A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Surgeon Follow-Up

Since some of you knew that today was my meeting with the surgeon and were waiting to hear how the lab report came out, I will dispense with the formalities and get to the facts.
The good news is that I am healing fine from the surgery and that there is minimal bruising, and that the lab report came back that the surgeon did get the entire tumor, with some buffer between the tumor and the margin or edges of what she took out.  The good news, too, is that the extreme exhaustion that I have been feeling is completely normal and that I have nothing to worry about and that my energy should return by my second follow-up appointment with her on February 4th (to make sure that I am healed up entirely from the surgery.)
The bad news begins with the fact that there was a second smaller tumor there as well as well as lots of SITU cells sprinkled about. She did get the second tumor, so no additional surgeries needed at this time, however its presence along with the SITU cells, means that there is a possibility of other small tumors so small that the sonograms and mammograms can't pick up (they didn't pick up this small one either) and also of other SITU cells. SITU cells, by the way, are what are called "pre-cancerous cells." The radiation therapy, which I will eventually be getting, should take care of the SITU cells. 
The really bad news is that I will be having to have the tradition Chemotherapy as well as the hormonal Chemotherapy. So, I will lose all my hair, feel awfully tired, get mouth sores, be susceptible to getting illnesses, vomit and the whole bit. We have picked up a phrase at our house in order to look on the bright side, and that is, "It is better than the alternative" which might seem too crude for some, but it does help us to keep a balance between keeping it real and keeping a positive attitude.
Kanishka chakraborty
Dr Chakraborty
We will know for sure and know more when we meet with the oncologist, Dr Chakraborty on January 28, but it looks like the schedule will be Traditional Chemotherapy for about a year, then Radiation Therapy for every day for six weeks and Hormonal Chemotherapy. I will stay on the hormonal chemotherapy for five years. I will be getting mammograms every six months during this time period.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." -Psalm 4:8.


  1. You are so resilient!

    We are praying for you everyday.

    Thank you for sharing my friend.

  2. Thank you for updating us. I am praying for you. What a long journey ahead. THank goodness they got both tumors and there is so much then can do. May you feel God's strength through this difficult time.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. "Better than the alternative" is my Mum's slogan too - I don't think it's crude, just a great way to keep it all in perspective!

    I'm so happy that they got all of the tumour. And just so you know, chemo doesn't neccesarily cause all those symptoms in every person. The nausea is extremely variable, for example. Crossing my fingers that you're one of the lucky people who sails through it!

  4. It's a great slogan, and sometimes when there is lots of scary news you need things like that to keep your wits up. Thank you for so promptly updating us.
    A friend of mine here is going through the same thing and her doctor recommended shaving her hair now, and using the hair to make a wig.

    Oh, and I don't know if this will cheer you up at all, or give you a smile, but back at Christmas I had such a big smile on my face when I got your Christmas card, and was even more impressed that you got any out in this time. I didn't get mine out this year, and I don't have anything exhausting or crazy going on right now. I just have a very scatter-brained head.........

  5. Take one day at a time and if that's too hard just take each hour at a time. We're all praying in England and we'll start praying the effects of chemo will be negligible. Take care.

  6. Now remember I went through the traditional chemotherapy, they have come along ways with it. Yes, I lost my hair, no I did not get mouth sores (while it is still possible but not a definite), I got nausea, but never threw up (make sure they give you medication for your nausea, actually what worked for me was anti anxiety medications), yes, I was tired. I love your saying "Better then the alternative" believe me that is what kept me going.

    I am praying and will continue to pray that you will discover that the symptoms while are crummy are not going to be too bothersome.

  7. I am so sorry you're having to go through all of this, Phyllis! I continue to think of and pray for you. That phrase is a good one to keep in mind...I hope that you all are able to find lots and lots of positives to carry you through the hard times! {{{HUGS!}}}

  8. Just wanted to say I'm thinking about you.