I am back from the first visit to the oncologist. He is very informative. This was a 'get to know you' kind of visit, is the best way to describe it. He seemed surprised at the size of the tumor. But, one thing he told me, which I found enlightening, is that I am not sick! He explained how much cancer cells are needed to create a 2cm sized tumor and since I only had 1 lymph node affected (it showed evidence of spilling outside the node), chances are that I MAY have stray cancer cells throughout my body, but there is no way to tell. Therefore, the need for chemo.
he down side of what he told me is that based on my particular circumstances, I have a 50-60% chance of recurrence. Chemo will reduce that by 50-55%, so even after all this, I still have a 20-25% chance of a recurrence in 10 years. The pathology report he received didn't include info whether mine is HR+/-, so he will need to find that out. I go back in 2 weeks.
He took time with me and wrote everything down for me. His nurse practitioner sat in for part of the time and seemed very compassionate. She gave me some info on breast cancer, support groups and an excercise program at the hospital for patients undergoing chemo. Even though the hospital isn't close to home, I'm thinking about it.
Well, that's it for now. More later.