Thursday, October 30, 2008

Details, details, details.

This is my blog. Which is essentially my personal diary or journal of a record of what's going on in my life. It's always interesting to go back months or years later and be reminded of things that seemed so important at the time that I felt the need to make a record of it.

Obviously, breast cancer is taking a front seat in my life right now and lucky you, I have given permission for you to become a voyeur and peer inside my life. If you think you might be offended by graphic descriptions of my left breast then by all means feel free to avoid your voyeuristic tendencies until such time as something more pleasant consumes my life.

I cannot believe how much more difficult I am finding it to bounce back after this second surgery. After the first surgery, I basically jumped off the operating table and never looked back. Of course there was lots of bruising and stuff to deal with but I was feeling pretty normal and headed back to work within a few days.

I know the body doesn't respond favourably to having anesthetic twice in two weeks, and the surgery was much longer, so I received a higher dosage of anesthetic, but I am just so exhausted all the time. If I nap too much during the day then I end up awake most of the night and the vicious circle continues.

As far as pain, I am not experiencing a lot because I am basically numb. However in the last couple of days the nerves have been repairing themselves and I get a continuous feeling of little electrical shocks. It's really quite bizarre - probably something that people into sado-masochism would find appealing. I however, am just not into pain for pleasure and it's more like Chinese torture - not extremely painful, just consistent annoyance.

I had my follow-up appointment with the surgeon yesterday. He is really pleased with the results, saying he got a good clean margin around the cancerous area. He explained how he had to take quite a bit of tissue from behind the areola, and had to basically skin graft the nipple back on. I guess this would explain why I looked like a sock puppet when I first removed the bandages. This is already starting to look a little better as the remaining tissue jostles around to fill the vacant spot.

The incision itself is not nearly as neat as it was the first time, but I guess that's to be expected when they had to cut through a half-healed scar. All-in-all I suppose its more attractive than a 10 inch mastectomy incision that would have been the routine treatment 25 years ago.

All of the results from the cancer lab in Vancouver are not back yet so I don't have the staging and class information or any of those interesting details that will determine what, if any, adjuvant therapy is needed. Adjuvant is a new word for me, so I thought I'd throw it in here and look smart. It just means "to assist" or "go along with."

Before the second surgery, Dr Simpson was quite confident that I wouldn't need further treatment. I don't think his opinion on this has necessarily changed, however he has told me that I will now be referred to Dr Bishop, the oncologist, and it will be up to him whether or not to proceed with further treatment.

So currently I am awaiting a call from Dr Bishop's office to schedule an appointment where I will receive the details of the pathology report and any recommended action. It sounds like it's a 2-3 week lead time from when you get the call until the appointment takes place, so I assume that will be sometime around the 20th of November.

In the meantime I am hoping to return to work on Monday the 3rd, but I suppose I should just concentrate on getting through today. It is now 1 pm and I will head to my bedroom, and once I arrive I will have to decide whether to get out of my pajamas or into my bed. Such a complicated life I live.

1 comment:

Terri said...

let me know if you need some company at anytime. Me and the kids really dont do much. Hope you feel better soon:)

oh and how is Dr. Simpson? I have him for my surgery for my wrists. I haven't met him yet though (I was kind of hoping for Dr. Omstead)

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