Hello. Well it has been awhile hasn’t it? Thing is, I haven’t felt like doing much of late, just reading mostly and poking around not doing much.

Surgery

I had my surgery on the 26th of April and everything went well. The day started at 8am at the Mater Hospital in North Sydney with me getting my left breast getting an ultrasound to check on the final size of the lump; it had gone from 3cm to 1.5cm. The sonographer also said that it looked like the lump was “dead”.

I then had 4 injections of radioactive blue dye injected in 4 spots around my nipple. This is to show which lymph node(s) the cancer would go down if it had travelled. I then had to go and have a CT scan. Once this was done, I then had to wait for around 20 mins (massaging my breast in the meantime to move the dye) and then get the scan redone, with the Dr mapping where the dye went so my surgeon could remove these sentinel nodes. I was left with a few pen marks over my breast and under my left arm.

Once this completed, I was then taken up to the surgery waiting area. I laid there for a couple of hours. Hubbie and I got a bit confused and didn’t realise he could come in with me. He eventually found his way in and sat with me until I was taken away.

Whilst waiting I was visited by the breast care nurse from the hospital. She was lovey and went through a few things and what I could expect after surgery. Next was Dr Rippy’s assistant. She just confirmed a few things; she was the one that also came and collected me when I was finally taken for surgery.

I was wheeled around to the theatre and before going right in, my anesthetist put in a canular into my right hand. He had a bit of trouble as apparently I have curved veins?

Next, I was wheeled into surgery, moved to the operating theatre table, a mask put on my face and that was it. I was out and can’t remember anything else. The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery, where I was for a couple of hours.

I was eventually moved to my room with Hubbie turning up a bit later. The nurse put on some pressure stockings on both of my legs and a saline drip was also attached. I also noted that I had a very blue boob from the dye that was injected earlier in the day.

I ordered some dinner as I was starving and after I finished this Hubbie organised my electronics and then left. A nurse helped me into my pj’s and my bra that I had to wear for a few days. My roommate also turned up; no idea as to what she was in for, didn’t speak with her.

I watched some Netflix and then went to sleep. I kept waking up a the damn drip machine kept making a noise. I also got another blanket as I was cold. I always find hospitals cold.

The Afterwards

I woke up early and ordered breakfast. Whilst waiting for this my right hand got very painful and very numb. I wasn’t sure what it was but it eventually subsided but geez it hurt. My breakfast eventually turned up and got eaten.

I managed to give myself a shower and got back into pj’s. Just after this Dr Rippy turned up and explained that everything went well. As I had managed to get up and have a shower, she said that I could go home. Just after this, the anesthetist Dr D’Souza popped in to see how I was as well. He too was happy.

So called Hubbie, got dressed and waited. We went through the discharge process, went and grabbed a coffee and then home.

So that was that. The lump has gone along with my portacath. I had coverings on both of them and wasn’t to get either wound wet for about a week. I already had an appointment to see Dr Rippy in just over a week as well.

Not sure how I felt knowing that there is still a bit of treatment to go; radiation and anti hormone therapy. Not quite finished but nearly there.

Post Surgery Update

I go to my Dr’s appointment and everything is good news. Dr Rippy advises that she had to remove 4 nodes as they were all clumped together and that she couldn’t separate them; they were all clear. My margins were clear as well. There were only precancerous cells in the lump area; the chemotherapy had done it’s job.

She is also happy with how both scars are coming along.

(When I took the cover off my blue boob, the boob was blue no more! Some girls said that their’s was blue for months).

We discuss what is next on my treatment plan – radiation. With all the good news from the surgery we ask would I still require radiation and Dr Rippy advises yes. She advises that with radiation, I will have a lesser chance of re-occurrence than someone who just had a mastectomy. I’m cool with that.

I advise her that I want to go to the Royal North Shore Hospital (public). She advises that there are 3 very good and talented Radiation Oncologists there and that I will be in good hands. She also advises that I may be eligible to have a shorter period of radiation and not the usual 5 weeks. Woot woot!

I should get a call from the hospital for a planning session and that I will start the actual treatment in about 3 to 4 weeks.

We chat about exercising and how it is paramount. She suggested going to a gym near home, even look at getting a PT for a bit to help. We also chat about the (anti) hormone therapy and the side effects of these. She said that with me being post menopausal I have more options and that they will work with me to find one that is suitable when the time comes.

We then thank her and say our goodbyes, pay our bill and make an appointment for August.

We then go home and I await the call for the next stage.

Stephanie

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