Friday, October 7, 2011

Batta, batta,SWING batta!!

Like baseball, you never know where the next pitch in life will be coming from...
This week I have been very lethargic (doing nothing really does take it out of ya!!) & on Wednesday I was sitting at the computer when the phone rang. It was the breast surgeon's office, who "wanted to see me right away".
So, I spent three hours imaging all scenarios that they might be calling me in for, working out my responses to each one, & just resting, centering, letting go.
By the time I was walking in, I was prepared for any old thing that cancerland might have to offer up on a platter.

The facility I am being treated at is a huge complex, housing all kinds of oncologists in different specialties; 6 floors in a huge, spread out building, that has a huge hospital that is its affiliate as well.
They know what they are doing and have been doing it a long time.
Part of their protocol is that every week they have a Tumor Board (yes, yes) that meets.
They all review each others' cases, so you have the benefit of a second, third and fifteenth opinion.

The Tumor Board decided that they weren't comfortable with the margins on one side of the mastectomy.
That is the area past the affected tissue that is definitely unaffected. They want good margins (healthy tissue) to have a gap, as it were, so that there is no chance of a possible spreading.
One one side I had 5 cm. clearance (that is great), on two sides I had 1 cm. clearance (acceptable), and on one side I had a squeaky little 0.1 cm clearance.
En masse, they did not feel comfortable with that.

My surgeon said I had three choices:
One: do nothing, recognizing that I have a 25% chance of a reoccurance if indeed, there are any cells left.
Mmmm. I might be willing to roll the dice for 10%, but a 1/4 chance just feels too high.
So that one is off the deck.
Choice two is to redo the surgery.
Excuse' moi, but that would be such a hot mess: take out the expander, remove more tissue and skin, sew me back up, put in a new expander with whatever I could safely have in my body.
Maybe another 4 days in the hospital, reacting to anesthesia, and four more weeks off, recuperating.
All of this before the planned second (which in this scenario, would be the third) surgery.
Not so excellent crazy about that option.
And behind door #3, Monty??
So, I have my hesitations about tissue health, as radiation is intense therapy: the average protocol is 5 days a week for 5 weeks.
But, of the three, it is the only choice that feels comfortable to me and my sweet body.
(Yes, I actually do ask for its feedback on these things.)

I meet  with my radiation oncologist on Wednesday, at which point we will, I am sure, set my schedule.
In preparation, I have doubled up on whole foods nutrient supplements that I do, plus more vitamin C (I've done 3,000 mg. a day for decades, but I can use even more of healthy collagen production capacity now), more vitamin E (bumping from 400 IU to 800). I already have an experience with amazing wound healing, from earlier in my life, with vit. E, so I know that will be a great thing.
And in addition, my acupuncturist has given me a healing salve to put on every day after radiation & an internal supplement that will help the body download the heat & heal, while receiving the benefits of the radiation.

Put me in coach; I've got my lucky bat and I am feeling strong.


mrs mediocrity said...

Oh Skye, I am so sorry that you have this added to your plate now.

But it sounds like you have made your decision wisely, and as always, you are moving forward with such strength and bravery.

You truly are an inspiration, on so many levels.

More hugs. xoxo

d smith kaich jones said...

well, phooey. crap. and all that jazz.

i came here to read all the posts i've missed, and i have, and i don't know what to say - so much has happened/changed in the last couple of weeks - so i will stay with where i am here, and say crap again, say you made the right decision (but you know that better than i do), say i love you.

one foot in front of the other . . .