Friday, March 4, 2011

Pathology, chemo plan, and more

Thursday ended up being a full day at Huntsman. First we met with my surgeon to see how everything was healing. My incision looks good, but unfortunately the pathology report was not yet back. Apparently, it was not straight forward and the pathologist was taking her time reading it. The results did come back by the end of the day. My margins are clean (relief) however there is some DCIS (non-invasive Stage 0 cancer) less than the .1cm required margin so more surgery will be in my future. I knew that this scenario was pretty likely, but at least the margins are clean and if anything is to be close to the margin I would prefer the DCIS over the invasive cancer.

Next up I met with the medical oncology team. This pretty much took the rest of the day as they were very thorough. I was not surprised to hear that chemotherapy was recommended. Basically, there were three criteria that qualified me for chemo.
1. My age. Young people have a much higher risk of the cancer returning
2. The Grade of my tumor (grade 3)
3. The size of my tumor (2cm)

My chemotherapy 'cocktail' will be TC (Taxotere and Cytoxin). This has less side effects than the typical adriomycin 'cocktail' and is still very effective. Unfortunately there are still side effects and yes I will be losing my hair. I held it together pretty well all day until we started talking about the side effects of chemo. I was not concerned about the short-term annoying side effects (although they do suck) I am mostly worried about returning to my pre-chemo physical condition. The oncology team reassured me that yes, it will be a long recovery, but YES I WILL BE BACK! My eyes swelled up with relief. Chemo is scheduled to tentatively start Friday April 8th. I will get four cycles spaced three weeks apart.

The day culminated with a chest x-ray. I was told it was to get a baseline, but that didn't stop me from worrying about the results. Fortunately, they came back negative.

It was a long draining day and we were both ready for a break. Shannon and I headed down to St. George this weekend for some sun and singletrack. We arrived at twilight and threw our helmet and shoes on and rode Prospector. I was not sure if my incision would be ready to ride off road yet this weekend, but if our little appetizer tonight was any indication I should be fine. We were ripping it! I am sooooo excited to have a weekend that does not revolve around cancer.

Up next I will meet with the Radiation Oncologist and Plastic Surgeon next week. I have a lot of big decisions to make, but at least I feel confident about chemo.


  1. Ride your bike and enjoy the lovely weather and your friends!

  2. If anyone deserves a fabulous weekend in st. George, it's you. Enjoy.

  3. I am a friend of Shannons. Wishing you well and hope you are having a great weekend in St. George.