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Just diagnosed, and seeing the oncology doctor Tues, July 20th

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K-Gobby
K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
edited November 2022 in Just Diagnosed

My name is Kathy, and i was just diagnosed with my abnormal growth from my mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy done 6/28 and 7/1/21. Results and pathology were provided on July 8, 2021. The PA gave me the news at the physical i had scheduled on that day. She said it looks to be a Stage 1. I had not been to a doctor in 4 years or more. For me, i kept thinking i better lose these 30 pounds before i go, and then my Doctor retired. She was a stickler on weight. My dermatologist retired too and i went to the new one, but did not like his bedside manner and did not go back. 3 plus years ago. So when i started to feel an ache in my left breast area, I wondered what was going on. It went away, then happened again a couple weeks later. In the shower i felt the lump the next week. It was moving and hard to feel unless you were in a certain position. As soon as I felt it, I knew the gig was up! I contacted my friend and asked her for the name of the doctor she loved. I called the doctor and made an appointment. From the gate, I told her why i was there. Kristine was the PA and she did a breast exam and gave me the number for the mammogram center.

The truth here. I was on the what was known as the Obama health care plan for about 6 years in my early 50's. My deductible was $6,000.00. I figured unless i was super sick, I would not go to the doctor. I have seldom had a cold and never had the flu. No babies born and not other illness. Shingles once at 55. No doctor, it took the amount of time the internet said. I was out of habit, out of habit. Until June 20th when i felt the lump. I had never had a mammogram. Never. Tons of dental extras and other procedures at the Drs. and breast exams, but no mammograms. I had a blood test 2 days after my doctor visit. I need to take Vitamin D and thyroid could become an issue, but all else was nicely in the range. I need to add here, that i have been a platelet donor since 1995. Many donations. Today, I had to step away.

Thursday the 20th of July I go for my consult at the City of Hope. After all those years of not going to the doctor, I had the Dr. doing the biopsy and the Radiologist both say I was calmer and happier then most getting these procedures done. I told them my body knows it is in the need of them. Every Dr. to handle me from this point on knows more than i do. I was reminded it was good that i found it and came right in, as waiting can turn a 1 into a 3 or 4. Whatever procedure I need to have done, I will reach out to my friend who suggested I join this group and the women i know who have had breast cancer. Millions and millions of women are diagnosed, and small breasted women like me can get it too. My family gets skin cancers, no breast cancer recently, but great grandmothers did have it.

I have only scratched the surface on this site and in these blogs. Some tests did not show the result on the pathology. City of Hope has access to all my records and slides. Since I do not have the whole story yet, I am not sitting in fear. It is a low level. and I have faith I will be able to do the next indicated action, whatever it is. Reach out to you and friends as i go forward.


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  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 774
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    Years ago when I had an excisional biopsy (which turned out to be benign), which was done in the hospital, a friend said something to me that was so helpful. She said 'you will be given what you need to go through this'. I found that to be true then and when I was diagnosed 10 years later I again found that to be true. I lived through my greatest fear as my mother died of breast cancer at 56. You have come to the right place and you will be welcomed here.

  • Bookpusher
    Bookpusher Member Posts: 22
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    Kathy,

    Your calm attitude is amazing. I am more of a nervous nelly, and imagine worse case scenarios. I am working hard to think positive thoughts.

    I meet with my surgeon in 2 days. Hoping to be able to absorb info and take notes as needed.

    This is a great place for information and support.Keep us updated as you move forward. Wishing you all the best.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
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    It's quite common for vitamin D to need to be increased with a breast cancer diagnosis. I keep forgetting to ask my MO if the low levels are cause or effect.

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    To all so far. I was asked by the moderator to share my beginnings. I always believe in the truth, and if i do not come out with it right away, I will give you the truth if you ask me. I will share more once i know more and i appreciate all of you women sharing.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Just want to welcome you Kathy! You certainly are in the right place! Lots of great information and support on this site. I love the saying you will see on here... you don't have to be brave, you just have to show up.... Keep that in mind if anxiety heightens....

    Thinking about you too Bookpusher : )

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 752
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    Hi Welcome sorry you had to join. Just wanted to say my back story is similar. The only reason I signed up with a primary doc was because my insurer required it. I walked out of my 1st physical in many years with 7 orders. Failed the lab work first. Vit D, cholesterol, and glucose all out of whack. Felt a lump about a month after had the order changed to diagnostic mammo and you guessed it, failed my 1st ever mammo. Failed the Dexa but passed a lung screening. Whew. Everyone here is wonderful and understanding.


