" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Monday, March 17, 2008

Good news!

I had the doctors appointment today and received some good news. A little simple anatomy information first (forgive me if you already know this). Before the surgery, they injected radioactive isotpoes into the breast area in order for the isotopes to reveal the location of the lymph nodes closest to the breast for removal and biopsy; if cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes it is an increaed risk that cancer has spread to other parts of the body as the lymphatic system carries things throughout your system (they call it the biological highway). THe isotopes revealed 4 lymph nodes close to the breast; they removed those 4 and all 4 were clear of cancer! I was so surprised at the news- I had been prepared for the worst as the doctors had already told me that, because of my age, it was most likely already in the lymph nodes. So I cried hysterically for about 40 seconds because I was so shocked.

They said that as far as finding the presence of cancer cells in the blood vessels of the tumor (called angiolymphatic invasion) it is still suspicious. This is a concern as, if cancerous cells have invaded the blood vessels of the tumor, the cancer could be carried to other parts of the body via the blood, even though the lymph nodes were clear. I did not ask if there are means to bring greater certainly to whether or not the blood vessels have been invaded, I will ask tomorrow at my next appointment.

The fact that the lymph nodes are clear means that I will not need to do radiation, however it will have no effect on the chemotherapy ( they are still planning full, aggressive chemotherapy to target any remaining cancer in the body) however it is a great psychological burden lifted from my chest (no pun intended). In the not too distant future I will have to make decisions about the removal of the other breast to prevent recurrence (I have pretty much decided that I am going to do this at a later date) and whether or not I will have the recommended hysterectomy (breast cancer and ovarian cancer are very closely linked as they are both hormonal cancers, but ovarian cancer is difficult to detect in its earlier, more treatable stages. Because of this, someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is at greater risk of ovarian cancer as well, especially someone who was diagnosed at such a young age.

Oh, gosh... too many other decisions to mention now... but it was a great and unexpected blessing to receive the news that the lymph nodes were clear. Other decisions can be made later...

Love, Faith

6 comments:

John said...

You cried for a whole 40 seconds over having cancer? You're so dramatic! Kidding, of course!

Praise God for your good news. What a way to start Holy Week!

hopeyg said...

Hey Papes,
That's great news! I'll have to send out that info to the mass e-mail group. Love ya, Hoper

Xerofall said...

Hizzah! See? The prayers helped I'm sure.

Party on Faith!

My mom is a breast cancer survivor, she said the chemo made her very very very tired, not sick. So if you spend all day in bed, don't beat yourself up.

Get some rest! Take some time!

Much love,
Jeff

Anonymous said...

Praise the Healing Mercy of God!!! Stever

sheshe said...

Faith,

I'm so happy for you. Yay! I love when community prayers get answered. God is contantly showing us miracles here and there. You are definitely a sign of God's miracle.

Continue to be well.

Masayo said...

I always pray for you, Faith...
and believe you'll have more more
good news!

and...thanks to attached our pic,
it's so--- embarrassed!

Masayo ;)