Meeting with the Tumor Board! Pt.1

Yesterday was to be the day we got all the answers.
The day that I had been looking forward to and dreading at the same time.

Sunday, I was very pessimistic, I was certain we were going to get bad news. News that they had found cancer in the right breast, or that the cancer in the left had spread to the lymph nodes.
But yesterday, when I woke, I was very optimistic. Every part of me was absolutely 100% sure it was gone. That I was now cancer free, and could move on, leave all that behind and look forward to a brighter, healthier, future!

Either way, what we did know was, this would be the day we got all the answers. And whichever way that pendulum was going to swing, we were prepared, and more than ready to know.

As I said, I was optimistic!
I woke early, jumped in the bath. Which, since the mastectomy, comprised of 6 inches of water in the tub, just enough to cover my legs.
I hadn’t had my hair washed since Tuesday morning. It felt gross and my head itched.
I knelt in the tub, leaned as far forward as  I could and managed to get it washed, good!
You can’t imagine how great that felt!

I was now clean and ready to face the world, or at least the world of oncologists and plastic surgeons!

My first appointment of the day was with my plastic surgeon and his PA.
I was a little nervous. Ok a LOT nervous!
At my first appointment with him, he told me I had to quit smoking.
Although, I’ve managed to cut down tremendously, I have not been able to quit completely. This has caused us to butt heads each time we meet.
I was worried that today he would consider my healing not good enough. That the smoking was causing some major problems.
I was so happy to find the healing process is moving along smoothly. Actually, much better than expected, even from a non smoker.
But, I know that doesn’t get me out of the woods yet. There’s still a lot of healing to do, and a lot more that can go wrong. And that I should still try and quit!

I first addressed the large crease I have on my right side. It turns out, thats the edge of the tissue expender. I was assured that would either disappear as the expander is filled, or when it is removed. But in any case, it’s not going to be there permanently.
The other lumps and bumps are again the TE, and again will smooth out as it is filled.

It was decided to remove the two anterior drains, and oh boy was I glad to see them go.
If you’ve ever had post surgical drains then you know exactly what I am talking about.
Those things are darn right annoying.
I have to tell you that all week I have panicked about accidentally pulling them out. Every time I have caught the tubes on something, or when I’ve been ‘stripping’ them, I’ve been soooo scared they’d slip out and we’d have to go back to the hospital to have them replaced.
Apparently, I know nothing about these things.

When the PA was ready to remove them, she told me to take a deep breath, and as I exhaled, she would pull them out.
And so ….. I exhaled…..I and felt the tube move from my chest out to my side.
Those things go in deep. A good six inches or more. There’s no way I could’ve ‘accidentally’ pulled one out. Which is good to know since I still have the two posterior ones in place.
As for how it felt when she removed them.
It wasn’t painful in the least. Uncomfortable??? Well I can’t really say it was that either. It was a completely weird sensation, hard to describe. I’ve never had anything move inside my chest before. It was definitely different.
She took out the second drain, and we were done for this visit.

I have an appointment to return in 8 days to have the remaining drains removed, unless the fluid loss reduces to 30mls or less per drain, per day, then I go back earlier.
Judging by yesterday and this mornings totals, that will probably be in just a few days. (fingers crossed)

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