Friday, October 15, 2010

The News from PMH

by Michael

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.

Why?

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.

6 comments:

Paddy C said...

I could have used some sugar with that. Say an entire cake with an inch of icing.

Don't know what else to say. It's reassuring that the doctor still expects a good outcome despite all this.

Pass my love on to Kate. She is ever in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Kate,
I am sorry I missed your call Friday and didnt get the opportunity to see you on Thanksgiving, It would have meant alot to me - my little refuge.

I am winded by this news, but it is better - I suppose to know what you are facing head on, so you can kick the shit out of it.

love and hugs Terry Gary Avery and Danica

Anonymous said...

Thank You Michael for the facts without the sugar (cause knowing IS better than wondering and worrying.)
It sounds like Dr McCready has a hell of a plan and he's the expert so I'm trusting him.
Kate - so sorry you're even more sore. We're sending you loads of love across the Atlantic every day. V xx

Susan McClure said...

Not what you wanted to hear - the cm sizing is catch-in-your-throat real.

Shrink them then out - you can do it. Do you ever lie on your back and focus on shrinking clouds? It works and makes you feel an active part of the cosmos. I'll vision that for your chemo treatments.

For now a lot to absorb - gentle hugs to Kate,
~Susan

alleycat said...

Kate and Michael -
Ally and I are always thinking of you. I know they say not to offer just "anything" - to offer concrete things... but sounds like your larder is full and your plan is in place. So let me just offer this - we think of you in the most positive ways. Like the times you coached Ally's games with her literally stuck to your hip when she was so shy. The way you took her in stride even if it meant having to literally hoist her on your side to ref the game. The way you were such a fast and easy friend. And so... though it may not be much, we think of you. Often. And we know your strength, and admire it.

Scott said...

Sometimes good to get the straight info but pretty hard for you to write I'm sure. Thinking of you guys. xo Scott and Ron