Posted by: healingseeker | January 12, 2010

Met with my breast cancer surgeon for first time today

Here is a very brief update on my breast cancer:

This past Saturday, Jan. 9, I got my hair cut to mid-neck length. I’m giving the rest of my hair to Locks of Love. My husband loves the short hair style. It will be a lot simpler to deal with; plus, some child will benefit from getting a wig made of real hair.

My husband and I met with my surgeon today at Laughlin Hospital, Dr. Mark Patterson. He is very knowledgeable and has a great bedside manner. He checked both breasts

Wednesday, Jan. 13th, I have my Pre-Admission Surgery appointment to fill out paperwork and get instructions.

Friday, Jan. 15th, I get a Sub Q Port surgically implanted under my collarbone on my right side. It looks like a woman’s watch face – only a bit thicker with about a six-inch narrow flexible straw attached. This will be the port through which they will give me chemo rather than trying to find a viable vein in my arm. This will remain in me for the next several months.

Early next week, I will meet with my oncologist, Dr. Darmen Patel. He will explain the process and start giving me chemo doses right away.

Dr. Patterson feels it is imperative to start killing the cancer cells before it has a chance to invade other parts of my body. He fears it may actually already be in my lymph nodes as my lump is somewhat extended under my arm.

My oncologist will guide me on how many doses of chemo I will need. Then I will probably have to have my entire breast removed. The good news is that they can probably pull fatty tissue from my stomach to rebuild my breast. Woo-hoo! A tummy tuck that will not be considered cosmetic surgery. Randy had a friend who had to have both breasts removed. She was tiny like my mother; therefore, they had to pull skin from her bottom. I have skin and fatty tissue to spare in my stomach. So that is a bit of good news.

After surgery, they will give me a cocktail of chemo and radiation to make sure they got it all.

Once they start chemo, I will probably be weak and tired and nauseous for 6 to 8 weeks. I will have to be careful about being around people with colds.

Monday night, Jan. 18th, both my doctors plus one other will be teaching a monthly “I Can Cope” class open to breast cancer patients and family members. The first Monday of every month, they have a Breast Cancer support group. I will attend both groups.

My husband and I went to dinner after today’s appointment. I was on overload for a while and asked to discuss other things. It threw me that I might be feeling sickly for 6 to 8 weeks. I asked my surgeon if he thought I could accept storytelling gigs. He suggested I should talk to my oncologist about that. He thought I might not feel up to it for “several months.” I did not like the sound of those two words.

Currently, I feel totally healthy and full of energy. That is my normal state. I will do what I can to maintain my positive outlook in spite of the chemo side effects. I’m back to being mostly okay right now.


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