Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Blog

From breastfeeding to being diagnosed with breast cancer and then back to breastfeeding. This is an account of my experiences.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Yes, It's More Than DCIS

Oh the waiting!  Waiting for the surgical pathology was forever.  I knew it would take at least a week, but the final few days of waiting took forever.  I didn't want to miss the call either.

From the beginning I wondered if the lump was more than DCIS and this pathology confirmed that it was, inside the 1.4 cm area of DCIS was a .6cm area of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC).  This was potentially a game changer.  With DCIS, I hoped to return to my life...with invasive cancer, I knew I would need more consults and possibly chemo.

This was when it really began.  Many women have a defining moment when they are told, you have cancer.  I never felt that I did.  It was nothing, then something, then something more.  But even with a six millimeter area of invasive cancer, I was in the grey area of what to do.

Once again I set up multiple appointments with medical oncologists.  I was somewhat surprised that each one recommended some sort of chemotherapy.  My options were the standard Ardimyacin with Cyctoxin followed by Taxol and Herceptin (AC + TH), or a newer option that proved to be less heart toxic Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin (TCH), or a minimalist option of Taxol and Herceptin.

Chemotherapy was recommended due to the fact that I was under 35 and the characteristics of the cancer were more aggressive.  Because so much of my world at that point was babies and pregnancy, I thought it was interesting that in the cancer world, 35 is so young.  In the pregnancy world, 35 is old!  I was 34 and thoughts of more children danced in my head, not wanting to prematurely wean my child, and just wanting to be a mom to care for my children.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the chemo:  twelve weeks of Taxol along with Herceptin.  Then Herceptin would continue for another three to nine months.

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