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Round 2 has begun, ding!

by Neil on August 16th, 2010

Hi all… Neil here again. I’ve been recruited to write up a little something to keep everyone up to date on recent happenings… so here it goes!

Chemotherapy has begun:

On Aug. 11, Melanie started Round 2 of her fight… she had her first cycle of chemotherapy (there will be six in all). A cycle of chemo for her is one 3-hour infusion at the doctor’s office every 3 weeks. She had a medi-port device put in during her surgery, which helps in that she won’t have to get stuck in the arm every time she goes in for an infusion. The 3 hours went by fairly quickly. So far she’s been doing well after the chemo. She had one rough day (Friday) that she wasn’t feeling too hot, but other than that she’s doing pretty good.

In preparation of her hair falling out, Melanie decided to buzz it off so that it won’t be too much of a shock when it does come out due to the chemo. Her best friend Rene also buzzed her hair… and I took mine down as close as possible to the scalp. Video and more pictures here.

1 cycle done, 5 more to go! We mapped it out on a calendar, and show that the week of Thanksgiving should be the last infusion for Melanie.

Pathology findings:

During the surgery, part of the procedure is to do what’s called a Sentinel Node Biopsy. This involves finding out with of the Lymph nodes are the sentinel, which is the first node to receive fluids. Once this is determined, they remove that node and do an immediate biopsy of the tissue. If cancerous, then they take the next one and do the same. In Melanie’s case, both of these nodes came back cancerous… so the surgeon then took all of the remaining Axillary Lymph Nodes (under the arm).

Everything removed during surgery gets examined by a Pathologist and is reported to the surgeon and oncologist. There are a few things that are important; how many lymph nodes were cancerous, and the margins of the mastectomy (how close the cancer was to the remaining tissue in the body). Eleven total nodes were removed, including the two that were biopsied during surgery, and those were the only ones that came back cancerous… that is good! As for the margins, those were also good as far as the surgeon was concerned.

The oncologist is recommending the 6 cycles of chemo described above, then 6-8 weeks of radiation treatments, and 5 years or hormone treatment. The surgeon doesn’t think she’ll need radiation, but we’ll know for sure once we consult with a radiation oncologist in the next few months.

Regardless, we’re very glad that the pathology report came back in our favor. This put us on a high note as she started chemo.

Nothing in the ovaries:

As we already knew from the PET scan Melanie had before surgery, there was nothing seen in the ovaries. But, since she is BRCA2 positive, the oncologist wanted to be certain and ordered an ovarian ultrasound. The results for this came back clean. Nothing to worry about at this time.

Race For The Cure, Orange County:

On September 26th, Melanie and friends will be running/walking the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure in Newport Beach, CA. We’re welcoming anyone who wants to join our team, and most definitely anyone who would like to donate to our team… Please do so here: http://www.ockomen.com/race/melanie Spread the word to anyone and everyone that you know.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Melanie, thinking about us, and helping us in any way possible… we truly do appreciate everything that has been done for us.

From → General

2 Comments
  1. Gena Polito permalink

    Hi, Melanie:
    I don’t know if you remember me but we met several months ago at a Mom’s Club park day at the park by your house, I have the little girl Delaney who is close to your sons age…they were playing with his little train. We were chatting about our little ones and our step daughters, I think I mentioned to you she was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago when she was 13. I know the brave fight you are waging and I know you will make it, sending prayers your way! You look beautiful bald, thanks for posting your story. If you need anything; help with the kids, groceries, doctor appts., etc., please call me (909) 851-1367, I am available most every day except Monday’s. Take care and hope to see you at a park day soon, Gena Polito

  2. Heather Rinie permalink

    Hi Melanie!!! Do you remember me? I am in MOMS Club. My little son is Weston. I am so sorry for your news, but am insprired by your outlook. You are truely inspirational. I am walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk for a cure in San Diego in November and would be honored if I can walk in honor of you!!! I am currently walking “just because’ and you letting me walk in your honor would give me more drive to accomplish this crazy walk for such an awesome cause. It is 20 miles a day, for 3 days for a total of 60 miles. I am also walking in this Sundays Walk in Newport!!! I will be looking for you everywhere!!!

    Also, please remember that MOMS Club is here if you need ANYTHING!! Please do not hesitate to contact any of us!!!

    God Bless, Heather

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