Treatment & Care: Surgery

Day 62: Here we go again! More surgery soon – this time to put in a port for my upcoming chemotherapy.

Megan's Journal at LMHI have so much to report on today. For starters, Dr. Kolkman reviewed my pathology report with me and confirmed that I am now 100% cancer free, and the cancer did not spread to my lymph nodes!! I wish I could drink to that right now, but I can't – so have one for me if you can because this is the best news EVER!

Both Dr. Kolkman (my breast surgeon, who performed my mastectomy) and Dr. Keller (my plastic surgeon who’s reconstructing my breast) say I’m healing nicely from surgery. Together they did such a great job on my mastectomy and breast reconstruction that losing my breast has turned out to be a lot easier to accept than I thought. To be honest, it looks so much more like a normal breast than I expected, and once the reconstruction is complete, I know I won’t have any complaints. As a woman under 40, I can’t even begin to tell you what a relief that is.

I feel like I’m doing really, really well so far in lots of ways. I’ve slept quite a bit in the last week and a half, and it is definitely paying off. Today I woke up at 11am, and though I am still sore, the pain has definitely lessened quite a bit, and all this rest seems to be doing the trick. I have decided not to take any more pain meds today and see how it goes.

And now for the treatment updates:

  1. I’m having surgery again tomorrow (my third of what will be four total surgeries). This time, Dr. Kolkman is putting in a port for my chemo treatments. Because I had two lymph nodes removed from my left armpit during my mastectomy, I won't ever be able to use my left arm for IVs, blood pressure checks, etc. And, since they had to stick me four different times to get the IV into my right arm for my mastectomy surgery, my doctors have suggested the port to make things easier for me. Obviously, I’m not thrilled about having another surgical procedure, but it’s the smart thing to do – I will be very grateful not to get stuck with a needle each time I go in for chemotherapy.
  2. Dr. Keller removed one of my drain tubes. I will see him again the day after tomorrow, and he hopes to be able to remove my other drain tube then.
  3. LMH Oncology Center has scheduled me for chemotherapy education class next Tuesday afternoon at LMH. I’ll have my first chemo treatment two days later.

So, in a nutshell, this week and next are very productive on the cancer-fighting front. I love how quickly they keep things moving at LMH when it comes to helping people fight cancer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it truly is a blessing to have this level of excellence right here in Lawrence. I feel so lucky to be able to fight this battle without having to leave the place I call home.

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Chemo Port Surgery

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