Support System


Over the past weekend, we purchased a new desktop computer with Windows 8 installed. It has been a bit of a learning curve, as I transfer files from the old computer and install software.

The appointment on the 19th at the Women’s Health Centre took 3 hours! Most of that was wait time though. The consultation with the surgeon took, perhaps, 15 minutes. He had an intern along. She was very nice.
He says that 80% of women with breast cancer are the first in their families to have it.
Of the two suspect nodules, only one is cancerous, the larger one, which is 2 cm x 1.2 cm x 1.6 cm. In inches that would be .78 inches x .47 inches x .62 inches

After the exam and discussion, I was sent to the nurse navigator. She explained all that is going to be done, I signed papers and she gave me many brochures. These include information on free meetings for pre-op and post-op patients. In addition to this nurse, I have been assigned to a counsellor. Both my husband and myself can call her, and see her in person if needed. She handles issues like how to tell the family and how to cope with cancer.

All of this is free of charge.

I will have a lumpectomy. Here are the three procedures that will be done.

The day before the surgery: sentinel lymph node mapping. The biopsy will be done during the surgery, to check if the cancer has spread.
The day of surgery: breast needle localization, at which time a fine wire will be place in the area of the cancer. This is a marker for the surgeon.
Then the surgery.

I am frightened of the pain that may be involved. Granted, the biopsy on March 5th was not that painful really. I could tolerate it.
It will be good, though, to get this all over with.

After surgery, I will most likely have radiation for 3 1/2 to 5 weeks, Monday to Friday, as well as medication, since the nurse said that I have a protein called human growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

I sent emails out to my 2 half-sisters, and to my mother-in-law. I could have phoned my mother-in-law, but she is elderly and tends to get confused. I hope that seeing something in text will help her understand better.
I have been asked by the medical team if anyone in the family has had breast cancer or ovarian cancer. I do not think there is any history. I must research a bit more though, as my oldest sister told me that she had a lump removed from a breast in the 1960’s when she was in her thirties. She says the results were “inconclusive”. Since she is still healthy, I would assume the lump was benign.

I feel a bit of relief that both lumps were not cancerous. I continue to work on setting up the new computer, and reformatting the old one.