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Happening this week in Cancer | Breast Cancer news and updates
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What’s Happening in Cancer this Week

January 26, 2012

Time for the Wendy Will Blog cancer round up, y’all.

– Monday morning I have my first mammogram and MRI since January 2011. At that appointment, I finally graduated to yearly visits. I’m not feeling too anxious about it. I guess I’m not that worried about a cancer recurrence in my breasts. I’m more worried about it being in my bones or brain. Anyway, it should be an easy appointment. The weirdest part of the whole thing is going to be the visit with my surgeon. Because, you see, the last time I saw this particular doctor was last summer – at the U2 concert in Anaheim. She sat in the row behind me, sipped on margaritas and jammed out to Bono. It was surreal. She kept saying things like “it’s so good to see you enjoying life” and she blew me a handful of kisses when the show was over. So, it should be an interesting appointment. Actually, I hope it’s a totally uninteresting appointment. Fingers crossed.

Giuliana-Rancic-lymph-node-dissection-scar – I came across a photo of Giuliana Rancic from this month’s Golden Globes ceremony that I found interesting. Now, you might remember I wrote a post about Giuliana a few weeks ago and was confused about her treatment plan. Seeing this new photo makes me even more confused. But before I explain why, I want to say that every cancer is different, every treatment plan is different, and every decision is different. I don’t fault Giuliana for any decision she’s made. I truly hope she’s doing well with her treatment and that she remains free from cancer. So, the photo. Anyone who’s had one will know that the two inch scar beneath her armpit is from having lymph nodes removed. It leaves me still wondering if she indeed had affected nodes and opted not to do chemotherapy. There is no right answer. Her doctors may have suspected node involvement and removed a few to only discover they were cancer-free. Conservative doctors still may suggest chemo but ultimately it’s up to the patient. Very hard decisions. She looks beautiful, doesn’t she?

– It’s been about a month now since I started a new aromatase inhibitor. It’s called Aromasin, and like the others I’ve taken, this one suppresses estrogen too. In one month I probably feel as horrible as I did at month six of taking Effexor. And my hair is still shedding. Boo all around. I had to laugh reading about the “tradeoffs” of taking Aromasin. It read: The temporary side effects of Aromasin are much more tolerable when you know that your risk of recurrence is greatly reduced. Whatever. I wonder if the person who wrote that has actually taken this drug! Is it really mind over matter? My achy joints might tell you differently.

– I’m still reading a few of the reports from the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. It’s not thrilling reading, really. Are you shocked? Everyone’s been talking about a study between cancer and the environment and that no significant conclusion has been made yet. But honestly, the most sobering report I read was that the average life expectancy after being diagnosed with metastatic disease is 20 months. TWENTY MONTHS! That’s not even two birthdays or two Christmases depending on when it’s found. With that, I guess I’ll continue taking the Aromasin and whimper in pain for the next two-and-a-half years I have left to take it because 20 months is bullshit.

average-survival-after-breast-cancer-metastatic-disease

Photo of Giuliana by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) & source

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kelly January 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Great post. I have wondered about Giuliana’s story but honestly I feel like celebs are treated differently all the way around so I never read their stories. I would much rather read yours or someone else’s who is just trying to live life, survive this crappy disease, run a household, raise their children, love their husband, and do it all with no help at all and a normal salary.
Tell me about why the switch to Aromasin. I am on Tamoxifen and have another 2.5 years also. I HATE it with a passion!!! I also HATE the Effexor that is SUPPOSED to help with hot flashes and my mood, but doesn’t really do either. Well, the mood it does really help, but not when I am dripping in sweat on a 30 degree day.

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