This is going to be long...
I debated on posting this or not, only because I didn't want to make those reading it feel sad, or worried because I know that all will be well. I also don't know how much my mom would appreciate me talking to all about this, but I figure that talking about it might help me feel better, and might help me get some things off of my chest. About a month ago, my mom (Genette) found a large lump on her left breast (she told me that it felt like the size of a golf ball) so at the time she had found the lump it was large. She went to her doctor a few weeks later, figuring that she needed to get it looked at right away. Her doctor examined her, and told her right then that he was not going to deal with it, and that she needed to go to a specialist right away. I believe at that time the specialist did not want to take any chances, and scheduled a surgery to remove the lump on Friday(July 25). On Wednesday of this past week, she found out that the lump in her breast was cancerous. So, they decided to cancel the surgery on Friday and wait until today to do the surgery. Luckily for my mom, we believe that they found the lump and cancer in the first stage of cancer. So this morning, I took my mom into the hospital for her surgery at about 8:00 am. About 12:00 this afternoon she was in getting her anesthesia (spelling??) and off to surgery. The procedure took about an 1 1/2 hours. The doctor then took us into a consultation room and told us about the surgery. My aunt can explain much better than me and this is what she sent me... She had a tumor that was the size of a 50 cent piece or golf ball.
The tumor was removed, but sections of tissue around the mass are removed that are called "frozen sections" where a dye is place on the speciman to determine if there is cancer in the surrounding tissue. This is continued until the pathologist finds a clean area of tissue. (she had little tissue to work with, so until the final pathology report comes back, we won't know if all of the tissue was good or bad)
From the tumor you go into the "gatekeeper" node called a sentinel node to determine if the cancer has spread there. If the sentinal node is negative--it is likely (but not always) that it may not have spread into the lymph nodes.
From the sentinel node it follows upward to the axilla (armpit area) where your lymph nodes are located. (Do you remember when you got a cold and you always had a swollen throat, or sometimes your armpits hurt, these are your lymph nodes). Then they do a axillary dissection and determine if there is any lymph node involvement from the cancerous cells. There are special tests the pathologists do now the determine if the cancerous cells are hormonal or otherwise. Luckily hers is hormonal. She will need about a month to heal from her surgery then she will see a specialist that deals directly with cancer, called a Hemotologist/Oncologist (Hem/Onc). She will go through 8-10 courses of chemotherapy (depending on the type of treatment that the doctor thinks is best for her situation she wll have chemo therapy every two or three weeks). Following chemo she will go through 6 weeks of Radiation therapy, 5 days a week; where she is followed by a Radiation Oncologist. After her Chemo and Radiation therapy, she will follow-up regularly with her Hem/Onc doctor and be on a oral (by mouth) medication for several years. Anyways, all went well with the surgery they are hoping that the work that they sent off does not come back cancerous or they will have to go back in and do surgery. They also put a drain tube in her. She will also have to do radiation and chemo. She is not very happy about that one, but the doctors know best. Doctor Richards also told her that he thinks it is the best thing for her since she is still young. The doctor also told us that my two aunts, and I will have to go get some testing done to see if it genetic. I'm not to excited about that one, but I know that in order to help prolong my life it might be the best thing for me. After being in the recovery room for an hour she was released into a room. When we got into her room she was still pretty tired and was going in and out of sleep. The whole time we were with her she was feeling alot of pain, a level 7 to be exact with 10 being the highest. They gave my mom tons of medication to ease the pain and by six when we left she was still in alot of pain. I did really well all day, no crying at all. I was pretty proud of myself. I thought alot about it on my way home, and felt kind of gloomy when I got home tonight. I know that my mom will be okay, but to see her in that kind of pain made my heart just ache. Like I said before, she is tough and definitely a fighter, this I know because I am her daughter and I take after her in so many ways. We are tough! Mom, I love you!