Thankful for choices

My dad visited from Florida this weekend.

And I decided to go ahead with radiation treatment at Emory with Dr. Torres.

But if you’re looking for a radiation oncologist in Atlanta, consider Dr. Adam Nowlan.  Joey and I are so grateful to have his thoughtful, thorough second opinion.  He talked to my breast surgeon, pulled the relevant research and spent an hour with us on short notice.  And he emailed us this weekend with new data, the day it was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In short, radiation now seems like a no-brainer.  It attacks microscopic cancer cells left by chemo and surgery (and undetectable on scans) and reduces the chance of recurrence by 2/3.  No one knows exactly what my chance of recurrence is, but given that I had residual cancer at the time of surgery, after neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, it’s certainly higher than we’d like it to be.

Radiation can have quite a negative impact on reconstruction.  Oh, well.  As you can imagine, I’m pretty much over breasts, anyway.

This Wednesday, I’ll spend a few hours at Emory for a planning session.  Dr. Torres and her team will mark the areas that will receive radiation – my chest wall, the skin covering the tissue expanders (now deflated) and the remaining lymph nodes.  She suggested scarves or turtlenecks if I want to cover the markings (Sharpie marker and tape?).  I start radiation November 26.

Also on Wednesday, my cousin Kurt tackles a far more difficult treatment for melanoma.  I wish he had even half of the options I do – we are thinking of him and his family.



  1. Judy Watkins says:

    Your dad is so cute, just like you!


  2. Kris Wilkins says:

    I have two offices near u, can’t wait to spend some time with you after the first of the year!
    Love to read your updates. See u soon . Kris

  3. I’m thankful for good friends. And for positive dispositions in the face of adversity. And advanced medicine. And husbands. And for children, who never allow us much time to think about ourselves.

    Much love to you all!

  4. Sending prayers. I hope you guys have a fabulous Thanksgiving break. Will you be home or are you traveling? Some good down time will help you gear up for more treatments. I will be praying for minimal side effects. Once you get started, I will check in to see what you might need. I can do anything you need from meals to shopping to taking kids places. Just let me know. And thanks for the visual. Now I can’t get the image out of my mind of you with grapefruits in your bra!
    I will also pray for your cousin.