Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Good Reason to Get Them Out

Dr Swisher, my surgeon, called today with the pathology report on my ovaries, and to see how I am recovering from the event. My recovery, complete with 3-mile dog walk yesterday, and walking to lunch with a friend today, seems to be on schedule, if not ahead.

My pathology, however, was not what we were expecting. There was breast cancer found in both ovaries. Dr Swisher said that they were both slightly larger than she had expected after all the time I've spent on Lupron (the ovarian suppression drug), and they were a little bit hard. This explains why my left abdomen hurts more than the right—they were both pulled out the left side, and they stretched the hole a little.

It is impossible to tell looking under a microscope just how active the cancer was in my ovaries, but it was definitely not scar tissue or dead cancer cells. It's not surprising for breast cancer to metastasize to the ovaries, and the Herceptin may have been enough to be keeping it in check, like a dormant volcano, so that it wasn't showing up on the PET scans or CTs. Dr Swisher took a good look around at everything else in my abdomen while she was filming in there, and from the outside of the organs at least, everything else looks normal.

I don't know if Dr Specht will recommend any changes in my care. My next visit with her is scheduled for mid-November, after a new MUGA and an updated PET/CT. And as Dr Swisher said, this surgery was an easy way to take more cancer out of my system.

I guess that, if anything, it's all the more evidence that for me 1) cancer is systemic and 2) I will need to be on the alert about it.

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