My dear friends and readers, I’m afraid we must sweep up the confetti, deflate the balloons and delay the “Sue’s doing better” party for now. We saw the breast surgeon yesterday and the final, final pathology report is not all roses. Terrible news for spring, I know.
In surgery the initial reports were wonderful. The four lymph nodes she removed along with my left breast were clear; on initial viewing. However, the pathologist at the wonderful hospital in Portland, OR, repeated them twice. Within each of the nodes my surgeon removed there were tiny, minute clusters of cells and within those tiny “babies” there were 1-2 cancer cells…at least in some of them, about half of them.
The ballgame has changed. I am in a state of being that is difficult to describe. Jim, my dear husband is rocked, exhausted and life has changed for each of us. Where do we go from here? We have examined our options and I don’t want to drag you all through it, not yet. First of all I am waiting right now for phone calls from the hospital here in Astoria to get back to me because we must find out if the cancer has spread. That will mean a bone scan and CAT scans of everything I own…practically. Then we will decide, all of us including the oncologist, my cancer surgeon (still wants to be the guiding force), my rheumatologist and my wonderful cardiologist. I will keep my dear primary doctor in the loop and then, of course, there is my eye doctor regarding the vision issues with Sjogren’s syndrome.
I wish I had more reassurance to pass on. I do not. We have much to do over the next week or two and right now I feel like an old boiled, lifeless lasagna noodle, limp, flat and sauceless. Strangely, I am okay in my attitude. I am all cried out. Now we wait to see what is next. Both radiation and chemotherapy have been recommended by the tumor board at my “big” hospital, Good Samaritan in Portland, OR. There is talk of ports for the IV to enter, the possibility of me staying in Portland for the six weeks, six days a week it would take for the radiation and much more. Last night I talked to my daughter, sweet girl, and she was devastated but will be there every inch of the way. I also spoke to my son who is in New Orleans for the medical company he works with, having dinner at Emeril’s restaurant. I tried not to hate him for that…imagine. I spoke with my daughter-in-law. Jim and I are all talked out after our total four hour drive yesterday.
I am married to not only a fine nurse, but a man whose feelings run deep. He is hurting. I am hurting emotionally, of course, but my surgery is healing nicely. All drains are out, most bandages are off and now, we follow the bread crumbs to the next step, the next step and again, the next step.
C.S. Lewis was so correct, of course, when he wrote our God is too small, because we make him finite. We do that to try to understand, I think. Our dear Lord knew this time would come in my life from the time I was born, and before. He is omniscient, all knowing and loves me more than any human love; and believe me; I am blessed with a lot of that as well. Please pray.