Welcome to the Breast Cancer Diaries – Day 22. I received some good news Friday. Monday I saw my surgeon and it was good, but no pathology report yet. Tuesday I say my plastic surgeon and it was great because they took out the drains and did this other procedure, but still no pathology report. Friday, just before I was set to leave for my oncologistI got a phone call. My pathology report was in! My left breast showed no sign of cancer. The tumor in my right breast was 5 millimeters (that’s tiny). It had clean margins and had not spread to my lymph nodes. That means no chemo and no radiation! Talk about immediate relief. I didn’t realize how stressed I was about that until I found out I had nothing to worry about.
Off to the Oncologist
I got off the phone with my surgeon and then it was off to the oncologist. I have to tell you, I love this doctor. He is kind, and super observant. When he walked he asked me if I had a headache, I did. I can only surmise that it was because of all the emotions that went rushing through my body when I found out that the path report was good. We talked about what I was taking for my headache (Extra Strength Tylenol), and he made a suggestion of something else to take.
Then we talked about pain from the tissue expanders. They hurt, not like I’m being stabbed, but it’s a pretty ongoing ache with some shooting pains. They will fade away as the tissue stretches, but it’s not a pleasant feeling to say the very least. So to help with that, he gave me a prescription of Gabapentin to help with the pain. Anything that makes the achy pain less is good.
He also asked about my sleeping which is not good. I literally am sleeping for like an hour at a time and then up for a couple of hours and then doze off again. So I’m getting lots of sleep, but none of it good, or healing. So he gave me a prescription to help me sleep.
He also mentioned that I look like I’m losing weight. For me that was a big yippee, for him not so much. I’m not trying to diet or anything, it’s just that I’m not hungry and nothing sounds good. He suggested for the next few weeks, I don’t worry about what I’m eating, just eat whatever sounds good. Eat small meals every couple of hours and not worry about fat and calories, for right now.
The Big Guns
Then he started talking about the big guns. The hormone blockers I will need to take for the next several years to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back. Because even though I don’t have boobs any longer, I can still get breast cancer. How not cool is that? He suggested I start taking Letrozole in about two weeks. I am really not thrilled with taking anything that is essentially going to make me go through menopause again. It wasn’t so fun the first time, why would I want to experience night sweats, weight gain and hot flashes all over again? Why? I’ll tell you why. By doing this, there is a 98% chance that this cancer will NOT come back. Those are odds I can get behind!
More Good News
Friday was a day of more good news. It was shower day! That was huge. No more sponge baths. I have to say it was quite possibly the best shower in my life. I can also drive. Not far, and not for long, but I can drive. I have to try and look for parking spaces where I can drive through because backing up is a struggle. I have to say though, the good news far outweighs the trifle things I’m dealing with. What’s a little discomfort and hot flashes when compared to the fact that my cancer has been removed from my body and there are meds to make sure it doesn’t come back?