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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

At the Surgeon's

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 
Is. 41:10

We are back from the appointment with the surgeon. It was an interesting, but slightly confusing meeting. He reminded me a bit of Doc Martin, sans the hemophobia, in that he would ask me questions using technical medical terms of which I was not familiar. I would try to answer his questions using the terms that were given to me by the doctors in Tennessee, and he seemed dissatisfied by the answers.  He was unfamiliar with using radioactive seeds to locate the area with the tumors, but he uses frozen section evaluation of tissue during surgery to determine whether all of the cancer has been removed. Using this method, the pathology laboratory provides rapid, accurate microscopic analysis of tissue while the patient is still in surgery. In this way, surgeons know if they have achieved negative margins (removed all the cancer) while the patient is still in the operating room, eliminating the need for any further surgeries. Since that was not done in TN, he will go in at the same incision site and remove all the hardened scar tissue and a bit more around it. He cannot use the frozen section evaluations with this surgery as the hardened tissue needs a more time-consuming analysis. I have a surgery set for Monday at 10:30 at Christiana Hospital's Surgical Center for him to retrieve more tissue. In about a week we will know the results from the lab as to whether the margins are clean by at least 2 mm. If they are not, the next surgery will be a mastectomy. Please keep us in your prayers.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that the meeting was confusing...the situation is anxiety-producing enough without confusing medical terms and information. I do hope and pray that the surgery goes well. Hugs Phyllis!

  2. Sometimes I think it is hard for doctors that are so familiar with the technical terms that the words are common for them, to realize they aren't for us. It is so strange how much medicine differs from state to state. I wonder what state is the healthiest and if that reflects the climate, environment or medical care...

    I'm praying for peace and lots of joy!