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Lumpectomy Take Two or Second Time's the Charm

Updated: May 3, 2020

Before the second lumpectomy I went to see my doctor. Prior to the doctor coming in the room, her PA, Teresa, explained the procedure to me.  She  told me that a radioactive dye would be injected into my breast before the surgery so the “hot spots” would reveal what lymph nodes would be biopsied. She also told me that she had patients say this was very painful. Okay, I’m thinking TMI. I’d rather have been surprised about that one. I was actually feeling calm about the second surgery as I had already been through it. So much for that – I now had anxiety about the injection.  Yep me and apprehension are best friends lately.

Once again my encounters with all the personnel was wonderful. And, yes I got to know the doctor who injected the dye (you know that comfort feeling I need). Nice man, Slavik – immigrated in the 80’s. The injection did not hurt me at all. I felt just the prick of the needle and nothing after that. I had done a lot of talking to my deceased father the night before, asking him to help me with the pain. I truly feel he helped me. The doctor tells me to jiggle my breast to help spread the dye around. Does he really know what he’s asking?!? God if I do that they may not stop jiggling! As I sit and “jiggle” my breast and wait for surgery, I think about all that wasted energy on worrying! When will I ever learn.

I’m wheeled into surgery and next thing I know I’m in recovery with my sister Denise telling me excitedly the lymph nodes were clear. Cancer gone!!! Double Whoop Whoop!!!

I did have pain after this surgery due to the fact that the doctor had to go through the original incision. I woke up to a burning sensation where the incision was remade. I also have an incision under my arm where the lymph nodes were taken. This surgery is more painful than the last but still bearable. I’m sent home with the instruction of ice and vicadin. I learned another lesson that day: when driving someone home from breast surgery – bringing the family jeep is not a great idea. You feel every bump on the road. Put it this way riding home groggy from surgery, holding my breast with two hands (yes it takes two to hold that puppy up) was not my idea of a joy ride.

It was fantastic news about the lymph nodes but still had to wait to hear about the margins that were being tested. As I stated before, one of the worst parts of this journey is the waiting. The wait wasn’t long and the news was great – margins clear, no more cancer!!! On to treatment!


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