PROJECT: 05-DJC:174.9

This is Deirdre's Breast Cancer Diary. I try to update this blog at least every evening. This is an easy way for me to keep a journal of the experience, and at the same time, I can keep my friends and family up-to-date on what is going on. I find it is not so bad to have cancer, but it is awfully depressing to talk about it. I hope you laugh as you read along. You can find the beginning in February the archives. Thanks again for reading :o)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


We met with Dr. Patricia Kelly again today. She gave us information about what the test results would be able to tell us - if I test positive for the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations (These mutations, if found in my DNA, would indicate that breast cancer may have been inherited from my parents, and that would pass it on if I bore children. More importantly this genetic mutation would slightly increase my risk of developing ovarian cancer.) Dr. Kelly also gave us a kit we are to use tomorrow for the blood testing. We also spoke very briefly with Dr. Sherman (he is in the same office as Dr. Kelly) to see if we could meet with him to further discuss the results of the MRI and PET tests. I was watching Mark ask Dr. Sherman if we could talk and I was concerned at watching Dr. Sherman's body language - he seemed to shrug Mark off... basically, he told Mark that he would be glad to talk to us about the tests but we would have to go get the films from the hospital first - so we could have something to talk about. Funny, Dr. Sherman was able to talk to me yesterday without the films... Anyway, Dr. Sherman told us we should go get the films, then call for an appointment. Sort of reminiscent of the film fiasco we went through over at Pacific Imaging. Why is it that we are having to fetch our our films? Mark and I are not feeling very good about this uncertainty - the discepancy between the PET and the MRI as to the location or nature of the hyper-metabolism/metastasis. We don't appreciate having to go back and forth across the street to fetch films that were *discussable* the previous day so that the doctor can have his conversation with Mark about them. We also do not appreciate being told to call and make an appointment when we are standing in the very room where the phone will ring when we call, standing next to the person who will make our appointment for us. Tomorrow we will get the genetics testing started. It will take about four weeks for the results to come back from Myriad in Berkeley. Another couple of important things to know is that if I carry those genetic mutations, my sisters might also. My older sister Arlene has a daughter, and my younger sister Erin may have children yet, as she is only 36 years old. They might consider getting tested, too. If I carry the genetic mutation(s) which will put me at higher risk for ovarian cancer, I would consider having my ovaries removed altogether - the cancer treatment could knock me into menopause anyway - and once you hit menopause your ovaries are no longer needed.
After sending the blood off to Myriad, I will head back to work for a few hours, then I will be off to the appointment with Dr. Sherman to discuss the films we had to go fetch from across the street.


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