Friday, August 19, 2011

Post Op

The surgery went very well and recovery has been a breeze compared to chemo.  A lumpectomy was done and a total of thirty lymph nodes were removed. Although my use of the arm is limited right now,  I have total confidence that I will regain complete use of my arm.  The pathology results showed no cancer in either the breast or lymph nodes!  Amazing!!  The doctor said that finding no cancer,  really ups my chance of the cancer not returning!  Luckily, Bianca was able to come and be my 'right arm' for the week.  A lot of 'food for thought' moments have happened recently.  I think when life slows down, we are more able to take a look at the little things that so often go unnoticed.  For example... on my first outing (lunch out at a restaurant), we just happened to bump into some of the teachers and students from my school.  I had really been missing them, but knew 'Meet the Teacher' would have been way too much for me.  On another outing to a dress shop, a sales lady mentioned to me that she was also a 'member of the club' when she noticed my drain.  I thought I was going to start bawling.  She then proceeded to share with me her scars and experiences.  Before we knew it, two sales ladies, another customer and myself were all sharing about our breast cancer experiences.  Four out the five women in the room were bc survivors!  (Sort of an impromtu bc support meeting.)  On our way home from that, we stopped at a recently opened New Orleans themed restaurant that had advertised live Dixieland Jazz on Sundays.  Of course I had to make some requests and talk with the musicians.  It brought back some memories of times with my mom(a professional musician).  Today, Bianca called to say flowers would be delivered from a friend of hers in DC who wanted to brighten my day.  The flowers had a gigantic 'breast cancer pink' lily in the middle of the arrangement.  I started crying upon seeing it.  I was really moved that someone who doesn't even know me would think to send flowers.  I have started trying to support others going through cancer and actually felt like an oldtimer in the chemo room this week.  While I no longer receive true chemo, I am continuing to get a drug that keeps my cancer from returning.  Radiation will start in another few weeks.  In the meantime, I am doing my best to appreciate life and reach out to others when the opportunities arise.

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