Today was quite an eventful day. We met with Dr. Beatty, the surgeon at Swedish Medical Center. He was excellent. My friend, Nancy, John, and I sat through a quite action packed presentation. He said that my tumor looked tiny, about 8mm in diameter. He said that it was slow growing and I’d probably had it for about two years. For those of you into staging, the current staging in 1B (between 5mm and 1cm and no apparent lymph node involvement.)

Dr. Beatty was quite impressive, very patient, experienced, and an excellent teacher. He was reassuring without appearing as if he were glossing over risks.

John was awesome, asking good questions, being there, and holding my hand. Nancy was terrific. She took notes on her laptop and then asked questions that I would never even have thought to ask such as “Should Elizabeth get an oncologist now or wait?” (Huh? I thought they were all oncologists, says the lady who just found out that she had cancer yesterday.)

So the probable treatment plan:

1) Surgery on 6/26. Most likely this will be a lumpectomy. Dr. Beatty will remove a piece of tissue about the size of the golf ball because he is trying to take out the tumor plus a 1 1/2 centimeter margin surrounding it.

2) Radiation treatment starting approximately 3 weeks later, daily for 6 weeks.

3) Hormone blocking medication. Lab tests indicate that my tumor’s growth is intensified by estrogen and progesterone. I will take this medication for approximately 3-5 years.

I also have a number of tests or results that are coming up:

1) I got a blood draw today. When I originally wrote this post, I thought the blood was for genetic testing to see if I had one of the known breast cancer causing genes. That thought turned out to be incorrect. I’m not quite sure what Friday’s blood was for. I’m sure they used it for good wholesome data gathering purposes that I will receive in a lab report. I blame my muddled brain at the time of the surgeon’s appointment.

2) I did an MRI today. (So proud of myself, too since I am a bit claustrophobic. Every time I see an MRI machine on t.v., I think, “I really don’t want to go into one of those unless they give me a sedative.” In addition to being enclosed, they are also loud. They also don’t want you to do deep breathing because that messes up the imaging. Fortunately, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Oh wait, I didn’t tell you what the MRI was for. The MRI is used as another way to make sure there aren’t any other tumors in other places.

So that’s enough mumbo jumbo for now.