Friday, February 5, 2016

When "Robust" is a Good Thing

I've heard the word "robust" used to describe one's figure in a not-so-flattering way even though the simple definition is
:strong and healthy
:strongly formed or built
:successful or impressive and not likely to fail or weaken
But when your surgeon tells you that your margins are "robust" - meaning that the area of surrounding cells taken along with the cancer is clear and of a healthy size - that's a very, very good thing.

I finally received the results of the pathology report completed on my tumor and lymph nodes this morning. 
Hello! I've been a bit quiet here this week, mostly 'cause of, you know, drugs, and waiting.  And pain if I'm honest. Frankenboob or "fireboob" is being a real bitch while she heals.  Lots of water, pills, and sleeping sprinkled with TV and a Walking Dead trivia game.  Once I was off the narcotics, I did a solo trip on Wednesday.  Getting lightheaded in TJMaxx will quickly belie your self-proclaimed, "I'm FINE."  Lesson learned.  Now I'm back to being bedeviled, bored, and bitchy at home.

Dr. App quickly told me that it was excellent news.  The report confirms that my lymph nodes were clear - 100% clear - of cancer.  The tumor removed ended up measuring 1.8 cm or 18 mm.  If you recall, the initial ultrasound had this at 11 mm, the MRI had it at 13 mm and a later discussion with Dr. App had it at 15 mm.  Now, I don't know if this change is due to the method of measuring (one being more accurate than another or whatnot) but suffice it to say that I'm glad this monster is out of me before it reached its twenties and started hosting toga parties and generally corrupting the wholesome surrounding cells. 

It had already acquired a mini-me!  They found a small 4 mm second tumor along-side big daddy.  Can you imagine!? How DARE he mess with a child!  [See how the evil tumor suddenly became male and a pedophile?  Nooo, my job doesn't affect me at ALL.]  They also found some DCIS cells hanging around those two.  Think of those as the good kids wanting a taste of the wild side only to find themselves in over their heads and headed to juvy.  Honestly, my boob is quickly becoming an after school special.[ <Don't stop watching that top ten until the end. I needed that laugh.]

In short, my lymph nodes are clear, and they removed everything they need to so that I do not need any further surgery.  Cue the trumpets.  No, I don't get out of chemotherapy (you really WOULD hear me scream at that) or radiation.  I meet with Dr. Vander Woude on Monday to hear more of what will happen when chemo starts late this month or next.

For now, I'm continuing to get caught up on shows I didn't know I needed as I unsuccessfully try to ignore the incision pain.  Ladies, put your bra on and touch the lower left ridge of it.  Now imagine an incision directly underneath of it trying to heal.  And, no, I can't just take it off.  I need to remain wrapped or wearing a sports bra, etc., to keep some pressure on her as she heals or it can result in way too much swelling and even a need for more surgery.  [Honestly, not sure if Dr. App was just trying to scare me with that threat but she's a mighty dynamo and I will not defy her.]

The massive surgical bra monstrosity they sent me home in works a bit better at night with a wrap underneath but even that aggravates the incision.  So ... for now ... before my transformation into Sméagol, just picture me as this little tyrant (with his right hand a bit higher).

A robust little tyrant.  In the successful and not likely to fail way.

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