Treatment Update: Post-surgery

Surgeries went fine – no complications. I was at the hospital a total of 5 hours and unconscious for 2. I remember them putting a mask on my face, telling me it was oxygen and to breathe deeply. When I opened my eyes, I asked the nurse when we would get started and she said, “You’re all done, hon.” Good job! I didn’t have to feel all the last-minute “I’m going out” anxiety. Several pre-surgery adjustments, but all par for the course. The best news is that the surgeon did not find ANY tumor. I can tell he did a thorough search, too. I’m just a little sore, but not enough to need the pain meds they prescribed. OTC’s are doing the trick. That and ice packs for 20 minutes every two hours. However, contrary to the nurse’s steadfast pledge, ice is not my friend. It tends to hurt quite a bit just before it numbs.

Bandages came off, yesterday and it’s not so bad. I’m stitched and glued. I think the surgeon did a nice job under the circumstances. Pathology reports come back next week. Fingers crossed!

Treatment Update: Pre-surgery

Surgery is set for tomorrow morning. I know it’s outpatient and everything is expected to go well, but these procedures are not without risk and/or side effects. Of course, there is also the unknown pathology results I will have to wait several days for.

Overall, I am okay with this part of treatment. I really don’t want them to take any lymph nodes, but I understand why they’re doing it. Images of my lymph nodes have all been clear from the beginning of this. In my mind, I can’t justify the risk of lymphedema. They want to be “sure,” though. Yeah, okay. It’s not like I can get out of it – it’s “standard procedure.”

I did get a nice new button-down shirt to wear home afterwards. It came all folded up and sealed in plastic – I have washed and dried this thing and the wrinkles still won’t come out of it. It’s times like this I wish I had an iron & ironing board, but I don’t because I hate ironing. I just got used to wearing clothes that don’t need it. It’s easy enough to do. No cleaners in my town, either.

Yes, I am distracting myself from the real issues. I am concerned that the anesthesiologist is not going to monitor my blood sugar while I am out or try to keep me out of DKA range. The last one told me he would, but when I woke up, he said he hadn’t even checked it. It was 230 going in and coming out. That’s barely DKA, but still bad – especially for someone who has had type 1 diabetes for 40 years.

As for the pathology reports, I’m praying for clear margins and clear lymph nodes. Also, I don’t want any complications from the surgeries. I just want to get this over with and get back home to my normal routine for a short while before I have to start radiation treatments.

The week before any kind of surgery or procedure is rough for me. I have arthritis, scoliosis, sciatica and an autoimmune disease – and can’t take anything anti-inflamatory. I can’t have any vitamins or supplements, either. Ugh. I can take Tylenol, but it doesn’t do anything. The inflammation and pain are getting to me.

So, anyway, I’m outta here. I have prep-work to do around the house. I’ll be back. I hope everyone has a great week and that anyone going through this with me is having good results. L8r.

Pink is not My Color

One in eight women will get breast cancer. On January 30th of this year, after a month of scans and tests, I officially became a “one.”

Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in situ Her2+, to be precise, has been my every day life for 2018. I have had 16 rounds of chemo and will have a lumpectomy at the end of the month, during which they will also take at least one lymph node and remove my chemo port. After I heal from that, I will begin an unknown number of radiation treatments followed by hormone blockers for the next 5 – 10 years.

So, this year is all about “saving second base.” I feel lucky to have been given a good prognosis. There are no guarantees, they tell me, but I am responding well to treatment. I have good doctors and hope to not have to see them every other week by 2019.

And, yes, my oncologist did my hair. I think I paid too much. I wake up every morning with fuzz-frizz. 😉