Wednesday, 30 March 2011

And Now.... A Sigh of Relief

To cut to the chase, the Reader's Digest version of my post-operative appointment was very routine.  I am healing well and, now for some great news:

1. The tumour aka Griswold (1.4 cm) and its margins (6.9cm x 7.5cm x 2.9cm) were successfully removed.  There are no cancer cells at the tips of the margins that were taken. That means, "they got it all!"  Thank G-d!

2. All 4 lymph nodes that were tested are clear! Yey!

3. On the aggressiveness of the cancer, from a scale of 1 (meaning not aggressive) to 3 (meaning highly aggressive), my cancer is a 2.  Not bad at all!  Combined with the other factors, I am still at a Stage 1 Cancer (pT1cNO (i-) (sn); 1.4cm, Nottingham Grade II/III for you science/medical nerds.

4. As far as the cancer's receptive cells are concerned, I am both estrogen positive and progesterone positive.  Kind of unusual in my family.... as no one else has been positive to hormone receptors.  Not a bad thing, just a weird thing.  But, then again, I've been told that I am a little weird.  In the cancer world, this is very common actually.... and nothing to worry about.

5. The HER2 receptors have not yet been identified.  So, we are waiting for these results.  Plus, I qualified for the government to pay for oncotype testing of the genetic qualities of the tumour in the States.  That means that Griswold will be vacationing in California for a few weeks with $4000.00 as spending money courtesy of socialized medicine!   Information gathered from this testing will help determine what type of chemotherapy would be needed, if any... we'll wait and see.  I'll report back as soon as I know.


1. I will definitely have at least 5 weeks of radiation but AFTER chemo, if chemo is deemed useful.  Thus, if no chemo, I'd start in May sometime. If chemo is needed, I probably wouldn't start until late summer....

2. I will likely remain on estrogen or other hormone blockers (e.g. Tamoxifen or something in that family) for a number of years.... Not a bad thing at all.... Lots of positive research and great outcomes from this!

3. Chemo, if the oncotype testing proves this will be useful. Time, amount, etc. are yet to be determined...


1. I consult with the Radiology Oncologist at Princess Margaret tomorrow morning.  This is just so that I can become part of their patient roster for later treatment.  Don't tell the boss.... but I think I may play hooky later on and, possibly, go to the One of A Kind Craft Show after my appointment tomorrow :)

2. Genetics meeting on Monday, April 4.  They seem very keen to figure out how I link to the cancer picture in my family.  Good luck to them.......

3. Medical Oncology meeting at Mt. Sinai with Dr. Christine Elser the end of April to review all info (including HER2 and other genetic markers) to determine full treatment plan.


It's business as usual... No disruptions to Passover!  I will be up to full strength and armed with Pema my secret weapon to help out!  Can't wait!!!!  I'll be working full-time for the next month and then, we'll see what happens in May!  My goal is to definitely attend David's bar-mitzvah in New Rochelle!  We have to break this cycle of missing certain Rosenstein functions due to pregnancy/final exams and/or an appendectomy!

In closing, I feel great. Had a wonderful lunch with Jordan. Kids feel like a weight has been lifted off them. The sun is shining, I took Lacy out for a long walk and I am so, very happy and relieved.  Sure, there's stuff ahead to deal with, but in the grand scheme of things, very small.  Just inconvenient really.

Again, thanks for your notes, expressions of love, gifts, food, prayers and everything else.  I am truly blessed!

With love to you all!



  1. Mazel tov on the good news, thanks for posting on your blog, I have been thinking about you but didnt want to bug you by calling. Left a little something for you in your office but can drop off at home if you wont be in, inthe next week or so. Take care of yourself and I hear the one of a kind show is great. Cindy

  2. Melissa, thanks for the update. If I can be of any help to you re: family history etc. please let me know. When my cousin Doreen Hirsch was diagnosed w/breast cancer 4 years ago, Kaiser would not do her genetic testing. I sent a long detailed letter and voila! TESTING DONE! So keep me in mind if you run into a brick wall. I am here to help you in any way I can.
    I am praying for similar results in all your tests ... then we can celebrate!
    Many hugs and a K-Zillion kisses, Doreen xxx

  3. Jane Aronovitch31 March 2011 at 09:44

    Great news! So happy for you. Here's to continued similar successes.


  4. Melissa,

    With your positive attitude, you have already beat this!

  5. We have been constantly thinking about you and praying in our own special way with our direct link to Jerusalem. Great to hear that your Medical prognosis is very very good. We know how much you love the big family Passover. We will see you very soon and are happy that our prayers have been answered. Refuah Schlaima. Love, The Goodmans

  6. Sandra Waldman4 April 2011 at 08:11

    Finally got this link from Martin.
    I have been worried about you,
    Keep your positive attitude.

    Cousin Sandra from Israel

  7. Melissa:
    We are all so thankful for the good news and your amazing attitude. With hugs, kisses and our prayers.

    Elinor Halpern