In my last post, I was having sleepless nights due to anxiety. Since then it has been about a week and despite some soreness, I feel like I am doing well. My energy levels are good and I am slowly starting to regain mobility. I was blessed that two of my sister in laws flew out to support me in my recovery. All of my trepidation from before has disappeared into the ether.
I elected to have my mastectomy at MD Anderson in Houston because of the Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic, specifically dedicated to women suffering from this rare breast cancer. My surgery day started off the day before, as I had to fast from 12 midnight until the time of my operation the next day. My check in was at noon and surgery scheduled for around 2, so I wasn’t allowed to have any water after 10am that day. The food part did not bother me because I am on a ketogenic diet and don’t get hungry, but boy was the lack of water hard for me. I love my water! While I was waiting in the check in room, I was not only stressing out about what was about to happen to me, but I felt so thirsty. My mouth was so dry that I felt I was going to shrivel up into a husk at any moment.
I was finally called in and had a short talk with my anesthesiologist, who was such a doll. He was so professional and friendly, but most importantly, he thoroughly explained everything to me so that I would feel comfortable with the procedure. The last thing I remember was someone telling me that they would give me something to “relax”.
About 4-5 hours later, I started to regain consciousness and I mean started to. I remember someone helping me stumble to the bathroom. Then nothing, until I suddenly felt lucid, opened my eyes and saw my husband’s concerned face. The surgery had taken three and a half hours and I’m not sure how long it took me to awaken. Apparently, my surgery team came in and told me that the surgery went well and there were no surprises. They did not have to remove any of my chest muscle like they had previously thought, because when they went in, it looked healthy. Yay! I don’t remember any of this – I guess I was still under the influence. The one thing I do remember though is asking for water. I was so thirsty! Did I say how thirsty I was?
I spent the night in recovery with the sweetest nurses; they gave me great comfort and reassurance. When I awoke, I could not rest because I was very concerned at how my wound looked. One of my nurses was kind enough to take a photo of it for me so that I could see what it looked like. Once I saw my wound, I was so relieved that it looked neat that I was able to relax and sleep. I got up early in the morning and walked around the ward a few times to loosen up my muscles and waited to be discharged from MD Anderson.
We stayed one more day in Houston, before we made the three hour drive back home to Austin. Dressed in a very stylish shirt given to me by The Breast Cancer Resource Center in Austin, that had various pockets to hold my drains, I headed down to our car. My husband packed up all my various pillows in many shapes and sizes, cushioning my body from any extreme movement. And off we went! Home to recover.
Step 2 of my three step cancer treatment is done. Now I just have to heal and await my final pathology report.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I delayed writing this post until today because I was waiting for the pathology results.
Well they called today!
And guess what!
Looks like they got it all! (will find out for sure at next scan)
- Clean margins
- 22 lymph nodes taken out of which only 3 had traces of disease
- Only 6% of disease in breast was still alive
- Chest wall is clear.
I am ready to jump for joy.
I never thought I would see this day.
I feel so free!!!“