From Rose: One year ago, life changed for me. I got a call from my doctor saying something showed up on my annual mammogram and they needed further images. A couple days later I was at the clinic and minutes after further images were taken a doctor walked in the room to tell me things “didn’t look good”. I thought to myself, umm, doctors don’t usually give you this information right away. Uh ooh! The techs led me to another room so the doctor could perform an ultrasound and Steve arrived to listen in on their suspicions. Next, I was moved to another room so another doctor could perform multiple biopsies of my right breast. This doctor concurred with the first that they were pretty sure it was cancer. Steve took me home and I walked in the door and had a good, hard cry. The rug had officially been pulled out from under me.[...]
Well, good news, folks....
On Monday, April 9 I had my second-to-last Herceptin treatment and so my LAST treatment will be on April 30th. Yay!
When I saw my oncologist Dr Stella in March she was able to adjust some of the appointments and I will now be moved to an every three-month surveillance visit for two years. We discussed my side effects from the Herceptin (stomach issues and joint pain) and I still have neuropathy in my feet and that may be a condition I will live with or it may get better. We will wait and see. [...]
On Monday Steve and I met with my oncologist Dr. Stella who gave us the good news that blood work is all normal. Yay! I still have fatigue but I can tell I am getting better every day. Hey, I am not going to complain about sleeping 9-10 hours a night.[...]
I met with Dr. Anderson, UW Radiation Oncologist, yesterday at my half way point. My skin is doing good, but we reviewed what to do if it becomes bothersome. I was told to take it easy now and take care of myself. The fatigue has been hitting this week, so as the weather cools down I will just naturally go in to hibernation mode. Ha![...]
Just a quick update to let everyone know that Rose is doing fine so far with her radiation treatment. She goes every day (Monday thru Friday) to the main University hospital for about a 15 minute treatment. The machine they use is called a linear accelerator. From what I understand, it's similar to an x-ray machine but in this case it produces gamma radiation instead of x-rays. The staff is really great and the facilities are very nice. Parking is an extremely valuable commodity around the hospital but the radiology department actually has 5 spots reserved just for their patients a short distance from where the treatment is and that's an awesome perk![...]
I start radiation treatment on December 7th. They use a linear accelerator (LINAC) to deliver the external beam radiation treatments. It delivers high-energy x-rays to the area of the tumor. Here is a link to learn more about radiation oncology at UW Carbone Cancer Center. https://www.uwhealth.org/radiation-oncology/main/ 40374[...]
My UW radiology planning appointment on Monday was quick. Only 30 minutes. Yay! I can now say I have 4 tattoos on my chest! This is done to make sure they deliver the radiation precisely each time. The radiation technicians thought I would most likely begin radiation treatments next week. [...]
Today I had my follow-up with my plastic surgeon. Everything is healing nicely...just a spot on one incision that opened up a bit from where they did the electrocardiogram. Dr. Micholleti said I could start walking June Bug again, but need to be careful. I will follow up with him again in January and again in March. It typically takes 6 months for the breasts to completely heal and then we will know the results, but I am pleased so far. [...]
Yesterday I had my follow up with my surgeon Dr. Melnich. He was very pleased with how everything was healing and impressed with the plastic surgeon’s work. The word “wow” was used. It was a positive appointment and I thanked him for taking care of me through this journey and making things happen especially arranging for last minute biopsies. His nurse Lisa walked us out and gave us hugs. It’s impressive to work with this team. Steve and I often described Lisa as an angel and Steve wondered if she could adopt us. [...]