I met with my surgeon one last time today before surgery.
Dr. Bretzke had checked out the results of my PET scan and she was excited with the results.
Neoadjuvant therapy is treatment given before primary therapy. Someone may receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer to shrink a tumor that is inoperable in its current state, so it can be surgically removed.
She said only 10-20% of people receiving neoadjuvant therapy have a total response after chemotherapy alone.
This is one statistic that I love. Not only did my tumor shrink, it disappeared!
She also said that because I am one of the 10-20%, my prognosis is "a whole new ballgame."
I'm a little scared of what that means, so I didn't ask. I don't like to think of my life in terms of how many years I have left.
I prefer to just take it one glorious day at a time.
Dr. Bretzke also said that she thinks statistics should be taken with a grain of salt.
The results we look at now are sometimes based on 5-10 years ago when we didn't have the amazing therapies and drugs that we have now.
She likes to think of cancer as a chronic disease "like diabetes" instead of a life sentence.
I like the way she thinks.
Dr. Bretzke's nurse smirked when she was looking over my chart. She commented that she also had 3 kids within two years and that it gets easier.
She sat with me for about 30 minutes after the doctor left to go over more possible risks, what to expect and pain management.
Before I left, she said, "You know, people always ask me who does the best with breast cancer. I tell them,
1. people with a strong faith,
2. people with a great support system and
3. people with a positive attitude.
You have all of those things and you are going to do amazingly."
She doesn't know how right she is.