Wire or seed study – my cancer journey

I was told that Levine Cancer Institute is doing a study on wire or seed implant for women who have breast cancer. I really didn’t understand what was all going on with this but the surgeon I am seeing said that other institutes have done studies on the benefits of one or the other. However, Levine wanted to do their own study. I agreed to be a part of the study.

I met with the technician in charge of the study. She explained the differences to me. A wire is placed into the area of the breast where the tumor is located. This is done when the tumor is fairly small. The wire helps the surgeon locate the exact location of the tumor so that it is easier to remove. This procedure is done the day of surgery and it is done with a lumpectomy.

The seed is a fairly small tag that is put into the area of the tumor. This procedure is done a few days prior to surgery. Again this is done for a lumpectomy. Both procedures are painless. A numbing agent is injected into the area of the breast which feels more like a bee sting. Then the seed or the wire is implanted.

I told the technician that I was going for genetic counselling and depending on the outcome, I would then make my decision on either lumpectomy or mastectomy. I told her should I go ahead with the lumpectomy, I would agree to the study. She gave me her phone number and wished me well.

This can’t be happening. I am still in disbelief. I really have cancer? Really?

The Cancer Journey

Bill and I met with the surgeon last week. I thought I was ready for it and I thought I was doing fine. However, the closer we got to the door of the office, the more reluctant I was to go in. I actually stopped for a second before entering the doors.

The cancer institute I am going to has a good reputation. Also, the surgeon I am seeing has a breast oncology fellowship. I feel I am in very good hands. The surgeon examined me and couldn’t even feel the tumor. Really good news. My husband, Bill, has a good doctor friend who does breast surgery and has a fellowship in oncology. We have asked him for a second opinion although he has said that the cancer institute I am going to has good people.

I have two options. A lumpectomy with radiation or a mastectomy. I was told to take my time and think about it. Since my father’s sister died of ovarian cancer and we have cancer history on my mother’s side (but we are uncertain what the cancer was), I am going for genetic counselling. That is happening today. I have decided to wait until I get the results of this counselling before I make my decision.

It was also suggested I go on a clinical trial for drug treatments for reoccurrence. Since the percent chance for reoccurrence in lumpectomies and mastectomies are very close, a lumpectomy would seem in order. But it all depends on the genetic counselling.

Well, I am off for my appointments. Through all of this, I will keep riding my beautiful horse, walking Bill’s dogs, take care of our house, keep working on my novels and loving.

By the way, I have just sent my second novel, You Are Mine, to an editor for one more round of editing before self publishing. In the mean time, I can work on my third novel, a supernatural story. I will keep you up to date.