Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shiny Happy People!

Nothing is ever dull in my world. In fact, I can't ever remember a feeling of being bored. The best news in my world has been that my bubbling up scar tissue has turned out to be only scar tissue - phew! As my boss at work said to me "you'll probably deal with a lot of these types of things in your future, but the important thing to note is that they got to it quickly!".

Breast Cancer may seem simple, but it's actually really complex with all of the attributes that it can have. Mine was lucky enough to have all of the ones they look for. It is accelerated by Estrogen & Progesterone in my body, giving me a positive ER/PR rating. As well, it has a strong positive HER-2 rating which means that my cancer is more agressive and has a greater likelihood of coming back...been there, done that!

What was interesting is that my recurrence came back being positive for ER/PR, but negative for HER-2. Initially, this was good news because it meant that my cancer might have been less agressive, but it also meant that it could have been a brand new cancer that grew. However, upon a second pathology review, I just found out that it was in fact HER-2 positive. They typically administer 1 year of Herceptin (via IV every 3 weeks) to fight HER-2, but when my cancer came back we stopped it short of 1 year by 4 treatments, assuming that it wasn't working. My HER-2 rating the second time was much less, so it looks like my cancer was responding to Herceptin. So, I started this up again to finish my last 4 treatments.

I also just got back my report from Best Doctors. A doctor out of an Illinois Cancer Center reviewed my case and commented on my treatment. He said that he mostly agreed with exactly what I'm doing with a couple of small suggestions. Dr. Webster and I will review them and see if we want to make any treatment modifications. This was really great to affirm. To know that I am being offered the best care for my case, regardless of our sometimes slow to react health care system.

On a personal note, Talyn had his big 3rd birthday and it was a huge hit. "Cars" the movie was the theme and that seems to still be his obsession a few weeks later. He sleeps with his favorite "Cars" characters and even had to wear his "Cars" PJ top to daycare today. When I went to pick him up and was greeted by 4 of his friends, all wearing "Cars" t-shirts, I understood. How quickly he is growing up!

We also moved into our new home last week. I am a person that needs complete order to feel moved in, but it is amazing how much we have been able to do in that short time. My mom flew in to help us out and she was an old pro, after moving my brother into his place the week before. It was perfect timing with Mothers Day to ensure she knew that we couldn't have gotten through our challenges over the past couple of years nearly as well without her support!

Unexpected niceties still continue to amaze me. Some of my friends have written me the sweetest cards lately to let me know how much I support them, which is crazy to me because they are all the true heroes in this story. I also got a sweet card from an old co-worker who lives in my area. He and his family wanted to welcome me, provide me their number for anything we needed and a gift card to a local restaurant they love. It is so comforting to know that in a world full of so much war and horrible natural disasters, that there are still such amazingly shiny people with the bright spirits that keep us uplifted. Take some time to thank all of those shiny people in your life and make sure they know how much they mean to you!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tasha,
    Your latest post brings us up-to-date on four items that were of great interest to us from before. Thank you.

    First, we share your relief on learning that your scar tissue is just that and nothing more. Whew!

    Then, we are pleased to hear that the Best Doctors group has finished reviewing your case, has reaffirmed your course of treatment and has even made a couple of minor suggestions for you to consider. That response is a confidence-builder for sure.

    Next, we congratulate you on a speedy, smooth and organized move into your new home. Thank goodness for a mother who is willing and available to parachute in and take over like a "pro".

    Finally, we enjoyed hearing about Talyn's third birthday party and the fun he continues to have with his Cars characters and clothing. He sounds like such a happy, healthy boy.

    We also appreciate the time you took to write about the attributes of your type of cancer, Tasha. You are right, it is all very complex. You do not dwell on the fact that what was initially reported as a negative HER-2 reading was actually positive. You simply sound relieved that the medication you had been receiving was working and that it will be administered again in your last four treatments. It seems to us that you have to throw absolutely everything you can at cancer in order to defeat it.

    We like your expression "Shiny Happy People". It is wonderful that you have so many persons with "bright spirits" in your life right now. I am sure that they would say the same thing about your influence in their lives, too.

    Your latest posting has a wonderful tone of celebration and hope, Tasha. Even the new format is bold and colorful. We hope all that is positive in your life right now keeps you upbeat and strong...just for today!

    Sincere well-wishes,
    Louise and David