1. I feel close to human again today.
Whew...that 4th round of AC was tough. I'm looking forward to a great weekend ahead though, feeling like a real person. (three day weekend! Friday off from school! Woohoo!)
2. Sick leave bank was approved!!
I received the call from HR this afternoon. It was obviously quite complicated, and it will be closely monitored. I can't enter the dates myself anymore. I have to call an HR rep directly and they will enter my days for me. I will also be docked 3 days before it all goes into effect. Which I knew about. But I'm so glad that I will be able to continue working, and not be stressed out about missing days and being penalized on my paycheck. Now I can heal when I need to and continue to be balanced with real life and remain active. Right now, I am entered to miss Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the end of the school year. Hopefully, that will be all I need, but if I feel really sick one day and need to call in, I know what to do. No worries. Acceptance, Gratitude, Healing.
3. My surgeon did my ultra-sound. She compared the pictures from today side-by-side with 8 weeks ago. HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!!
It was measuring from 1.9 to 2.1 cm today depending on the angle. That's way down from 3.5 to 4 cm. So its official. The chemo is doing its job.
She said, if this thing continues to melt away, I will definitely be eligible for a lumpectomy, if that is what I've chosen.
I haven't really taken the time to think much about my surgery options yet. My top choice is the lumpectomy, if I'm eligible for it. I want to keep my body as natural as possible. Lumpectomy recovery is much much easier. I'm not concerned about a scar or anything. I just want my body to be whole and natural. Also, the data shows that there is no difference in chance of recurrence with lumpectomy vs. mastectomy. So there is no need to make decisions out of fear. The question is, what happens if a lumpectomy is not an option? What do I do?
So, if I have to get a mastectomy, my options are
1. take one off.
2. take both off.
3. reconstruct, at the time of surgery, or later.
4. I think there's a "partial" option in there as well. I'm not sure.
Back to that phrase - whole and natural - it might not be a bad idea to just take them both off, so I'm not lopsided, and leave it alone, no reconstruction. Not whole, but natural. I don't know. I've really not thought it through until this afternoon when I realized the possibility of mastectomy is reality.
We also asked about the next step for lymph nodes. At the time of diagnosis, there was no reason to be suspicious of lymph node involvement, so they did not take the time to biopsy. That information was not relevant to the next step. However, at the time of surgery, they will definitely do a sentinel node biopsy, so we have that information. I guess that would affect whether I continue to do more chemo treatment after surgery or not. So many things to think about. Another thing is, if I do a lumpectomy, I'll need radiation therapy. If I do a mastectomy, radiation probably won't be recommended.
But the bottom line is, things are going VERY WELL. I am feeling GOOD TODAY, and will continue to feel better throughout the week. I was experiencing a lot of scared, sad, and sick feelings the past few days, but I have many reasons to celebrate TODAY.