I'm home from breast surgery!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm taking the easy way out, I'm emailing people plus replying to a PM, using much the same text.

    husband posted in the Morning thread over in General, so now here is more info.

    I'm home following surgery today for breast cancer. They took two sentinel nodes but both were clear on frozen section so they didn't need to take any more. They took the tumour too, of course. The incision is above the nipple, a separate incision in the armpit for the nodes. The tumour was too small to be felt by the surgeon, even when she knew it was there, so they inserted a hook wire. This has a hook on the end which they try to snag in the tumour, so the surgeon can use the wire as a road map. If they don't get it right on target, they check the location under ultrasound and basically write directions ("two mm to the left and down a bit" - or maybe "first star on the right then on 'til morning") but in my case, the radiologist hit the tumour bang in the centre with the hook. They then taped it all down so there was no chance it would get caught on anything or pull. Then they injected the isotope for the sentinel nodes - they look for where the isotope goes, take those lymph nodes which take up the most isotope because the logic is, if they take up the isotope then they are also the ones which would be first to take up cancer cells. So if these ones are clear, then they can be confident that all the other ones will be too.

    They identified the nodes (in my armpit), marked them with a felt pen, then sent me back to admissions waiting room. I didn't get taken in for surgery until they were just about ready for me in the operating theatre. I was only in the bed for five minutes and they were wheeling me in to the theatre. I had to get across onto the operating table by myself, although after the surgery they must have moved me while i was still under anaesthetic. I was in surgery for just under an hour, in recovery for another hour (most of it doing sudoku and crossword puzzle I'd brought in with me) then back on the day surgery ward being fed a sandwich and a cup of coffee. About half an hour later I was up and dressed. Heading home an hour after that (husband driving, of course).

    I have to see the surgeon by Friday next week, I should get more detailed pathology results by then.

    I'm tired (a bit) and feel happier now it's out, hopefully I'll sleep a bit better tonight. Armpit is a bit uncomfortable, it's like the dressing is digging in a bit, but I think it's really the stitches plus the digging around. My breast will probably feel more sore tomorrow when the local begins to wear off (they pour a lot of local into it during the surgery, while I'm under anaesthetic).

    For now - I'm hungry, I'm having a late night snack (Vegemite on cracker biscuits) before heading for bed. Throat is a bit scratchy too, from the intubation.

    We've been told there's about an 8 week wait for radiotherapy, but it's just a precaution in my case, they think. And I've got six months if I need to wait before starting radiotherapy.

    There is still a possibility they didn't get the tumour with clear margins, or that the lymph nodes may have cancer in them when they take a closer look. In which case, more surgery. But they're good at this, they do a lot of them and the success rate is almost 100% so I have confidence in them.

  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Marg - I'm glad things went so smoothly. Especially glad to hear they didn't have to take out a whole bunch of lymph nodes!!! I think that's a really positive sign. Hope the dr. was generous with her margins.

    Rest up and don't over do. I'm really so very glad to hear things went so well. Hugs!
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Marg, I'm so relieved that your surgery went so smoothly. I will continue to keep all body parts crossed until we hear the final pathology report (just because I'm a worrier).

    Take care, lady. Don't overdo it as is your tendency.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Glad to hear all went well. It sounds like you have some really good docs taking care of you. That's a relief to know.

    You sound in good spirits. Rest up.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marg, I am happy for you that things went so smoothly. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for good results on Friday and minimal follow up needed!
  6. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Happy that things went well, and you can "recoop" in familiar surroundings....... Take it easy and let others "do" for you........
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So glad to hear things went well. Be sure to take it easy. I hope you are able to sleep well tonight. Sending love and continued prayers your way.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hugs. Rest up and know I'm thinking of you.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm happy to hear it went well, Marg. Sounds like you were in the best hands and it was great to hear he hit that nasty tumor spot on. Thinking of you during this time and praying for a speedy healing process without too much discomfort. Love, ML
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I too am happy that things went well. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you wait for the results, and hoping for a speedy recovery.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Marg, thinking of you. Fingers crossed.

  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm so happy this part is behind you, at least. It really sounds like you have great doctors who are making sure they treat this aggressively and covering all bases. You're remaining in my thoughts and prayers and I know you'll get thru this.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    So glad it went well and you feel well. Continuing to send prayers!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yaaaay! What a great report.
    Boy, do I remember that wire. I had to walk from the MRI to the other xray unit with-it sticking out of me. I was not a happy camper.
    Plus, they wouldn't feed me, and someone had set out a plate of crackers and tea bags. Very tempting ...

    Anyway, you sound great. I am so glad it's over.
    Keep icing. And do not do any household chores! No lifting!!!!! No laundry. That's an order.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I don't think things could have gone better! That's a great report and I'm glad everything went smoothly. Hopefully the margins were sufficient and there's nothing left to find anywhere else. Enjoy your rest and recuperation -- you have earned it and then some!

  16. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Glad to hear it went smoothly and hope it all continues to go so smoothly. Take care of you.
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, Marg, it sounds like everything went as expected and I'm so glad your only discomfort is the dressing. Hoping the rest is all cake! Hugs and prayers for you continue.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Marg, I'm so glad it went well! You be sure to keep that pain under control. That's what the doctor gave you the medicine for! Big hugs to you all!
  19. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I'm so glad you're back home! I couldn't respond to the GM thread yesterday - computer problems. However, I definitely agree with the advice Wiped Out gave you. The next time you need a bit of R & R, please think "VACATION" instead!!! I hope you're getting lots of rest and letting your family and friends shower you with TLC.

    I'm continuing to keep you in my thoughts and praying that you'll be able to put all of this behind you very soon. Hugs... SFR
  20. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time

    I will keep you in my prayers and if it is all right with you I would like to add your name to my walk shirt. I do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer every year and the Washington Difficult Child walk is coming up in May. I put all the names of people who support my walk on the back and the names of people either battling, surviving or sadly those who lost the battle, on the front of my shirt.
    Best of luck and a speedy and full recovery!