Saturday, August 29, 2020
Tuesday I had my appointment with the oncologist who is by way of being an expert in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. She was very nice. She told me - this was the good news - that the likelihood of my breast cancer's returning was very low, that if HER-2 positive cancers (which mine was) are going to come back, it will be soon, typically within the first three years. And I was diagnosed in 2007.
The only thing about that good news is that I already pretty much knew it. My treating oncologist wouldn't have told me that I was 'cured' otherwise. Still, it was nice to hear.
The bad news was (and again, I already knew it) that I continue to be very, very likely to get another cancer, and what kind it may be is anyone's guess. So she ordered a brain MRI, with and without contrast (which I actually had done today), and a rapid-scan, whole body MRI, which I haven't scheduled yet because I first have to find a place that is capable of doing it, and second, I have to be able to afford it, and I fear it will be extremely expensive.
We talked about research studies, and she looked up a couple I may be eligible for. She told me it's hard to conduct such studies, because there are so few of us. How nice! I am one of a very exclusive set of people who are likely to die young from a horrible disease. How lucky can I get?
In a way, it's nice to have my situation taken seriously. All my friends have been told about it, but none of them seem to really grasp the implications, and I'm not going to spend my time with them trying to convince them. Wouldn't be a smart thing to do at all. Most of the time, I'd rather not think about it myself anyway. So I spend my time not thinking about it, and pretending to myself that I'll be fine. It's easier that way.
She doesn't think my painful knee is likely to be cancer, but assured me that if it is, the whole body MRI will show it. I plan to see my primary care doctor about it, anyway. Also planning to get my basal cell skin cancer removed in a couple of weeks. If I do get the second MRI done, then I'll be good to go for about six months.
Oh yes, and she doesn't think it's a good idea to prescribe Metformin as a cancer preventive, even though there is a good bit of promising evidence for it. She said that taking anything for the long term will lead to some undesirable side effects. I wasn't going to argue with her, but I thought to myself that the side effects would have to be pretty bad if they are worse than getting cancer. Just a thought... But if she won't prescribe it, she won't prescribe it.
I am trying to take better care of myself now that Danny's gone, since when he was so sick, the last thing on my mind was my own medical situation.