Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First Oncology Appointment

We learned more about the cancer today at the oncology appointment.  The cancer is rated as high grade.  There was vascular invasion and the tumor measured 1.5 x 1.0 cm.  The oncologist staged the cancer at Stage II. 

The chance of re-occurrence with only local radiation and hormone therapy is approximately 30 to 35%.  With chemotherapy and radiation, that percentage is cut in half.  After five years of a hormone inhibitor, the percentage is cut in half again. 

The treatment plan is as follows:

Bone scan, echo heart test and CT scan will happen this Friday as a precursor to check for heart health prior to chemotherapy (since one of the drugs can affect that area) and to check for metastasis since my mom had an incident of severe unexplained back pain that lasted 10 to 15 minutes the other day.

A port insertion is being scheduled so that her blood work and chemo treatments can be administered in a safe, clean way and without multiple sticks. 

18 weeks of chemotherapy in two groups will begin on December 28th.  It will consist of 3 drugs every three weeks for 3 doses.  Then 3 doses of a new medication every 3 weeks.  One to two days after each treatment, my mom will receive a shot of a growth factor called Neulasta to improve her white blood count, red blood count and platelets.  The first round of chemotherapy drugs are FEC (5FU, Epirubicin, Cytoxan).  Radiation will begin after chemo is complete and will consist of 33 treatments (6 weeks).

The oncologist said that she can expect to lose her hair a few days after the first dose.  My mom is considering a cancer-cut and a shopping spree for hats or scarves or a wig – to be determined!

The oncologist was friendly, explained the results well, and she seemed supportive in a physical and emotional way.  We both really liked her. I have my friend Jerri to thank for that recommendation.

My mom is not feeling overwhelmed, but she is definitely shocked and it seems surreal to her.  She seems up for the challenge, and has a positive attitude.  She might even get a long blonde wig so she can fish for a companion amongst the doctors at the hospital!!! Heheh 

1 comment:

Dena said...

I wish your mother a quick and full recovery.