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The Story About Breast Cancer
Another appointment – I walked into the outer room and saw a mass of people, some seated, some waiting in line to sign it. This was actually a clinic and each person had to wait for their turn even though their scheduled appointment might have been four hours before. People sat there – nobody complained – just joked about, “next time I’ll bring my lunch and someone sometimes added – yeah, ya mean breakfast, lunch and dinner and everybody laughed. Me? I just shrugged and waited.
These conditions precluded me from sitting and feeling sorry for myself. I saw the emaciated, the ones with Jaundice, the ones with the scarves covering their lost hair, the ones that had to stop Chemo because their hearts just could not take it. At first I wondered why I did not just go to a private Oncologists office where I could chat and get my answers without waiting eons.
I soon found out why. Those that had the same conditions as I or another type of Cancer were mostly not recovering quickly and as I discovered later had died of their disease or its’ complications.
I thought this was to be my last consultation with Dr, Lipton. We needed to have a plan and so we discussed my options and the effect it would have. He suggested I not be in a rush and discuss it with my family, my children and anybody else close to me. No decision had to be mad quickly.
He told me there was a new test called Oncotype DX that is for only for women with Stage 1 or Stage11 breast cancer that is ER+ and node-. It would tell me the percentage chances of a relapse recurring and if the chances were low I would not have to have Chemo but still would have to have hormone therapy to block the estrogen from entering the receptors in my body
And so I returned home with hope of not having to undergo Chemo.
They called me to come in and discuss the results. My head, flying high, I just knew I would fall into the low category. When I finally got through the clinic routine he told me my results were 15% – “intermediate” so it was my call since it was, as he put it ‘borderline’.
Shaken, I asked him what I should do. He answered that was my decision to make. Thinking, I had the answer. I said, “What would you do? “ He leaned towards me and said, “if you want to live to be eighty years or older then, do the Chemo. And as I talked to my children I got the same answer from both: Chemo mom. Please I know it will be awful but we need you.