Today I met with my breast surgeon to check on my breast that is no more and to learn about some results I was waiting on from pathology of the tumor. What I didn’t realize when I was first diagnosed is that when you get a biopsy, MRI, mammogram, PET scan, you only get a part of the story. To tell the whole tale, at least with my cancer, we needed the whole tumor, the whole breast and several lymph nodes.
The first thing I was hoping for was to get my drain out today. It is very irritating and I’m aware of it all the time. But in the last 24 hours I was still releasing a little too much fluid for them to remove it, so they didn’t. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! I am looking at my drain right now and there’s almost nothing in it. I know that they were going on the only information they had and none of us remembered to bring our crystal balls but it would have been nice to say, “See, nothing left! Get it the fuck out of my body because it’s pissing me off and it’s gross!!!!!!” No such luck.
As for the rest, we have some positive news and some not so terrible but not the news I was hoping for. There was the potential that my stage would be upgraded to a stage 3 from a stage 2B if the shadow that appeared on my MRI between my two masses was part of one of the masses or one complete mass. Thankfully, that is not the case. I have two masses, one measuring 3.0cm and another 2.1cm. However, what the MRI was showing was that there were cells in that area that were pre-cancerous. Another one of those suckers was trying to grow. Yay, we got it in time!!! Boo, for what that probably means for my treatment. They also found cancer in 2 lymph nodes when we were sure of only one.
Now, this is not terrible. The news could have been worse. But my surgeon said that this means that my oncologist will probably recommend radiation in addition to chemo. That sucks. I don’t know much about radiation but I’ve heard that physically it’s not to hard to take. It’s just an inconvenience. I will have to have treatments every day, Monday through Friday for several weeks. It’s a real PITA.
There’s still more I don’t know. In my original biopsies I got a result of HER2 negative, which is good. But we needed to test the whole tumor to make sure that both tumors had the same status. I forgot to ask about this today but I’m sure it will be discussed on Monday when I see my oncologist.
So, we know a lot more now but we still don’t know everything. Not the worst news today but certainly not the best. I seem to be taking it really well. I always prepare for the worst. So I was prepared to hear the word “radiation.” I was also prepared to hear “stage 3” and I didn’t get that, so there’s my glimmer of light.
I have my pathology report in front of me now and it’s like a different language. I started to google it but stopped myself. It’s a dangerous path. I just hope my oncologist sets aside a few hours because I want to know and understand everything it says. I want to know what I’m dealing with, what I’ve avoided by having this mastectomy, why I will have to endure treatment, will it come back?
So many questions. So much to worry about. So much to be grateful for.