Dear Faithful Friends & Family,
THE SUMMARY: Thank you, once again, for your prayers for wisdom for Stephen & me. Dr. Mabry called last week and said that we had a two-week window before beginning chemotherapy because he has ordered one additional lab test. Stephen and I decided to take advantage of that delay: We just returned from Gainesville, FL, where we received a second opinion from Dr. Robert Carroll, Breast Cancer Medical Oncologist. The bottom line is that we have decided to travel to Gainesville for my future treatment [a two-hour trip].
THE DETAILS: Dr. Mabry is a brilliant and highly-respected Medical Oncologist and he has done excellent research on my cancer. However, we have an opportunity to work with Dr. Carroll, whose entire practice is devoted to Breast Cancer [BC]. Also, Dr. Carroll has invited me to participate in a Clinical Trial, which I have wanted to do ever since I was diagnosed with BC.
Dr. Carroll agrees with Dr. Mabry that chemotherapy is absolutely essential. This second opinion was exactly the confirmation I needed to accept the dreaded “chemo,” which I thought I might be able to avoid. Dr. Carroll explained that, without chemotherapy, the risk of a BC recurrence, even within two years, is very high. Worse yet, a BC recurrence would probably be fatal. You may be wondering, as I did: “If I have had a bilateral mastectomy, then how can I have a recurrence of BC?” Well, a cancer that begins as BC remains BC, even if it travels outside of the breast tissues, through the bloodstream or lymph nodes. Remember that the sentinel lymph nodes were clear, after the surgery? This is a good sign, yet it only takes one BC cell to travel through the bloodstream [or lymph nodes] and wreak havoc. Now is the time to blast the cancer, at the cellular level. Dr. Carroll reminded me that my BC tumor was small [1.5 cm] yet aggressive [Grade 3].
So, I am resolved to commit to chemotherapy and other treatments [Herceptin, Tamoxifen, for example]. Yet, I am hopeful that my participation in the Clinical Trial will help women who will be fighting BC in the future.
PLEASE PRAY FOR ME DURING CHEMO:
- for protection from long-term side effects
- for comfort measures to help endure the short-term side effects
- for strength of mind, heart, soul, and body
Exaltabo te, Domine. [I will exalt you, O Lord . . . ] Psalm 30
P. S. Stephen & I had a wonderfully relaxing and care-free weekend with our dear friends, Dave & Sharon Brewer. We met in Gainesville and went tubing down the Itchetuknee River, just like old times, from our college days together!