Meeting with the oncologist.
While a surgery and radiation therapy can get rid of local cancer cells and prevent reoccurance at the local area, chemotherapy takes care of the whole body, killing spreading cells.
In my case in which many cancer cells were found in the axiliary lymph nodes, there is a high chance that microscopic cancer cells are still flowing somewhere in my body through lymph fluid, and chemotherapy is a must.
I was using 1)Taxotere, 2)Carboplatin, & 3)Herceptin. 1) & 2) are chemo drugs that kill cancer cells and Herceptin is an antibody that prevents cancer cells from dividing and growing.
According to my pathology report, most cancer cells removed by the surgery were not dead but viable and this indicated the chemo was failing. Sometimes tough cancers like mine are seen among African-American women but it is rare in Asian women, said the oncologist.
Anyway we have to come up with new chemo. The problem is there is no manual for that, according to the oncologist.
However she will research, talking with her colleagues, and even with a non-Kaiser doctor such as at UCLA Medical Center and find the best chemo for me.
If I had had a surgery first and chemo second, I would not have noticed that the chemo was not effective until the cancer comes back. It was fortunate that we learned it during the chemotherapy. I can have a second chance to redo chemo and I should be thankful for this.