No easy way to make a press announcement to everyone at once. Tim and I have been struggling with quite a bit for the past 3-4 weeks and some of you are aware and have started asking questions so we figure we may as well just get it out and over with.
This morning I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, stage 4. I have a tumor under my right kidney that is crushing the ureter and blocking that kidney from functioning. Biopsy has concluded it is breast cancer recurrence although we are still awaiting some additional pathology findings—we know it is estrogen positive but do not yet know if it is HER-2 negative. The latter is significant in terms of treatment so more investigation is needed.
What does this mean? I will have a PET scan next Tuesday to look for other possible tumors and a renal scan March 24th. I will be meeting with a urologist to discuss surgical treatment, possible putting in a stent if it seems possible to get back some kidney functioning. Once the path results are finished I will meet with my oncologist to discuss chemo options. We are hoping I am eligible for a drug that was only just approved by the FDA in February, after 3 clinical trials, that I could take along with an anti-estrogen. More on all that later.
It is what it is. Thirteen years between recurrence is long but not unusual really.
How did we get here? An MRI for a separate spine condition showed that my spinal stenosis had progressed and was pressing on a root nerve which was causing leg weakness/unsteadiness. Spine surgery and fusion was recommended.
It ACCIDENTLY showed a lesion in my liver and the tumor under my kidney. CAT scan confirmed and then I had a liver biopsy during Feb. vacation that miraculously was not malignant. This was followed by the kidney biopsy last week and a very long 8 day wait until today and viola, here we are!
Thank you for your care and concern, sorry for the shock if you were not aware.
Barbara and Tim