    Wishing you and Bookpusher the best. Was reading your posts earlier. Welcome.

  • bcincolorado
    bcincolorado Member Posts: 4,697
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    I was on the "Obamacare" plan for many years since my employer which was small at the time I diagnosed did not offer insurance and I knew I needed it after dealing with a lot of health issues with my my husband who was very ill. He had insurance coverage through his employer before he became disabled due to illness. His employer graciously paid his insurance until his Medicare kicked in since he was disabled. During his illness since he was so sick at that time I ignored my own health a lot. After I got sick (strep I think if I remember right) and at the doctor for an RX he looked at my records and mentioned I was past due and needed a mamo done. It was across the hall so scheduled it on the way before leaving the building.

    That was many years ago and I'm still kicking. Treated it and still being followed.

    So even if it it turns out to be cancer it does not mean you can't fight it and live a long life still. It will mean more testing and medicines to take. Worth it to keep going.

    Best wishes to you!!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    To all,

    At 35 years old, I started getting Basil skin cancer. A normal occurrence for a red haired, light skin, freckle faced, family of the same with red and blond hair. I fit 5 of six criteria on a chart in the Drs office of who may have cancer first. My uncle died of a melanoma on his head. My Dad had the second level squamous that does metastasize, which was misdiagnosed with lumps on his neck. His treatments of radiation and all, in the end took him from us at 66 years old. Mom was diagnosed in 2010 with 2 illnesses, one being breast cancer. She passed in 2016, but not from that. It was after she passed away that we found her health records. In her first week in the hospital, I was in the room when her "cancer" doctor came in. He spoke of the issues, looked at my Mom and then stopped talking on the subject. Patient confidence.

    So, I always thought skin cancer would get me, but as long as i kept up on the unusual red spots and all, it would be ok. Except, I stopped that 3 years ago. My original Dermatologist was a retire military Dr., a pathologist, and removed many things mostly by cutting them out, It was from him, that i learned about margins. He asked me if i wanted to see my slide and showed me in his office one time. I trusted him. If i went in with one spot, he said that's normal, but the one next to it I want to check out. I go to Doctors, referred by friends and doctors. I trust their schooling and know I always have a chose. I started with a women dr. for my first diagnoses in 1995. She move out of an HMO plan to private practice to have more time with her patients. The next Dr. I was very uncomfortable with and exercised my adult right to not go back. I did not, and was referred to that last Dr. I went to for over 10 years.

    I appreciate bcincolorado and all of you sharing. Right now, I need to wait till my consult on the 20th for the next step. Until then, I have lots to do in my everyday life, as I gear back to leaving my home office to go back to the college office.

    I am in gratitude for online access in 2021 to portals, people and the ways information and hope are at our fingertips.

    Kathy G.


  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Hi all,


    Doctor visit today, so update!!

    Looks to be a larger tumor, so the first test is an MRI and U/S on the lymph nodes on that left side.

    I have:

    Invasive ductal carcinoma

    Tumor grade 2

    Estrogen +

    Progesterone -

    HER2- Not in yet

    Ki67- 25

    Looks like a lumpectomy may not be good. A mastectomy is in the cards. I could do chemo and see if it shrinks the tumor. I found out about 3 hours ago, so i am absorbing the news. I use the Awareness/Acceptance/Action method for troubles and opportunities. I am still in Awareness on this day.

    I want to add that i met a lady in her last chemo treatment. She said to remember this one thing, positivity is your focus. Do not let the devil in she said, to sap you of joy and to bring in all his negatives. Tell cancer to get out of your house. You do not live here anymore. Then act in that way as you go about life. Live life.

    For me, this is another level of spirituality I will travel on. A train i never thought i would get on, but i am not firmly on board. I look forward to learning more from all of you as i travel.

    Kathy G.




  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
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    K, Gobby

    I am so sorry you had to join us here! But the lady is correct. Cancer does not have a place in your Body. The Bible says speak to your mountain. Right now that mountain is cancer. Speak to it and tell it to leave. And God will walk you through everything you have to do. If you have to have chemo He will be there, but never ever give in or give up.

