At 1000h I’m being admitted into The Wesley Hospital for my Breast Cancer Surgery. It’s a little more involved and I’m sure I’ll learn more about it today, but here’s what I understand is happening to me:
1. Sentinel Node Biopsy.
A sentinel node biopsy is a way of checking to see whether there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the armpit without removing all of the lymph nodes. The sentinel node is the first lymph node to which breast cancer cells may spread to outside the breast. A radioactive isotope is injected into the breast before surgery and a blue dye is injected into the breast during surgery. The dye and radioactive substance travel to the node or nodes, which are then removed.
2. Breast Conserving Surgery
Breast conserving surgery involves removing the breast cancer and a small amount of healthy tissue around it called the surgical margin.
I’m only in overnight mainly due to the drain that’s being placed into my armpit following the sentinel node biopsy to drain the blood and fluid, gross, I know. Then Thursday I’ll get to go home, fingers crossed.
On a separate note, I received a call earlier in the week from the Breast Cancer Network Australia. They rang and offered to send me out a “My Journey Kit”. It’s a great pack full of useful information which is where I got most the stuff from about my breast cancer surgery above. Unfortunately I didn’t retain a lot from my appointment with my surgeon last week, no surprises there I guess. I can say confidently that the breast cancer support network so far is amazing, I can only imagine what it’s going to be like once I have surgery and start treatment.
Beyond this, I have absolutely no idea what to expect with my breast cancer other than I think we’re to meet with my oncologist next to determine all my treatment (radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy) options. But more about that next time.
A very dear friend of mine reminded me of something last night from the book she gave me “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” written by Dr. Suess I wanted to share with you.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 & ¾ per cent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!” ~ Dr. Suess