This morning my phenomenal primary support team – Duncan, GC and Donna – gathered at my place for coffee, and then we headed off to meet with the surgeon, the resident, the intern, the home support nurse (who is a breast cancer survivor herself) and the social worker. (Duncan opted to stay behind and keep the couch warm for me.)
I had been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this meeting. I wanted to get the show on the road, but I was scared of getting even worse news than I already had.
We were in meetings for about two hours. Processing that much information was exhausting – towards the end, I was having trouble absorbing anything anybody was saying.
But I’m hugely relieved to be able to say that things look encouraging so far. The lump appears to be small – 9mm. As far as they can tell, it has not spread. They think they caught it early enough.
I’ll be having an MRI of my breasts sometime soon. It’ll be followed by a bone scan, a liver scan and a chest x-ray, to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread. If all these things come back cancer-free, next month I’ll have surgery to remove the lump and, at the same time, a sentinel node biopsy to make sure it’s not in the lymph nodes. This will be followed by radiation every weekday for five weeks. After all that, there will be a 5-10% chance of the cancer coming back.
This plan is of course subject to change if the cancer has spread. My biggest fear over the past week is that the pain and tingling I’ve been experiencing in my back and legs for the past few months is because the cancer has spread to my bones and there’s a tumour on my spine. The surgeon says it’s possible, but she doesn’t think this is what’s happening. The bone scan will tell us for sure, but at this point, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m going to be okay.
I’m not out of the woods yet, but I feel so much better than I did. SO much better. Now I’m going to go curl up with Duncan on the couch, listen to my creative visualization CD, and have a snooze.