Gettin’ It From All Directions

March 5, 2010

(So often, technology just makes me want to weep.  Here is version #2 of this posting.  I guess I f*ck%d it up last time and it didn’t get it up.  As Snoopy would say, “Blech!”)

Sorry so long between updates.  I’ve been busy vaporizing clouds and bending time (i.e. lost?)

Apparently, I had a “Modified Radical Mastectomy” (maybe that means something to you, maybe not, but that’s what it was.)

Pathology of lymph nodes showed: 25 nodes removed, 6 positive for cancer. One of the positive nodes was quite large (2.1 cms) and almost breaking out of the node itself. My surgeon did not like this one. (Personally, it brought to mind the image of an oversized kid on a playground, you know, the one that looks to be about 6 when he’s actually only 3 and you wonder, “Why in bejesus is that big bully of a boy acting like such an impulsive little brat?!” and then the mom – knowing what you’re thinking even though you were careful not to say anything out loud – then the mom says, “He’s only 3,” and you just want to take his dried snot streaked face and jiggly belly peeping out from under his too-small t-shirt and hug him — okay, maybe not hug him, but definitely you would forgive him for his impetuous behavior.  Maybe I shouldn’t think of my tumors in such a forgivable manner?)

Anyway, based on this finding (remember 6 of 25 nodes “involved” finding?)my surgeon indicated that 5 to 6 weeks of radiation could be added to my treatment plan. This radiation would follow what he suspects would be 6 months of chemo, probably 6 treatments, about 1 hr each, one every 28 days or so. Radiation could begin a couple weeks after the last round of chemo.

Oh! And also, the original tumor was larger than originally excised and, were they to match up excision #1 with excision #2, would likely measure 5.5 cms.

Surgeons installed two “drains” to, yup, “drain” away excess fluid during recovery.  Had one removed today in doctors office (seriously, couldn’t feel a thing, 8 inches of plastic tubing pulled from a hole in my side and I never felt it – can anyone say “nerve damage”?) and, depending on the amount of fluid being generated, the other will probably get removed next week.  The earliest I could have gone back to work is when the next drain is pulled, however, I don’t have my oncologist appointment until Thursday so not much point in going and then leaving again right away.

Also completed during the surgery, an “expander” was put in under the chest muscle for “boob-o-the-future 2.0”.  The expander is basically a heavy-duty round pouch that can be injected with saline periodically and, over a period of time, voila!  New Boob!  (Actually, voila! Space for New Boob!  Saline pouch is then removed and replaced by silicon pouch, a “nipple” is constructed using one of the settings on your sewing machine you’ve never tried before and I get my first tattoo – a pink-ish areola.)

On Tuesday, doc said he didn’t know if they would give the thumbs up to inject the saline during chemo due to risk of infection (not a worry before they found that fat kid playing in my armpit lymph node)Okay, so fine, Boob 2.0 gets postponed.  I can deal with that.  Little baby-step-backward.  Not a problem.

So today, I go in to get drain #1 removed,  a no-big-deal-the-nurse-can-do-it procedure and then there he is – my plastic surgeon – taking a seat to talk to me.  Turns out chances are I can’t go with an implant anyway now due to the fact that radiation is back in the picture(had been taken off the table until tumor #1 turned out to be a chartbuster)

Honestly, I can’t even remember the options he presented to me now – there is some way the expander hasn’t been a complete waste of time, but I can’t remember now.  I told him we could worry about Boob 2.0 after we figured out who all was still alive when everything was said and done.

As a booby prize (ha ha, I know), I got a script for a fake boob in the meantime.  According to my favorite nurse (for real, she is) “The Boob Store” is totally cool (her mom has terminal liver cancer and they’ve been there)They will give me a boob for swimming, for exercise, for just the “usual day in the office” (as if I know what the hell that is anymore), etc. 

Wonder if they have a boobs specially designed for barhopping(duh! perky!), golfing (they really can get in the way!) and skydiving (flappable)?  Most importantly however, I wonder if they have a fake boob that will slide toward my armpit when I lie down just like my right one does?!

My next “surgery” will be a “surgery-lite” to implant a “port”, basically a central line near my collarbone but under the skin.  Takes only about 20 minutes – outpatient surgery, obviously.  This is where they can inject the Drano that will kill every suspicious cell and every bystander cell as well.  Yay.

In the meantime, I have pathology reports coming in from someplace in CA that are supposed to be helpful somehow.  Also, I am sending my blood to Germany to be tested to determine what specific kind of Drano will be best.  Oh, and of course there’s the doctor here in Houston that cures cancer with pee.  (Please, seriously, don’t mind the swipes and generalizations of my – at the moment – bitter mind. This too shall pass –  maybe like a kidney stone – or Catholicism –  but it will pass.)

Additionally, I have quit smoking, cut out all sugar (yes, Cokes) as well as all those useless (yet delicious) foods that promptly turn into sugar.  (Bitchy?  Do you have to ask?)  And duh!  Not only is all my food now organic, but any of my food that ever ate food itself only ever ate organic food also.  Not only that but I also no longer sell anything bought or processed or buy anything sold or processed or repair anything sold, bought or processed as a career.  (But no, unlike Lloyd, I don’t want to hang out with your bucktoothed daughter.*)

While wasted on painkillers this past weekend, my mother threw away all my Tupperware and teflon pans (thankfully, she replaced them with glass storage containers and new non-teflon pans)I haven’t checked yet, but wouldn’t be surprised to find my microwave oven suddenly “broken”.  There is a ‘germ-zapper’ running 24 hours a day in my bedroom and I am not allowed to clean the litter pan (thank god that at least the dog eats the cat shit!)

I am happy to report that when I awoke from my vicodin haze, all 34 of my teeth were still intact (dental work, of which, thankfully again, I have had VERY little, has been implicated as a possible scapegoat of the Big C)But just to be extra safe, I’ve stopped using toothpaste with that ever-fishy fluoride (seems to be contraindicated, no?)

(I’m guessing I don’t even have to mention I no longer wear antiperspirants, do I?)

My chakras are alit and aligned, my auras have been combed and tweaked and, just for shits and grins, I’ve decided I will no longer make left turns.

I think everything should be AOK very soon.

(knock on wood.)

~  Tina

P.S. Just how wrong would it be to go to McDonald’s right now?

*you’ll either get it or you won’t.  not worth explaining.



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