Monday, November 3, 2008

surgery... postponed.

well today was interesting to say the least.

when we met with dr. jeffrey this afternoon, she questioned why she is being asked to remove the breast of a women who shows no signs of cancer in her body.

this kinda through us for a loop, cause we thought we would be discussing a double mastectomy, and how many lymph nodes would need to be removed...

but rather the day was spent discussing different approaches to trish's (possible) surgery.

as you may recall, the first time we met with dr. jeffrey, she commented that trish might not even need her surgical services because she felt nothing of concern in terms of cancer in her breast and lymph nodes.

she then ordered the pet-ct, mri, mammogram and ultrasound to see exactly how trish's body had responded to the chemo & herceptin.

with the test results coming back a couple weeks agao, we now know trish's body shows no signs of cancer. dr. jeffrey wonders if surgery is needed, and if just radiation would be sufficient.

another thought is to do a sentinel lymph node biopsy to see if there is any trace of residual cancer cells the chemo didn't kill & the tests/scans did not detect;
if there is... continue as planned with the double & lymphnodes
if there isn't... continue with just radiation

this afternoon, dr. jeffrey spoke with dr. carlson, who disagrees, and suggests a single mastectomy and a removing Level 1 & Level 2 lymph nodes.

there are enough questions in the air right now, that trish and i decided to postpone the surgery until we know a little more.

next thursday, ten days from now, is when surgery is rescheduled for, but at this time we dont know WHAT exactly that surgery may entail.

i think its a good thing that doctors are butting heads at this point. dr. jeffrey said if there was any sign of cancer that chemo didn't rectify, she would surely operate. but with trish, there is no cancer...

this goes against "traditional" approaches, as with most folks, you kinda get the chemo, radiation, surgery... that "standard" cancer trifecta.

but it does make ya think for a bit... if there is no cancer, do you need surgery?
if dr. jeffrey didn't know trish was a breast cancer survivor, and based on all her scans and tests, would a mastectomy still be a viable option?

talk about food for thought... it really gets your head spinning.

ultimately, the choice is still up to trish, but we are gonna take the next 10 days to gather some info and decide then...

it may very well be the same exact choice that we planned on taking tomorrow morning.

to help with the choice, dr. jeffrey is consulting with several colleagues tomorrow, including one a doctor at MD Anderson to gather more information of similar situations.
additionally, dr. carlson, dr. jeffrey and dr. kathleen horst, a radiation oncologist at stanford, will sit down on wednesday to discuss trish's surgery face to face.

enough questions were raised today to take a pause for thought...

we are gonna discuss it over the coming week, and re-make a tough decision.
what we do know is that we will not do anything that jeopardizes trish's health. we aren't looking for her to be a guinea pig, we have come too far for that.. but we are open to hearing different approaches, and possibly even more "current" thoughts...

as for the days other events...
our morning meeting for dr. rockson's lymphedema study went quick... no wait, and 15 minutes of measurements, and trish was done..
the radioactive dye and scan was canceled for now.

anyhow... we appreciate all those good thoughts and prayers, we just wont need them tomorrow morning..

thanks for checking in..

its now time to relax and have a frosty sierra nevada (or six)


Anonymous said...

HOLY MOLY! What to say.... I've been praying like a banshee and now no surgery. Wow. Congrats? I hope you all come to the best possible decision for YOU, Trisha - and that other Drs. wil weigh in and help w/ your choice.

Continued love and prayers!
Marit and family

mamafish said...

Oh WOW, that is crazy-good though. I am so hoping that the course decided on is the least invasive and the most enabling to be healthy and get past this. I will continue to be thinking of you all. What an emotional roller coaster. HUGS!

Toni Charlop-Harris said...

WOW!!! That will throw you...but it must be nice to have the option. I wrote you a week or two ago when you got the clear diagnosis. My mom is scheduled for the same course of action...she is currently enduring chemo...but definitley food for thought for her course of action. Thank you for posting this. It will give me some time to think about my mom's situation ahead of time, rather than in our pre-consult. Wishing you the best, glad to hear things are going so well!