Thursday, February 10, 2011

Great News X 2

The first piece of great news is that no other lymph nodes tested positive. This is awesome!! It is unfortunate that they had to remove them, but what are you going to do, right?? They took 26 nodes in addition to the 4 sentinel nodes for a total of 30 nodes (with only one testing positive for cancer). But, the doctor explained that the number of nodes doesn't mean anything. You can have a lot of little nodes or a few big nodes... same difference.

The tumor itself measured at 1.8 cm and was removed with clean margins. But, that was a given in my opinion.

The second piece of great news is that the drain was removed!! I was really sweating this because I called yesterday and was told that he wouldn't remove the drain until the output was less than 30 ccs. My output was 40 - 50ccs depending on how active I was. Luckily he thought it would be fine as long as I am careful with the arm for a few days so that fluid doesn't build up.
That drain was a pain in the rear and very disgusting. So, of course, I thought I should share a picture!!

Isn't it lovely? The tube was quite long and went right into my skin under my armpit. Yuck! I had to keep it pinned to my shirt. We would have to "milk" it by pushing the fluid down the tube into the drain, dump it, and squeeze it for pressure. I'm so glad that isn't necessary any longer.

The surgeon didn't seem concerned about my lymphedema risk which was nice to hear after the significant warnings I received while in the hospital. I don't want to have to worry about it daily for the rest of my life. I guess it isn't that big of a deal, but I really don't want a swollen arm. After some limited Internet searching I learned that this can happen because some of my plumbing that carries fluid was removed. So, if I have an injury or trauma to my left arm and my body sends extra fluid, I don't have enough plumbing to get the fluid back out. But, that isn't going to happen.

For now, I'm looking forward to returning to my office tomorrow morning and slowly building myself back up to all of my normal activities. Mom and Dad have been here for almost two weeks and have been a huge help. I'm not sure how I would have made it through this time without them.

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