Yesterday, DH drove me to the hospital in the dark, early, morning hours. We weaved our way through a crowd of nurses and doctors, all rushing to their 7:00am shifts.
My first stop was at the Radiology Department to receive my nuclear medicine. The breast and its surrounding area is connected to a series of lymph nodes, which can be a pathway for cancer cells into other areas of the body. In order to determine which trail of lymph nodes most actively drained my breast tissue, it was necessary to inject a radioactive substance into me, wait 40 minutes and then scan the area. The radioactive lymph nodes would light up, mapping the path that the doctors would need to biopsy and test.
Once mapped, it was time for surgery. The nurses whisked me into a changing area, dressed me in baby blue socks, a billowing hospital gown, and a lovely blue shower-cap thingy. I was stunning.
My doctor suddenly appeared before me, also blue and smurf-like...she's a little short and had blue scrubs on.
"We got the results back from your MRI. It showed the left breast was clear, but the right breast did have some positive areas close to where we removed the lump. The areas were small and may be cancer or may be scar tissue from the biopsy, but nothing else showed up in the films."
We talked some more about the surgery and whether I would see her afterward, and then the nurse snuck some "relaxants" into my IV and things seemed nice and groovy. I said good-bye to DH, and was wheeled to the operating room by an older nurse with teeth so brightly white and perfectly formed, they had to be dentures, at least that's what my drug-induced mind was focusing on...the mystery of the dentures.
They told me they were starting my anaesthetic and that's all I remembered.
I woke up, well sort of woke up, to the chattering of nurses in the recovery room. Really, I washed in and out of consciousness like a piece of driftwood on an ocean wave, never in control of my awareness. When I did finally "wake up" I had a splitting headache, felt nauseous, and could feel all of the areas of cut flesh. ouch
My doctor stopped by and gave us the good news. The preliminary labs showed the lymph nodes were free of cancer. She removed any other questionable tissue during the lumpectomy. So, unless the final labs caught something that was missed, everything looks great. It's the best possible outcome I could have.
I feel hugely relieved and grateful, as does DH and all of our family.
The only bad thing that happened yesterday was caused by a crazy, lady in a red SUV who sideswiped our car five minutes after leaving the hospital. We're OK and the car still functions, but our headlight is dangling by its wires over the mangled front panel of our car.
It was a busy day!