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So, here is a brief update on my breast cancer. I did have surgery 2 weeks ago-in the midst of a bad snowstorm that shut down the Federal government and pretty much everything else. Fortunately, doctors don't take snow days.

Everything went according to plan-and I now post-drains (YAY!!!!!) and more below the fold...

Before the surgery, we knew that Lucy (tumor on the left) was estrogen positive, progesterone negative. After MRI, tumor was actually 2 masses, very close together, so they pretty much said that total mastectomy was the way to go. They also found a mass on the right-could've done a lumpectomy on that one, but why keep any breast tissue at this point? So, March 3, bilateral total mastectomy.

Recovery has gone very well. Drains were finally removed yesterday (thank god!!!!). After surgery a few more tidbits to add to data repository:

right sided tumor (no name for that one yet-Bitsy, if it started with an R-ideas?) was both estrogen and progesterone positive. A second primary, with 2 hormone receptors, again relatively good news.

Lymph involvement on the left, none on the right. They staged to a IIIb.

This week, I am seeing the medical oncologist to determine course of action for chemo. I will have CT and PET scan (bone) to determine whether any mets are detectable anywhere else in my body. I see her on Friday at 4:30, so I should have an update this weekend.

Two things: I saw Peregrine Kate's diary just this morning and wished I could comment- I also have moderate to several arthritis in both thumbs-just one of those things that happens when you get old (it may also be genetic, in part). I was using Voltaren (a prescription NSAID) to relieve the pain. Docs tell me that you can actually do a joint transplant in thumbs if you want to. Mine would have to get a whole lot worse before I considered that.

Also, has anyone experienced/noticed a change in body odor with cancer? I noticed my underarms smelling worse months ago-before my diagnosis. I do know that some dogs supposedly notice, but has anyone else noticed it themselves? I am not sure I can even describe the smell-sort of like the smell you get when you eat a lot of curry, but I don't? Has there been a diary or thread about this?

Anyway, thanks to all for kind words of support. And I am here to provide the same to others who are newer to this "adventure" than I.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    by hopeful on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:05:09 AM PDT

  •  As much as we still have a long way to go, (7+ / 0-)

    When I read your description of the type of rumors that you have, I realize what a difference it is from the old days, where you just had rumors and they cut off your breasts and blasted the heck out of them with the one kind of chemo that they had. A woman who works for my agency who's distantly related in way that I think only we Jews count (her mother's side of the family is related to the wife of my paternal uncle) went through mastectomy and reconstruction surgery last year. She looks like she's back to her beautiful and healthy self. I'm wishing the same for you and as we say: refuah shelemah.

    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

    by betorah on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:00:40 AM PDT

    •  yes, indeed, betorah (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, from what I understand, the science is changing so rapidly (especially for breast cancer) that statistics from 5 years ago are outdated.

      Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      by hopeful on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:42:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I forgot to mention how wonderful I thought it was (0+ / 0-)

        That you named your tumors. I was so inspired by this that I've decided that if, heaven forbid, I were to ever get breast cancer, I will name my tumors Thing 1 and Thing 2.

        If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

        by betorah on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:44:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  my wishes for a speedy recovery. (eom) (6+ / 0-)
  •  My stepmother waited too long to resolve the (4+ / 0-)

    arthritis in her hand joints.  The only option left to her made her lose flexibility as something ended up fused instead of fixed.  

    Here's to your uneventful recovery!

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:00:00 AM PDT

  •  glad to hear of your progress (4+ / 0-)

    been wondering how you were doing and it's good to hear that you're on to the next step.  Will be thinking ouf you and sending energy and light.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:08:28 AM PDT

  •  Hi, hopeful! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We were talking about you last night in the MNCC diary thread and hoping that you were coming along well. News about the positive receptors is good, I think (based on my own experience, though with endo ca).
    Thanks for weighing in about arthritis. Yes, I am getting some relief from the Voltaren gel I have. I am still floored by what seems to be a really sudden onset. Guess I just wasn't paying attention.
    I know I speak for everyone at the MNCC in wishing you an all-clear from your scans. Please do keep us posted.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:53:39 AM PDT

    •  I suspect what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      happens with arthritis is similar to cancer-it just cruises along until you finally realize its there-but it takes a long time to creep into your awareness. My thumb joints are pretty much disintegrated-I always feel like a wuss complaining about pain, but it was one time when I felt justified in seeing that I had "moderate to severe" arthritis.

      I couldn't believe that I could have two 3-4 x 2 x 2cm (roughly) masses in my breast that arose within a year of a negative mammogram. But, when you take into account doubling time, it can seem like they are all of a sudden there.

      I will try to put something together this weekend for posting Monday, if there isn't anyone who is teed up to go. That will be post 1st medical oncology appt, when I find out my chemotherapy fate.

      Take care, Peregrine Kate.

      Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      by hopeful on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:40:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am sending good wishes your way (0+ / 0-)

    for all the next steps.


    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 02:30:53 PM PDT

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