Meeting the oncologists

I finally got to meet the radiation oncologist, Dr. Figura, and the medical oncologist who is in charge of chemo, Dr. Li. My entire medical team had met that morning to talk about the results from all my tests and come up with a treatment plan. I will be getting chemo first in order to shrink the tumor to a size that is more easily operable, surgery, and then radiation treatment.

We met with Dr. Figura first, even though I’ll be under his care last. He talked a bit about how radiation therapy works. in my case, I’ll be getting 28-33 doses, five times a week until it’s done. The best thing was being able to see my PET scan. I love the digital imaging that doctor’s have access to these days. The PET imaged slices of my body, and you could see all the different parts – my favorite was the parts of the skull and the cross-section of my shoulder.

Dr. Li went over the results of my previous tests. The breast MRI showed no abnormalities in the left breast, and no chest wall or skin involvement on the right. Unequivocal good news! The PET scan, since it was a whole body scan, found a few abnormalities. Good news first – no involvement in the lungs, liver, or bones (the common places breast cancer spreads). They did find a dark spot on one of my kidneys. Since it’s dark, we know it’s not the breast cancer. It’s probably just a cyst, but it could theoretically be renal cancer, so I need a CT scan with contrast to check. Also, the ovaries showed some abnormalities, but it was unclear what’s going on (not enough intra-abdominal fat to resolve the image). So, I need an ultrasound to check that out. Also, I need a baseline MUGA test to check my heart functions. Off to schedule more tests!