Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So the surgery went successfully--we hope. The doctor feels he got clean margins around the cancer. The sentinel node was free of any blatant cancer cells and the other node taken looked like fatty tissue surrounding it. I'll get the full pathology report by next Monday.

The strangest part of surgery was going in for the needle marker. First they took two mammography pics, then once they found the tumor, they inserted some lidocaine (short little pinch and burn--not too bad). Then the needle was inserted and another picture taken, then the needle got pushed in further, and another picture taken. Well, I was expecting a guide wire type of needle, but when I looked down, there was this needle that looked like the one you would use for quilting sticking out! The strangest part was that it did not hurt one bit (gotta love lidocaine!). Then they injected the radioactive dye (didn't hurt either). When I got into the surgical suite, my doctor let me see the wand they use to detect the lymph nodes, and the beeping sound (like a geiger counter) that goes along with it. It was pretty cool. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery area.

I was very happy with the anesthesiogist who said he would give me everything he could so I would not throw up, but he couldn't make any promises. Well, whatever he did worked. It was the first time out of about 8 surgical procedures that I did not throw up (we're talking projectile, here) for hours afterward. We got home around 3 and I went to bed and dozed.

Originally I felt I would not be up for visitors, expecially with my prior vomiting experiences, but since I was feeling rather well, I figured why not? Around 6, my friends Marie and Maureen came over. Marie got me some gorgeous purple flowers and Maureen, having just been through this herself brought over some button down pajamas and penne ala vodka sauce. Diana stopped by with some chicken soup and beef stew and bread from King Kullen (I miss that store being right around the corner--they have the best italian bread).

About 11 o'clock pm, I felt raring to go! I had so much energy suddenly. I downed some Percocet and went to bed clutching my little pillow given to me by the breast center at Mather. They gave me a whole tote bag full of books, a survivor pin, a sony walkman and a relaxation cd, and this pillow that was hand stitched by a women's support group in California. For having to go through such an unpleasant experience, they sure have great people working there to make it more comfortable.

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