Thursday, June 26, 2008

Email #4: No Subject June 4

Hi folks,

Sorry for how long it's taken me to get online. Figures, for this rabid writer/reader that the ranges of motion most effected by the surgery has been those most required by acts like typing or reading. I'm still struggling to hold a book open, and this email will still have to be short.

Today was my first post-operative dr appointment, so I have a lot of good news to share. The report whose name I forget (I keep wanting to call it the "toxology report" and that's because I've been watching too much HOUSE/Law & Order/etc... ) came back to say that (a) they are 100% sure there was no cancer in my sentinal lymph node (b) there was no detectible cancer in the right breast and (c) the tumor was .3 cm smaller than it appeared to be at the time of surgery. And all together that means my cancer was Stage One. Dr. DeWeese said it was the "best possible news" given the circumstace.

Chemo, he says, is not off the table, though. I will have an appointment with an oncologist soon to talk about life expentancies and rate of recurrance. But it looks good. It's very exciting news. And it's truly unexpected, insofar as I'm concerned. I feared the worst (what with my rock star lifestyle and all, ha ha).

The recovery process has both been way better than I expected and way, way worse than I expected. The first few days were WAY better than I expected. I was pretty well convinced I'd bounce back in record time. It wasn't until I got home from the hospital that things got really bad pain-wise. While I make small improvements every day ("Yay, today I can flush the toilet on my own!" "Yay, today I can get from standing to sitting!!"), it just doesn't seem like enough to me. I woke up this morning and burst into tears. I'm just sick of being in pain and sick of being a patient. When I told my doctor all this he basically said I was being too impatient. I could expect a week to ten days more before I feel better.

People have been awesome. My mother is pretty much convinced that I'm the most beloved teacher at my school based on the volume of cards, flowers, and food I've received. Every day a different teacher shows up with a whole bag of dinner. Ma has bent over backwards. Jason is home now and has been excellent about listening to me and helping me out.

Truth be told, I've been so preoccupied with the pain and my limitations that I've not started processing the more emotional elements of the surgery to any great degree. Over the past few days I have gotten out of the house a couple of times and my greatest self consiousness has been with the stoop of my walk and with the two grenade-sized surgical drains hanging at my waist (basically I have two muumuu type dresses and that's all I can wear until I get rid of these drains. It doesn't help that it's pushing 90).

Anyway, thank you so much for your love and concern. I feel very lucky right now despite my sour mood. I'm sorry I've been so quiet. Hopefully things will start heading back to normal-ish in the next few days.


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