In 2014, I was diagnosed with aggressive metastatic breast cancer, stage 4, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). In less than a year, I had 4 months of chemo, 4 blood transfusions, a breast tumor & lymph node surgery. It was all topped off by 33 rounds of radiation.

It began in the breast, invaded the chest wall, lymph nodes (19 were removed by surgery). Each section of my liver was covered with tumors, rendering removal by surgery impossible. At the end of my chemo, my spine doctor found a dead tumor in my spine.

If you like the tech stuff, the numbers are:

  • The SUV measures how deadly your tumor is. Anything above 2.5 is considered malignant. Mine was 16.2. 
  • The RATE or ki67 measures how fast the disease was growing within my body. They consider 20% high, and my rate was 60%.
  • The GRADE represents the quality of the tumor. You need to add three factors to get the grade: the nuclear grade, tubule formation, and the mitotic index.  My Grade was 3 out of 3.
    • The nuclear grade determines how normal the nucleus of the cancer cell looks. The grade of 3 is the worst, and mine was 3. 
    • The tubule formation is the percentage of cells that have a tubular formation. The average score was 1, and mine was 3. That’s 3 out of 3. 
    • The mitotic index measures how quickly the cancer cells are dividing and multiplying. The highest score you can get is 3, and that was my score.  

I’ve had it easier than some and harder than others. We don’t compare. Everyone’s cancer is usually the worst thing to happen in their lives. There is always hope and strength in God.