I get to go back into surgery on Monday! Phew! Cos I was worried that I wasn't given enough time under general anaesthetic, but thanks to my tumour margins not being clear, I get to go and spend more quality time with all those theatre nurses and surgeons again! Yay!
That's right. According to my pathology results which I finally got today, there is still diseased tissue sitting in my left funbag. Personally, I think they are lying. I think they are just saying that to get me back in theatre because the anaesthetist clearly saw my boobies the first time and said, "I need to see those again!"
He could have just taken me out for dinner. Would have been easier. And less taxing on the public purse.
They're not lying though. I have the results on a little piece of paper that says that they aren't. And the piece of paper says that at 24mm, the tumour was twice the size that they initially thought it was, and that there are diseased cells on the underside of the tumour margins. Not great. This means more boob needs to come out as there are still precancerous cells inside me (cancer poo), however this will be 100% rectified by further surgery on Monday - hello anaesthetist!
So admittedly it's a pain in the arse to go back into surgery, but it's less invasive than the first procedure, and again, drugs. I'll be having them. Now before you go blaming the surgeons for not taking enough out, let me explain, there is NO WAY that they can know how large a margin needs to be, because you cannot see the diseased cells with the naked eye, and there is a fine line between taking too much out and not taking enough, so everyone needs to applaud my surgeon and his team cos they did a great job in the first instance. It's just that they will need to take out even more of the stuffing, possibly making a greater dimple in my breast on a cosmetic level. As my mum joked to the surgeon today, "why don't you use polyfilla to fill the hole?" She clearly said it as a joke, but the surgeon replied in a verrrrry serious tone, "I wish someone would make that - it's desperately needed."
So that's the bad news. As far a bad news goes, it's pretty good bad news. But that piece of paper also says some really really good things! Things like "your sentinel lymph nodes are node negative and entirely clear of cancer!!!!" This means it has not spread anywhere else. This is AMAZING! Happy dance! The paper also says "we have ruled out the need for chemotherapy"! This is such great great news. And it says I will "undergo radiation therapy for 6 weeks no less than 4 weeks after we finally achieve clear margins" - this is great, because radiation is highly localised, non-invasive therapy that, guess what everyone, ISN'T CHEMO!!! Hoorah! And the piece of paper ALSO says (and this is important) that the cancer is 95% hormone receptive, which means we can treat it really simply by using a drug that exists which will block my hormones for 5-10 years! This is excellent news! Yay! Huzzah! Booyah! Hang on... what????
Tamoxifen can block my oestrogen. You see, my cancer is caused by oestrogen at a 95% receptive rate, and if we don't block it, chances are the cancer will come back. And it may come back elsewhere in the body. And that, quite frankly, scares the shit out of me. So.... yeah...... Blocking oestrogen means....
Look. Let's talk about that upsetting stuff later. For now I wanna talk about how I totally went shopping this afternoon as important retail therapy after the results. Don't be sad for me, cos I went shopping.
I desperately need new bras. I needed a new bra well before the diagnosis, but I didn't have time to go and buy them, and so today I went into a bra shop. As soon as I was inside, I spun around on my heels and went out again. I have no idea what I was thinking! I can't buy new bras right now! Because,
a. I can't wear an underwire while I am still recovering
b. My left boob is not anywhere near the shape it's likely to end up being at the moment - it's swollen and after radiation it will change again, and finally, it will calm down to what it will be forever, so I am likely to need a different size. And who knows what that size will be, and where the margin clearing will stop - if they really can't clear it - well let's just say the word mastectomy was mentioned today, but they REALLY don't think it will ever get that far, so I am not expecting that to happen, But still, you just. don't. know. And if that ever is the case (which it's totally not going to be), I hope they make bras that look like a pirate patch, cos at least that will make me laugh. Arrrrr!!
c. Trying on bras will hurt at this point in time. It will hurt the surgical wounds on my body and the other general wounds in my heart.
So I walked right out of the bra shop. I didn't buy any new bra, and I didn't try any on, and I didn't even look at them.
But I did buy a set of Pasta bowls. Because it's sale time.
PS. I am sad that Retail Therapy as a Therapy, is not covered by Medicare.