April 20, 2016 Home from Surgery

April 20, 2016 Home from Surgery

We arrived home yesterday evening from the hospital. Surgery day went well for the most part. After checking in I was taken to the surgery waiting room. When I was called, a nurse took Lenny and I back to a room where I changed and got into a bed.

Hospital
Ready for some fun.

My first procedure was done at the breast care center. I was taken there by wheelchair. The transport man got us laughing as he said he needed to amp up his fit bit and do some cardio today. He stated he was going to take off running with me in the wheelchair if I didn’t mind. Claimed he was a professional at this and not to try it at home. It was a great start to the day as I had slowly begun to get nervous.

Arriving at the breast care center was like entering my own party. All the nurses now know me and greet me with a hug.  It was a nice welcome to the center once again.

The procedure here entailed running a small wire into the titanium clip (that was inserted at the time of the biopsy of the tumor) and leaving the wire exposed from the outside of the body. This would allow my surgeon to follow the wire straight into the tumor during surgery. After the wire was in place, they injected a blue dye that filled my breast and lymph nodes. Allowing my surgeon to find the lowest 3-4 nodes during surgery for biopsy. When this dye was injected it felt like a horrible burning sensation. It lasted about 5 minutes and slowly let up. I had to have a post mammogram to make sure the wire was through the clip. Both pictures from the mammogram showed perfect placement. I was sent off with a few more hugs and said good-bye.

wire
The small wire that is attached to the tumor.

It wasn’t long once I got back that I met my anesthesiologist and my surgeon came in. They both discussed what would take place during surgery and that surgery would take about 2.5 hours. During surgery Lenny was updated with progress.  Once they gave me the relaxation medication I didn’t even make it into the OR. The last thing I remember was the nurses opening the doors to the OR and seeing the bright lights.

Surgery went well but took longer than expected. They couldn’t find my sentinel-node to take out. She had to search for it for about 40 minutes. Since it was the size of a grain of rice, that indicated a good sign they looked healthy and weren’t inflamed.

The next thing I remember was waking up in pain and nausea. Yuck, I can’t become a professional surgery patient. I never do well coming out of anesthesia and this time the anesthesiologist was going to use a tool that monitored my brain activity, which she said she could gage exact anesthesia needed. Guess that didn’t work. It took 3 hours for me to wake up after coming out of surgery at which time the next 3 hours were spent in nausea, and pain. They ended up admitting me. I was completely bummed as Lenny and I had gotten a nice hotel room just for Monday night to relax and enjoy after surgery before we headed home. Things started to get much better as they checked on me almost every hour though the night. I was exhausted by the time I was released yesterday around 1pm.

We headed up to Evergreen to pick up the kids. They all did great with Nana. This was the longest and first over night stay I have been without Charlie since she was born. She appears to have grown up in her own little role these last few weeks and is doing great without breast-feeding and just in general. It makes me so happy that is has gone so well.

Wednesday Noon: I just woke up from a nap to see I missed my surgeon’s call. She left a voicemail to call her on her cell anytime and she would answer. I know she’s a busy surgeon and it made me think she either had the day off (unlikely on a Wednesday) or she has some important information for me. She had told me at the hospital that I would not get the pathology report back till Thursday but maybe she had received it early.

I called her back and she told me right off she would start with the bad news first and move on to the good news. Don’t worry there is good news involved.  She started by saying she had received the pathology report back. They did end up finding cancer in my lymph nodes but the good thing is it was small. They always categorize stages by lymph node involvement and if cancer is in the lymph nodes it is a stage 2, she said the cancer is smaller than 1mm in the lymph nodes so she is categorizing me a stage 1. The different grades I explained earlier (1-3) about the aggressiveness of cancer staged me at a grade 2 through the biopsy. The pathology report from surgery says I am a grade 3 meaning the cancer is growing fast/aggressive. She then went on to tell me she feels she made some clear margins during the surgery. She has spoken to my medical oncologist and they need to wait on the Oncodx test to determine what is the appropriate treatment from here. She says the partial radiation (the brachytherapy I mentioned in a previous post) is out. She believes I need full breast therapy with I will either have chemotherapy and radiation along with hormone, or I will have just radiation along with hormone therapy. It continues to be a hurry up and wait process. I will have the Oncodx test back two weeks after surgery.

I am recuperating ok. I am feeling very dizzy still, but I believe it’s from the pain-meds. However, I have mild pain and no nausea. I am thankful! I am sorry; I wasn’t able to get an update out until now but hope this finds everyone having a great day.

Comments (8)

  • How wonderful to read your post. Hugs, healing prayers from Houston,
    Mel

  • Wishing you peace and love as you heal and get ready to conquer the next bit…

  • Tara,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray that God will heal you completely. Stay positive and laugh a lot.
    God bless you and your sweet family.
    Big hugs,
    Linda Roper (Sarah’s mom)

    • Thanks so much Linda! Hope you are doing well. Thanks for taking your time to read blog and pray!

  • Dear Tara, I have been following your “story” closely; some observations: your team of caregivers (nurse navigator [Great term], techs, surgeon, etc) are in such close communication with each other and with you – amazing demo of good medicine!! And with such warmth! I had to seek out my own oncologist…. Wonderful mom to lovingly care for your children and a loving husband by your side – a picture that will become increasingly important in the next step. Am continuing to pray for you & all involved. A step at a time – it’s all He gives us & all we can handle. Much love, Diana

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the strength in the world for whatever comes next! Thinking about you and your family daily! You got this! Keep up the positive attitude!

    Much love- Sammi

  • Hey there Tara,
    If you have to fight just a little bit harder… I can ramp up my support, prayers and love for you all! You will get through this! We are all here for your successes and anytime you are low, just let us know when you need to see our love, just a little bit more to get you through a rough day! Hang in there! You are so strong and amazing in everything you do!
    Love you, Lenny, Big A, Little B, and Tiny C

    Janet

  • Prayers ongoing, Love you so much. Mom

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