 have a 1 in 233 or .43% chance of developing breast cancer.  So that 1 out of 10 just became a little more prevalent.

This was a small miracle for me.  I did not have triple negative breast cancer.  For awhile reports indicated I was triple positive, but again small miracle here, I was not.  My husband’s step mother however did.  It can be a pretty scary thing. Triple negative is a faster growing and typically a higher grade cancer than most.  As well, it does not respond to some traditional treatment methods.

For many young women this can be a devastating reality.  I don’t know what is the right option for screening and early detection in women under 40, but surely learning all we can to recognize our risk and what those are is a good step.

Here are a few good links that better explain.

How Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Behaves and Looks 
You CAN Survive Triple-Negative  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giving Thanks

Yesterday we had a lesson on gratitude at church and I couldn’t help but think of all the many things I have to be thankful for. I love this time of year; the weather changes, the scenery changes, it just feels good to get outside.  This morning I was able to take a nice deep breath and enjoy the time change.  I went for a walk while it was still cool outside with my mom and sister.  It is a good day!  I feel very blessed to have my family near me.

November seems to be the month that we all think of the things that we are thankful for, but this year it is much more for me.  I had my last chemo treatment the Monday before Thanksgiving last year.  I can hardly believe I am reaching so many of my year marks.  I also have two big tests lined up this month and will finally be able to know if I am cancer free.  I have to admit I feel a bit anxious.  To think of starting over or having more surgery is a bit overwhelming.  So I am going to stay positive and hope for the best.

Regardless though, I have never been more blessed and am thankful to be at this stage of my journey.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Those Pretty Packages

I must say I had to temporarily put the lid on my breast cancer package so I could focus on my mom package.  It seems as though this time of year gets so busy so quickly.  One minute you are feeling pretty good, life is moving at a pace you can keep up with and then it hits, and things without a deadline get shifted to the back burner.  Well, I can tell you, that has definitely been the case around here.

I am looking forward to a weekend filled with plenty of treats and minimal tricks, and am hoping you all will have all the front porch greeting, monster meeting, and candy eating you can handle!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blue Moon Yoga

There are so many things available to us in life, if we only know about them.  I have to say I am not always on top of my local activities, but when I find one that looks good I want to share it with you.

This is a link to Blue Moon Yoga, they are offering free classes and a special $1 class during the month of October in support of breast cancer. (I know I'm a little late getting that out, but I just found out myself.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...