Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Little Good News

Got some pathology information back yesterday, and thus far things look about as good as we could have hoped for under the circumstances:  my lymph nodes are free and clear (yay!  that one is huge), the tumor is definitely estrogen and progesterone responsive, but HER-2 negative (also good news), we got a clean surgical margin well within the safety parameters, and the size of the tumor does not automatically put me into the chemo basket.

Plus, I got my stitches out yesterday.  So yay.  Good news, right?

They are doing further testing, though, because the size of the tumor and its level of aggressiveness did put me into the "needs to be looked at carefully" category.  I should get test results back from the oncotype testing within the next week or two, and we will make treatment decisions from there.

This has been such a slog, not just for me but also for everyone in my family.

The Peanut is worn out from having to worry which side of me she is hugging, and we all fiercely need a vacation just to run away from all of this whether or not we happen to sleep any better.  But we cannot possibly take one because we are still awaiting test results and treatment planning and...well, it feels like a whole lot more hurry up and wait until we get there.

Everyone that I've spoken with who has been down this path before has said the same thing to me.  That the early diagnostic stages are emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting.  That once you start the treatment, you are at least doing something and that is somehow better.  Even when the treatment really sucks, doing is better than waiting, apparently.

So having at least been through the surgery and come out the other side with a well-healing incision area?  It does feel much better, even with this second round of waiting on the back end.

But not having to do a second surgery to clear the margins?  That's a huge relief.  The clean lymph nodes are even more so.

Trying to hold on to the good news but still not quite releasing my breath just yet.  As Mr. ReddHedd says, we've cleared a few more fiery hoops, but we have to wait to see what is around the next corner before we can really relax.

(Photo by Christy Hardin Smith.)


robin andrea said...

So glad to read this wonderful news.

bg said...

So glad for this news! I can attest to the waiting stress after a needle biopsy I had last year. I did not believe I was really at risk, but when I missed the doctor's call and then could not reach him for an hour or more, it was incredibly nerve-wracking. And that was just for an hour.

I have been watching for good news here, Christy, and this all sounds good. All best and great healing to you!