My oldest brother and sister-in-law, sent me a devotional journal before my surgery. They had my name engraved on its front cover. This was such a thoughtful gift and has helped me keep track of all the events and my feelings during this ordeal. I highly recommend keeping a journal. If I didn't, everything would have been confusing because it was a lot to take in and process. Thanks, Harold and Stella for the lovely gift!
I had the surgery on Thursday, May 22. My first after-care office visits with Dr. Morales and Dr. Knox was on Wednesday, May 29. First visit was with Dr. Morales. He was pleased everything was healing nicely. Another appointment was scheduled for the following week - hopefully to get the irritating drains removed and maybe a "saline fill" to continue the expanding procedure for future breast implants. Next was my visit with Dr. Knox who should have the post-surgery biopsy report. She was pleased with my recovery progress and agreed with Dr. Morales that the surgical sites looked good.
The post-surgery biopsy report came back with pre-cancerous cells found in the right breast. This validated the wise decision to have a double mastectomy. It also found a 0.4 millimeter carcinoma in the left sentinel node. 0.4 millimeter is "very" tiny, but this was devastating news for me and I completely shut down. My daughter, Cathy, took over for the rest of the office visit. I was so sure I had caught this cancer early. Dr. Knox set up an appointment with Dr. John Pippen, a Sammons Center medical oncologist, for the following week to discuss a treatment strategy that would most likely include chemotherapy.
One of the amenities at the cancer center is valet parking. I was able to hold myself together until we got into the car. Then I cried like a baby. I am talking uncontrollable weeping. Hours later, I had time to process this new glitch in my recovery. My prayers to God had been to give the lab pathologist the skill to detect any other cancer cells was answered. If he hadn't found the 0.4 mm one in the lymph node, I probably wouldn't have had chemotherapy; and it could have spread elsewhere. Now, my prayers were for a skilled medical oncologist to provide a successful treatment plan so I can live a long life with my family. I would not settle for anything less.
"Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean."