Monday, June 16, 2008

Post Op

Linda healed quite nicely from the surgery. Dr. N did a fantastic job and the only visible indication of the lumpectomy and axillary dissection are a couple very fine 2" scars. They will heal up nicely over time. The neo-adjuvant therapy (pre-surgery chemotherapy) had shrunk the tumor down to nothing and that, combined with Linda's already "ample" boobs made for a truly unnoticeable lumpectomy. Dr N ended up removing an extra 17 lymph nodes in addition to the 2 sentinel nodes for a total of 19.

A detailed pathology of the tumor and nodes was performed off-site and we had the results within a few days. The lumpectomy did indeed achieve clears margins which was great news and as suspected, the lymph nodes tested positive for cancer. The first 2 sentinel nodes still had visible clusters of cells but the next 3 in the chain had diminishing amounts of micrometasteses. Basically, there were cancer cells in those 3 nodes but they hadn't set up shop yet. The rest of the 14 in the chain tested clear for cancer. Also of note is that all the nodes tested negative for ECE (extra capsular extension) which means the cancer cells hadn't broken outside the walls of the nodes...a good prognostic indicator. As important as anything, it was also a great psychological relief for Linda and I to know that the cancer we first saw on Dec 10th was finally out of her body. Linda began to do her exercises to prepare for radiation treatment. She needed to be able to lift her arm over her head which is no easy task after someone has been digging around with a scalpel in your underarm. It'd take about 3 to 4 weeks.

Her recovery was moving along so well that yours truly finally got lucky. If you think "make up" sex is good, it ain't got nothing on "we just got through the toughest thing we've ever had to face" sex and "no action for 6 months" sex. Don't get me wrong, I was a 15 year-old boy once so I could rub one out like a pro, but after 6 months that gets kind of old and you find yourself getting creative. Have you ever heard of The Stranger? Seriously though, I know Linda will kill me for this paragraph but it did feel good to be a normal couple again. That's all I have to say about that.

No comments: