Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

My Oncology Appointment Today

I went in to discuss my pathology reports with Dr. M today.  It was so good to see her.

I was very eager to hear the results of my Oncotype DX test, which we have spent 2 weeks waiting for, but the results were not in yet.  They do expect them today or tomorrow, but– we are keeping it interesting for you all again–these results will not tell us anything because they sent the original biopsy specimen instead of my surgical biopsy specimen.  So now, they have to do a second Oncotype DX test, which means 2 more weeks of waiting…CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???

Dr. M was not happy about it, at all.

We were so relieved that it looked like insurance was going to cover the first test, but to get approval for the second test may be tricky.  These tests are $3,000 each!   All I gotta say is, if insurance does not agree to cover both, it is a good thing Todd’s dad is an attorney and can give us free legal advice!

Todd wrote about my pathology report here, and we really didn’t learn a whole lot more.  The reason why a second test is so important is because there are 2 different type of cancers we are dealing with now.  We knew about the Ductal Carcinoma because that is what showed up on my original biopsy.  The Lobular Carcinoma was shown in the surgical specimen, the tissue that was taken during my mastectomy.  The Oncotype DX test that was just done on the Ductal, she expects to come back as high risk, but that does not matter because chemo took care of that.  The second Oncotype DX test they do, which should have been done in the first place, will be on the Lobular Carcinoma tissue.  She said if she had to guess, she expects it to come back as Low risk, but is unsure and we just have to wait.

Low risk would mean I can go straight onto radiation, then hormone therapy (taking a pill, Tamoxifen, for 5 years) which would be great.

Med. risk, we are not sure what we would do.  It is a gray area.

High risk we will for sure do more chemo.

Lobular cancer is interesting.  It is more quiet, almost stealth like.  It is slower growing, but does tend to spread to lymph nodes like mine did.  It is harder to be felt, which is why it seemed like all that was left was scar tissue.  It responds well to hormone treatment, and less to chemo treatment, which could be why the Ductal is gone but the Lobular is not.  It does not show up as well on scans, which helps makes sense of my negative PET scan.  The lymph nodes did not show up on scans because they were minimally positive.  .8 centimeter is too small to show up on scans.

She sent us home with the surgical pathology report, and I have to tell you, it is WEIRD to read about yourself in this way.  Gives me shivers to read about my insides being removed and studied on the outside.  Here is an example of what I mean, again, just to keep you entertained:)

A. LEFT BREAST TISSUE: Received fresh (ew) in a container labeled “Bowman, Amy S. (that’s me!). Left breast tissue, two pieces with axillary tissue (lymph nodes) attached is 14.5 x 9.0 x 2.0 cm left mastectomy specimen. (told you I was small chested:)). On the anterior surface there is an ellipse of skin with a central nipple (yes, I had to go there!  That was the weirdest part for me to read so I have to share!!) The breast consists of 40% gray (gray?  is that normal?) fibrous and cystic soft tissue with a definite infiltrating lesion. (so glad to have that sucka out)…

…ok I’ll stop there, but there are 3 more pages:)  So. Very. Weird.

But not sad, because I must tell you, I really am beginning to like my new parts!!  Just wait… I’m sure I will write a post about it 🙂

So yes, more of the waiting game.  I am learning to laugh and shrug at these waiting games.  I’m trying to learn how to find joy in the journey, or on this “roller coaster” I might say, to find meaning in the ride.  More about that here...

Thank you for your continued prayers!

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  • LobotoME
    January 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    i just came across your blog (a link to the pantry makeover)…and saw your posts on your battle with breast cancer…i just had a breast cancer scare when my doc found a lump…a gizillion tests later and its apparently just a LUMP. anyway, i hope you continue to heal and feel well. sending warm wishes for a healthy year to you! best, jenny

  • Mustang65
    January 19, 2011 at 5:44 am

    I just wanted to add a mini something…I work in a MD’s office and if we had messed up sending the incorrect biopsy in it would be up to us to pay the cost of the second and correct! biopsy in. That is a mistake that really the insurance company should not even be billed for. Best of luck to you-I’m sure your attorney FIL will see you through that bump. Still keeping you in prayers.

  • Handy Man, Crafty Woman
    January 18, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I hate it when they make you wait for things like this!!! Hugs to you.

  • Emily
    January 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    When I read the 2 more weeks of waiting, the first thing I thought of was that God is still at work here! That is too wild not to be a God story. Keep leaning into what God is doing here. You are doing so great!

  • The Damsel in Dis Dress
    January 16, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Hoping and praying for the best results. I know how awful the waiting is.

    6 year lobular cancer survivor–yay!

  • Van
    January 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Like many others posting here, I admire your humor and bravery in this. I think of you and hope you’ll stay strong and continue doing well!

  • Deano
    January 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Amy, I think attitude is so crucial, and girl, you have the best: humor, wit, realism, honor to God, upbeat, you’re a rock star, or really Jesus in you shining is the true rock star. So keep letting Him shine, I see Him clearly in you girl. Praying for that low risky business. How about no risky business, no cancer business. Keep shining Tinkerbell. Patty O.

  • Eileen Smithdeal
    January 14, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Oh my goodness….I can see why it is so strange to read this about yourself. I pray for your recovery every day. God bless you. love, Eileen in VA

  • The Polka Dot Closet
    January 14, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Oh, I totally get why this report would get your freak on! Sorry to hear you have to wait again…..I guess you do have to learn to be patient. I can’t wait for the boob post, sounds like you are rally liking them! Exactly how big did you go! I guess we will just have to learn to be patient also! Praying for continued healing!


  • Kelly Morris
    January 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm


    You and your body parts, LOL!!

    Praying daily, thanks for the updates, sometimes I start twitching is I don’t hear something!

    Love ya!


  • Amy Bowman
    January 14, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Kelly-Twitching? Oh no, we can’t have that! 😛 Love you back.
    AliLilly-Thank you so very much for the prayers, they allow me to have humor!
    Carol-Lol. They are not that big. Just big for me. They are peach size. Yes, peachy….and perky:) haha..I love this conversation…

  • AliLilly
    January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I love your humor in this. Humor is healing. I’m praying everyday for you my friend. 🙂

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