Thursday, February 10, 2011

Change of Plans

This week has been a bit frustrating. I am still hung up on the results of my MRI. Although I am pleased that no other cancers showed up, I am frustrated that my malignant tumor did not. Although I am not an oncologist, I find this alarming. I have researched this to the best of my ability. My pathology report diagnoses me with Invasive Carcinoma with Mixed Ductal and Lobular Features. From what I have researched, this particular type of breast cancer shows up on MRIs over 95% of the time. I could go on and on citing research articles I have found that support how unusual this is.....but basically, because of this, I feel that we need to investigate further.

My surgeon has asked for a 3rd pathology reading on my tumor biopsy. I inquired today about results but have not heard back.

I am scheduled for a a Sonocini (Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound) next Monday at McKay Dee Hospital. This procedure is only done on Mondays and Tuesdays so I had to reschedule my lumpectomy surgery for later in the week. I REALLY need this to show my tumor. We can feel this tiny tumor and see it on ultrasound, but both of these methods are not very practical or reliable for detecting early cancers in the future. I am at an increased risk of developing cancer in the future so I need a good screening tool. Like I said, I REALLY need this Sonocini to work.

Soooooo because of all of this my surgeon (Dr. Neumayer at Huntsman) and I have agreed to postpone the lumpectomy to February 18th. This is only 4 days later and I have been told that I am not putting my health at risk by doing this. We have also decided to do only a lumpectomy on this day. We will wait on pathology results before deciding if a sentinel lymph node biopsy is necessary. It most likely will be necessary, so I already have booked that surgery for March 7th. As you can probably tell from my earlier posts, I am a bit freaked out about messing with my lymph nodes. I want to be absolutely sure we know what we are dealing with before I proceed with the sentinel lymph node biopsy. I am trying to look out for the best interest of my body so that I can live a long, active, and happy life.

Although I feel that I am getting very good care at Huntsman Cancer Institute, I continue to be frustrated by the sloooooow process. I always have a difficult time getting call backs on my biopsy results and scheduling appointments is very difficult.

Besides cancer, I have had a pretty good week. I have been maintaining my cardiovascular fitness by doing 2-3 hour bike rides and have been working hard on increasing upper body strength before my surgery. My puppy, Dizzy, also graduated from puppy school this week. Although he is still a nut, he did the best 'sit' out of all the puppies in class when he got his diploma. Way to go Dizzy!


  1. Jen

    I saw this blog on Danielle Musto's site.

    I think it's awesome that you are sharing your story. Like you, I struggled to find stories similar to mine - someone who was very active in endurance sports and what cancer meant to that life. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I was daignosed with cervical cancer July, 2009. Shortly after that I had a radical hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radition.

    While I'm not a pro racer, endurance mountain bike racing is something I love to do and something that has changed my life. And, it was something for me to hold on to while was going through everything.

    Coincidentally I did the Lumberjack in 2010. I only completed 2 laps but was happy with that considering I had only finished chemo and radiation the previous October.


  2. Congrats to Dizzy! And keep your head up. You're doing great and we're all pulling for you.

  3. Valerie, Congrats on beating cancer and racing Lumberjack. That is quite the comeback. Good luck this year. I hope you have some epic 100milers planned. BTW: Registration opens for Park City Point to Point on the 15th. Ever thought of doing something out this way (Utah)? It is sure to sell out quickly!

  4. Jen,

    I think we met briefly during the 2008 TransRockies. I found your blog via Namrita O'dea and was quite surprised. Stay proactive with your treatment, stay active on the bike, and prayers will be said here in Tennessee. If I hear of anyone else with your type cancer, I will let you know. Hang in there ... YOU WILL BEAT THIS!

  5. jen, i just found this from flahutes blog and will post you up on my list as well to help you get the word out,

    first off my hats off to you for being so, so strong in this. very inspirational and heartfelt.

    your commitment to retaining your goals and loves are tremendous.

    my personality is much like yours(only i am cocky and really loud) in that i research everything to death and more. that is a good thing. knowledge is power and like the song, "you got the power"!!!

    i have had a few close people in my life pass away from cancer, but i know more people go through it and are still alive today because of great medical help we have today.

    please please stay strong and true. i am sending all of my double irish luck in truck loads to you, guaranteed success.
    if there is anything i can do, just ask.