I survived surgery. It was and continues to be harder than I expected. Monday, October 22nd I went in for a lumpectomy on the left, revision of my right to match my left, and a possible axillary (armpit) dissection where they would remove hopefully one lymph node. Going into surgery we knew that the axillary dissection could happen, but my surgeon was hopeful that the one lymph node we needed to remove would be easy and the dissection wouldn't be necessary. Well sadly, it wasn't so easy and she did need to do the full axillary dissection. This involves cutting below your muscles into tissue and stripping of the vessels, removing of lymph nodes, and removal of nerves. Outside of this bump in the road, surgery was successful. They were able to remove both breast masses on my left side, and in total took out 17 lymph nodes. My pathology came back still showing cancer in the two breast masses and the one single lymph node, but nothing had spread. Disappointingly, nothing had really responded to the chemo either, so I am going to have to go back on one of the additional targeted therapy drugs until April.
I'm about three weeks out from surgery and still having a decent amount of discomfort. I can't do for myself things that I normally could do...put dishes away with my left arm, dressing is still difficult, lifting a milk jug with the left, etc. I started physical therapy this week to get some range of motion back in my arm and to hopefully prevent one of the main side effects of surgery which is lymphadema. I"ll go a couple days a week for awhile until things improve.
I have had one dose of targeted therapy since surgery, my next round is the week after Thanksgiving and will continue every 3 weeks until sometime in April. On November 26th, I will go to my first radiation appointment to be fit for the device that your body lays in during the radiation treatments. Once they make that mold, I'll get the "go" from them to start the actual radiation, most likely the week of December 3rd. I'll do radiation every day for 6 weeks (not including Sat/Sun).
For now, I've been a bum at home. Sleeping lots, resting my arm, helping the kids with homework, shuttling Adalyn to gymnastics, watching their Veteran's Day program, and hanging out with my husband on his Tues/Thurs work from home days (it is nice to have him in the house even if he is busy working)! I'm ready to get back to doing, ready to get back to working, to being around people, and eventually moving my body in a "healthy" workout type of fashion. I can tell it is going to take some time, and patience as many know is not my virtue!
The photo I included is a recent pic of the four of us from the kids Veteran's Day play. They have been going to school early for the last 3 months on Monday mornings to participate in theatre club. I'm a proud parent, they both did exceptional and stuck with it when they didn't want to rise and shine on dreary Monday mornings! Andrew even had 2 speaking parts! He didn't get my "public speaking" is the enemy mentality!
As you can see in the photo, my hair is slowly growing back. Again, patience is not my virtue and I'm longing for shoulder length hair, especially as the cold weather sets in! The debate continues on whether it is going to be straight or curly. I think it looks grey/silver in color, Matt disagrees and tells me it is blonde/brown. But in reality, it is still really hard to tell what this head of hair is going to look like eventually. I had said pre-chemo, just give me my blonde back. But now, I care less about what color it is and more about just getting some hair to keep my head warm! Funny how priorities change.
Continued thanks for the prayers, happy thoughts, cards, gift cards, calls, texts, and love.