    I’m praying for you. And know that this forum is amazing at supporting people. I have not been diagnosed long. But I’ve learned a lot in a few months.

    Hugs coming your way!!!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Thank you for the encouragement. I love what you wrote and will do exactly that.

    Thank you

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Sending gentle hugs and support your way! You can do this!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Jana,


    I hope i can visit you again. In the morning i am calling about setting up the MRI. Today was my day to sink in and tell one more friend. She is a just retired Supervisor nurse at Foothill; Press in Glendora. She was honored i told her. And having you Jana and all these others makes this trip manageable. One day at a time.

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    I have my MRI at 10am Saturday the 24th at the City of Hope. Info, hopefully, that will show more on my lump and maybe it will not be the same # they think. It was a 2 at the doctors office and almost 3 weeks late after a biopsy and ultrasound it is 5c. It is not supposed to fast growing, and i did read on hematomas. Today I am in today. I am not worrying about something i do not know. I am hoping by Monday, the doctor will call me to review. Tuesday for sure, so I will have the next steps in my tratment.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Wishing you well tomorrow K-Gobby!!!!

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Welcome, Kathy. I'm sorry you have to join our ranks, but wanted to reassure that you couldn't find a better place to get treated than City of Hope. I have had all of my care there. My team at the South Pasadena office have been amazing. They've helped through every step of these last five years.

    If you are going to have a mastectomy, as I did, you'll likely be sent to the hospital in Duarte for the surgery. I can't say enough good things about my stay there. The staff is amazing, the rooms are nice and the food is the best I've ever had at a hospital. I almost didn't want to come home. They will also work with you on your share of the cost of treatment. That really helps.

    Good luck. The first few weeks are the worst. It will get a little easier.

    Trish

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Trishyla and all. Thank you for all the hope and encouragement. My brother and sister in law work at the City of Hope in the tech and machinist sides, so I have always known about the beauty of City of Hope. The fact you were treated there is wonderful. Twice in the last 10 years, i was called to donate platelets as i was an HLA match. I usually always donate at the Red Cross. For today, that is on hold. 26 years. But, if all is done and nothing spreads, I will be able to donate again. My health is first and with all of you sharing your experience, strength and hope, I know the tears will come, but hope is all around. I have never had a big bust, but i must say I know that just may be the only option to remove both with a mastectomy. Just confirm with me how that discussion felt when you first heard it. I am only at the MRI and possibly a soon to schedule U/S on the left lymph node area.

    With out the internet, i would not have all of you. I will report on the experience.

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Today was my MRI. Great tech and kind people there on Saturday. Changing into gowns in part of what we do, so i am getting used to it. She covered what would go on and confirmed what i read on Dr. Susan Loves page yesterday. A vein was needed for the IV, so I showed her where the RED Cross needle goes and she found the one just up from that which is not good for donations but perfect for IV's, The needle was not a donation needle either, so for me, great! Finger prick for whole blood Creatinine, POC (Whole Blood)-.89. Range---0.60 - 1.10 mg/dL. Now they can put in the additive to light up my vein.

    All i can say is i did not move. Once i took off my mask, got instructions, I laid down in the right position for the next 30 minutes. I used the phrase "I can do anything once, knowing I will not be doing it forever." She offered a headset, which for about 25% of the time was good. I then just listened to the hums, repetitive noises and sounds as the machine worked. I closed my eyes most the time. Visualization. Told the tech i am going to go home and google how the machine works. In my visualization, I did not see myself in a tube. She spoke to me a few times, and I thought if i was hard of hearing, i would never have heard her. 30 minutes was just numbing enough. The other back office person said on the back they are sometimes for 1.5-2 hours, I guess if one could sleep? All i know it was easy, relatively painless and i am now done with this step of my jouney.

    So possibly Monday i will get the doctors review and know if an Ultrasound is necessary to scope out the nodes. Nothing had been noted in my right breast, so here is hoping it is clear.

  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
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    Hi Kathy,

    I'm glad you are now past your MRI. How nice they were open on a Saturday. That is now behind you! I remember singing, "There is another in the fire" by Hillsong while I was in that machine. I sang because I knew I was not alone. With you in this journey!

