I would say that I’ve been lucky enough to bounce back incredibly fast from all of this, except that Jess and I both believe in stacking the deck in our favor, so to speak. For years, we’ve both used guided meditation CDs to enhance health and mood, and are positive that it really paid off this time too.
I listened to Belleruth Naparstek’s Meditations to Promote Successful Surgery starting about 10 days before the surgery, and have listened to it every day since. It contains healing imagery to use before the surgery to “anticipate a successful surgery experience, surrounded by protection and support, the body slowing down blood flow and speeding up its mending capacity,”
I am thrilled (and relieved) to report that the lab analysis is in, and that my margins and lymph nodes are clear and clean!
Clear and clean margins and lymph nodes means the cancer was restricted to just that area and has not spread to any other organs. One tumor was 7 millimeters and the second was 11 millimeters. That’s less than 2 centimeters in total, which keeps me in the stage one cancer classification. And that’s good… it was small (still too small to feel by touch), we caught it early, and it’s the easiest stage to treat.
Thank you all for the prayers, well wishes, and healing energies… Jess and I have been blessed and held in your love. We’ve both felt completely supported by this grace and it has been doubly wonderful to be so aware of it all.
Wednesday was a very long day, and one that we are grateful to have gone so well, and also grateful that it is now over.
9:30am Surgery Check-In Time
11:00am Radiology Appointment
12:30pm Nuclear Medicine Appointment
This surgery usually takes an hour. Recovery time is one to four hours. Then Jess gets to take me home.
Jess and I met with Dr. Sarah L. Blair of University of California – San Diego (UCSD) Moores Cancer Center on October 10. It was supposed to be an hour-long consult, but it turned into four hours as Dr. Blair, who was my second opinion consult, wanted my mammograms and ultrasounds redone. Apparently, my first films showed the two masses in two separate places, different from what I was told. Also, they use the films to measure the size and placement of the tumors, using those measurements for where to make the incision to find them in the breast tissue – we are actually talking about a relatively small group of cancer cells, a little like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. The new films did show the tumors differently than the first set. Both tumors are much smaller than the small hematoma left behind by the needle biopsy. Altogether, both tumors and safety margins are less than 2 centimeters in diameter. That’s about the size of a shelled peanut. Which was a huge relief, because the first doctor had offered me a choice of a full mastectomy or a partial, and that had me thinking I might be losing a lot more of me than I had originally thought. Now that we’ve acquired a lot of reading material on the subject of breast cancer, we’ve got a context to place the terminology in.
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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