My friends brought me dinner for 5 days after I got home. My mother did my laundry. The house was cleaned before I went in. Nurses came everyday to change my bandages. My colleagues and friends gave me lots of presents, gift cards and money. I’m really lucky.
For about 10 days, I had a drain. A tube was inserted into the surgical site, and on the end of the tube was a plastic bulb. The bulb had to be emptied every 4 hours or so I was awake, and I had to keep track of the volume of liquid that I dumped out. Thin brownish- red liquid the professionals called “old blood.” Nass-tee.
You know what else was nasty? The internal sonogram I suffered about a week after I was home. I will not go into detail, I’ll just say there was a condom, lots of KY jelly, and a very full bladder. My gynecologist thought maybe I had an unrelated uterine cancer, I even had to have a biopsy there! But thank God it was all clean. What are the chances of having 2 unrelated cancers? (I don’t really want to know.)
A couple of days later, I met with the plastic surgeon about reconstruction. I am having a tram flap, which means I’ll have a tummy tuck at the same time. The plastic surgeon took a look at my belly fat and said, “Hmmm…not much to work with down here. Instead of a C cup, you’ll be a B or even an A.” I don’t care, as long as I have two again. Also, my insurance company says I am entitled to 2 symmetrical breasts, so the plastic surgeon will have to perk up the other one and reduce it to match the perky, little new one. That won’t happen until summer.
A couple of days later, I met with the medical oncologist. This is when I got the bad news that chemo and radiation were needed. My cancer was stage 2, it had traveled to the lymph nodes and the actual cancer was so close to the chest muscle that the clean margin was very small. My chemotherapy is given every 3 weeks for 4 treatments. That means 12 weeks of chemo. Radiation will be given 5 days a week for 7 weeks. That means 19 weeks of chemo and radiation. That means 19 weeks out of work. Thank God my school district is paying me through treatment.
A couple of days after that, I met with my radiation oncologist. That won’t start until chemo’s done, in mid-January.
The medical oncologist ordered a new test on the tissue that was removed. It predicts the chances of recurrence on a scale of 0 to 100. Zero means it’s not cancer, and 100 means it will definitely come back. My score was 3. The doctor has never seen a score so low.
So, stage 2, early, it hasn’t spread much. It probably won’t come back. No uterine cancer. I’m out of work, but I’m still getting a paycheck. I have golden health insurance. Except for the cancer, I am extremely healthy. I have friends and family who give me cool stuff and help me out.
It could be worse.