The following is a reproduction of the doctor's report of Kate's visit to PMH on February 14, 2011:
We had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. O'Rourke in our Breast Surgical Oncology Clinic on February 14, 2011. She is a pleasant 42-year-old woman who was diagnosed in the fall with a locally advanced breast cancer. There was a large hetrogeneous mass in the left upper outer quadrant of her breast. This measured 5.3 x 2.4 x 3.3 cm. There were several other enlarged lymph nodes in the left axilla. The largest of the lymph nodes was 4.0 x 2.8 cm. She was subsequently referred to the medical oncologist for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. She underwent dose dense FEC-D in the neoadjuvant setting and is now scheduled to complete her TAXOTERE on February 18. Overall, she has tolerated the chemotherapy quite well. She has had an excellent clinical response. Her lymph nodes in the left axilla are no longer palpable and her lesion in her left upper outer quadrant of her breast is also no longer palpable. She returns today to our clinic for discussion regarding surgical management going forward [emphasis added].
What you can't see is the smiley face that Kate's GP has drawn in the right-hand column. Kate got a copy of this report today from her GP, who couldn't contain her happiness.
The report continues:
Today she is well and in no apparent distress.... Her energy level is quite good. Her weight has been stable. She said that she has had some difficulty with the chemotherapy although quite tolerable. She is on an excellent regimen for nausea and vomiting. Her pain in her bone and joints has somewhat subsided.
It continues, but the key point is here: "I was not able to feel any palpable abnormalities in either breast. This is quite remarkable as she has had an excellent clinical response." Another quote: "There is no palpable disease at all."
The report goes on to note that the doctors recommend a mastectomy of the left breast and note that radiation treatment is likely to follow, as well as drug therapy (tamoxifen). It also notes that a CT-scan of Kate's liver area will be done (and it was done last week; no results yet).
Kate visited both her psychiatrist and her GP today. Both were very encouraging and cautionary. All is going well, and also there is much yet to do. Stay focused and stay the course.
Surgery is March 23. For the next two weeks, relax and have fun. You've earned it.
Kate here - YAY.