So, today is my 5th day of knowing I have breast cancer. I'm gonna start calling it BC, okay? It looks nicer that way.
Here are all the facts and details, as I know them so far... because it's tiring to keep saying all of this to people individually!
It's Stage 1, grade 1. The tumor is in my left breast, 8 millimeters by 7 millimeters in size, which is very small. Not even a centimeter. It is "well-differentiated," which is good - it means its shape is clear, it's not a spider-webby thing.
Treatment will most likely be:
1. An MRI of both of my breasts, to help create a more detailed map for surgery. This will be early in the morning on Nov. 18, unless I am menstruating, and then it may have to be rescheduled. (Your breasts go through changes during your menstrual cycle that may make the MRI image more difficult to interpret).
2. Lumpectomy surgery - the REMOVAL OF THE TUMOR! Along with this will be a sentinel node sampling - they'll check my lymph nodes to make sure the cancer hasn't spread there.
3. Spend a month healing from the lumpectomy (I think).
4. Assuming my lymphs are fine, I will most likely need 6 weeks of radiation therapy - 20 minutes per day, Monday through Friday. The radiation will be directed only to the very specific area of my left breast, to kill any remaining cancer cells. It's not my whole body that's getting radiation.
5. I don't know yet!
I don't yet know where I will be having surgery, or when. My mom is helping me with those phone calls. Right now, it seems likely that surgery will be at Darmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon, NH, and the MRI and radiation would be at an affiliated cancer center in Keene.
I will update with more information when I have it.