I had my follow-up appointment this morning. After a restless night of waking up every hour and drowning my mind in Deepak to stop any unhelpful thinking, I felt on edge heading back into the Princess Grace.
Ms Hogben greeted us with ‘good news’. Two words that have suddenly taken on a substantial meaning in my life. She proceeded to say that out of the 15 lymph nodes she removed from under my arm, only two were cancerous (as per MRI). Phew!! This is very positive! She confirmed that this was definitely a great thing as we knew there were two and that is it.
With regards to the breast area, there were two areas, one was 3,6cm and one was 1.1cm. Between the two that were close together was a pre-cancerous cell change. Ms Hogben said that we would never have been able to identify it as these two different areas had we not started with the surgery first. We would have assumed that it was one large mass. She also added that prognosis wasn’t predicted by adding these two together but predicted by the individual areas. If we had assumed that it was one almost 5cm area, the prognosis would have been different. It may well be that I may not need radio therapy to the chest area – something I would be very glad about. She reckons what probably happened was that there was one area of pre-invasive cancer which was contained within the duct for quite a long time and it then had a cellular change. One of the cells then broke through and became invasive and formed cells around itself, creating the hard area which we felt as a lump. When asked about the other two dots that the MRI had picked up in the same breast area, she said the pathology report hadn’t reported on it but she suspects it may have been offsprings of the two areas. She did confirm though that there weren’t any other invasive cells found in the tissue and all margins were clear.
What a relief! Massive relief about the lymph nodes and about not having other surprises from all of the breast tissue tested.
I also had a chat with one of the breast nurses about potential risks of lymphedema having had half of my nodes removed. Apparently swimming can be quite good to avoid risks, staying slim and avoiding risks of infections. I guess I better start looking for some underwater headphones I can use in the local pool to make the experience more enjoyable!