Saturday, February 23, 2008

Half A Plate full

Well, I haven’t blogged for awhile. What readers I may have once had, have surely gone away by now. Frankly I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. By the time you read the next series of posts, you may understand why.

Last September, when I posted last, we were facing a monumental challenge in our lives. My wife Dawn Ann and just been diagnosed with breast cancer. On October 2, 2007, Dawn Ann underwent a mastectomy. She was in the hospital for 3 days and 2 nights. I took that week off from work to take care of her. I have written about our experiences with breast cancer at one of my other blogs: DCIS Husband.

The mastectomy was a struggle for Dawn Ann, but she did very well. After the surgery, she was all bandaged up, and had two JP drains coming out of her. The drains were the most uncomfortable thing for her.

The surgery was a complete success! They got all of the cancer with surgery alone. Going into the surgery, we knew that there were two spots of cancer on her right breast. The final pathology report showed not only the two expected locations with cancer – but a third location that was previously undetected! The 3rd spot was not found by mammograms nor by MRI. The third spot also proved to be a more aggressive form of cancer.

The revelation of the 3rd cancer spot only served to confirm our decision to have the mastectomy. There was no doubt now that this was the correct course of action. Even if it would have been possible to do lumpectomies on the two other spots, the third more virulent spot would have remained, and could have done who knows what untold damage -- even pose a threat to her life.

Fortunately the surgery was able to get all the cancer. It was caught early enough that no other treatment, besides the mastectomy, was necessary. No chemotherapy and no radiation. This was a great relief to Dawn Ann.

Dawn Ann decided before the operation, to have concurrent reconstruction done on her breast. After the breast tissue was removed, a tissue expander was placed under her chest-wall muscle. Later, the tissue expander would be inflated with saline to create a space under the muscles, where a silicone implant eventually will be implanted.

Frankly, Dawn Ann’s breast cancer would have been plenty on our plate all by itself. But that was just the beginning of our health related troubles – which I will discuss in my next post.

No comments: