It’s been almost four months since I received the most frightening news of my life – my primary care provider called me while I was at work and told me I had Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and that I probably wouldn’t receive much treatment because it’s moved beyond my breast – and that I should maybe start looking for clinical trials. Thankfully when we got the PET scan and met with the oncologist I was Stage III, with a very aggressive cancer but still treatable. I thought I won the lottery with that news (and thought I need a new PCP).
Well today was my last day of chemotherapy!! The first stage in my cancer treatment journey is complete (well it will be after I make it through the next few days of side effects – fingers crossed since I don’t have my acupuncture appointment until Friday). My surgeon wanted an updated PET scan to see how much the tumors have reduced so we can plan my surgery. I went in for my PET yesterday and while I spent the 18 minutes laying down I meditated and repeated my mantra “I am stronger than this cancer, the cancer is gone.” I messaged my oncologist that I had the PET and was coming in to his office for my last pre-chemo appointment the next morning. When I woke up this morning there was a message back from him but I was too scared to look – it could have said nothing, it could have said “we will discuss this when you come int” – but what it actually said was:
|Looks great! Everything previously visible is gone.|
|Nitin Rohatgi, MD|
I didn’t find out the good news until I came in for my appointment with Tyler and my mom as my support. Dr. Rohatgi said, “so you saw my message?” and I said no, I was too scared. “Well the cancer is gone!” He went on to say that I have been in the top 1% of all the patients he has treated in respect to minimum side effects, my lab numbers never moved outside the normal range and the tumor’s response to the chemo (+ my self induced #sarastrong cancer protocol of good nutrition, supplements, fasting, reduced Xenoestrogens, mind health, sauna and love, laughter and support).
What a relief! I was hoping for good news, but the other specialists I had met with – radiation oncology, surgery, etc – said that it would be unlikey that i would have a complete response from chemotherapy due to my type and size of cancer. Well boom!
Even though the cancer is not visible on the PET scan there can be trace cells lingering around so I will still have surgery and radiation. After surgery, pathology will be able to confirm if I had a complete response. I meet with the surgeon next week, Dr. Anne Peled with CPMC in San Francisco, to make my surgery plan and my surgery date is tentative for the 2nd week of August. I am still leaning towards a double lumpectomy but will know for sure after my consult next week.