Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Results Show - Part One

My children like reality shows.  Adelia and Arleigh love "So You Think You Can Dance".  (They even picked Melanie as the winner from day one!).  Griffen loves the survival type shows, especially "Top Shot" on the History Channel.  Jeff enjoys  some of the BBQ / Cooking shows.  You might also find our television on America's Next Top Model or American Idol.   Generally, after the season is over, there is a "Results Show".  The show is over-hyped, advertised widely, some entertainment factor, and then you find out who wins.  That was kind-of like my appointment today...

In my mind, today was going to be a traumatic event.  I was going to schedule the removal of my breast.  Through my blog, my fears were shared with you, and I felt your prayers today.  My parents came to the appointment with me, and there was a calming peace throughout the entire process.  I know that my peace came from the blanket of prayers surrounding me.

So, here's Part I of my "Results Show"...

Tentatively (confirmation will be received tomorrow), I am scheduled for a right breast mastectomy on Wednesday, September 7.  The left mastectomy will be performed at the time of reconstruction, at a later date.  My HER2 results are negative, which is great news! (HER2 positive breast cancers are much more aggressive and less responsive to hormone treatments.)  Dr. Martin will perform a "skin sparing mastectomy".  This type of surgery conserves as much of the breast skin as possible, for later reconstruction.

From my MRI, there is an additional suspicious area and lymph node.  Dr. Martin believes that these areas are a result from trauma the breast received from the core needle biopsy.  Regardless of the outcome, the surgical procedure will remain the same.  The surgery will last approximately 90 minutes.  Only the breast tissue is removed, not any of the muscle beneath the breast tissue.  I will stay overnight in the hospital, and then be released.

The morning of surgery, after routine IVs begin, I will be administered a radioactive injection (more glow sticks!), and then during surgery, a medical-type geiger counter will be used to identify the suspicious areas.  They will also take a biopsy of the Sentinel Node during surgery.  This sample will be frozen immediately in the operating room, and then tested.  The results will be known prior to the completion of the surgery.  If the biopsy is positive, then the lymp node will be removed.  This is very important, as it will determine treatment.

The pathology results will be known 2-3 days after surgery. (That will be Part II of the Results Show)  From the results, the oncologist will determine the best treatment plan.  There is a possibility of just chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, depending on the results.  The best part is that recovery from the surgery will be less than four weeks, and that pain is minimal...compared more to muscle pain after strenuous exercising.(Like I'd know anything about that!)

Dr. Martin was very reassuring to my parents, and they are very impressed...especially the fact that he shared his faith with them during the appointment.  He stated that God is the Healer, he is only the tool, and that he uses his God-given gift  to help others.   Any surgeon who doesn't believe in God, is just one blood-vessel away from knowing differently!  (How's that for a testimony?)

The Cancer Center is calling tomorrow to schedule my Breast Cancer Gene Test (BRCA).  I'll write more about that in a later blog.  The results of the genetic testing can affect my mother, sister, and daughters, as well as my ovaries!

Dr. Martin assured my Mom and Dad that he would take very good care of me during surgery, and would make certain that the other members of my treatment team would continue in the same manner.

I don't have all of the answers to my questions, but I have the ones that matter.  It reminds me that everything is in HIS time, not ours!



Tara Dixon said...

Wow!!! Dr Martin is awesome...so glad he is taking care of you!!!! You will do fabulous~I wouldn't expect anything less from you!!!! You are such an inspiration~Keeping the prayers going!!!!!! =)

Shana Wood said...

I'm Glad that you have kept your head held high. You have been in my thoughts & prayers since Saturday. Your streanght & determination is amazing, what an inspiration you are!

tracy said...

I am so glad to know that you have a faith filled doctor! that is a rare and amazing find in this day and time. I am also glad for the answered questions. You are handling this with the grace and polish of a pro! we love you Aunt Shelby!!!

Beth said...

Shelby - we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers!! Beth Fennell Turner