Monthly Archives: February 2011

First Baseball Game of the Season

Last night was the first baseball game of the season and we were late. 

Yesterday was also H’s first soccer practice of the Spring Season.  When her coach asked me if Mondays and Thursdays would be okay for practice, I said, “Sure thing.”  Of course, I forgot that the first game of the season was on a Monday.

When we arrived at the game it was the top of the 4th and we were down 2-0.  Then they scored another run, so we were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the 5th.  We were finally able to get a run on the board in the bottom of the 5th.  In the bottom of the 6th, we came alive.  We scored 12 runs with no outs to win the game with 10-run rule.  What a way to start the season!!

The team travels to the Valley this weekend for the McAllen tournament.  H & I will head down there if we are playing in the championship game.  If not we will enjoy, a few days without coach.  Next weekend he also travels (Thursday-Saturday) for the Kerrville Tournament.  I booked a hotel room in Kerrville for Friday night, but H’s coach told us yesterday that their first game will be that weekend, so I guess I’ll be canceling my room.

Things were so much easier before H was involved in sports.  LOL.

No drugs for me!

Jason and I met with Dr. Salloum (the oncologist) on Friday. We discussed the genetic results and his strong recommendation is bilateral mastectomy, which is what we were already leaning towards. Because I am opting for surgery, there is no need to put any medication into my body at this time.

We will meet with the surgeon on March 1st and hopefully, get his recommendations for plastic surgeons. Since I want to wait until the summer to have surgery, I don’t expect us to set a date right now.

I also need to make an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss ovary removal. I’ve been reading several books, which I’ll name when I’m not blogging from my phone, and one of the books said it is possible to wait until 45 to remove ovaries because ovarian cancer with the BRCA 2 gene mutation usually occurs after menopause. We know that we are done having kids, but I’m not sure I want to deal with the side effects of having my ovaries removed right now.

I’m still doing ok and just taking everything day by day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tonight we have a baseball scrimmage, so there will be no Valentine’s Dinner tonight.  We will probably have concession stand food or McDonald’s for dinner.  Thankfully, a wonderful girl who graduated last year, took Haley to the carnival Saturday night, so that Jason and I could have dinner.  There aren’t too many choices here in town, so we went to Chili’s.  We had a good time together and even had dessert since I still had my coupon for a free brownie sundae that Chili’s sent me for my birthday. 

I have become accustomed to not celebrating Valentine’s Day (and my birthday – January 31) on the actual days because they fall during baseball season.  Jason does a good job of making sure I know that he loves me all of the time and not just on specific days.  We have been lucky the past two years because my birthday and Valentine’s day have been on the weekend, but this year starts

In health news, I have an appointment with my oncologist on Friday, so hopefully, I will have news then.  I will still meet with the surgeon on the 1st, but hopefully, the oncologist can shed some more light on what’s going on.

Finally Results

Genetic Variant – Suspect Deleterious

This is what my genetic test results said.  The doctors office faxed them over to me, but didn’t explain anything.  The nurse said that my GYN looked them over and was okay with the results and that was it.  So I went to the Myriad Genetic Lab website and clicked on the BRAC analysis and what do my results mean – http://www.bracnow.com/understanding-my-results/positive-results.php

If your test result is either “Positive for a Deleterious Mutation” or “Suspected Deleterious”:

■You have a mutation or alteration in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene

■You have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome

■HBOC syndrome increases the risk of various cancers, primarily breast and ovarian cancer

■While the risk of developing these cancers is high, not everyone with HBOC syndrome will develop cancer

Tuesday afternoon I faxed these results to my surgeon, to the oncologist and to the radiation oncologist and didn’t hear back from anyone, so I made more phone calls today.  The nurse at the surgeon’s office called me back and said that Dr. Ortiz had signed off on the results, but didn’t leave any notes, so  she scheduled me an appointment for March 1st to discuss them with him.  I spoke to the nurse at the oncologist office and she said that she would show them to Dr. Salloum and then call me back.  Never heard from her.  The radiation oncologist was out of the office all week and they told me to check back on Monday. 

So I’m not really sure what the difference is between “Positive for a Deleterious Mutation” or “Suspected Deleterious” and if treatment options are different.  Maybe because mine is just suspected I won’t need surgery, but then that means I will undergo radiation therapy.  I’m really not sure which one I would rather go through at the moment.

So we will continue to wait.  Maybe I will know more once I talk to the radiation oncologist.

Being a Coach’s Wife

This life is not for everyone.

Jason became a coach August 2003.  We became Coyotes and have been Coyotes since then.  We love this town  and most of the people in it.  I know that most coaches move around many, many times, but after spending 8 years here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Jason coaches football and baseball – the lifeblood of South Texas, which means he is busy from August until November (hopefully, one of these seasons we will make it to December) and then he gets most of December and January off.  Baseball season always starts around my birthday at the end of January and goes until May (one of these seasons we will be playing in June). 

We usually have just enough time together in the offseason before we start getting on each other’s nerves from so much togetherness and then it’s time for the next season.  It works for us, except for the nights at home when I’m trying to cook dinner for just H and me. 

