So, as I mentioned last time, Dr. Osborne was very anxious to understand if the detected cancer cells in the skin of my breast were the same cancer or different – so more biopsies the week before spring break (my boob is starting to look like Swiss cheese!) and she confirmed that it is the same cancer (ie hormone positive). It is in the skin and breast tissue as well which, in the breast cancer world, is also described as ‘inflammatory breast cancer’ because it presents in the skin. She also confirmed that it isn’t only in the skin but also in the breast tissue. Over time, different than a mass/tumor in the breast, this can greatly deform with swelling and changes to skin texture and more details that I will refrain from sharing (I know … That’s a first!). Dr. Osborne is stumped and surprised that while the trial treatment is effectively stabilizing the tumors in my liver and shrinking the masses in my lymph nodes in chest something else is growing in my breast. She even called the research lead over the study to discuss the situation and they are doing extensive tests on the tissue for additional information to, hopefully, provide clues on how to proceed. Those tests take up to 10 days so we could get some information at my appt w her today but I’m not sure.
In addition to the tissue testing Dr. Osborne aggressively pursued insurance approval for a pet scan (crazy expensive!) and an MRI. Ironically, I got a letter this week from mammogram peeps saying nothing evident on mammogram and she is concerned that nothing was picked up in breast on CT scan (though that’s not its focus area) or on mammogram so she wants another level of visibility to see if there’s something else hiding – my non technical terms, not hers!
So, today, I will have my regular appt with her and ongoing trial check in plus a pet scan and MRI. Long day. But sweet friends from high school are coming to join us for the long day and Aunt CC will have Lincoln. I think he especially loves the doctor days:) CC will bring him up to see us and for an appt w child life specialist so would ask for prayers that she is able to connect with his buried questions and concerns. Every once in awhile we get a glimpse that he knows what’s going on – but of course in a very limited way (more of Gods grace). When we got good news from the last scan and I told him that ‘Mamas tests showed that the medicine is working…’ He replied with an excited response of ‘so you’re not gonna die!’ That wasn’t expected. I had to remind him that we are all gonna die and Mama maybe sooner than others but maybe not as soon if the medicine works. Big concepts for a little brain.
I will borrow language from my friend Kim who texted this morning with her thoughts and excerpt from book called Bittersweet. Indeed, cancer is bitter sweet. Amidst the bitter and hard conversations with our beloved Lincoln and seeing the pain for my mom (so hard on her) or my second mom (who recently confessed that denial is easier for her than reality) and our dear friends, there is lots of sweetness. We had amazing ski trip last week with Jamies family. Scott loves the mountains and skiing and Im not so good but can celebrate that, unlike in the past, I am still friends with Scott after 3 days of skiing together (probably because I learned that the secret of skiing with your spouse may be in fact not to ski with your spouse?!) and laughed my way down the mountain with Jamie. Because Scott loves to ski and always wanted the same for Linc, we had planned to take him but maybe not this soon – yet with cancer looming Scott wanted to go so we were thrilled with the Kraus’ inviting us to go with them to Breckenridge. And Linc loved it! As Scott picked him up from ski school on 3rd day he pointed up the mountain and said ‘I want to go up the big mountain!’ So though I was terrified of having him on lift and mountain, Scott didn’t hesitate. And he loved it! Scott skied him down between his legs and then Jamie held his other hand and he was ALL SMILES!
In other super sweet news, friends offered us their backhouse during construction of our house. We went to see it last night and WOW … Truly ‘more than I could ask or imagine.’
Our God provides for every one of our needs in excessive and gracious ways – through many of you.
Will keep you posted on outcomes of today’s tests as we know them.
Thanks for prayers and texts and comments on blog and meals and notes and love! We are a blessed and thankful family!