As many of you know, I had my first appointment (after surgery) with the Oncologist was yesterday.
I was prepared with my list of questions for the doctor and gave my cousin Pam (she went with me to the appointment) a little notebook to take notes.
With the pathology report in hand, the Oncologist informed me of the following:
My larger tumor (I had two) in the right breast was 1.3 cm
My margins - also known as "margins of resection," refer to the distance between a tumor and the edge of the surrounding tissue that's removed along with it. When a tumor is removed, some tissue surrounding it is also removed. The tumor with surrounding tissue is rolled in a special ink so that the outer edges, or margins, are clearly visible under a microscope. A pathologist checks the tissue under a microscope to see if the margins are free of cancer cells. My margins? - NEGATIVE! That means that there were no cancer cells found in the ink!
Her2 status: The HER2 gene plays an important role in cell growth and development, and status is characterized as HER2 positive or negative in the pathology report. My Her2 status? Normal/Negative!
Grade of my cancer: 2 out of 3 - most common. Like golf, a low score is better than a high score.
Stage of my cancer: Breast cancer is staged between Stage 0 to Stage IV. My stage number is 1, which means that the tumor was smaller than 2 cm (1"). No cancer found in the lymph nodes in the armpit or outside the breast.
Some types of breast cancer depend on estrogen to grow. Anastrozole can stop tumor growth by blocking estrogen production. I will need to start taking Anastrozole in a month (after I heal more). I will take this pill for the next 5 years. Of course there are side effects like hot flashes, arthritis and bone health issues, but HEY, everything has side effects RIGHT?
But here's the best news EVER!! . . . No Chemotherapy and No Radiation!
After hearing the Oncologist say those words I looked at my cousin and then back at the doctor and repeated what he had just said to be sure I was hearing correctly. He said it again . . . No Chemotherapy and No Radiation! You can only imagine my JOY as I type this blog post today.
Thank you - each and every one of you that has been by my side and will continue to be by my side during this journey to fight breast cancer. I want you to know that your continued thoughts and prayers mean more to me than I can ever tell you! X O X O