Monday, April 24
Off to the DCAM at University of Chicago. The DCAM is the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. It’s one of the newer buildings at U of C and handles many of the office appointments and medical procedures. And did I mention they have a great cafeteria with fresh food. But no appetite for me today.
7:30 am met with Dr. Jaskowiak and Kevin and I talked over the MRI results and the options. Chemo before surgery would start killing the cancer cells and help Dr. J have “clean lines” when she removed the tumor. So we went in with the thought “we’re doing surgery, what can you tell us that would compel us to change out mind”, well that was a little compelling. After talking over chemo, hormone and radiation therapy, surgery and single or double mastecomy, we left to head to my day of testing.
Although Kevin was working out the Hyde Park for the day, boy was I glad he was here. Walking waiting room to procedure room, to waiting room to procedure room was emotional exhausting. I had planned on going to work after we were done, but a wise and dear friend told me to take the night off, I would be emotionally and physically exhausted and she was right!
8:00 am The Cancer Risk meeting went well, they are interested in multiple generations of cancers. And since My paternal grandmother, Noni had leukemia, and two of her seven children as well as eight of her 35 grandchildren and one great grandchild. So they explained the testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2. I’m fine with the testing as long as it’s only a blood test because I will be busy focusing on other things for the time being. So blood test it is!
The back to the Breast Care Center and wait for a biopsy of the carcinoma. We thought we would have a wait, so Kevin walked to get me a banana and orange juice, since I was not going to be able to eat after 10:00 am…but they called me in right away.
9:35 am Met with Dr. Sennet and a fellow who would be doing the biopsy procedure. Their nurse and the fellow were 12 and 13! They were right when they said the needle for the numbing would be the worse, until it wore off. The first two samples of carcinoma were good, the three was not, so back for a fourth try – success! Well can you call it success? I was just glad it was over. Now in one last time to place a marker where they were and I was done. No heavy lifting for a day or two, so Kevin got to carry my Coach briefcase, which was heavy, since I planned on getting a lot of work done. Boy did the Lord laugh at that one! We moved from the Breast Care Center to TC100, Radiology to await the CT and Bone Scan.
11:00 am They called me back to put an IV in me to inject a dye for the Bone Scan. I feel like a puppy dog just following along anyone who calls my name 🙂
Everyone is so kind and caring, the compassion is so touching. So in for the IV, back to the waiting room, the in to the washroom to change for the CT.
12:00 noon The CT was actually more relaxing than I thought it would be, I was able to lay down and close my eyes. Of how I wanted to do that since 5:00 am when I woke up and could not fall back asleep. So I soaked in the moments as they moved me in and out of the machine, I laid still, relaxed, meditated and prayed. There were moments of peace in this procedure and I welcomed them. Could this be a sign that all would be okay. I learned from last week never to assume, but I do hope and have faith.
After the CT, they removed the IV and said I was free until 2:00 for the Bone Scan. Enough time for Kevin to grab some lunch, although I was not hungry, I could now eat, so I tried to eat a little to get something in me. It was nice to be able to sit by a window in the same place for longer than 20 minutes. Kevin worked on his laptop and I read scripture, updated my emails and informed my office I was not coming in.
2:00 pm Back to Radiology waiting room for the final test. The Bone Scan was done by a medical student and technician. They both were so kind and explained everything that would happen and talked me through the whole thing. It was not uncomfortable, just a long time to be laying in the same position. But it was soon over and they got good images. Maybe now they have enough information and I can focus on my treatment plan.
4:15 pm Final stop at the Lab for last blood test for the SPORE study out of the Breast Center.
So glad when Kevin and I finally get to the car at 4:50 pm to head home. I’m sure he is glad he doesn’t have to carry around my purse/briefcase any longer too. What an amazing husband. I am so blessed!
Collapsed in bed seeking rest, when Dr. J called. I said a prayer and answered the phone. Good news! The bone scan and CT were all clear, now we wait for the biopsy results, which should be Wednesday or Thursday. She did sent some of the cells to Mayo Clinic for testing, which will be back next week.
Grace embraced: I felt the ever presence of the Lord with me through the health care professionals and through Kevin’s strength and patience. I know how difficult this is for him to watch me go through, but he remains strong and faithful to me and I am eternally grateful.