Post Surgery / The long wait

I was surprised at how well I slept the night of the surgery considering I could only lie on one side (I presume it was the anesthetic still in my system).  I am so blessed to live where I do so the day after the surgery mum and myself went for a lovely walk on Killiney beach, relaxed in the sun and had a Teddies Ice-cream – a lovely way to start my recovery.

My boys were very good looking after me, they knew they couldn’t give me a “squeezy hug” on my right side and became a little obsessed with my “ouchy” (my scar) wanting to show everyone they met (a bit embarrassing!). My recovery was fine, more a little uncomfortable at times than in pain so very bearable.  I was due back in for my post surgery results on May 21st.

I was anxious to know what my treatment plan was and whether I would need chemotherapy or not.  The news I got on the 21st was mixed, the good news was the cancer hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes so it was Stage 1.  The not so good news was it was a “nasty” Grade 3 aggressive tumor and for this reason, I may still need chemotherapy even though it had not spread.  A test called the Oncotype test would determine this.  This is a test which analyses the activity of 21 genes from a breast cancer tissue that can affect how a cancer is likely to behave and respond to treatment.

The results assign a score of low, medium or high to the chance of the cancer reoccurring.  This test is done in the US so I would have to wait up to 3 weeks for the results.  While this wasn’t exactly bad news it was very deflating to leave still wondering what my treatment plan was and not knowing whether it would involve chemotherapy.

In the end it would be four and a half weeks later on June 21st before I would find out the results.  I found the waiting tough – the loss of control, not being able to plan anything, the not knowing.  During this time I signed up with Purple House in Bray (a local cancer support centre). Visit for a list of local cancer support services nationwide.  These centers can offer advice, support, counseling and complementary therapies.

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