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My Treatment has Began

I wanted to get an update out to let everyone know what was going on during the past weeks. Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind! Roy and I flew out to Rochester, Minnesota on 11/18 and met with Dr. Dilaveri, from the Breast Clinic. After new imaging and review from the Department of Radiology it was determined that the masses that were "thought" to be deep in the breast were actually in the lung/rib and the other masses had been there since the 2017 scan, with no change, that the radiologist in NY never picked up. So, not only did we have this amazing news, Eli drove up from Montana and surprised me!! We had not seen him since January, that was the best medicine. While we were there, they had me re-do the MRI of the brain that had been done at Gouverneur Hospital. That's when our luck changed a bit. We found out that I went from having 2 tumors to 5. They could have always been there and the MRI in Gouverneur didn't pick them up. There is a T1-2 and the Mayo is a T-7. It was really cool!! We Flew home on the 11/20 and were there for a small Thanksgiving. Roy and I repacked and drove back out to Minnesota on 11/29. Monday morning we met with the Lung dr., his team and the Oncologist. They were all amazing and their depth of knowledge blew us away. They confirmed that yes, I have Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Which is an umbrella term for many cancers. Mine is Adenocarcinoma, Stage 4B, that has metastasized to both lungs, lymph nodes , ribs, vertebrae and brain. What hit us so hard is when they told us is that there is no cure. It is something that is managed like diabetes, Roy and I were blown away. We are still trying to wrap our heads around it but we are in a much better place today than we were a couple of days ago. I've been on an inhibitor which is the best defence and it's 75% effective. It also goes through the brain blood barrier to get to those tumors too, which is very good. That first night was rough but we knew we had more appointments with other doctors, we just had to stay positive. The next day we met with the Nero Surgeons and Radiologist. Dr. Pollock, the Neurosurgeon, had a more aggressive outlook. Even though the inhibitor medication can get to the tumors in the brain, it's only 15% where 85-90% of the radiation gets there. We decided that was better odds. At that point he talked with us about the Radiosurgery using the Gamma knife. After looking at all the pros / cons we decided to do it and I will have that procedure done Friday at 5:30 am. From there we met with a Radiologist who was wonderful and very concerned about the tumor on vertebrae. So today, I'm having Palliative Radiation Treatment on the T-1 Vertebrae. It's to help with the pain and spinal cord compression. As long as everything goes well, we'll start driving home Saturday and we'll take our time. We will be home for Christmas!!! We come back at the end of January to see if the radiation and inhibitors are working. I will have many more scans (pretty soon I'm going to glow!) The Dr.'s will make decisions on what the next steps will be and we will keep fighting the fight. Many of you are probably asking about chemotherapy? I asked the same question. There isn't any for this cancer, it's been a very interesting education for us. But one the positive side, I won't lose my hair. I want to thank everyone for all your cards, messages, emails, text. I couldn't get through this without you! I couldn't ask for a better work family, love you all!


Renee



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