Yes, those are real lobsters in the pot. Angela texted me last night and asked if we wanted them, as she had no time to cook lobsters after a busy day at the hospital.
We of course said we’d love to have them, which lead to steaming lobsters at 8 AM. Hey, there are worse things to do at 8 AM, like taking out the garbage or cleaning a bathroom or wondering what ugly JC Penny’s blouse you are going to wear today.
(As an aside, I do have to wonder where Penny’s gets their button-down sleeveless summer blouses and who on earth buys them except desperate mastectomy patients. To be fair, the nicer-looking ones require ironing, which is not gonna happen right now, so they hang uselessly in my closet.)
Banjo Man is going to make lobster salad later on today, because Son #1, Ben, arrives today with Amber and the Funny Grandson. And Ben likes lobster rolls. Put “hot dog buns” on the grocery list and get ready!
We spent yesterday morning up at the hospital meeting with the cancer team. That is always a sobering experience, especially since my weeks of dealing with this have rarely produced good news. My cancer is still listed at IIIA, but there were a couple of red flags (lymphovascular invasion and some dermal invasion) that hadn’t been expected, along with two cancer-positive lymph nodes.
The pathology of the cancer has declared it to be non-aggressive, but it is behaving aggressively. Is that why I keep getting bad news? I don’t know. Naturally the doctors want me to have five months of chemo, then radiation, then endocrine therapy (the life-saving miracle pills for ER+ cancer).
While we wait for me to heal from the surgery–I’m doing really well with that as the pain has shrunk to one deep spot in my chest and I can move my arm in a few directions–physical therapy will get full range of motion—we asked to have a test done on the tumor called the Oncotype DX. It analyzes 21 genes and predicts breast cancer outcomes.
I won’t bore you with too many details, but if my number came back low (single digits) I wouldn’t have to go through chemo, because chemo would be over-treatment. If it was high–over 30 or so–I would know I absolutely needed chemo in order to survive. The Oncotype is being used as standard testing on women with early stage breast cancer and negative lymph nodes. But it is now being explored in breast cancer with positive node involvement, though it’s not backed by enough studies to change the medical community’s way of doing things yet.
Banjo Man, Angela and I did a lot of research and reading and decided that we need to know that number, good or bad. Insurance probably won’t pay for it, but we’re willing to write the check in order to get more information about this tumor.
So I have two weeks of healing left before chemo and the Oncotype takes two weeks, so I am not losing any important treatment time. The doctors put up a bit of a fuss at first and then, once they realized it was for my peace of mind and I was not rejecting chemotherapy unless the number was under 10, they cooperated fully. They are lovely, caring people who want me to survive this, so onward we go.
Okay, back to the lobsters…
Today is a very exciting day because we will head to the airport in two and a half hours to greet the Funny Grandson and his parents and welcome them back to Rhode Island.
“Party Grandma” will rally!