Medical Update From Sylvie, in Her Own Words

Medical oncology breast cancer

We met with the oncologist, and the outlook looks promising if things go as planned. But that’s not guaranteed, of course. All we can do is tackle this cancer head-on and hope for the best.

The doctor didn’t sugarcoat, and we’re happy for that. But he knows how strong Sylvie is, and both Sylvie and the doctor kept reassuring me that Sylvie is NOT a statistic. Medical Update From Sylvie, in Her Own Words news  tumor surgery statistic prognosis positive palliative oncologist love liver facebook clinic chemotherapy breast cancer

Certainly, we would have hoped for more certainty. But is there anything in life that’s 100% certain? Nothing is. But at least we got more clarity. And that’s important.

Here’s the full update. But rather than retyping Sylvie’s excellent post on Facebook, I decided to reprint it here for updating you on her condition. Take it away, Sylvie.

[hr]

Just got back from the oncologist. News is not great, but it could be worse.

It has been confirmed that it is, in fact, my breast cancer that has metastasized to my lung, liver and bones. I say “it could be worse” because they could have found major tumours and it could have been far more advanced. But it hasn’t and isn’t.

There are a couple of “spots” on my liver and a couple of spots on my spine, as well as the phlegmy stuff in my lungs. So, prognosis isn’t as dire as it could be.

Our first priority is clearing up the lungs. Chemotherapy starts this week. No waiting. No delays. I’ll have at least six months of weekly chemo and regular checks to see how I’m responding to it. I’m choosing to think positively and deal with it one day at a time.

The medical term for exactly what is happening here is “lymphangitic carcinomatosis”, which is the specific way in which the breast cancer has chosen to reassert itself. It’s kinda scary, so the sooner we hit the ground running, the better.

(I don’t recommend Googling “lymphangitic carcinomatosis”. It’s terrifying.)

We should know within the first 3-5 chemo sessions, whether or not my system will respond well to the chemo. If the lungs respond well, then I stand an excellent chance.

No radiation or surgery would be possible or helpful at this time, because there are no visible tumours. There are “suspicious spots” on the liver and in my back.

So, our first goal is to get me breathing properly as soon as possible. If we cross that hurdle, then my prognosis will improve significantly.

Chemo is entirely systemic, so the same chemo for the lung issue will automatically tackle the liver and bone as well. I am so incredibly relieved that there is no evidence of any tumour activity anywhere near my brain.

I really like my brain and would like to keep using it. Medical Update From Sylvie, in Her Own Words news  tumor surgery statistic prognosis positive palliative oncologist love liver facebook clinic chemotherapy breast cancer

However, the reality here is that I am Stage 4 (i.e., it’s metastatic breast cancer), and everything that is done for me is considered palliative from here on in.

And it will be so for the rest of my life.

Starting this week, I will have at least 6-9 months of chemo treatments, then a break for a few weeks or months, then more chemo, and then another break. And this will continue until either I show absolutely no more signs of any cancer anywhere in my body, or until I can’t take any more.

The doctor will continue to try different types of treatments and seek out opportunities for me to be in clinical trials. And we’re hoping that, because I am a seriously tough chick, I will baffle and amaze my medical team.

I love you all.

Sylvie

PS: And if any of you doubt that I’m a seriously tough chick… I forgot to mention something the doctor said yesterday.

The xrays show that I had a fractured rib recently. I had to laugh, because I remember it well. It was a couple of months ago, when the coughing fits were extreme. I felt my rib snap during an especially heavy coughing fit.

For a few days, I had to cough very carefully, and other than mentioning “I think I cracked my rib”, I didn’t whine or complain about it, and within a few days, I was able to breathe my way through the pain.

So, yeah.

Here’s why I mention it.

The main reason why Stage 4 cancer patients tend not to do too well is because they have a few treatments and they give up because it is “too hard”. Basically, they can’t take the side effects and after a few chemo treatments, they decide to stop and let nature take its course.

I WON’T BE DOING THAT!

I’m tougher than this stupid cancer. If I can tolerate a cracked rib without whining like a baby, then I can take whatever the doctors throw at me, even if it hurts like hell.

So, don’t give up on me, folks, because I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon either.


Bust a Move For Breast Health!

