Friday, April 13, 2012

The Pathology Lab is Slooooowwwww

The pathology lab is sloooowwwwww.

The more they drag things out, the more ornery I feel.

Meanwhile, the radiation doc is propagandizing me about anti-estrogen drugs.  She wants me to take them. She says many women tolerate them well. And they reduce the chances of getting another tumor.

Okay, that’s one side of the story. But the paper she gave me about women who took just the anti-estrogen drug, just radiation, or both, showed that the survival rate is the same for all three groups.  The women who took both did have slightly fewer tumors.  Not enough fewer to make the side effects worth while.

Radiation doc didn’t mention that 35% of women who take anti-estrogen drugs experience short term memory loss, painful joints and brittle bones.  That’s easy enough to find on the web.  When I told her about them, she said, “If you get these side effects, you could switch to another drug or stop taking them.”  I said, “There is no test for brittle bones, until you break one.”  She agreed but thought the bone density test was helpful.  I don’t see why.  There is no connection between brittleness and density of bone.  Women who took Fosamax to increase bone density also increased their bone brittleness.  

I would way rather have my other breast removed if necessary than live with those side effects for a week, let alone the recommended 5 years.  I went for a mastectomy to save my life.  A life with those side effects would not be worth living.  I couldn’t write. I couldn’t exercise. I couldn’t fix computers.  I couldn’t do most of the things I enjoy.

Then there’s the question of radiation.  My surgeon said the fascia was clean – no cancer cells. That means no cancer cells got outside of the breast.  Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells, I don’t see why I’d need it. The entire breast is gone.

But Radiation doc says that there were some cancer cells near the margin of the breast.  I don’t know why that matters.  But she says the number of cells near the margin do matter. So, we’re waiting to find out what that number is.

The longer I have to wait, the more ornery I become. 

Meanwhile Balance Guy gave me a great visualization to do:
Think about something that makes me smile.  Then transfer that smile to my breast and to the area where my other breast used to be, to help heal.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, for making the best choices for you.

    So often side effects are worse than what the drugs help. Too many people mindlessly accept whatever drugs they are offered and suffer more. Once you have brittle bones, I don't see how stopping the drug will help.