Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Surgical Follow-up

Today was my follow-up appointment with Rockstar Raja.

He entered the exam room beaming, and said I looked good. I told him, "I feel good!" And, I do. He asked how my pain control was, and I said that I'd had a rough go at first but was doing fine now, except it's still hard to sleep. He nodded - the expander can cause long-term discomfort.

Then he said, "I got your pathology report," and I'd told him I'd seen it too.

He picked up the diagnosis page and fluttered it at me. "You did? Did you see this? Did you see how long this page was?" I smiled and said yes (without mentioning I'd typed it for my blog readership.) He, like Dr. Blair, was amazed that I had as much cancer as I'd had with no vascular or lymph invasion.

I'm so special.

He did warn me that the invasive lobular carcinoma was not like the invasive ductal carcinoma - it usually shows up in both breasts. Nothing had shown up in my left breast at the MRI but from now on I have to keep a very close watch on my remaining girl, and will have regular MRI's so they can see what I can't feel.

Good thing MRI's don't bother me.


I had invasive lobular carcinoma too? Somehow that fact escaped me. So I had invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, ductal carcinoma in situ, lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical hyperplasia.

That's not cancer soup, that's cancer stew!

One of the breast cancer forums I participate on has separate sections for the various kind of breast cancer you can get. I have such freedom - I can post in almost all of them.

Dr. Raja left the room so I could undress for the wound check. I did so hastily because I like to snoop through the paperwork before the doctor comes back. As I was undressing, I looked out the window and realized that everybody in the parking lot and the apartment complex across the way could see me. I felt sad for them, because a few months ago they would have gotten a treat and now, not so much.

Anyway, I quickly opened the folder of my chart to take a peek. (I know it's mine but it still feels more fun to sneak through it). I wanted to see what else was in there that I didn't know about - a friend of mine gets all kinds of compliments on her personality in her paperwork - but it was like 100 pages, so I only got to one before he came in. It was boring too, a letter from a radiologist saying that surgical follow up was required, and thanking him for allowing them to do the test.

He came back in, and I opened my fabulous paper top, and he said my wound looks good. There is a caveat to that statement - it looks good to a surgeon. I am pretty sure it would look horrifying to anybody reading this, and I can't say I'm exactly in love with it myself.

Anyway, I have some weird folding stuff near the armpit I was concerned about - it's preventing me from using my arm properly. He said it was normal though, they take out breast tissue up there too, and my plastic surgeon can fix it.

He said that I would see him in six months, and so I said good-bye to Rockstar Raja.

Phase One of my treatment - finished.

I also had a dentist appointment for today to get my new veneers, but it was canceled. They have to do more extensive work than I thought, including numbing me up. Because my tongue is still numb from the last time, I wasn't exactly keen on that idea (I said hell no), so they are going to drug me again. Now the appointment is next week.

Only three appointments this week? Think again. My cat is sick. So, we are taking her to the vet later today.

I hope she doesn't have cancer.



  1. Glad to hear you made it through one step. Let your scars heal up for a while - it can take months and then you can see where you want to go from there.

  2. I have the strange fold, and a "third armpit" as I have called it - from where my lymph nodes were removed on one side. It's very uncomfortable and annoying but they did say that when I have the expander/implant swap surgery it can be corrected so I look forward to that.

    Good for you for snooping in your chart - I do that too ;), heck why not!

    Congrats for getting this chapter behind you. You're one step closer to being done now. :)


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