Take tonight for example.  There was supposed to be a baseball scrimmage, but they decided to postpone until tomorrow because of the low temperatures tonight.  We made plans to go and watch the boys’ soccer game, but then Jason called me this afternoon and said they were going to practice the freshman and JV tonight, so our plans have changed again.  It’s something that you don’t really ever get used to.  Now I’m trying to figure out what H and I are going to do for dinner.

Tomorrow H and I have tickets to see the Houston Dynamo Soccer team play FC Dallas in Corpus Christi.  We are taking one of Haley’s friends with us, since the scrimmage has been moved to tomorrow.  We will have a good time anyway!  It’s something we know how to do well.  🙂

The beginning

I guess I will start at the beginning. 

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42.  She had a mastectomy and chemotherapy.  After 6 months, the doctors told her that she was in remission.  Three months later she was having headaches and the doctors discovered that the cancer had metastasized in her brain.  She was gone a few weeks later at the age of 43.

When I started going for my annual pap screening, I asked my doctor when I should start having mammograms.  He said that I should have a baseline at the age of 30, just so they would have references to go back to when I got older.

I turned 30 in 2010.  In October I went to my annual appointment and discussed having a mammogram with the nurse practictioner (N.P.).  She agreed that I should have a baseline done.  November 3, 2010 I went for my first mammogram.  I have always heard horror stories about how painful it is and truthfully, I didn’t think it was that bad.  It was a little cold and a little strange to have another lady messing with my breast to get it positioned on the table.

A week later, I went back to the N.P. to go over the results.  Well, she didn’t have them, yet, and she told me that she would call the hospital and then call me if there was anything we needed to worry about.  Believe me, I wasn’t expecting my phone to ring within the hour.  The radiologist saw some microcalcifications that he wanted to get some magnified pictures of, so I was to schedule another mammogram.

December 2, 2010 – go back in for more pictures.  Thankfully, it was the same lady and she even showed me on the computer screen what the radiologist was looking at.  Finish there and start waiting.  Finally on the 15th, I called the doctor’s office.  They wanted me to make an appointment and I asked if they could just check the results and call me back.  The N.P. called me back immediately and said that the radiologist was recommending a breast biopsy.

The breast biopsy was scheduled for December 27 at Radiology Associates in Corpus Christi.  The technician and radiologist were wonderful.  They made me very comfortable or as comfortable as you can be laying on your stomach with your breast hanging through a hole in the table.  LOL.  The table is raised up and they work underneath you.  The needle is huge and the first time they didn’t get any of the microcalcifications, so they had to go back in.  Actually, they left the needle in there, while the technician checked the sample.  The second sample hit “the motherload” according to the radiologist and they were able to get most of the microcalcifications.  Then a tiny titanium clip was inserted into the biopsy site.  I was told that if the sample came back benign, then the clip would stay in and any future mammograms would show that I had a biopsy done in that area and nothing was found.  If the sample came back cancerous, then the clip would act as a guide for the surgeon, so he could go directly to the biopsy site.

They told me to go home and take it easy and wait for them to call me the next day.  Jason went out to play golf while I played on the computer.  I was getting a little antsy waiting for the phone to ring, and when it did I was not ready for what he had to say.

The radiologist called me to tell me that I had cancer.  Ductal carcinoma in situ.  That means that the cancer was in the milk duct, but it had not spread anywhere, yet.  We caught it very early.

The next two weeks flew by.  I met with a surgeon on January 4 and was set for surgery on the 10th.  Jason and I were all over Corpus Christi that day getting pre-registered at the hospital, getting a MRI, and then having blood drawn for the BRCA I & II genetic testing.  On January 6th, I met with the oncologist. We decided that we needed to wait for the genetic test results before we decided my treatment after surgery.

Surgery was done on the 10th.  I had to be there at 8:30 am.  At 10:30 I was taken back to nuclear medicine to have radioactive dye inserted into the breast tissue and then from there I went to mammography to have a “guide wire” inserted to direct the surgeon to the titanium clip.  This was not a fun mammogram at all.  They had me sit on a stool because I couldn’t move once they found the correct location of the clip.  I almost passed out after this because when they inserted the needle it aggravated the biopsy location and started bleeding.  I do not handle seeing my own blood very well and had to lie down on the floor. 

After that ordeal, I was taken back to my holding pen, I mean room, in outpatient surgery.  Surgery was scheduled for 2 pm.  At 2:30, the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself and explained his part of the procedure and then soon after my surgeon came in.  He told Jason that surgery would take about an hour and a half and then I would be in recovery for a while and then we could go home.  I didn’t wake up in recovery until 7:30 pm!  The surgery was more extensive than they were planning and it took almost 3 hours.  We ended up staying overnight at the hospital.  Thank goodness because I was in pain and they put me on a morphine drip to help manage the pain.

My surgeon came to visit me in the morning and said that my lymph nodes were deeper than he was expecting, so my arm was probably going to hurt for a while.  He also had to go deeper when removing the cancerous tissue to get enough margin behind the area.  He had to go all the way to my chest wall.

Then we were back to waiting for the pathology reports.  Thankfully, those reports came back great.  The lymph nodes were clear and they were able to contain the cancer and the margins were cancer-free.

Today is 5 weeks since I had the blood drawn for the genetic testing and we still do not have the results.  If I carry the gene, then I will be undergoing a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery and having my ovaries removed.  If I do not carry the gene, I will start radiation therapy. 

Hopefully, we won’t be waiting too much longer.