Print Story I am now and forever a breast cancer survivor.
By Mrs FlightTest (Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 02:28:54 PM EST) (all tags)
The prognosis for my life as a breast cancer survivor. (April 21st)

First visit with the Oncologist.

The pathology report.

What comes next.

WARNING: possibly NSFW pix inside.

21st April:
Due to the sloshing, the PA wanted me to come by the “B” office at 8:00am just to look things over. We arrived on time, but by 9:00am I had still not been called. The appointment with the Oncologist was scheduled for 11:15am but I was told I needed to arrive by 10:45am there & it was not anywhere near the surgeon’s office. Not to mention the fact that we also had to take evil SUV over to the shop to get the AC fixed. At around 8:30am I politely asked how much longer it would be as I had another appointment to get to, the gal behind the counter informed me there was only one person ahead of me, so it shouldn’t be much longer.

When the second person was called back at about ten of 9:00am I became a little annoyed. At just past 9:00am I went back to the counter to inform them I would need to reschedule as I could not wait any longer. FT was really pissed off & I was definitely annoyed. I called the “A” office on our way to dropping off the SUV and explained the whole situation, then asked to schedule an appointment there, the person I was speaking with usually works in the “B” office so would need to call someone to find out how they book the “A” office. Wonderful, she would call back. She called back when we were en route to the Oncologist office. It seems there are no appointments available & I should try the “B” office. I refused as I do not like the “B” office and have had nothing but trouble when dealing with them. I informed the gal that I would check with the Oncologist about the sloshing, since they were unable to accommodate me.

I was hoping the PA would call me to check up on why I left, but alas, my hopes thus far have been dashed.

At the Oncologist office, it was another round of “hurry up and wait”. We were actually a little early, but still ended up waiting over ½ hour past my scheduled appointment time. The results are finally back. The cancer in my breast is both estrogen and progesterone receptive. Guess I won’t be going back on hormones, so please pray, chant or whatever you can do for FT that I won’t completely drive him batty. The hot flashes seem to be in pretty full swing now and I am really irritable. I have also started getting weepy every so often and am more easily brought to tears over stupid stuff.

The Oncologist recommended six weeks of radiation therapy and started me on Tamoxifen for 45 days, then I return to see how it is going and he will then determine if I should stay on the Tamoxifen or try something else. This shit is expensive. It was $12.67 for only 5 pills. The pharmacy was out of them, but will have another 25 for me on Monday 24th April, since my lousy healthplan will only allow me to get 30 days at a time, even though the prescription was for 45. My mom was just changed from Tamoxifen to Arimidex but still has a refill for Tamoxifen, she gets 100 pills for a mere $10. Of course her pills are half the strength of mine, but hey, I can take 2 instead of 1, especially for that kind of savings.

The boob seems to be healing nicely (the oncologist said the shape was very nice and the scars seem to be fading well) and I have almost full range of motion back in my arm. The scabs have all fallen off, but the spots are still quite pinkish. Amazingly the steri-strip is still in place even though I have showered several times. I am very gentle around the area when washing and drying. The only thing I have noticed is that my arm gets tired quicker from typing than it did before the surgery. Guess it will take awhile to get the strength back. I really do need to get busy and start working out regularly though so I can shed some of these unwanted/unneeded pounds. I have now had two doctors tell me I need to lose the weight (um yeah, I know that, thanks for pointing it out).

Now that I am a breast cancer survivor, I will be walking in the Revlon Run/Walk for women. FT will be joining me. We actually did this last year and had Phil the Canucks wife listed as one of those we were walking in memory of, along with my relatives that had died (not necessarily from breast cancer, but they had had mastectomies due to breast cancer). We also walked in support of family & friends we have that are breast cancer survivors. Feel free to donate just because it is a good cause. If you have someone you could send flowers to you could donate that way thanks to the offer by Teleflora to donate 20% of sales of this Roses of Hope arrangement to Revlon Run/Walk.

