timeline (july-august 2006)

Here is a timeline of this summer’s breast-cancer adventure:

Late May: found lumpy area in left breast. This was only the second time since my first breast cancer in 1995 that anything had worried me–and the first was in ’97 or ’98.

Early June: went to midwife for annual exam, she agreed area felt worrisome, said to wait a couple of weeks and then (if it didn’t go away) get an ultrasound and a surgical consultation. Waited 6 days, didn’t want to wait anymore (I’ve never had cyclical lumpiness), scheduled ultrasound

June 20: had an ultrasound, knew I was off to see a surgeon, found a good one, scheduled an appt….for 3 weeks later (earliest possible)

June 29: picked up ultrasound report and film, looked at both, got really worried

July 13: met with surgeon, liked her, had needle aspiration biopsy, got call at 6 PM that lab had found cancerous cells. Had pizza for dinner.

July 24: met oncologist who works with the surgeon; liked him

July 28: had surgery to take out the tumor, take out 3 sentinel lymph nodes under my arm, and install a subcutaneous “port” below my right collarbone through which medicine can be given and blood drawn

August 2: met with the oncologist, learned that the surgery had not gotten clean margins–still some cancer clusters in there, more surgery needed to take out more tissue

August 14, one building: CT scan, bone scan (to rule out metastases)
August 14, other building: met with the surgeon, who reassured us that follow-up surgery would be easier to recover from; scheduled for later that week

August 18: had re-excision surgery and was home by 1:30 PM. Watched “Six Feet Under” episodes on videotape.

August 23: met with the oncologist, who had the following news:
–the lab reported that the re-excision margins were clean (yay)
–the bone scan and CT scan were both boring (yay)
–the tumor was estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor negative and HER2 negative
–he didn’t have a chemotherapy regimen decided on for me yet and was going to consult with other specialists to get their opinion

Which pretty much brings us up to date on the timeline side of things.