A Busy Day

Lots of activity to report from yesterday! My oncologist’s office called to see if I could make an appointment for 9:00 am today (Thursday).  Of course, I jumped at the chance to meet with her (Dr. Thomas) so quickly.  I thought it would be weeks away.  Luckily, David’s schedule accommodated being able to go with me.  I’ve got my list of 20 questions prepared and ready to go!

I had just gotten comfy on the couch for my afternoon nap when the phone rang.  It was a nurse from my family doctor’s office calling to follow up on my labs.  “What labs”, I asked?  Turns out they were calling about the pre-admission blood work I had done August 22nd!!!  The voice on the other end of the phone proceeds to tell me that the doctor (my family doctor, who I have not spoken to at all during this whole process to date) wants me to go for an ultrasound of my liver because my liver function test was elevated.  This, of course, was not something I was prepared to hear and, of course, I panicked a bit.  Then I pulled out my copy of the report from my abdominal CT scan done inAugust, which indicated that my liver was “homogeneous without focal hepatic defect, biliary distention or metastatic disease.”  So on one hand, I had evidence that my liver was fine (breathe!); on the other hand, I was panicked to tears and hyperventilation.  The whole conversation fed my fears about the cancer spreading.  (How do you get past that feeling that any pain, any reference to something being not quite right, is a sign of cancer?)

At any rate, the voice on the phone said she would call for a copy of the report and run it by the doctor.  Why get an ultrasound when I had already had a CT scan?

Fast forward to the 3:30 appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Farrell.  Well, the 3:30 appointment that started at 5:15.  Ugh.   Anyway, here’s the run down on everything:

  • Confirmed the size at about 3 inches.  Wow.  (Where did that even fit?!!)
  • Talked about the micrometastasis.  It doesn’t really change anything in terms of the course of treatment.  Chemo is a definite.  Radiation is unlikely but we’ll confirm with Dr Thomas this morning.
  • Asked about the liver functioning test.  He said it wasn’t that elevated, and that a Tylenol or glass of wine the night before the test would have been enough to elevate it that much.  (Both a distinct possibility!)  The most conservative thing we could do is an CT scan, which we already have, so outside of retesting after refraining from Tylenol or alcohol for a few days, he completely assuaged my fears.
  • Left breast contained some atypical cells (no cancer), but potentially on the way to cancer over time.  SO glad I decided to take both breasts!
  • I can drive again!!!
  • And I will return to work on Monday.
  • They drained 280 cc’s of fluid from my right breast.  The left breast was not so giving, even though there is definitely fluid there.  So now I’m a little lopsided!  Time to break out the baggy shirts!
  • I will need a port inserted for chemo.  For those of you interested in the details of that:  http://www.sir.net.au/portacath_pi.html
  • Dr. Farrell will step into the background for now, while I focus on my chemotherapy.  He will handle placing the portacath, which is done as a quick one-day procedure under “twilight” drugs.  That will be done some time between now and the start of chemo, allowing sufficient healing time from my mastectomy, but not allowing prior pre-admission tests to expire.

Recipe Update: I tried a Vegan Creamy Cauliflower Soup and was a little disappointed in this one.  I didn’t have the seaweed, so not sure if that was the trick to finalizing this one.  I love cauliflower, and it’s so good for you, but I’ll have to keep searching for a yummier recipe.


5 thoughts on “A Busy Day

  1. Hang in there girl. I think you’re amazing!
    Thanks for all the info, as I knew none of it. I am so glad you were calmed about the liver function being up. Makes sense.
    I have no idea how you get past the idea of any sort of pain is not cancer. I would say time is the healer of all things. I think you are amazingly healthy and your thoughts are so right on!
    Know that prayers from people like me and so many others, will calm your fears until this all is a distant memory. Every time you get a little questionable/fearful, think about how God has you all wrapped up in thoughts and prayers from all your friends and feel the calm.

    Oh, and keep doing just as you are. Have I told you lately just how awesome I think you are?

  2. A portacath procedure is smooth sailing and you will be so happy you have it. It makes getting the chemo so much easier. Back in my days of being an oncology nurse all of my patients either had portacaths or hickman catheters. Hope all goes well with the oncologist – good luck and keep up the positive attitude!!!

  3. I thought you’d find this inspiring:) I just got it in an email today. Here’s a quote:
    “If I can make the change from being a sick, bloated, 100+ pound-overweight, medicated, stage 3 cancer patient to a thriving, HEALTHY, cancer-FREE woman on a whole foods, vegan diet with a complete lifestyle change… ANYONE can!”


  4. ❤ you and yes, you made the right choice in having the double mastectomy. In reference to the fluid, I can recall my mom having more of a fluid feeling when the weather was damp.

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