Day 58: Another post-op appointment and the lympha-whatsy…
Tomorrow morning is my next, maybe last, post-op appointment for this surgery anyway. I am guessing that they will be aspirating a little fluid – yuck. But being that I have no feeling in this area anymore, I suspect it won’t be painful. I hope??
I am looking forward to closing out this phase of the multiphase project called cancer. There will be at least two more surgeries after this one, but those will be a few months down the road.
It is pleasantly surprising how quickly I am healing from surgery. Trust me by the end of the day I am wiped out, but I truly thought things would be worse. I had no idea I would be this active this quickly.
I have a few referrals for a second opinion on treatment options. I am also going to ask the surgeon why we can’t go in and take a few more lymph nodes, or do a needle biopsy, but not remove all 15 of them in that area… lymphedema does not look like fun and the side effects of the removal of all of them are pretty nasty. However, it would be nice to have all the known or suspected “deposits of cancer” removed.
The lymphatic system itself is pretty amazing. Having cancer move to the lymphatic system kind of blows… as you can see from the image left. The lymphatic system is a big deal.
So far as we know, only the lymph nodes near the original cancer growth were involved, and per this article from cancer.org, “When cancer grows inside lymph nodes, it usually affects the lymph nodes near the tumor itself. These nodes are the ones that have been doing most of the work to filter out or kill the cancer cells.” Problem is, my cancer has no bio-markers. (Yeah yeah… it’s great to be “special.”) And… The invasion of cancer cells into the lymph vessels that connect the breast to surrounding lymph nodes is the first step leading to the metastasis, or spread, of cancer throughout the body. Metastasis is the primary cause of breast cancer deaths. Ugh.
On a lighter note, I am really getting used to this no bra thing. Seriously. I have always been jealous of guys being able to go to the loo standing up… but seriously, I should have been more envious of the fact they don’t need bras! For real! Although, I also have to admit, I get cold easier… but then… no one can tell… so there you have it! 😀