Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Past due...just like a library book!

Well, I should have written some of this a while ago.  But you know what a procrastinator I am! So...on the cancer front...

April 5th, I had a 2nd surgery, this time to look at the sentinel lymph node & to get more tissue to clear up the margins of one of the tumors.  It wasn't a bad surgery...I had a little deeper anesthetic, but once again, they listened to my concerns, calmed me, & gave me lots of anti-nausea medicine.  I had the same nurse & anesthetist that I had in January, so that was a comfort in itself. I came home groggy and cranky, with a drain in my armpit where they took out the lymph nodes. That was a real PITA! But I dealt with it.  It was uncomfortable and awkward, but I had little pain, so it was okay. (Some really interesting stuff came out of there, but I don't want to make anyone gag before they read the whole thing!)

Went to see the surgeon to have the drain removed a week later.  I found out that she is baffled by my condition. Everything came out benign.  To quote the report:  "Focally hemorrhagic benign fibroadipose tissue showing no evidence of lymph nodes. When she went in for the nodes, she couldn't pick up any radioactivity (I had been given a radioactive injection which should have landed in the sentinel node.  She used a Geiger counter to find it, but couldn't). And she couldn't see any nodes.  Apparently between my "adipose tissue" (so much nicer than saying "fat") and  a lot of fibrous tissue (this probably has something to do with the lymphedema), they're either non-existent, or really buried.  She thought she got 2, but there weren't any in the sample!

The breast excision showed "margins...free of invasive carcinoma".  There is "ductile carcinoma in situ".  She tried to explain this to me, but I still didn't understand.  However, the oncologist explained it to me clearly.  Apparently there are cancer cells sitting in the ducts in my breast.  They're harmless now, and will remain so as long as they don't try to come out.  That could happen...or not!

The next day I had an appointment with my oncologist.  Between my appointment the day before and this one, she & the surgeon consulted.  They are sending off the tissue for a genetic test (I think I explained that in an earlier post).  I'm still looking at the possibility of radiation, chemo, or "simple" mastectomy.  I told Dr. Awaida  the words "simple" & "mastectomy" don't go together in my brain.  So she explained the 3 levels of mastectomy.  All I ever knew about was the radical one.  Apparently with a simple one, they leave most of the muscle, and just sort of slice off the breast tissue.  That would put everyone's mind to rest, because all the problems would be gone.  But I'm still not sure it's the way to go.

I see the surgeon again next week & the oncologist May 1.  Hopefully by then I'll have a clearer idea where I'm headed.  Nothing is simple...is it...?

I have lots of other things to write about.  I went to a crop & did some pretty cool (IMHO) layouts.  And Lucas has some exciting things pending in his little future.  I also have a new addiction - indie nail enamel! But I'm thinking if you've made it this far, you've done it by benefit of caffeine...so I'll wait for another day to share those goodies with you!

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and encouraging words you sent my way.  They help so much!

Enjoy the sun!



Nicole White said...

I was going to call you today to see how you are doing and say thank you for the adorable Easter card, but this sure sums it up! Glad everything is seeminly going well and those little cells are hiding - tell them not to come out!

And I really want to know what came out of your drain!

Ashley Farmer said...

So do you feel pretty good about everything? I don't really understand by reading the terms what is going on, but know that you are in my prayers.

I'm hoping that it will be a short fight for you and that you don't have to choose any options that you don't want to.