The countdown is on

My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10th.  Two days from now.  The closer it gets the more nervous I get.  I have to be at the hospital by noon.  Surgery is scheduled for 2 pm.  I hope and pray that this is my last surgery.

I am anxious to see the results and I hope that this procedure not only gets rid of the painful scar tissue, but also improves the look of the “foobs”.

I met with a new oncologist last month.  I absolutely love Dr. R who has been my oncologist since my diagnosis.  BUT….with appointments every 4 months, travel to Louisville is very time consuming and I end up missing nearly the whole day of work.  The road construction on I65 makes the drive up there and back home very long.  Add on top of that and the long wait,  a whole day is gone before you know it.  Now that I am finished with treatment, other than my every 4 month check-ups and targeted therapy with Aromasin, I started to look for a new oncologist closer to know.  A new oncologist recently came to E-Town and took over as Medical Director at the new Cancer Care Center and through our local support group I had heard many good things about him.  I made an appointment and Nick and I went to “interview” him to see if we felt comfortable transferring my care.  Nick and I went prepared with a list of questions.  We asked him what his standards of care were for a woman with stage IIB breast cancer and what testing he used to monitor for recurrence.

Dr. AL answered all of our questions and was very thorough in his answers.  He looked through my records and asked some questions of his own. He took his time and did not rush us at all.  After he answered all of our questions he printed out some information for me and then asked if he could examine me.

He explained to us that due to the combination of chemotherapy, having my ovaries removed, and taking the drug Aromasin, my chances for developing osteoporosis were much higher than normal.  He ordered blood work, x-rays, and a bone density scan.  He said that the bone density scan was needed to get a baseline of my bone health.  The blood work was ordered because after the strong regimen of chemotherapy that I had, I am at a higher risk of developing leukemia (a cancer of the blood) for up to 10 years. He will do a blood work-up every 4 months for my first 5 years after diagnosis.

My lab work results came back good.  The bone density scan showed that I am already experiencing osteopenia.  This means that I am experiencing a thinning of my bones due to the chemo, ovary removal, and drug treatment.  I am now taking 1000 mg of calcium along with 2000 units of Vitamin D3 a day.  I will have a repeat bone density scan in one year.  Dr. AL said that I showed some significant bone loss (considering my age) in  my pelvis and femur bones in both legs.  It was not enough loss to be considered osteoporosis (thank goodness!!).  We hope that with the added supplements along with weight bearing exercises that I can prevent the bone loss from worsening.

Overall, the appointment went really well and I am doing amazingly well for all that I have been through over the last 2 years.  Nick and I both felt confident in transferring my care to Dr. AL.  I do not have to see him again until March unless something else pops up.

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5 thoughts on “The countdown is on

  1. Debbie, I wish you good luck on your surgery. I’m sorry about the bone loss. I’ve had bone loss, too, thanks to chemo and Aromasin. Just hang in there and take one day at a time.

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