Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pathology Report and Update

Since hearing 'You have cancer' in January I have received only positive news regarding my diagnosis. I was even looking ahead to a post-cancer life by the end of this year. On Wednesday that changed.

My nurse at Huntsman called me as soon as my pathology results came in. This I appreciated. I did not appreciate the results. The most immediate concern was that the tumor margins were not clean. The pathologist closely examines all of the tumor margins and if there is a single cancer cell within 2mm of the margin it needs further excision. This means that I will be going back to surgery. Tomorrow. I will not lie. This really sucks. But I knew that there was a 25% chance of not getting clean margins and I am extremely thankful that I am able to have my second excision so quickly. There is no guarantee that we will get clean margins this time, however my surgeon knows which margins to dig at more so I suppose that is something. She also says there is 'no penalty' with survival rates by having to go in and remove more tissue.

My second piece of bad news was that the tumor removed was measured to be 2 cm. This is much bigger than the original 1.2cm tumor but included the other small tumor that was found on Sonocine. This size is relevant because it pushes me over the cusp to Stage 2 cancer and it is pretty much guaranteed that I will need chemo. I meet with the medical oncologist March 10th.

Other not so happy news is that the grade of my tumor changed from 2 to 3. This means that when the entire tumor was examined some nasty, angry, unpredictable cells were found.

And finally, there was focal lymphvascular invasion. This means that there is the potential that the tumor could be spreading, but on a positive note the final lymph node pathology was negative indicating no metastasis.

Based on this information, my tumor is classified as Stage 2, T2,N0,M0. This is still Early Breast cancer, it is just not my 'best case scenario'.

Besides this, my week was going quite well. I really enjoyed the 'care packages' I got. One all the way from Germany! Thanks Heather. I also got a surprise Slyfox Moonwillow care package that included super light mountain bike rotors. I can't wait to weigh my bike now.

I hope the weather is good in St. George next weekend.


  1. Fingers crossed that tomorrow goes well. Hang in there!!! You are still winning the attitude battle!

  2. Keep chin up! Prayers/good vibes from sw utah

  3. Bummer that it's not "best case scenario." I'm sure this has to be such an up and down roller coaster for you! We are all still pulling for you and hoping to see you healthy and well next weekend. Hmm.... care packages huh? That makes my wheels start turning, you know I've got a little something up my sleeve. I'll save it till you're feeling up to enjoying the contents :)

  4. Wow, sorry Jen. I'd bring you Cyprus coffee, but you wouldn't like it. :) Take care of yourself!

  5. It will just make you stronger, look what it did for Lance ARmstrong. Now you can't be beat!!!!!

  6. I am sorry to hear that you had to go back in! Sending lots of good vibes your way. :)