    Love and blessings,

    Esther

    © 2018 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7124907)

    VERSE 1
    There's a grace when the heart is under fire
    Another way when the walls are closing in
    And when I look at the space between
    Where I used to be and this reckoning
    I know I will never be alone

    CHORUS 3
    There'll be another in the fire
    Standing next to me
    There'll be another in the waters
    Holding back the seas
    And should I ever need reminding
    How good You've been to me
    I'll count the joy come every battle
    'Cause I know that's where You'll be

    Words and Music by Chris Davenport & Joel Houston

    © 2018 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7124907

  • hopeful0621
    hopeful0621 Member Posts: 1
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    Hi K-Gobby

    Thank you for sharing your journey., it helps me more than you know. I too have just been diagnosed with IDC on my left breast last Wednesday, I do have multiple lumps. Did my 2nd biopsy last Friday for my right breast and my 3rd (hopefully the last) biopsy on my left breast (again) and left axilla tomorrow.

    It is still a lot to take in, and the most frustrating part is the waiting. I will meet my surgeon on Wednesday and still waiting to see an oncologist. But i guess I will not know more from surgeon visit since there are still biopsies result we are waiting for.

    I google IDC after the call from my PCP, even though I was not to. 😊 I kinda feel calmer if i do have information on what I have, I only go to the reliable sites.

    Does anyone here made changes with their diet when you get diagnosed? Is there anything I should not eat or drink? I love coffee, I drink 1-2 cups a day


  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Hopeful...I understand from my head to my toes. I am staying into the mantra to "Do the next indicated thing", on this Sunday. I am a delegate at our Colleges Union conference and it starts partly today. Then for 4 more days all from home. I too am reading up on the process. I read up on the MRI after, so know I know what the noises were and what was done. Amazing. My insurance covers 80%, but for me, it was worth it. One more tool in the toolbox to identify what i have so they can treat it.

    Be good to yourself. You are worth it.

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    I love the City of Hope. A short while ago they posted the MRI results. No other masses found except the original and still want to do the U/S to check some lymph nodes or just that area on the left known side. No surprises from the original mammogram and U/S.

    Nothing in the right, it is a 1 on the Brad scale. I sent my forms to my friend and she confirmed what i read. Now I need a report from the doctor to whether we do chemo/radiation to shrink it or what. I expect she will have the plan tomorrow and i will ask in my prayers that God be with me.


    Just for today I have a plan. To get back online to my Union conference Day 1 that is supposed to restart. Their tech issue, bot the 1800 of us.

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    About 3pm yesterday, I had a call from the Doctor. I told her earlier, I received a call from the Ultrasound department to make an appointment. She said good. Kind of said yikes when i said the first appointment was next Wed. She did say she would talk with me as soon as they got the results. As it is, the MRI showed nothing else invading, just the original 5cm nearly circular mass. Nothing in the right. The ultrasound is to double check the lymph nodes. Nothing looked amiss in the MRI, so she is not greatly concerned. She did ask me how i was feeling, emotional and spiritually. I told her the one thing that comes to mind first is that the small breasts i have had for 60 years may be no more. I told her i am looking on breastcancer.org to find how women have answered those types of feelings themselves. I said i am on the acceptance path, with each test result giving more indications of what will likely come next.

    I also mentioned something i told her in the first consult that i did not expect her to remember. That i had planned to go to NY for 10 days, and was expecting just to cancel the whole think. The Dr. said maybe a shorter trip might work, as spiritually and mentally this vacation is needed for refresh. She said that on consult day. So on the phone i said i was just going to cancel and reschedule in November. She said that is good. For now, she will get me to see the medical oncologist as soon as possible. Keep the ball rolling.

    All of you talk about your journey. Cancer.org talks about cancer and procedures and such in more detail and Dr. Love and other resources give me nutrition and wellbeing ideas and more info. For every one of you who came before me, thank you for leading the way. I pray for all of you i read about before i log out. Longevity. Peace and longevity.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    I hear you finding acceptance of where you are as you look for the next piece(s) of information that will help clarify where you're going.... Your situation is obviously different and more serious than mine was - you will still have your share of ups and downs for sure.... You mentioned great resources I'm sure are helpful to you. They also give you healthy things to focus on.... Best as you proceed!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    Thank you LivinLife.

