I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow, and I would really like to ask if you would all please pray for wisdom for my doctor. I have a very difficult cancer. Lobular breast cancer does not show up well on scans. What I have showed up in a bump in a conspicuous place I frequently touch (above my collarbone). The cancer only showed itself in an MRI. I honestly have way too many lumps and bumps on my body to check them all.
It is also technically ER+ (estrogen receptor positive), but only minimally so at 2 percent, so for all intents and purposes, it’s triple negative metastatic breast cancer. That means it is hard to treat. I was started on the usual treatment for ER+ cancer, and I am almost at the end of three months, at which time its effectiveness will be evaluated. If what I can feel means anything, it has not been working.
There is also the possibility for surgically removing the known cancer. That would seem logical. But if you remember, I explained that metastatic cancer is like a dandelion whose fluff has blown away, scattering its seeds in the wind. It is likely that I will have some cancer cells somewhere in my body for the rest of my life. Because it is lobular, it is difficult to know where they are or what they are doing. One woman in a metastatic breast cancer group I belong to said that they discovered hers was spread through her abdomen, like sand.
So the tumor we know is the only way we can tell the efficacy of any treatment. If we cut it out, it is like uprooting the first dandelion that grows from the seeds, and then trying different weed killers on the rest of them. If you had left the original dandelion growing, you would be able to tell which weed killer works, because you would see the effect on that flower. Otherwise you spray without knowing where the seeds are, or the effectiveness of what you are spraying. I hope that makes sense.
I personally am at a loss. I have a few ideas about what the next step in treatment would be. I’m guessing it would be traditional IV chemo, perhaps with cisplatin, and that has the traditional chemo effects, including loss of hair. I’m also not sure that I would get all the prophylactic care I received in California. Few people I have known who had chemotherapy, even in the Bay Area, did. I received a Neulasta On-Pro after every chemo treatment, and it kept my blood counts up and kept me healthy.
At my last visit, my oncologist said, “What are we going to do with you?” I know she is aware of the difficulties. I believe she is very smart. I know that we have state of the art cancer centers within an hour of here. Just need guidance, wisdom.
Thanks and many blessings to you,