Pathology Report

So it’s been a bit of a foggy week thanks to Percacet, muscle relaxers, and lots of sleep. I so appreciate all the emails, texts, phone messages, visits, and love from you all checking in on me.
How am I? I am okay. I’ve been sleeping okay and have not been in too much discomfort and pain until today. I decided (probably too early) to not take the pain med (Percacet) today. No I’m not trying to be a hero by not taking pain meds – people the constipation the pain meds cause is ‘for reelz’ and so I chose what I thought was the lesser evil today. Anyway – I’m back on Percacet as of 12:30 this afternoon. As you may have seen on social media I was able to go to church to worship with my family for Easter a few days after surgery. It felt great to get out of the house and what better place for my first outing than church, right? I won’t be able to lift/hold Garrett for a few more weeks so mom and dad have been with us helping these first few weeks, then Joan will stay with us (my MIL), then Katie & Justin (my sister & BIL), they will take Garrett back to TX with them to stay with my parents again, then mom and dad will come back. So we have our ‘live-in’ care covered and y’all have filled up the next month of meals for us which is incredible. We feel so loved and cared for.
So doctor appointment results:
Yesterday I had my follow-up with my plastic surgeon, Dr. Mackay. I was not able to have either of the drains (I have two) removed, but he removed some of the dressing from the surgery sites. Said that everything is looking good and hopes to remove one of the drains next week and the last drain hopefully by the following. We have to wait for their combined output to be less than 20.
Today I met with my oncologist, Dr. Zelnak. She is fantastic and I am so happy with her as my doctor. (That’s half the battle sometimes, right?).
Results:
  • The size of the tumor was a little bigger than originally thought 2.3 cm instead of 1.8 cm.
  • They were able to get all of it and showed clean edges on everything removed.
  • 10 lymph nodes were removed and ONLY 2 showed cancer cells.
  • None of the lymph nodes showed growth or invasion abnormalities.
Dr. Zelnak was very encouraged by these results and feels strongly that I will only need the short-term chemotherapy option. <Insert happy dance and tears of joy here> (1 treatment every 3 weeks for 12 weeks = 4 treatments). She ordered the onco test today which takes 2 weeks to get results back. This will show how susceptible my tumor would be to chemotherapy. She is pretty sure it will come back as low to moderate. We want it to not be high to support the short-term chemo treatment. (I could go into more explanation of this – but it’s pretty confusing, but if you want to read about it in your spare time click here.)
So what’s next? Well we wait for my drains to be out and for the onco test results – both will take 2-3 weeks. Right now I’m scheduled for my chemo to begin the first week of May and hopefully be complete early July. (I would actually like to start late-April to be done before July – we will discuss this timing and scheduling when she calls with the onco results).
Another encouraging thing she told us today is she doesn’t think I need to have a port put in. The treatments will be spread out and few in number so I can get the chemo via IV at each appointment. <insert more happy dancing and grinning here.>
She is still considering some post-chemo radiation therapy, but she is going to bring my case before some doctors Monday to get other opinions. The pathology report did not think it was needed. So pray no radiation will be needed. That come 4th of July not only will we be celebrating the good ol’ U. S. of A’s birthday, but that I am D.O.N.E. DONE with cancer!!
And while you are praying Hamilton will be at Kanakuk Kamp July 1-14 – I want to be feeling ok and strong enough to picking him up for Parents Day so no reason you can’t start praying for that now, right?
Thank you for all the prayers and support. During one of my personal journaling times I was writing that I just felt that during all of this God just wants to commune with me. All the ‘spiritual disciplines’ I don’t need to worry about – the years of doing all of those practices have built the foundation that I am able to live off of during this time. (spiritual disciplines/practices = reading my Bible, praying, attending church, leading in the church, small groups & Bible studies, etc.) He just wants me to experience a relationship and dependency on him right now. I’ve never really done that before. Your prayers are giving me strength and peace and then personally throughout every doctor’s appointment and every day I just feel his presence. It’s pretty cool actually.
Your prayers are working and helping so keep ’em comin’.
Love,
AJ

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