Saturday, August 7, 2010

July 10, 2008: post lumpectomy surgery

Lumpectomy surgery was 3 days ago. It went well, I guess. Coming out of the anesthesia wasn’t fun. I was so dizzy and just felt like passing out. I couldn’t sleep while in recovery because there was so much noise in the hospital. Why do they have to be so noisy when there are so many sick people around that need to rest? I don’t remember much; I don’t even remember going into the operating room or the moment I woke up in recovery. I just remember being in a lot of pain and being very dizzy.

My surgeon visited me after the surgery to tell me that it went well, but that the sentinel node biopsy was positive for signs of cancerous cells, so she had to go ahead and do the axillary node dissection. Scary. She said that the pathology report will indicate how many nodes were removed.

I felt much better once I got home that evening. It was great to see my babies!

It took a good day and a half to get the pain medicine steadily into me, and it has not completely taken the pain away. I came home with a drain coming out from under my arm and it is so uncomfortable.

Moving my arm hurts a lot, but I can’t just let it hang down because then it pushes on the drain and that hurts, too. The back of my arm is completely numb and I keep getting sharp, burning pains inside my arm. The doctor said that it’s normal because of the nerves that she had to cut through to get to the lymph nodes.

Chris has been a wonderful nurse to me as well as a Mr. Mom. He’s lost it with the girls a couple of times, but I talk him out of it. He hasn’t once complained about making breakfast for all of us each day and doing some clean up around the house. I think he’s really worried about me but he won’t talk about it or show it at all.

I received a call from my surgeon a couple days after the surgery and she said that I need to come back in to have more tissue removed. The lumpectomy removed all the invasive cancer but there’s still a little bit of non-invasive (in situ) cancer that’s on the edge of what was removed she explained. She needs to clear out 1 edge that has a “positive margin”.

What they look for in the pathology report are negative margins, which means no cancer was found anywhere on the edges of what was removed. As for the lymph nodes, 18 were removed and only one was positive – good sign. I guess that means that it most likely hasn’t spread.

Thank you God for finally allowing me to hear some (sort of) good news!

On July 14th I’ll go back for the second surgery to take out more tissue – it will be simple and faster than the first time.

I guess with the positive lymph node I’ll have to have chemo. I still can’t believe that this isn’t just a bad cold or the flu or something. Last night I really broke down with fear because I realized, I think for the first time, that I could die from this. I’m pretty sure I won’t, but there’s no guarantee. There’s also no guarantee that an airplane won’t fly into my house right now and kill me. That’s life, I guess, and I’m going to do my damndest to change mine. I want to be healthy and damn it I want to be skinny again!!

Pathology particulars: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Grade 3, Stage 2, NER2 negative, Estrogen- and Progesterone-Positive.

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