Monday passed and then Tuesday. No word on the pathology report.
Wednesday was my post-opp appointment with my oncology surgeon so surely we would find out then. But it was not to be.
From one surgeon’s office to another. One spot just wasn’t draining at the same pace as other areas so doctor #1 sent me over to see doctor #2.
Between surgeries, he tried to drain any excess fluid from the area, but got very little. I don’t blame him for only poking around with that needle so much. After all, they do teach them in med school not to stick needles near balloons and that is exactly what it was like as he tried to drain fluid from around my expander. There was absolutely no feeling in my left breast. It was amazing. I thought I would at least feel pressure when he did the stick. Nothing. In fact, after he had already done a couple, I asked if he had started yet.
My resulting stab wounds are evidence that it happened …
After seeing doctor #2, I was homebound. I sat down to my computer to do a couple of things – work things. It’s not like I don’t still have work to do in the midst of all of these distractions.
I left my desk (and my phone) thinking that I wouldn’t hear today since it was 5:53pm. Another night of waiting?
I came back in the room and saw a missed from my doctor’s office. Ack! I missed her. And no voice message.
I called the number back and got the overnight service. What was I going to do? It would really drive me crazy if I had to wait until tomorrow – with the knowledge that I had missed that call.
I would email. Smartphones – email would get to her just like a call….
I hit send at the same time my phone rang again.
Yes. It was the call.
At first the news was good. The two cancerous areas in the removed breast tissue were pretty consistent with how the mammograms and ultrasounds had presented them.
If that were the end of the story, it would be sort of fine. But it isn’t the end. There’s always a “but” isn’t there?
But #1: The four lymph glands tested came back positive. This would require that I have surgery to remove the other lymph glands on the left breast side. The desire is to have this surgery within 10 days.
But #2: A small/tiny patch of skin removed when closing the breast tissue tested positive too. Since I would already be in surgery, the affected skin will be removed.
But #3: Since the cancer is now outside of the breast, chemo will be required. I don’t know how long my chemo plan will last. The original duration I was given was 2-4 months, but that was when we were talking in generalities, before actual pathology results were involved.
But #4: Radiation will come after chemo. The duration I remembered from my original conversation was daily for 6 weeks.
But #5: Use of an oral hormone inhibitor is most likely after all other steps are completed.
With all of those “buts” how can I help but be discouraged?
Is there a good side? My reconstruction phases of filling my inserted expander will continue. The difference is that all treatment will have to be completed before the real implant can be put in where the expander is doing its job. I will also undergo a full body scan to make sure that nothing else is creeping around anywhere.
So. There it is. Even with all of this slapping me in the face, the waiting isn’t over.
I’m waiting on a surgery date again. And I’m waiting on a date for the body scan.
I’ve heard folks describe their battle with cancer as a journey. That’s the truth. It’s a journey of waiting.