As you know, I’m participating in a “fitness-o-thon” in March to raise money for breast cancer research and treatments. It’s called Bust a Move For Breast Health™ and my goal is to raise $1,000. If you want to help out, the link is http://ottawacancer.kintera.org/bam/fortin and the donations go directly to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Research Foundation and will be used to advance breast health services, of which Sylvie is a recipient. If you need any more information, there’s an FAQ on the site.

Again, a big “thank you” from me and Sylvie.

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34 thoughts on “Medical Update From Sylvie, in Her Own Words

  1. Thanks for the update. My heart cries out for this to STOP. You have both had ENOUGH. I love you, I pray for you, and I admire your transparency and toughness. Thank you for the blessing that you are – both of you.

  2. christinejbrady

    You can do it Sylvie!
     
    Sending prayers and well wishes your way….
     
    ~Christine

  3. @michel.fortin  praying for Sylvie and for you and your blended family! may the verse, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”, be applied here.

  4. I wouldnt want to be those bastard cells. You will make them afraid and you will kick them from here to kingdom come.May the power of positive karma engulf you and continue to kick the living beejesus out of those unwelcome visitors. Love ya Sylvie

  5. Please get the book Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman MD….10000 patients with success stories…many dealing with advanced cancer….in addition to chemo this may get rid of the whole mess. God bless and protect you both.

  6. Sylvie,
    Your amazing strength comes from deep inside,
    How you do it, you should write a guide.
    Your words and actions always inspire,
    The way you do it, I truly admire.
    When I look at you, I’m very proud,
    Not afraid to proclaim aloud.
    Every challenge that you face,
    You manage it, with so much grace.
    This strength of yours often amazes,
    You deserve more than just praises.
    With all you do, I hope you get rest,
    The rest of us, are profoundly blessed.
     ~ AnitaPoems.com

  7. Hi Sylivie, All the best. Then, here are 2 strategies I’ve heard are helpful. You may find them interesting or not. You may already know of them. One. Acupuncture. Not as an alternative, but to lessen side effects. A friend when through serious chemo, and also had acupuncture. Very low side effects. In fact, she kept close to her regular schedule, which was astounding. And is doing well years later. Then, more in the “airy fairy” area – again not as an alternative but in conjunction: anything to do with “energy healing.” I am using this (very elementary stuff – I’m anything but an expert) on an old dog who has had serious trouble with stairs and sometimes even getting up. Now – also with massage, etc – he is getting better rather than worse. The theory behind it is that the body knows what to do with the energy. There’s lots on this – old Chinese stuff, like Daoism in addition to newer stuff. Anyway, I know you will be doing everything you can. And again, all the best to you. Elsa

  8. Adding my prayers for your recovery, and strength for all of you in the mean time.

  9. Dear Michel and Sylvie, I am so very sorry to hear this.   I was just introduced to this by a subscriber, PLEASE take the time to watch it together!!  It could save Sylvie’s life! http://canceriscurablenow.tv/home/success/ Sending lots of Love and prayers to you both and healing energy to Sylvie!

  10. You show that cancer that it picked the wrong person to “try” and invade, Sylvie. :)

  11. Dear Sylvie and Michel — I wish you the very best in overcoming this. I’ve tried for a couple of weeks to figure out what to say, but am at a loss for meaningful words.  You’re both smart, very good people (and I consider you friends as well as colleagues); my thoughts are with you as you work on handling this challenge together.     You both have courage and determination, as well as keen intelligence, which I know will serve you well as you fight this battle together, as a team.  Here’s to overcoming, surviving and moving forward through this.  Best wishes for a healthy recovery; I wish you well in the months ahead.     – ken

  12. So sorry you and Sylvie have to go through this, Michel. I know you are probably up to your ears with people giving you advice to beat the cancer. Would you mind one more? I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about the ketogenic diet lately. It literally starves the cancer cells of glucose – the “fuel” they need to survive. And they die. The diet works without harming the healthy cells in the body. It’s worth a look.

  13. Hey Sylvie,
     
    I now you are very strong and will conquer this successfully. I noticed that you have tremendous faith and you will beat this. You go, girl. We will continue tp pray for you.
    God bless and keep you. Amen
     
    Fimi

  14. DebraThompsonRoedl

    Sylvie… you and Michel are in our hearts and prayers.  You are amazing and blessed… with your positive attitude and determination and with God you can and will overcome this.  Don’t let anything negative come into your life… stay focused on the positive, joy, laughter and happiness.  We are with you each step of the way praying for the same. This is just another chapter in your amazing love story that you two will succeed in.
     
