Amazing Grace.

Sunset in Alderbrook
Sunset in Alderbrook

Today we traveled into Portland to have my post surgery follow up appointment with Dr. de LaMelena, and to have my drains removed.  I got some news that makes my heart sing. The pathology report shows a Pathologically Complete Response. – which means they could find NO cancer-ing cells – in neither my removed breast tissue nor the removed lymph nodes.  I have been restaged from stage 3C to stage 0, as in ZERO.

This is an amazing thing. A pCR is a rare enough thing that they don’t really have much data on what it means. We are feeling very happy at this house tonight. We celebrated by getting ice cream in Portland, and once home I took my first shower post surgery – which felt like a spa treatment – Ah!  Next week we will travel back in to PDX for my Herceptin treatment, and a more in depth look at the pathology report with the oncologist Dr. Andersen. We will discuss with him how to proceed with the rest of my treatment- which will now be geared mostly towards prevention of a reoccurrence.

20 years ago, or even ten years ago, the statistical prognosis for someone diagnosed with the same type and stage of cancer as me was much worse than it is today.  In fact HER2+ cancers had the worst prognosis- and often resulted in death.  The development of targeted therapies for HER2+ breast cancer has made a huge difference in the treatment and potential to move forward without cancer-ing for folks diagnosed with it.  I am incredibly grateful to have been born in this time, to be diagnosed at this time, and so able to benefit from these new ways of treating people.

I know that the targeted therapies, Herceptin and Perjeta obviously had huge impact- and I know that I have benefited from the many other therapies I have received: the love and support from family and community, the TCM with Acupuncture, the massage with energy work, naturopathic medicine, the food prepared for us, daily walks in an immensely beautiful place, dancing, beautiful flowers, and perhaps most importantly -all of the prayers.  Even though there is no way to quantify the impact of these things, or their effectiveness towards my Pathologically Complete Response, I believe that they are intimately and irrevocably connected.

a May altar
a May altar

I give thanks to all of the spirits and angels who look after me, and to the Sacred source of all life in this moment.  Amen.

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharyn says:

    Oh Iris we are so happy. Thank you so much for sharing. Continuing to send love your way!

  2. Kathy Patenaude says:

    YAY!!! We, the Patenaude’s are so happy and relieved of this fantastic news! Sending all of our love to you and the family and we continue to send positive energy your way.

  3. courtney says:

    Very very good news. I love reading your post.

  4. Jane Rosenau says:

    This wonderful news makes my heart sing too!!!!! Sending hugs, love and prayers.

  5. Rusty, Alice, Elissa & Peter says:

    FANTASTIC news! Outstanding! We love you guys!

  6. Mary Sullivan says:

    Outstanding news! love, Mary

  7. Kathy Brown says:

    What wonderful news! Congratulations!

  8. margaret sullivan says:

    That is super great news Iris . I love you. Maggie

  9. Nancy Spaan says:

    Great news Iris- I am so happy for all of you!!!

  10. Emily Lennon says:

    Wonderful news!

  11. bonnyG says:

    This is THE BEST NEWS! Very happy. I bet that was the best ice cream & shower…ever!
    happy-happy-happy

  12. joan duncan says:

    Praise God and bless you for your positive attitude! Love from Joan

  13. Tom, Lisa, Michael and Sean says:

    Fantastic! You all must be walking on air right now.

  14. Beth La Fleur says:

    That is GREAT news! What a journey you and your family have been on. Sending strength and good vibes your way…!

  15. Cindee Matyas Woltjer says:

    What a lovely post! Congratulations!! Best wishes to you!!! Cindee

  16. Meg says:

    Wonderful news Iris! And such a relief to have the drains out, I know! Now the mending.

  17. Tom and Barbara Kulesa says:

    Awesome news!!!

  18. Susan and Thom Dickerson says:

    We are so happy for you and think about you often. You are what is right with the world. Keep healing.

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