It has been a rough couple of months. And, as usual, my unhealthy coping mechanism is going to ground.
But writing this blog has been one of the most fun and rewarding things I have ever done and is definitely something I am not giving up on. I have been jotting down a few ideas for posts and as I feel better I will work them up and get them on line.
I had the surgery to remove the malignant tumor from my breast last week and followed up with my surgeon yesterday. I cannot say enough good things about her. The first surgeon I saw had me frantic with fear due to my complicated medical history. When I met with Dr. C. for a second opinion, her down to earth, direct manner was instantly reassuring. She was frank about concerns over potential problems, but expressed confidence in managing them. At the hospital for the surgery, I continued to be just bowled over by her easy going presence. She was relaxed and cheerful and hands on, no chore was beneath her. She even helped out pushing my bed to the OR, rather than waiting for the one whose job it was. You just couldn’t help feeling assured by her all-around niceness. I actually asked her if she had been a nurse before she was a physician, she was so unassuming, the antithesis of your usual I-Am-God surgeon. She laughed and ascribed it to her upbringing and OCD. More reason to love her. She makes you want to be her best friend. Or maybe marry her.
Not to be left out, my anesthesiologist was outstanding as well. His clinical expertise combined with incredible compassion truly helped in easing my considerable fear of the anesthesia, in light of my lung complications.
Anyway, the follow up appointment was a mixed bag. She got the whole tumor, which turned out to be the size of an egg. While there were cancer cells in the margins, she believes she got it all out. That was the good news. I was surprised and dismayed to learn that after discussing my case at a meeting this week, the team felt chemotherapy could be necessary. But with all my health problems, I might not be well enough to withstand it. That was upsetting on both levels. Then there is the radiation, which is the usual protocol after a lumpectomy. I was really keeping any thought about the whole process at the back of my mind, it was just too much to take in before the surgery. But now that it is imminent, the reality of what a trial it will be began to hit home. Radiation is done five days a week, Monday to Friday, for six and a half weeks. With my mobility issues, this is going to be tough. It will be a challenge getting me there, it will be a challenge getting me on the table and it will be a challenge for me to lay on my back for a prolonged period of time. As with everything else in my life, this will be really complicated.
Then I have the gall bladder issue. I still have a biliary drain in, a constant source of discomfort and worry about potential infection. But we dare not attempt the surgery, because God forbid I have complications, it will delay the breast cancer treatment again, as it has been delayed over the past months by all my health crises.
I am working at staying positive. For one thing, I have a group of incredible, wonderful, loving friends behind me. I am inundated by cards, phone calls, visits and well-wishing on Facebook. I am humbled by everyone’s faithfulness. I feel as though I owe it to them to keep upbeat. If they have confidence in me, who am I to be gloomy?
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