Hi everyone. I'm a cancer noobie. I was just diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with breast cancer. The doctor ordered a PET scan and a bone scan and last week I got the word that while there was no soft tissue involvement, the cancer had spread to the bones in my neck and my shoulder.
The cancer is ER+ and PR+. And if I remember and understand it correctly, HER-. The doctor interpreted it all for me to mean I have the "good" kind of cancer.
I'm still learning about all this stuff. When I asked the doctor (and pulled it out of him), he said my prognosis is 2-8 years. However, I'm finding that Stage IV breast cancer is being treated more these days like a chronic disease rather than a terminal one. The life expectancies are based on old data. That doesn't mean I think I'll live for 10 or more years. It could still be just two.
Once the cancer was discovered in the bones, the treatment plan changed. I was going to have two chemo treatments, surgery, and then two more. Now, I'm going to get the 4 chemo treatments without the surgery, one treatment every three weeks.
I had my first treatment today. I talked to the doctor for a short time before the treatment, but I never seem to remember everything I want to ask -- or I learn later of things that I should ask him.
I know I will be getting other medicines/therapies, but I don't know at this point what they are. I see the doctor again in two weeks and I want to be prepared with questions to ask. I did ask about radiation and the doctor said I could get spot radiation on the bone cancer to alleviate any pain I'm having. I also know that I will be getting medication to help with bone weakness.
Btw, I'm 67 years old, never had any kind of cancer, rarely got sick, and aside from the killer cancer, I'm in excellent health!
If anyone has any questions I should ask the doctor, please let me know.
<message edited by Kaityf on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:46 AM>