Pathology Report – The Good & Bad

I just got my pathology report…. We’ll start with the good news….

Right Breast:

No additional atypia, no additional cancer at all in the right breast

2 Lymph nodes were removed – both were negative for cancer

Left Breast:

8cm of microscopic lobular cancer remained – she explained that the way that a lobular cancer grows and spreads is like a web or crab grass and when chemo attacks it, it crumbles like a cookie but 8cm remained… (MRI showed a NORMAL scan) Lobular cancer is not easily detected on any testing. She did not say anything about remaining Invasive Ductal Carcinoma so I assume that chemo killed all of those cells….

She is VERY happy we did chemo first because she feels that if we hadn’t, I would have been upstaged…. and that my margins may have not been clear… Now they WERE clear!

The skin was clear of cancer and the nipple was clear of cancer

I am a Stage IIIA – Grade 2 Breast Cancer Survivor!

Left Lymph Nodes:

In all there were 12 total lymph nodes on the left side…

7 of those 12 had microscopic cancerous cells, so she is VERY happy she decided to take them all….

The first node the sentinel node had a 1.5 mm cancer tumor… consider that like the engine of the train with 11 train cars that follow…. each of the next 6 total lymph nodes had 200 additional cancerous cells… she said literally they were counting cells individually…. the last 5 did not show any remaining cancer…. which is wonderful…

She feels confident with my scans that they have tracked down and removed all of the cancer. Which is fantastic news! I will be monitored closely….

Radiation:

I will need radiation therapy which will be 34 total treatments to the breast…. I will be meeting with the radiation oncologist next week.

Reconstruction:

I have expanders which I am SO thankful for because it allowed me to not have to be concave and disfigured for the next 9 months or so…. the expanders look amazing, even though tiny and without nipples…. Over the next month they will be inflated to the size we are hoping to achieve…. and then some will be taken out and radiation will begin…. Radiation is typically 1 month following mastectomy… I will have to wait 6-9 months recovery time before reconstruction. I was hoping for implants after this recovery… because I worried that DIEP flap might be awfully invasive and hard to recover from…. but, implants may not be an option for me…. and DIEP flap may be my only option which means they will have to find fat on my body…. to make boobs from….. I’m hoping that with my diet and my multi daily application of Bio Oil…. that maybe my skin will recover well and we can try implants…..

Lymphedema:

My risk of Lymphedema is 30%…. she is having me elevate my arm any time I possibly can. I cannot lift anything for at least 3 years with my left arm. It already has swelling however from the elbow back to the arm pit, which is mild… but noticeable. I will be seeing her Friday to look at it…. Compression sleeves will hopefully keep this at bay… along with very careful babying of my left arm. I have to stretch it to regain my range of motion and may need physical therapy on this arm….

I did it…. well almost….. but close enough! Hopefully radiation won’t be too hard on me! Thank you ALL SO very much for your love and support, encouragement, meals, donations… visits, text messages….. it’s actually gone by so fast…. in retrospect. I’m so grateful for my Mom who’s helped me so much through my recovery…. my husband for picking up wherever (you actually HAVE to open doors for me now he he and carry bags <3) he had to….. and loving me and supporting me despite my changed appearance…. my children….. have been amazing through all of this…. My extended family…. the love and support has been amazing and I am so grateful!!!!!! My close group of friends who I will not name, you know who you are <3….. my best friend Tracey who came to see me twice during this ordeal and is currently going through hoops to be here for me more….. my best NC friends Tess & Lou… just the visits and feeling of normalcy…. I am so grateful for you both…. I’m even grateful for the hard times I went through during my cancer and the people involved in the beginning….. because that’s just how I roll… ❤ Thanks to the people who made me feel beautiful during this process…. it’s easy to not feel so beautiful!!! ❤

Tears….. Tears of joy are running down my face!!!!!!! I did it… and walked off…. LIKE A BOSSS!!!!!! I am so proud of myself….

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