For those of you anxiously awaiting to hear- I came home yesterday from the hospital.
Actually….the surgery was last Wednesday. Three hours long and another three of intense vomiting from the anesthesia. I finally came to at around 10pm that evening. By the next day I was ready to get out of that hospital! I was sharing a room with a woman who had a lumpectomy….and don’t do so well sharing in such situations. The bathroom door was so heavy I could not get into or out of it without total assistance…and the bathroom so small there was enough room for me on the toilet and my IV pole in front of me. They make you pee in a “hat” to measure urine outcome….and every time I went in the bathroom my roomate’s hat was in the toilet. So I was begging to get out of there. I came home Thursday late afternoon. But Friday morning I awoke to severe swelling and bleeding. We rushed off to the Dr. to learn that I had to have surgrey again to “clean out” the mastectomy area. I practically begged the Dr. not to make me go under anesthesia again….but I had to. So Friday late morning I went in for surgery again. It was discovered that I had constricted veins (probably from previous blood clot) and that this possibly lead to a large hemotoma that was blocking the drainage of the area. Dr. cleaned it out real good and closed me back up for a second time…leaving two drains rather than just the one I had previously.
Because of the blood loss and my already lowered red blood counts (from chemo)..my count dropped dangerously low. Dr. wanted to avoid a transfusion at all costs. Apparently there can be serious complications with a transfusion. So he kept me in the hospital through the weekend….making sure I was getting shots to help my body make more red blood cells and giving me mega-doses of iron. My counts came up enough that I was able to come home yesterday- 4 drains still attached. I’m in pain……I have numbing and obvious nerve damage on the side that my lymph nodes were removed from….but this may heal in time. I feel like a balding old man with a flat chest and a bloated beer belly! But the good news is that my hair is growing back rapidly…….
The even better news is that my pathology report came back Saturday. Both my left and right (cancerous) breasts were completely sliced in sections and examined. No cancer was found in either. The sentinal lymph node of my left (non-cancerous) breast had no evidence of cancer. And of the 11 lymph nodes removed under my arm on the right side…..7 showed evidence of necrotic (dead) cancer. But NO LIVE CANCER WAS FOUND! What that means is as of this moment there is no evidence of disease in my body! We were so relieved we all cried and praised God for this good news! We are certain that it was your prayers that God answered- even when we were too weak and discouraged to pray for ourselves!
I see Dr. Sales (surgeon) on Thursday to have the drains removed. And I see Dr. Patel (oncologist) next week to discuss the plan from this point. I know he will recommend 2 more chemotherapy treatments (and a new PortACath) and then 6 weeks of radiation. But with a totally renewed faith and strength………this does feel like the downslope of the mountainous part of my experience! Please come along side and praise God with us as we have so very very much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!