Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Almost like going to Disney

I had to autograph my breast yesterday morning. So did my surgeon. It was the funniest thing. Once I had finished the wire localization (a whole other adventure, actually not a bad one), they wheeled me into the anesthesia room so I could meet my anesthesiologist and nurses and get the IV started.

They all quizzed me on what was going to be done in the operating room. I told them I was having the port removed on the right side, a lumpectomy on my left breast, and an axillary node dissection (lymph node removal) on the left side.

That was the right answer, and I thought I had passed the test and could go on to the OR. But no.....the nurse said, "Would you please initial the breast he'll be working on?" That was bizarre, I thought. I might have said it out loud, too, I'm not sure. The left breast, isn't it obvious? The one with all the wires sticking out? But I went along with it and scribbled my initials in blue marker. Then the nurse said the surgeon had to initial it too. I said, "Hey, it's just like being at Disney, when you get all the characters' autographs. Anyone else going to sign?" The nurses just looked at me, and while I giggled about it I did feel a little stupid....but figured they'd blame my loopiness on the "pre-surgery"sedative they'd already given me. No one else offered to sign my breast. Just my surgeon when he arrived. And he said the same thing, not the Disney comment, but about it being pretty obvious, the one with the wires, etc.

After he signed my breast, the surgeon looked at my mammograms from that morning (the wire localization, again, a really interesting experience I will write about later). He shook his head and declared, "This is astounding!", then looked at me and said, "The cancer is one-fifth its original size. I can't get over it!"

Once again, really great news. And just what I wanted to hear before my surgery. As they wheeled me into the OR I felt so relaxed and confident.....maybe it was the sedative they had already started giving me, but I tend to think it was my doctor's "astounding" declaration.

P.S. I came home from the hospital this afternoon. Feeling good tonight, a little sore, but I have some excellent pain medicine in case I need it.


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