On Wednesday, I asked my oncologist whether she recommends doing a surgical biopsy of the marble under my arm. We know it is cancer, but we don’t know if it’s ER+ or ER-. Since I learned that it is not unusual for them to change back and forth, it seems important to know what my current cancer is if I am considering taking an Aromatase inhibitor.

She said even if we found out what that lump is, it wouldn’t tell us what the other tumors in my body are, and they aren’t necessarily consistent. In fact, she said, the cells aren’t consistent within a tumor. There can be both ER+ and ER- cells within one tumor. This was surprising news to me.

My tumor marker has gone down since my last blood test three months ago. That means that what I am doing is making a difference. She recommends putting off the surgery decision now, if I’m willing to wait until after my June PET scan. It will be useful to have this lump in place to give us something to measure in the PET scan to determine if the cancer is progressing or diminishing.

I love getting this message from my doctor. My preference is to do the least invasive treatment. I appreciate her support to keep doing what I am doing, which is many of the 9 strategies from Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds. One of those strategies is taking supplements. I have a hard time taking pills and can get grumpy about taking so many of them. I am making an effort to take them mindfully, gratefully, and with imagery about their effectiveness. It helps me do imagery when I have a lump I can actually feel. I can imagine some of that physical mass being transformed into healing energy.

I’m already feeling the joy of hearing that all tumors have diminished when I get my PET scan results in June.