Thank you for your constant prayers on my/our behalf. We're convinced that prayers make the difference!
Yesterday (the 5th) was a somewhat long day at the hospital. We got there at 9:45 a.m. and left around 8:30 p.m. I had to have one pre-surgery procedure that took about an hour and during that time, the doctors kept commenting on how calm I was. Later, about an hour or so before surgery, the pre-op nurse was shocked to hear that I hadn't taken any anti-anxiety meds prior to my surgery. She, too, commented on how calm both Art and I were.
There's a few factors to take into consideration regarding being calm. One, I'm not an anxious person to begin with and two, we knew that we were covered in prayer. Regardless of what the surgery would reveal, we knew that a blanket was surrounding us and that it was a secure blanket. The third factor is the fact that I've had seven months of diagnosis and treatments prior to this surgery. Many women have only known for days or short weeks about their cancer and their surgery is part of the diagnostic process.
Everything went well. The doctor removed the tumor and surrounding tissue (total size about that of a small plum, 3 sq cm). She said that to her naked eye, it appeared that she got clean tissue all around the tumor, but that of course, we need to wait for the biopsy reports on the 14th.
She also removed two lymph nodes. It was originally planned that a frozen section biopsy would be done while I was still under anesthesia, but the surgeon said that the nodes were too small for this. They will undergo the same type of biopsy (week-to-ten day study) that the tumor will undergo.
I'm glad to be home. I'm resting . . . enjoying a day of DVDs and books. I'm sleeping a lot. I have very little pain and haven't had to take any pain relievers of any kind since last night. (I took two ibuprofin before going to sleep so that I wouldn't have to wake up and "chase" pain.) Our friends have been spoiling us with visits and food.
If the tumor had clean margins all the way around, then I will be scheduled for six weeks radiation, most likely beginning in October. If the margins are not clear, then I will have a mastectomy in mid/late September.
If the nodes are clear, no other action is needed. If they have microscopic cancer cells, then I will have radiation for the nodes. I will NOT have to have further surgery on the lymph nodes.
And that's it for now! Another stage of the journey completed, with more learning to come. God continues to show us his faithfulness. I don't pretend to understand everything and as I have said to some friends, "The more I study and learn, the more I don't know."
You know what? It's okay not to know.
God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too--
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful--
I can’t take it all in!
Pslm 139:1-6 (The Message)