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.