Monday, November 16, 2009

A little bit of History

I thought I would start with a bit of back history on my Mom's case for you.

2010 would mark 15 years since Mom's initial diagnosis of breast cancer.
2010 also marks her third reoccurence.

In 1995 we went hiking with some friends up All Stones mountain on the David Thompson Highway by Abraham Lake. It was a wonderful hike and have a wonderful photo to remind us of the "10 more steps" it took to reach the top. When we returned Mom had noticed a rash under her arm and went to Dr. Hovan to get checked out. After a mamogram, some needle aspirations and lumpectomy Mom officially had breast cancer.

I'm not sure at which point the decision was made to perform a mastectomy but that is what happened. When you have cancer they put you through all these tests, and being that this was 15 years ago the variety of tests that Mom received was, let's say lucky. One of the tests scanned her brain and it revealed a mandarin sized tumor in her frontal lobe. So not only did she have breast cancer, but she also had a brain tumour. All discovered due to a persistent simple rash under her arm. And so the next two years were a rough ride.

Oct 1995 Dr. Onerheim performed her mastectomy surgery in Red Deer. All lymph nodes testing negative.
Dr. Graham oversaw her chemotherapy.
Dr. Furness performed reconstructive surgery.

Mom's brain surgery was performed by Dr. Steinke in Edmonton at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. It was definitely a rough ride. Mom had the initial surgery which removed the tumour which was thankfully benign, then an infection deveopped in her skull plate, so was sent back in and had a piece of her skull removed. For the next little while Mom was without a portion of her skull and made a protective piece with a portion of ice cream bucket. Once her infection cleared up she went back for more surgery to put in a titanium plate - because she wasn't hard headed enough ;).

1999 second occurence, was put on Tamoxifen for Five years.