Date: April 19th, 2011
Status: Some Great News
Info: As you know this roller coaster ride has had its’ fair share of ups and downs. The ups have included the surgeons we selected, the networking we’ve done with each other, the visits from the East coast, the flowers, the cards, the phone calls, the phenomenal co-workers, and the entire cast of support since being diagnosed. The downs include the diagnosis of course, followed by the news we had cancer in both breasts, the decision to experience a bi-lateral mastectomy, the recovery, the utters, the down time, the medications, and the time she’s spent away from work. I’d say things are fairly well balanced on both sides.
Today, we headed to the surgeon’s office in Santa Rosa as a family. We did this together – for good or bad, and when the surgeon entered the room we looked into her eyes and we knew almost immediately there was some sunshine in her gaze. Turns out there was good news. After a brief question and answer period as to how Bonnie has been getting along the surgeon; Dr. Laura Norton said she had some good news and then we waited for the “but” which NEVER came.
I’m reading the report she provided to us which details her lymph node dissection surgery, which states:
MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATION OF THE MULTIPLE LYMPH NODE SECTIONS SUBMITTED REAVEALS NO EVIDENCE OF LYMPH NODE METASTASIS. THE NODES ARE PARTIALLY OCCUPIED BY ANDIPOSE TISSUE. THE LYMPH NODES APPEAR BENIGN.
All ten of them!
We high fived each other in front of the surgeon who cautioned Bonnie to be careful high-fiving anyone as she still needs to be careful when extending her arms over her head but as Dr. Norton witnessed our jubilance she knew it was well deserved.
After a quick broadcast text to the masses we headed out for a quick dinner and then home to open that bottle of Fritz we purchased when three very special women in our lives were all together for one amazing weekend here in Sonoma county celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary. Time to get Fritz-faced!
So there’s the good news.
We do not have a scheduled appointment with our surgeon for another three weeks. The results above have been forwarded to our oncologist who will conduct the Oncotype DX test which is defined as a unique diagnostic breast cancer test that looks at the activity of 21 different genes in a woman’s breast tumor tissue. The test measures the chances of our breast cancer returning and the likelihood of the benefit from chemotherapy treatment.
This test is priced at $8,000.00 and we received word late last week that our insurance company will cover this test in full, including the genetic testing for the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. So there’s the HAT TRICK of good news. There was no blog about the good news on the insurance company covering our Oncotype DX test because I didn’t want to create any false hope. Today’s news almost completely rules out future chemotherapy, but that blog will be posted after we meet with the oncologist; 5/13 – yes Friday, the 13th. I’m not a big fan of triskaidekaphobia … and why should I? It’s a number after all.
I’m just asking for fingers crossed on the 13th of May when the oncologist learns of the news above – depending upon the results of the Oncotype DX test there may still be chemo in our future … but almost certainly no radiation as we learned from Dr. Norton this afternoon.
Now where did I put the glass of Fritz?
Keep her close you guys.