    Friday at 8am i meet with the Medical Oncologist. Also on Sept. 14th a geneticist. I LOVE that both of these Doctors are in my PPO approved list. I was called yesterday by a Social worker. Fortunately right now, i have a whole lot of loving support and help. I told them possibly later after something on my body changes. Today i got the call from hair place where wigs, scarves and hair cuts are done. I asked my sister, who used to cut my hair when we were young to go with me. She is finding the picture of me with shorter hair she loved and possibly i can get a wig like that. First i plan to cut my hair to get used to short hair.

    I have had my hair long my whole adult life. Short was in my plan someday and God has shown me it is now, I had planned a trip to visit my sister in Western NY that I was to leave for tomorrow. I official changed the dates to November. By then, hopefully most heavy lifting will be done and a wee bit of rest can occur.

    More will be reveled. Way more crying will happen. Right now, it is more checking on hair loss and wigs on this site. What did all of you have to say.


  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Both of my sisters lost hair due to cancer treatments. Both had longer hair. It was quite difficult for them. My younger sister got very creative with scarves. Her daughter-in-law helped break the ice. I'm glad your sister will be part of this with you - esp. with the sweet memories of her cutting your hair when you were both younger.... Sentiment and special bonding can really be helpful during such difficult times. Sounds like you are at more peace with rescheduling your trip to NY - gives you more time and something to look forward to. You have enough on your plate right now. While the trip may have been a good escape it sounds like taking care is feeling better and more important to you right now. Glad your support system and providers are coming together well today - really helpful and important - the in-network too, of course!!! I hope you're active on the IDC forums/threads now? The folks on those boards will really be helpful as you proceed - now too....

  • Countess95
    Countess95 Member Posts: 1
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    Hello

    I was diagnosed on July 14, 2021 so it looks like we began walking this path around the same time. I am scheduled for a bi-lateral mastectomy on August 10 with the removal of a few sentinel nodes for testing. I’ll be on pins and needles for those results. Waiting has never been a strong suit of mine but this diagnosis is teaching me how to wait I feel like all we do lately is wait for test results while hoping and praying for the best. I can see I am far from alone as I read all the accounts and experiences here. I’m encouraged and inspired by all those who have walked down this path before me. I’ll be praying for each of you as we get through this one small step at a time.

    All my very best;

    April

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,914
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    Welcome, Countess95! We're so sorry you find yourself here, but we hope you find support and encouragement in our community. You are most definitely not alone!

    The Mods

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
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    Welcome Countess! So glad you found us and are finding the info and support helpful! You're right on all of this helping learn more about waiting/how to.... you just have to.....

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
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    OMG.... I just wrote my who treatment and the screen erased it. Maybe it was too long.

    I drive in to the City of Hope and see Comprehensive Cancer Center!! Gratitude fills me.

    Today I went to the Medical Oncologist Office. First i met with the Nurse who covered treatment and the drugs and gave me handouts for all. Talked about the Port i need put in for the infusions. Talked about side effects and did a breast exam to insure it was still there. Yep. She was nice and i could ask her anything.

    Next came in the genetics person, Her name is Snow, actually Snoti, so very informative and interesting. I consented to have my blood tested for all sorts of things. To allow COH to use results to help with treatments now or in the future and to use for study and research. COH is a research facility. I had also thought that i have given my blood products to the RED CROSS for over 30 years. They test for all sorts of issues. I agreed and figured to tell my siblings so they know i will be in that system. There results can be given to Dr. McDonald who i will meet Sept. 14th in a video call. He will have results to start with.

    Lastly, Dr. Patel the Medical Oncologist. She is super kind, call, has a sense of humor and is understanding. She said the results of the FISH test are needed to know if i have 1 set of 4 chemo treatments or a 2nd set of 2 more drugs for four more treatments. My cancer is the kind that loves being fed estrogen, so blockers are coming.

    I have reached the next level of acceptance. Next Monday i have an ultrasound and guided biopsy to check a lymph nodes to make sure none are affected yet. On Friday I get a bone scan and CT scan. Injection for the bone scan and as i wait the few hours needed, the CT scan will happen.

    My insurance has covered any item deemed necessary in my treatment plan so far. My hope remains this will be covered too. DR. PAtel said they also want me on disability or at home during these treatments. She will right the note. I LOVE THAT!

    With all of you and support from family and friends, I will take the treatments one at a time.