Just thought I’d pop up a quick post before surgery today to let you all know that the CT and bone scans came back as all clear. This means the cancer hasn’t spread which is such a relief. As soon as I found this out my anxiety abatted and I’ve been feeling pretty cool calm and collected since. Even this morning, I’m as cool as a cucumber. I thought I’d be a nervous wreck but I think I’m just relieved that this day has finally arrived so I can start getting better. It’s strange but I’m looking forward to having the surgery to get this cancer out of me. It’s a shame I have to lose a boob in the process but it really is for the best. I was thinking a couple of days ago that at least it’s not an arm or a leg that I’m losing. I can’t really imagine living without one of these. It would be a huge thing to overcome physically and emotionally. At least with losing a breast, I really just have to overcome my own body issues. I’ve been pretty lucky to this point in my life with never having had any body issue in the past. I’ve always been relatively happy in my body. Hopefully I can overcome this hurdle and still love myself for who I am both inside and out.
Yesterday I had the lymphoscintigraphy to find the sentinal node (this was a 2.5 hour test). They injected 5 needles of radioisotope (hello radioactive woman) into and around my tumour in the breast and told me to rub it to get the radioactive material moving around before scanning the area. The idea is that the radioisotope first drains to the first lymph node affected by the cancer. This is useful if they are planning to do a sentinal node biopsy which is when they take only some of the lymph nodes under the arm, testing them and reducing the need to do the full dissection unnecessarily. This doesn’t apply to me as they already know that at least one lymph node under the arm is cancerous with other looking suspicious under ultrasound. They’ll be doing a full anxillary lymph node dissection. The reason they decided to do this further test on me is to try and find the internal mammary node under my ribs that has shown as being swollen in the MRI. The nuclear medicine guy couldn’t find it yesterday but I’ll still be radioactive woman during surgery and they’ll use some kind of machine to follow the radioisotope in my system to try and find it. Hopefully K can remove it without any problems.
K referred me onto a physiotherapist who specialises in lymphodemia and cancer and she squeezed me in at 6pm last night when I rang her at 5:30. That was nice of her! I’ll call her R. R said she is very passionate about her job and really prefers to see her patients before surgery. She took measurements for an arm stocking in case one is required (it probably will be as I’m hoping to fly home all going well). She also ran through the exercises I’ll need to do after surgery to get my lymph system working properly again. This is all very important to keep lymphodemia at bay. I’ll go and see her again once my drains are out.
I enjoyed shopping with Renae yesterday and then some family time last night. It was great to see Derek and Rosie after being away from them for a couple of days. They had a good trip down. It was hard not to kiss and cuddle Rosie over and over and over but the radiologist said to refrain from too much contact with the girls due to my radioactivity. Scary that this stuff is coursing through my body!
Not much else to write at this stage apart from the fact that I’m hungry and thirsty and looking forward to a meal and cuppa later today The kitchen staff have dropped off my menus for the next couple of days to choose what I want to eat. That’s just cruel when I’m fasting! If I’m up to it I’ll be having chicken and hokkien noodles tonight plus soup. Tomorrow I’ll be having tempura barramundi with potato wedges and salad for lunch and primavera pasta for dinner. Yum! Lots of good choices, just hope I’m up to eating. Derek and I are just waiting now. Mum and Aunty Marie are at home with the girls. I’m actually having surgery at North West Private Hospital rather than the Wesley as my surgeon does surgery here once a week and it’s closer to my Aunty’s house, just 10 mins up the road in fact which is ideal. I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest after surgery. I think I deserve it.