Category Archives: tests

Does the BRCA 5-site rearrangement panel include BART testing?

My medical geekiness showed its colors today.  Last night, at the Young Survivors Sunday Starbucks group an amazing guest speaker mentioned the BART test for those who had tested BRCA negative.  So, I dug out my trusty notebook of lab results, flipped to the genetics section and found my Mar 2007 “Comprehensive BRACAnalysis.”  It lists the testing done as a “5-site rearrangement panel.”

Even with the technical specs, I can’t tell if this includes the BART or not. Continue reading


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Filed under breast cancer, screening, tests


Digital mammograms are amazing things. No waiting, just the results – right away. Plus EPIC West rocks – they have chocolate to eat while you sit and wait for the radiologist to read the mammogram pics. (Deep stress calls for chocolate.) They called me back for one additional pic just to be careful, and I got the all clear. Whew. Continue reading


Filed under breast cancer, screening, tests

good &….

Good news: echo-cardiogram is normal! No chemo damage for me. Doesn’t explain the heart palpitations, but at least it’s nothing structural. Continue reading


Filed under quality of life, recovery, tests

Good news

Tumor marker test (CA 15-3) came back normal.  But then again, it was normal when I knew I had a tumor in me.  But apparently that happens with early cancer.  So, not quite sure what good it is.  I’m told it’s trends that count.

Still not quite sure I understand it, but if the doc says it’s good, I’m going with it.

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Three months post-chemo & all’s right in the world

Just got back from my 3-month medical oncology checkup. My onc. was surprisingly accepting of the fact that I decided to take a short tamoxifen break while I’m finishing up rads. I was afraid he’d be mad, but he wasn’t at all. Whew. Not only that, he offered to do the CYP2D6 testing to see if I metabolize tamoxifen AND he offered to do hormone testing as well. Continue reading


Filed under breast cancer, chemo, CYP2D6, quality of life, radiation, recovery, tamoxifen, tests

Needle-core biopsy

I’m constructing a timeline in the “about” section, and found this piece about my needle-core biopsy.

March 10, 2007

It was yesterday, and let’s just say that if the local anesthesia had actually worked it would have been fine, but it didn’t, and I ended up in so much pain 15 minutes afterwards on my way home ( a 7 or 8, touching into a 9 on a scale of 10) that I threw up, that I was uncontrollably and involuntarily sobbing (I couldn’t believe how much it hurt), that I had to beg for painkillers (which my doc wrote because it was clear I was in really bad shape) and then go through hell to get them. Heads will roll, it shouldn’t have happened. Continue reading

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Filed under breast cancer, quality of life, tests

Metabolizing tamoxifen

What an interesting time we live in. Turns out that there are specific genes that affect enzymes that metabolize drugs. And some drugs inhibit the enzymes. This is important for women taking tamoxifen, because if it’s not metabolized well then it has less protective value. For me, tamoxifen is supposed to increase my survival chances just as much as chemo did. So metabolizing it well seems pretty important. Continue reading

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Filed under breast cancer, CYP2D6, tamoxifen, tests