Mastectomy Recovery, Part II

I got my last surgical drain removed this morning.  Finally, I can shower with two hands and wear normal clothes again!  (I was told to hide the drains with a "baggy sweatshirt."  Sure, no problem, it's only 105 degrees outside.)  I came home to throw my waist apron in the fireplace, and Jeff pointed out that I will need it again for reconstruction surgery in 8 months.  Boo.

On Monday I reviewed my mastectomy pathology report with my oncologist.  Because I had such an incredible response to chemo and the tumors in my breast shrank so much, she was hoping that more of my lymph nodes would be cancer-free.  The concern is that I still have microscopic cancer in my internal mammary and subpectoral lymph nodes, and those nodes won't be treated with radiation.  Given my high-risk advanced breast cancer, I figured there wouldn't be a celebratory "you're cancer-free!" moment, and I was right.  Instead of offering high fives, my oncologist launched right into preventing recurrence.  In addition to radiation, she may send me to Dallas for proton therapy.  I start endocrine therapy next week (monthly Lupron injections and an aromatase inhibitor medication).  She also wants to put me in a clinical drug trial for an oral medication that is currently used to treat metastatic patients and is being evaluated for possible benefits to advanced breast cancer patients.  And she's ordering another CT scan in 3 months.  I'm sure those "let's see if the cancer is back" scans won't be terrifying at all.  I hear stress is great for cancer.

During the routine vital signs, my oncologist heard wheezing in my chest on the left side and brought up the possibility of pneumonia.  I feel totally fine (I even went bowling yesterday!), but she sent me for a chest X-ray anyway. 

This afternoon I was supposed to meet with the nurse practitioner for a one-on-one "survivorship" class, but the scheduler called me and canceled it at the last minute.  She said there's no need to reschedule.  I guess she's convinced that I have this whole survival thing in the bag.

The other day, I woke up in the recliner and found these encouraging notes on me.

I've received a lot of girl power-themed gifts recently, and Julia is super into it.  She keeps stealing my awesome socks!

I should wear these socks while I'm doing my arm exercises.  I don't feel very tough when I'm whimpering about having to raise my arm.  I better improve quickly, because I'll have to keep my arms above my head during my radiation simulation next week.  #goals