    We love you both!
    Deb, Robin and Randy

  15. This is sad news; This is treatable, it is difficult, but it heals. Three years ago, my wife had the same trouble as you, two years later, the tumor was removed. To face this thing must be two daily support each other, thinking to live. It is sometimes complicated, but for everyday small pleasures it offers, do not give up. Good luck michel, and more to sylvie.See you soon

  16. I don’t know you personally, only through these emails I receive.  But please know you’re in my thoughts and prayers and you have my love.  Peace.

  17. David Childress

    The Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr is a good read, and she was similar circumstances.

  18. Something like this reminds the rest of us how small our problems really are. Stay strong, kick butt.

  19. Sylvie & Michael.  Met you at one of  Armand’s Big Seminars not long after you were first dealing with the breast cancer.  Your strength then was amazing; your attitudes even better.  Thinking of you both and sending love and prayers from the Antipodes.  Judith

  20. Sylvie, you are one tough chick indeed. Best wishes and many hugs (except don’t hurt your ribs).

  21. Sylvie and Michel, I worked on Sylvie’s team years ago. I’m so sorry to hear of your difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

  22. “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you,
    for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
    Isaiah 41:10- Look to God’s Promises for Strength
     
    Praying for you guys!
    Jason

  23. You can do it Sylvie! I may not be there to tell you in person, and I may not keep in touch with you guys, but you are never far from my thoughts.

  24. Sylvie, my prayers are with you. May Allah bless you with speedy recovery and make the impossible happen. ameen.
     
    P.S. @Michelfortin You might want to send her reports to a hospital in Pakistan by former cricketer Imran Khan. They have cured such patients.

  25. You are brave, you are strong… you don’t need to give up. It will give up.
    - amag
    Sales Copywriter

  26. Sylvie, Michel, 
     
    My heart goes out to you guys.  Cancer can definitely be a scary thing.  Funny thing is, I was writing out some health ads by hand awhile back and ran across some health professionals who might have alternative therapies that could be effective against cancer (you may have to decide for yourself):  Julian Whitaker and Robert J. Rowen.  
     
    Some anti-cancer compounds like the ones in turmeric could be useful in smoothies with some sugar (supposedly the use of sugar to boost insulin may help to increase the amount of anti-cancer compounds that enter and kill cancer cells) – several teaspoons a day.  You could also try dietary changes like paleo or intermittent fasting as another way to boost the strength of your body’s own defences against cancer (by countering inflammation).  
     
    All the best,
    Sunny

  27. Sylvie and Michel, You’re clearly blessed to have each other and to have such a close and caring community of friends and readers here… and Sylvie, you’ve obviously got the fire to take this sucker on… but do let us know if there’s anything the copywriting community can do to help. We’re here for ya! P.S. I’d like to run a link in my e-letter for the March 2 fitness fundraising event Michel posted. But if there’s any other site you,d like to get out there also or instead, just let me know! Wishing you all the best thoughts from Paris, JF

    • @JohnForde Absolutely, John. Thank you so much for your support. That would be awesome. The link is http://ottawacancer.kintera.org/bam/fortin and the donations go directly to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Research Foundation and will be used to advance breast health services, of which Sylvie is a recipient. If you need any more information, there’s an FAQ on the site. Again, a big “thank you” from me and a big hug from Sylvie.

    • @JohnForde Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You helped us reach our goal, John, and we truly appreciate you! BIG HUGS!!!!!!

  28. As you know, I’m participating in a “fitness-o-thon” in March to raise money for breast cancer research and treatments. It’s called Bust a Move For Breast Health™ and my goal is to raise $1,000. The link is http://ottawacancer.kintera.org/bam/fortin and the donations go directly to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Research Foundation and will be used to advance breast health services, of which Sylvie is a recipient. If you need any more information, there’s an FAQ on the site. Again, a big “thank you” from me and Sylvie.

  29. Hi Michel, 
     
    Somehow the “and” after the link in this message below shows up as part of the URL when the post gets forwarded to email, which then breaks it… sending the reader to the blackbaud.com service that helps run the charity collection, instead of to your donation page. Just wanted to give you a heads up. To note, the link in THIS post online works fine. And P.S. I notice you’re now just $55 from your goal!

  30. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will heal your cancer completely, and that you will be completely symptom free. Our God is a healing God, you are a tough person, and together you will win!

  31. I’m new to your blog and just read this post. I will be thinking of you as you face this ordeal head-on.