So it looks like we’ll be heading home to Ohio tomorrow. The news is both good (in that I get to be back in my own space again & reunited with Miss M) and bad (in that I have to leave my beloved NYC).
As I type this, Hubby and Miss M are driving down I-95 from Massachusetts on their way to me. I am so psyched to see my little silly goose and plant kisses all over her. I’ve missed her so damn much! But I’m so happy that she enjoyed her time with the family too. My nana, aunties, cousins, and friends stepped up to the plate BIG TIME – Showering Miss M with endless love and attention… Planning endless fun activities for her… They made it so she never even had the chance to get upset about mommy & daddy being gone. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Knowing that she was so well cared for and loved made this whole process so much easier.
Today, I’m just reveling in the fact that the surgery seems to have gone well – no complications, no infections, no swelling, no bleeding. And every day I feel stronger, more mobile, and a little more like myself.
I met with my surgical oncologist Dr. Bernik on Wednesday. We received the preliminary biopsy results that showed there were 2 cancerous tumors removed from my breast (one measuring 1.7 cm & the other 1.0 cm) as well as confirmation that the lymph node they removed tested negative for cancer (although it was noted that the tissue showed signs of prior lymph node involvement – which we knew already based on my previous scans). We won’t receive the pathology details of my tumor makeup until next week.
The thing that has me curious is the different findings of the PET scan, MRI, and biopsy. When I reread my test results yesterday I noticed the PET scan showed activity in only one area of my breast, the MRI showed 3 separate tumors, and the mastectomy biopsy found only 2 tumors. So which one is correct? I understand this is almost a moot point now that my breast is gone – but for the future I will always wonder, “Exactly how reliable are these scans I keep getting?”
Yesterday, I met with my Park Ave plastic surgeon Dr. Friedman. From this point forward he is the one calling all the shots with the rebuilding of my breasts. He seemed pleased with how everything looked and decided it was ok to remove my drain (only 1 week post surgery!) and gave me the green light to go home.
Going forward I will meet with him, here in NY, every 2 weeks to continue expanding my breast tissue and preparing for my next breast surgery to insert the implant and reduce & lift my other breast. Of course I’m thrilled that I get to come back to NYC for a mini getaway every 2 weeks for the next few months
Otherwise, I have to say the pain has been manageable. I heard that mastectomy surgery was not horrendous on the pain spectrum (but never believed it till now). I’m only taking Vicodin or Tylenol on an as needed basis (which seems to be only at night, before bed). I’m walking around, opening doors, making my own coffee & toast for breakfast, getting out of bed unassisted, and using my left arm fairly well. I still ask for help when I need it. And I listen to my body and its limits. I’m being careful not to push myself because I want to heal quick and heal well.
My stay at the Hope Lodge in Manhattan has been fantastic. I’ve meet so many amazing people here (both cancer patients and their caregivers) from all over the United States. I am thankful to the American Cancer Society and all those who work & volunteer here. This a special place.
Now I plan to enjoy my final day in NYC… Tomorrow it’s back to Ohio.
Love to all and big heartfelt thanks, – T