Because I am going as a survivor this year (this is my 3rd time participating in the walk, 1st time as a survivor) I get to receive a nifty ball cap from Robinson’s May as long as I go pick it up. It is a pretty easy walk, and as I said it is for a good cause. Wonder if I will be the newest survivor??? If they ask me how long have I been a survivor, what do I say? If counting from when I got the diagnosis, it will be 6.5 weeks. Do I count the days (46), the weeks (6.5) or the months (1.5)? Do I count from the mammogram where they first saw something suspicious, from the ultrasound/biopsy, the day I was told of the result of the biopsy or the date of the surgery???? This is all new to me, where is the guidebook/rulebook?

Still haven’t let the cats back in the bedroom at night, so they are still a little confused, but getting used to being kicked out just before lights out. Since I haven’t even slept on my left side or my stomach yet, not sure I would much enjoy Miss Kitty walking across my boob. I am hoping there will be something we can do about the hot flashes and severe moodiness I am now experiencing. The hot flashes wake me up at least 2 – 3 times a night, and I am sure FT is tired of having his head bit off, for the slightest thing. Other than that, not much else to report, I am feeling pretty good all things considered, just a might bit bitchier than usual.

< I Am Not Wearing Flowers in my Hair | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I am now and forever a breast cancer survivor. | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Looks much better. by calla (2.00 / 0) #1 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 03:25:29 PM EST
I was thinking of you when I stopped at our local Breast Cancer Resource Center for a free breast screening coupon. BCRC is a non-profit volunteer organization that offers info about Breast Cancer and funds mammograms and breast cancer treatment. They have support groups for survivors - are you going to a support group?

support groups by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 2) #2 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 03:55:38 PM EST
They have support groups for survivors - are you going to a support group?
Why yes I am, I am a member of the HUSI support system! The members have all been really really great and supportive over the past couple weeks. I had used them before when I had my hysterectomy a few years back. Since they have served me so well in the past, I decided to go with them again.

In all seriousness though, I really am pretty serious about it. When I did have my hysterectomy, I tried hystersisters but really felt very disconnected. I am sure there are a lot of wonderful people on that site, but I just didn't feel comfortable. Here, I feel comfortable enough to share my cleavage!! Comfort for me is of utmost importance.

In RL I have my neighbor & my mother for support as well as another female friend of ours that was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time as my mom & neighbor were.

I've just never been one for the "therapy scene", not that I'm knocking it by any means. It works wonders for some people, I just don't happen to be one of them.

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

[ Parent ]
So what did the Big O have to say by vorheesleatherface (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:00:59 PM EST
about the sloshing?

oopsie by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 3) #4 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:15:57 PM EST
I forgot to mention that didn't I!

Basically that he isn't too worried about it. He likes how the breast is healing & it seems I am just taking a little longer to absorb the fluid, doesn't seem infected at all, so just watch it.

As usual, I'm just special!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

[ Parent ]
Just wanted you to know by molasses (4.00 / 2) #5 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:47:12 PM EST
I had my mamo yesterday and everything came back good.  So now I have a baseline to compare future tests to.

I thought of you ...thanks for sharing your stories.  :)

good for you by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:54:14 PM EST
glad it came back all good. :)

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

[ Parent ]
ymmv by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:16:51 PM EST
My mom's oncologist (he is a general oncologist) is at least a 2 hour wait, even if you get there on time. The reason why he takes so long is a)he's well known and b)once you do see him, he does take as much time to talk as you want. On the day my sister and I took my mom to see him, he sat and gave us a detailed explanation of the results of the hormone receptor test. I mean like science class level.

I have to tell you that the waiting room experience sucks in a an oncologists office - not only sitting there with really sick people, but there were a few really sick young people there. That was just heartbreaking.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

Lately it seems by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:23:55 PM EST
that ALL doctors in this area have a one hour wait or more. Even doctor's I have worked for. Part of it is the double booking.

I know my gyn doc is like your mom's oncologist, he will sit and chat with you about whatever. He is very old school that way, which I do appreciate. However, I really don't enjoy waiting for such long times when I have other things I could be doing.

The thing that amazes me the most, is that most doctors (at least that I have worked for) manage to crank out the last few patients so that the doc & staff still get to go to lunch or home on time. If they can rush it up at the end of the morning or day, why oh why can't they stay on schedule?

I know when I worked for the pediatric cardiologist, we always tried to put the complex patients we knew would take a long time at the end of the morning or day so as to not throw the rest of the schedule off kilter.

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

[ Parent ]
I am now and forever a breast cancer survivor. | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)