Thursday, March 21, 2013

And Again to the Oncologist

Breast Cancer survivor, double mastectomy chose to not reconstruct.

Up early, showered and dressed, I selected a soft, pink short sleeved sweater and a pair of white jeans and a white jean jacket. For some reason, it drives the daughter around the bend, these white jeans. She always comments on them and sometimes I wonder if it embarrasses her to be seen with me wearing them. I love white jeans and she knows this. I like to see her reaction and if she thinks she will shame be into NOT wearing them..well..she knows better.

Again to another visit with a doctor, we three climbed aboard the Dodge train and headed out. It is barely a 5 minute drive.
Louise appeared soon after we arrived there and we waited to be called in to see the doctor.
This was a visit to name the person piloting this ship. One has to be the central station for co ordinating everyone involved. We went over everything once again that Dr. Breaux (the surgeon)  had discussed with me yesterday. Of course I had my usual 1000 questions.
After yesterday's debacle, I got the feeling that  the doctors have discussed my case from yesterday and are a bit careful about making sure I'm told everything and it doesn't have to be in layman's terms.
Surgery will be done next Thursday and along with the colon resect, the mediport will be placed. The oncologist prescribed a medicine to block the Estrogen from going to the cancerous tumors and lymph nodes. Of course I had to question this estrogen's origin as I'm post menopausal and my ovaries are not producing estrogen.
Estrogen is needed is large amounts when child bearing years are in progress. The ovaries supply this in large amounts.  Menopause happens, child bearing years are past so those large amounts are not needed. The body still produces estrogen in smaller amounts from the food we eat. The "good cholesterol fats" go to the adrenal gland where it is converted into estrogen in women and testosterone in men. The tumors in my breasts are estrogen positive instead of estrogen negative which means they are fed by estrogen and blocking this estrogen production will block the growth of the tumor and the cancer cells. I'm taking an estrogen blocker to give me time to have the colon resect and recoup before I start chemo. Femara 2.5mg daily is the one I have started with and will stay with unless there are side effects.
Another fortunate thing for me is that those tumors ARE estrogen positive. It seems I'm just one lucky girl doesn't it? ...said with a bit of sarcasm.
I will repeat what my daughter said to me today.
"Mom, you're lucky they found breast cancer because if they hadn't you would have died from colon cancer. You were NOT ever going to have a colonoscopy. The colon cancer would never be found and it would have killed you."
I'm counting my "fortunates".   Two metz...and tumors that are estrogen positive instead of estrogen negative.
The oncologist gave me two scripts and said "check with the pharmacy to see which one is the least expensive and get that one filled and IF the price is exorbitant, call me and I will apply with a drug company to get you drugs direct from them on a no pay basis."
I took both scripts to the pharmacy. One was over 400.00 for a month's supply, the other was 109.00 for a month's supply. Then I had them check with my insurance company to see if they covered these meds and how much I would be responsible to pay.  For 8.50 cents I could get the 400.00 one and for 8.30 cents I could get the one for 109.00.
What a relief. I had to pay a mere pittance. I'm tellin ya. This cancer thing is going so good, I may have to start cracking jokes here soon.
Some times you just have to make humor where you can and though it may be considered sick humor, at least it's humor.

When I was leaving her office, the oncologist, I turned to her with one last question. "Do all your patients have this many questions for you?"

"No, she says "only the oncology nurses." She grinned and passed out hugs to me, Louise and the husband. I like her very much!
Again, I'll say this. This blog is a journal and is not meant to sadden anyone reading it. I appreciate the kindness from those who read and respond. It's a journey that might be one that someone you know will take and this journal may help someone or make the road a little less frightening.
Today has been 100 times better then yesterday. Carrie and I met up at the bus stop and went for ice cream. We walked the bunny on her leash. We watered the orange tree. We set up bases in the yard and hit a few balls and had dinner together with her Poppy. We laughed. We played. We were normal again.
I don't expect every day to be smooth and that's ok. Days like today will get me through the night. 


  1. Sounds like a pretty positive day. And you know every day won't necessarily be like that. This journal of yours is going to be so helpful to anyone faced with this in the future.

    And I won't be at all surprised if you start cracking cancer're a strong upbeat woman, and your sense of humour will help at difficult times xxx

  2. Ayak..the jokes will come.....and are not meant to make "light" of my conditon or of anyone that is afflictrd with cancer. It is very scary and must be taken seriously..but humor helps everything.


Comments are moderated to prevent spam posters. Leave a comment! It's nice to know you visited!