The Dullest Blog in the World

It’s two weeks since my surgery and I’m happy to report that I am feeling excellent.  I am walking 20-30 minutes a day and completely off the painkillers.  This week I have appointments with the Dr. Nathalie for surgery follow-up and Dr. Smith to plan the radiation.

Then this space turns into the dullest blog in the world.

The crisis is nearly past and life continues, albeit at a reduced pace until radiation is complete towards the end of August.  I’ll post a few more times and encourage you to subscribe to my Creativity Blog and Newsletter.  You can get the RSS feed of blog posts and/or subscribe to a very readable newsletter.

Come on over–we’re having fun!

Surgery Report

Well today was the big day and it went very, very well.  Susan here, writing this evening as Maggie is feeling her pain meds.   We checked into the hospital early this morning and headed over to the diagnostic lab where they inserted a wire in Maggie’s breast.  This wire serves as a guide for the surgeon.  The very thought of it sends me into a protective kind of “lean forward, crossed arms slouch”.  Maggie felt the wire but luckily was also feeling her valium (among other things they had given her) so thankfully she didn’t experience the same pain as she did in her biopsy. 

Back to the surgery area where we waited for Dr. Johnson to arrive. The fabulous nursing staff fixed our gal up with an inflatable blanket that plugged into a machine beside the bed and blew warm air into the blanket.  It just kind of floated there keeping her warm.  Nice!

The surgery took exactly an hour.  I met Dr. Johnson right after she finished.  She was beaming.  She found exactly what she was expecting.  No invasive cancer, all contained in the duct, no lymph involvement – yahoo!  Dr. Johnson said she thought she got a good margin but we need to wait to for the biopsy results.  We will receive these on Thursday. 

Worst case is another round of same surgery next week to remove more cells.  It seemed, talking to Dr. Johnson, that this was very unlikely.  So Mag is celebrating tonight with her favorite comfort foods.  That’s right – a foot-long Spicy Italian Sandwich from Subway, extra spicy cheetos and peanut M&Ms for dessert.  She earned it.  When the radiologist who was to put the wire in postulated out loud that maybe he’d put two wires in instead of one,  Maggie just smiled.  She did a great job today.

So all is good in our world tonight.  Thanks all for your thoughts and prayers.

It’s (Almost) Showtime!

Friday afternoon I finished up the last doctor visit before my surgery.   Whew.  Having something wrong is sooooo time consuming.

It is also difficult some days to feel normal.  As I got my blood drawn again and filled out my medical history yet another time it all felt so medical.  When I am at home and quiet, I am me.  When I am at the hospital having blood drawn or scans done I feel like such a patient.  It’s not that staff aren’t wonderful.  Excepting the mean surgeon who did my biopsy everyone is incredibly considerate.

Here’s my oncologist Dr. John Smith.

He is as nice as he looks.

And my surgeon, Dr. Nathalie Johnson.

Here’s The Plan:

On Tuesday I will have the surgery.  I don’t even have to stay overnight.

Three to four weeks later I will begin external radiation.  Turns out I wasn’t as good a candidate for a newer, shorter-term radiation therapy.  So, I’m going to have the ‘tried and true” treatment, every day for six weeks.  Apparently, some people ‘experience fatigue’.  Ya think?   But I digress.

Here’s what I’d appreciate:

At 1:00 PST on Tuesday, think of me and send me good, strong, positive energy.  Affirm clean margins. We want the pathology report to come back saying that the cancer is safely out.  We won’t get the pathology report back for a couple of days and I’ll post what we know when we know it.

Thank you for your caring.  It really does make me feel strong.

Dwelling in Ambiguity

It’s been three weeks since my blood was drawn for the BRCA genetic test.  It’s quite the genome science project apparently.

Also, apparently, it hasn’t gone forward because my insurance company has denied the claim.  Never mind the familial history and the history of melanoma.  Grrrrrr.  (deep breath….I am grateful for my insurance….I am grateful for my insurance….I am grateful for my insurance.)

So, no news yet to further complicate my treatment choices.

And who knew there were so many choices?  I’ve connected with numerous women with the same diagnosis and their treatments varied widely.  Here is a list of possible treatment choices:

  • Watchful Waiting.  Keep an eye on it and help the body fight it through less invasive means.
  • Lumpectomy.  Remove only the cancerous bits.
  • Lumpectomy with Radiation.  Radiation for 6 weeks or radiation for 6 days.
  • Mastectomy of the cancerous breast.
  • Bilateral mastectomy
  • Bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation, Tamoxofin for 5 years

Really, my head is spinning.   Fortunately, I don’t have to decide anything today.  Soon, but not today.  Next week I have multiple medical appointments.

Chaos theory tells me that a pattern will appear.  Then, I hope, all will be clear.