Family update


I wanted to bring you up to date on a development in our family.

Last week Dianne had a lump removed from her breast. It was a small lump that they felt was certain to be benign. After the surgery, the surgeon let both of us know all was well, and that the lump was tiny (4mm) and appeared to be a classic fibrosis, and had very low odds of being a problem. Well Sunday night he called us, and let us know it was a problem, and was in fact malignant.

We met with the doctor today. Here is what we know:
· It is an invasive ductile tumor, very early stage – grade 1 on a 1-3 scale, with one being least significant
· He thinks there may also be a small amount of ductile carcinoma
· He thinks it has a very small chance of having spread into the lymph nodes.
· He says it is extremely treatable, and she should have nothing to worry about in terms of her longevity
· They are looking to get more data from the tumor, which should be available in a few days
o A test looking for Hormone receptors (this could impact whether she will need hormone therapy)
o A test called a KI67, which indicates speed of growth.

Treatment Plan:
It is early, and we are gathering data. Most relevant to us now is a genetic test. The test checks for the presence of the BRC1 & 2 genes which gauge genetic predisposition to cancer vulnerability. She took the test today, and we expect the results in two weeks.

If the test is negative:
· We will have to choose between a lumpectomy, or mastectomy for the affected breast
· The lumpectomy preserves much more tissue, but requires radiation treatment as well, and all the challenging side effects that go along with that.
· The mastectomy will take pretty much the whole breast, but will not require radiation.
· In either procedure, they will do some testing to isolate the sentinel (first line of defense) lymph node(s). These will be removed as well and tested. Apparently, where they used to take all the lymph nodes, now they can take only a very few of the ones most likely to be affected.

If the test is positive:
· they will want to take both of her breasts, and her ovaries.

So we are early stage. We know Dianne is in for quite a tough road ahead, but according to the Doctor, the signs at this point are that she is very well positioned to get past this, and should not have longevity concerns from this cancer episode.

Please send your thoughts and prayers to Dianne – we can use the help.

Toni & Keri, if you would be kind enough to let your families know, that would be great – I recently switched computers and do not have all the addresses.


The 5 D’s