Monday, July 26, 2010


Those treated for cancer eventually are told what stage they are: Stage 0 (cancer hasn't spread beyond the original spot) through Stage 4 (spread to other organs). What is Stage 1 for one type of cancer isn't necessarily what is Stage 1 for another. I was told I was at Stage 2A meaning a tumor between 3- 5 cm but with no nodal involvement. But not all Stage 2A s are the same. I had a high grade tumor. If I had a low grade tumor, my odds would improve considerably. But knowing what stage you are at, physicians can quickly assess  approximately where you are at.

The other day at our survivor group, we were a mixture of stages. There were a few Stage 4 people there and one woman was really having a hard time accepting that she may have little time left. Someone glibly told her that no one, even cancer free people don't know how much time they have, the old you could be hit by a bus tomorrow chestnut. Small comfort that was but of course I wouldn't be able to come up with anything better myself.Those of us in earlier stages fear that we could find ourselves in Stage 4. Later I suggested to the moderator that they have a Stage 4 support group..they are in a different place than the earlier stages people.
But not all Stage 4 people are going to die soon.  I know of some Stage 4 people who are now NED (no evidence of disease, not the same as no cancer but almost as good). Cancer is sometimes converted to a chronic condition held in check by various medications. Increasingly more people find themselves in this category.

Naomi and Maya came over yesterday. Maya wants to eat around the clock but so far, Naomi has been able to keep up with her demands. The other day she asked me Aren't you glad I had her?
A trick question as I had lectured her over and over about NOT becoming pregnant so young. I told her that I am glad Maya is here but all of our lives have been made much more difficult.

I ran a long way today to make up for my sloth of yesterday. I suddenly developed a hole in the toe of my shoe. Have to get new shoes pronto as I am now risking injury.


Holly said... tumor was 1.5 cm and i was told i was stage II, grade III, no nodes but TNBC...

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

According to the Merck Manual, staging is decided only on the basis of tumor size, node involvement and metastises and that would put you as a Stage 1 as your tumor < 2 cm. However, since you had TNBC, your prognosis might be more similar to a Stage 2. But we are both doing well so good for us!!!

Nae said...

aside from the medical insurance, she herself is not difficult.she fullfills me, and for maybe once in my life, i care more about her than myself, so maybe you could look at it more as a life lesson and less of a dissappointment..

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I am not disappointed. You are being a good mom.

Alli said...

I was diagnosed as Stage3 Grade3 Breast Cancer. I used to make myself go crazy trying to find out every bit of information I could for this staging.


Blog Archive