Friday, July 3, 2015
Good News/Bad News
Drain bags = Waiting. Probably, the most annoying part of this process to date has been the drain bags required after surgery. They do not hurt, but they are annoying to deal with daily--for myself and my helpers who have to drain them and record their output. One had almost quit having anything in the bag, but had started leaking out of the drain bag site at night. The guess is that this one has a clog in the tube inside my body that we can't address. So, we leave the tube in so the drain site hole will remain open and it can leak out of my body. GROSS! I don't even want to think about what is escaping from my body. I was not surprised to hear they have to stay in for awhile longer, but I was pretty disappointed. Drain bags are annoying!
I did receive good news. The surgeon agrees with the oncologist decision to run an Oncotype DX test. Both agree that test will give us the information needed to make a decision about chemotherapy. The good news is if additional surgery to remove more lymph nodes is needed, it will not affect my long term arm strength or mobility. The good news is my overall immune system is in good working order and would remain that way even if I need further lymph nods removed. The bad news is the chance of lympodema would increase in my right arm.
The bad news is one lymph node was micro metastatic. That means some cancer escaped from the primary tumor and is now able to run around my body. Is it possible the only cells that did that were in that one lymph node that has been removed and my body is now cancer free? Yes. Is it possible other cells have made their way to other parts of my body through my lymph and circulatory systems and are just hanging out, hiding in other parts of my body? Yes. TheOndotype DX test is supposed to help us decide the next step. The Oncotype DX number should tell us if the cancer will be receptive to chemotherapy or not. We know this cancer is highly hormone receptive, so hormone therapy will be happening. The point of hormone therapy is to block the hormone receptors on the cancer cells wherever they are in my body, so they cannot feed on hormones and in effect, starve to death.
So, we wait. I sit in my spot on the reclining couch and only leave the house for appointments until these drain bags come out. I wait to get the Oncotype DX results to know the next step. in my cancer treatment. I wait for things to get finalized so my master bathroom can get modified. I wait for my other house to sell. I wait. And I try not to go crazy during the process.
Thankful thoughts of the day:
Zip front shirt
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