Local recurrence for now …
I met with the local surgeon for my first consult. I wasn’t sure what kind of biopsy we would be doing. She informed me that we are treating this like a local recurrence of breast cancer. That is most likely what we are dealing with, so the initial treatment plan is based on that.
In the next couple of weeks I will have a bone scan to ensure that there is no cancer in my bones (which would indicate bone metastasis, and change things to stage 4). In addition, there will be a surgery to remove my axilla lymph nodes. This is what they would have done had they found cancer in my lymph nodes when I had my initial cancer diagnosis. It will likely mean some form of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Ugg!
I now to get learn another medical system – the cancer system in Nova Scotia. Since they are assuming it is breast cancer, everything will be forwarded to my existing oncologist, who I like. I haven’t seen him in person since shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia, as all my follow up appointments have been over the phone. I’m curious to see if the next appointment will be by phone and when it will be scheduled.
The surgeon commented that she needed to meet with the radiologist and would review my CT scans together later this afternoon. That would allow her to figure out her surgical plan. I expect to hear from her office soon. In the meantime, I’m thinking of it as a local recurrence and figuring out what all that means.
What I can expect with a local recurrence is radiation because it is in my lymph node. This would happen in Halifax. And a switch up in endocrine therapy, as the 5mg of Tamoxifen clearly didn’t work. Fortunately, there are several options on that front. There might need to be more chemotherapy (yuck). One thing that I didn’t have with my previous cancer was an oncotype nor a mammaprint. I’m now wondering what types of genetic scans are available in Canada that might help inform the next path for treatment.
And so now, I wait. I’m planning to keep myself busy painting and visiting the ocean – both things I enjoy doing.