So, we (Mark and I) were pleasantly surprised. Mind you there is still some swelling and bruising, making my affected breast a bit larger than it will be when fully recovered and after shrinking expected from radiation, but surprisingly it looks good.
There are two incisions, each about two inches in length. One is just under the arm where the lymph nodes were removed, and one just above my nipple and angled towards the center of my chest. The nipple was not moved after all. The only numbness is in the area where the tumor was removed, and tissue from the lower portion of my breast was moved to fill in the void. It is a dull feeling, not numbness. This is very good since often times there is permanent numbness under the arm and where the surgery takes place, often at the nipple.
Dr. Elboim presented us with the written pathology report and exclaimed how pleased he was with how well chemo worked. He said that the chemo results for me were far better than he expected for my situation.
We talked about the TNBC status (triple negative breast cancer) and he will have samples sent back out to confirm where I stand on this. The first biopsy in January brought back conflicting reports of 5% and then 10% estrogen positive, which may change the TNBC status. This may have a bearing on further treatment after radiation, so we will wait and see the results of this test.
After the surgery. my staging is a T1a. Prior to surgery I could not be staged because we did not know if there was lymph node involvement.
So all in all, I think I can celebrate heartily on my birthday tomorrow, or as my brother calls it, "My life day". Let the Fire Works begin for this holiday weekend. I'm ready for it! :-)
Wishing you all a safe and sane Independence Day weekend!
Debbie... aka the cancer warrior ... AND SURVIVOR!!!
Sonoma Relay for Life Team (8/6/11) ~ Debbie's Blasting Crew.