Sorry this has taken so long to provide another update. Although I don't yet have the final information, I did want to share with you what I know at this point. Some of you were - unintentionally, of course - left off the initial e-mail that I sent, so if you have no idea what "Update #2" means, you'll probably want to scroll down and read the attached e-mail first!
Although Thursday was a crazy hard day, I am so thankful for the fact that - in under 6 hours (and with no pre-scheduled appointments - I was able to: meet with an orthopedic; meet with my oncologist; have both a CT scan and a bone scan; get blood work done; receive the results from the scans; and get an appointment scheduled with an orthopedic oncologist for Monday at 7:30 AM! Wow. And it's even more amazing, since I have spent almost that same amount of time at Roswell just seeing one doctor for a scheduled follow-up. Although it was terribly difficult to hear that I have cancer, I'm very thankful that I only had to wait hours - rather than days - to have a much better understanding of what I'm up against.
Although I don't know everything yet, I do know:
1. The majority of the cancer is concentrated in 5 or 6 lesions in my femur and hip/pelvis. One of those lesion is relatively large and this may mean that I will need to have surgery to stabilize the bone prior to receiving treatment so that it doesn't fracture due to the lack of bone structure cause by the lesions.
2. There are tiny, tiny spots in my lung that may or may not be cancerous. Only time will tell (i.e, if they change over time with the treatment that I will be receiving). The doctor isn't focusing on those spots at all at this time.
3. Although not yet confirmed, it appears that this is a recurrence of breast cancer metastasized to my bone. I will need to have a biopsy to confirm this. Hopefully that will be scheduled next week.
4. If it is metastatic breast cancer and it is estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) - like my original breast cancer was - then the treatment will involve radiation to the hip/femur, a pill form of estrogen blocking therapy, and a monthly bone strengthening agent to try to help my bones stay as strong as possible for as long as possible. If it isn't ER+ then I don't know what the plan will be. I would imagine radiation either way, but don't yet know.
I'm meeting with an orthopedic oncologist on Monday morning at 7:30 AM. He will take a look at my films (MRI and x-rays) and determine if he thinks I should have surgery in advance of treatment to secure my bone so that it doesn't fracture. I will also have a bone biopsy in the next week. (not yet scheduled) and the outcome of this test will verify the type of cancer and determine the details of the treatment plan.
Okay...now the important things...
Please pray for me and my family! Specifically, I would love for you to pray that:
- I can stay focused on the truths I know and not the things that I fear.
- God heals my body - completely.
- I don't have to have surgery.
- The cancer I have is a cancer that can be controlled medically for the longest duration possible. (While I know that I don't have a medically curable cancer, the specific type of cancer affects projected survival rates).
- My children are protected from any fears and only understand that which is important for them to know.
Thanks so much for the wonderful support you have already provided us. The encouraging words, the simple hug, the "I don't know what to say, but know that I love you" phrases....those mean a lot to us. What means the most, however, is the words - even the groans - you speak up in prayer to the Lord on my behalf. That moves mountains. That turns impossibility into possibility. That invites the King of Kings to work in ways that astound. And that...that allows me to stand firm.
Love to you all