Mastectomy update

First off, surgery went very well.  Not only did they get rid of that big nasty hunk of cancer, it was a mass of scarred (yet contained) tissue following the neoadjuvant chemo.  Sad, broke down old tumor…we beat yo ass!  Plus, the lymph nodes they tested were clear (including the one they biopsied earlier that had been positive for cancer).  So, all good news, and those months of worrying and second guessing about the clinical trial and whether or not to continue with the chemo or jump ahead to surgery were all for naught…seems like those docs knew what they were talking about all along 😉  We’ll have more complete pathology back on the tumor and lymph nodes in about a week.

I’m feeling pretty darn good after the mastectomy.  It’s not as painful as I thought it would be (of course, meds help with that…).  There is tenderness and swelling, as to be expected, and pain when I lift my arm, but it feels good enough that I think I’ll be trying hard to keep myself from doing too much rather than the other way around.  I’m just really thankful to be ambulatory and not bedridden!  I have seen the incision, looking down from above, but haven’t had the guts to look at myself full on in the mirror.  I am happy as hell to have the tumor gone, and my boob was the price, but I’m not quite ready to be slapped in the face with that reality just yet…

Radiation is slated to start in about 4 weeks.  Because all the lymph nodes were negative, I may be eligible for a clinical trial that would allow me to forego radiation treatment altogether.  Would be really nice to be able to have traditional reconstruction surgery vs. the lat flap (taking skin and muscle from my back) that would need to occur if I had radiation on the left side.  Plus radiation is one and done, so if I didn’t have it now I would still be able to have it later if there was a recurrence.  More to come on that front, and participating in another study would require a lot of thought and discussion, but we’ll see where it goes.

Update on my ticker:  During the pre-op appointment with my surgical oncologist, she noticed an irregular heartbeat.  This was a week before surgery and she was worried about what that meant for administration of anesthesia.  So, there were a slew of last minute EKGs, echos, and a visit with the cardiologist to determine that I have PVCs (premature ventricular complexes).  They are not uncommon and generally not a problem in otherwise heart healthy individuals (like myself…the muscle is still strong and pumping like it should, there’s just an occasionally hiccup).  Likely brought on by stress (what stress!?!) and ever changing medications and who knows what else.  Obviously I was approved for surgery, so we’re hoping it settles back down as we head down the treatment home stretch.

And now to concentrate on healing and growing some hair back…

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6 Responses to Mastectomy update

  1. Sally Brunner says:

    Glad your surgery was successful. We’re rooting for you. Sally and Tim


  2. Mary Roessler says:

    So happy to hear from you Jenn!! Sounds like best case outcome! I’m hoping your body heals well and you can soon be 100% healthy! WAY YO KICK CANCERS ASS!


  3. Kristin says:

    You have such a positive attitude! Keep it up and let me know if you need anything.



  4. Angie D says:

    So much wonderful news – it makes my heart sing! F U cancer


  5. Joan says:

    I’ve been out of town, SO SO happy to hear things went well. Keep you the good attitude and I’ll be in touch. Hugs!


  6. Pat says:

    Jenn, Rebecca and I sent you an email – hope to hear from you soon, even if it’s to tell us you’re not ready for a visit!


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