Thumbs up

Some days just start off right.

Many of you know that last year I spent some time in a village called Gunjur in The Gambia. I was there as part of a voluntary group supporting families and nursery education. Everyone on the trip stayed with local families which made the experience so very blessed. My host family are now part of my own extended family and we interact as regularly as the less than effective internet there will allow us. We support them and they support us. Steve and I are planning to be back out there in the Autumn and this year we’ve already worked with friends and family members here to raise enough money to send 11 girls to nursery for 3 years each.

I know that many of my family and friends are probably sick to death of hearing about my time there and how transformative it was for me, but I did think about them today and especially when our appointment with the ultra-smooth and capable Mr Coombs was a big thumbs up. It reminded me of this uber short video I made of the two youngest girls out of my family of 7 children, as they waited to see me each morning. As soon as I opened my door, this is what happened. Can you imagine a better start to your day?

After the slight frustration of a delayed appointment yesterday, today’s allotted time eventually arrived.

The news

  • All of the tumour was removed 🙂
  • The margins- the excess they remove to make sure that the tumour hasn’t crept beyond it’s obvious boundary- are also clear, so a further Lumpectomy will not be required 🙂
  • The Lymph nodes are negative (miserable devils) which means that there is no spread of the primary cancer site 🙂

The facts and names and stuff

  • It’s called Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer
  • The tumour was slightly bigger than first thought
  • It’s referred to as Grade 2
  • It’s Oestrogen Receptive Positive, which sort of means that it is stimulated by oestrogen and so my treatment plan will include up to 10 years of medication to reduce my oestrogen level. Steve asked what the side effects of this medication might be and when Mr Coombs answer of ‘menopausal symptoms’ elicited much laughter from me, his (Steve’s) face drained of colour. I guess he was thinking 10 years? X&*%%$.
  • It’s HER2 negative, so Herceptin treatment will not be the right option for me.

Moving forward

I’ve been referred to see a Consultant Oncologist to discuss next steps for treatment, these will definitely include Radiotherapy and Hormone therapy (probably Tamoxifen) and anything else considered relevant.

A Oncotype DX test (genetic testing of the tumour) will identify the right combination of treatments.

So again we’re in a good place. To date #TeamPositive has done its work and where it’s possible to be on the good side of good, we’re there. Please stay on message.

I will be well enough to see these smiles and hear these giggles again later this year.


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