One of the first things the surgeon will do in a mastectomy is to take out a couple of lymph nodes from your armpit. These are sent immediately to the lab and analyzed so that if there is cancer present, the surgeon can go back in and take out the rest of the nodes.
During my surgery, the breast surgeon, Dr. Pesce, came out to the waiting room to inform my posse that my nodes were negative for cancer. This meant a much lower chance of chemotherapy. Some people cried, others cheered, others sat aghast that this beautiful young woman was my surgeon. Dr. Pesce said when the pathology came back that the nodes were clear, everyone in the operating room did the ‘happy dance.’ This was great news and has kept my spirits high.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Call from UNKNOWN CALLER (always answer those). It was Dr. Pesce calling from her car because she wanted to tell me the news on my pathology report and she wasn’t happy with it. This is where I put the phone on speaker and my sister started furiously writing notes. My hands start to shake as she tells us that, upon further review, there was some cancer in one of the lymph nodes. I knew exactly what this meant.
Psyche! I DO need chemo.
A great deal of crying, snot explosions and feelings of lightheadedness were thrust upon me. The nodes were clean. We were told they were clean. I announced on my blog they were clean. WTF, Pathology? Who do you have working the microscopes over the weekend, Dwight Schrute?!
I needed air so I hobbled down the stairs with legs shaking like a baby giraffe. For the next hour or so, my mom, sister and I sat on what I will now forever refer to as ‘the sad, silent, crying couch’ on the patio listening to birds chirping and rich people having their lawns mowed.
I found out I had cancer and I had it removed within a month.
I am efficient like that.
It was suggested that perhaps the worst was over, but oh no!– now I’ve got Agent Orange-level poison coming my way in the near future.
I will be fine. The need for chemo does not accelerate my mortality in any way. It just assures that my summer is going to suck balls. I am seeing the oncologist to come up with our plan of attack on Thursday. As soon as I know my timeline, I am going to be asking my followers for some help.
When chemo starts and I know I have about 3 weeks until my hair starts falling out, I will throw out some wacky hairstyle options and invite you all to vote. Purple mohawk, platinum blonde bob, perhaps shave most of it but leave a rattail I can braid and put some colorful beads on? The options are endless.