Kate asked me to write this post -- "and don't sugar coat it."
But I will begin by saying that this is the day we have been anticipating for some time. The day when we met with Dr. McCready, the specialist. The day we got his recommended course of action, based on the results of all of the tests. The day we found out the real deal, what we are fighting.
And we found out.
On Sept 27, we first met Dr. McCready, and he recommended a lumpectomy and shortly afterwards set a surgery date of Oct 21. He also sent Kate for a CT Scan, an MRI and a bone scan.
The results of those tests have changed the recommendation. Today, the doctor advised that chemotherapy should go first (four months of it), then surgery (masectomy) would follow.
The MRI showed "a lot of activty in the lymphnodes" of Kate's left arm pit. Also showed the tumor there was 4 cm. Chemo is needed to shrink those lymphs and the tumor before surgery. If they did surgery now to remove that material, there's a good chance they would end up needing to take off her arm.
We also learned today that the large tumor in Kate's breast is 5-1/2 cm. This is considered large. A masectomy is the only option.
Good news results:
- no cancer found in Kate's lungs
- no cancer found in Kate's bones
The doctor said this was the most significant news he had. And it was good news.
He also acknowledged, however, that the news he had today was not what we might have expected, based on our Sept 27 meeting. He was cautious, then, however, to say that the final recommendation would depend on results of tests.
Right now, we acknowledge the good news, but its hard to digest. The size of the tumors is daunting. It's not what we expected.
The doctor also said the MRI showed "cists" on Kate's liver, but he said those are not uncommon and for now we were going to ignore them. Something to explore later.
Next step is to meet with chemo doctor next week. Tuesday or Wednesday. We await a phone call.
What type of chemo, etc.? To be determined.
Kate was devastated. Is devastated. Said, "I feel like someone's punched me in the chest." She is right now in bed. (Before meeting with Dr. McCready, we went to Mount Sinai, so Kate could get another ultrasound .... and a surprise biopsy. Why? To get more information about the lymph area that showed up so brightly and was highlighted as a big concern on the MRI. So her "area," which was already sore, is really, really sore.)
Dr. McCready said, "I know this changes our plan, but there is no reason not to expect a good result."
I take that to mean, we are heading for the same outcome, but we are taking a different route. At our previous meeting, he had suggested that pre-operation chemo might be an option and preferred course. It has turned out to be so.
All the facts, without the sugar.