breast cancer, Uncategorized

I hate surprises

I hate surprises. I REALLY hate surprises. I hated them before this crap with cancer started, but now, I really, deeply loathe them.

I saw Dr. O today, and my concerns were justified. Dr. O requested some additional testing on the pathology, which she told us today, and to say the additional testing revealed a huge surprise is an understatement. In fact, that’s the first thing she said when she walked in my exam room: “Well, we got some surprises, didn’t we?”

We (A was with me today) thought she meant the fact there was cancer left in the breast and cancer in the lymph nodes. Oh no, that’s only part of what she meant. She told us she requested additional testing on the pathology, specifically the receptor status, and that’s the surprise.

The cancer found in the removed left breast and lymph nodes was not HER2 positive. In fact, there was no sign of any HER2 cancer left. What was left was estrogen positive.

The core biopsy never revealed ER+ cancer. It showed strong HER2+ cancer. Yet, some parts of the tumor were ER+.

So, now I’m on tamoxifen and herceptin.

I can’t even articulate how mad, scared, and shocked I am by this surprise. The good news is it’s an extremely slow growing ER+ cancer that was found in the parts removed, and it’s the same grade, Grade 2, of aggressiveness as the original HER2+ cancer was, and it didn’t change the final staging from Stage 2A. So, yeah, that’s all good and stuff, but…

Haven’t we had enough surprises? Seriously, isn’t enough, enough? I’m so sick and tired of surprises, of being a constant source of worry for those who love me, of being angry and scared, of wondering what’s next, of blaming myself.

When I went for infusion today for herceptin, my chemo nurse was one I’ve had several times, and she could tell A and I were upset by something. So, she asked us what happened. I told her, and I told I feel like the deck is stacked against me and that, at this point, I wonder if I’ll be alive to see my 40th birthday. She gave me a huge hug and a bit of hard, motherly love, too. She talked to us about how lucky we are this happened now instead of years ago when herceptin and tamoxifen didn’t exist or were still in clinical trials. She talked to us about dealing with the unexpected and moving on from it.

I know she’s right, yet still…at some point, enough becomes enough. I hate surprises. I want to be done with surprises…good, bad, indifferent. I don’t want anymore surprises.

I hate them.

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