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.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Still hanging around

I'm still here, just waiting around for surgery on Tuesday. I feel good, not too tired (other than the usual mommy-tiredness).

Several friends have asked me if I'm nervous about my surgery. My answer is "not really". I'm a little nervous about the anesthesia, but more excited that the last of the cancer will be taken out. Originally I wanted to have surgery before chemo, but all the research I did, plus conversations with my surgeon and oncologist, convinced me that chemo first was the best route. At the time, I had a suspiciously swollen lymph node in my armpit, and while the lump in my breast was small enough to keep me in an early "Stage II" diagnosis, it was big enough to probably require reconstruction. The doctors hoped the chemo would shrink the tumor enough so that I'd only need a lumpectomy. And, with the suspicious lymph node, they were afraid the cancer may have gone elsewhere. They encouraged a systemic treatment (treating the whole system, or body, with chemo.....just in case).

So chemo before surgery made the most sense. I wasn't happy about it at first, really wanted to hop up on the operating table, but I'm glad I went the route I did. As far as we can tell, chemo has done its job. The lump is now so small the surgeon can't get a good measurement on it, even with an ultrasound. And no one has been able to locate the once-huge lymph node in my armpit (though we know it is still there since it showed up on the MRI 2 weeks ago, but significantly smaller, YAY).

Tuesday morning, around 10am, the surgeon will be removing the lump in my breast, the first two levels of axillary (armpit) lymph nodes, AND my port.

I'm ready to go on Tuesday. Well, I don't have my bag packed in case I have to stay (the surgeon said I'll be there overnight, the nurse said probably not). And I'm not sure I know where my favorite flannel snowman PJs got to. They might be in the laundry. And the house isn't quite ready for the cleaning service, which comes on Wednesday (yes, we have to pick up the clutter so they can clean. It's ridiculous, but I know other people do it too....)

But mentally, I'm ready to go!


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