Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Cancer Journey Week 21

Kathy heads to surgery tomorrow at 7am.   She'll be NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight.  She'll wake at 5am, shower with Hibiclens (a antibacterial prep), and I'll drive her to surgical check in.  Prior to surgery, the radiology department will insert a wire adjacent to the titanium markers that were placed in her tumor at first diagnosis.   Her surgeon will use this wire to guide the lumpectomy.

Her left breast will become smaller than her right.  She jokes that her career in exotic dancing will come to an end.

The operating room will call me at the end of her procedure and I'll pick her up.   Since she'll not have had general anesthesia, we're presuming she'll feel good enough for a bit of an extended ride home.   The last of our chickens arrives on Friday (Buff Orpington's) and we'll pick them up as we drive back to our new farm.

We'll anxiously await the results of pathology.   If the margins on the lumpectomy tissue are clear, Kathy will start Radiation Therapy 1-2 months after surgery, likely late June or early July.

By Labor Day, if all goes well, this phase of our cancer  journey will end, although our continued vigilance for reoccurrence will be lifelong.

Her hair is beginning to regrow and she's progressed from peach fuzz to GI Jane.   Her nails are becoming less brittle and losing their black pallor.    Her body is beginning to recover.

2012 has been a year of learning.   We've learned how to deal with the unknowns of cancer care.   We've learned the value of personal health records.  We've learned how to buy and sell a house in the middle of chemotherapy.  We've learned how to keep our sanity and patience in the face of adversity.    Although we would have preferred not to learn some of these lessons, we're stronger for it.

Onward to the next step in the morning.


Ravi Kumar said...

All the best for the surgey Kathy & John.

Vanessa Sarmiento said...

I wish you both all the best for tomorrow's surgery.



Anonymous said...

We're with you both: best wishes as you continue with everything!

Anonymous said...

Sending positive thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

Sending positive thoughts your way. Hope all goes well.

Justin McReynolds said...

I really appreciate you and your wife's willingness to post on this, it will certainly help other patients both directly and via the HIT community. I'm in the process of designing a breast cancer patient website with a PHR backend as an academic project, so it's great to read that a PHR was of value to you.

Anonymous said...

Wishing you all the best for the surgery and recovery.

Lukas Zawilski said...

Wishing you all the best. It's an incredible and difficult journey you find yourselves on - thank you for allowing us insight into that.

Spezialed said...

I hope Kathy is on the mend and truly appreciate your posts.