So this morning M’hijito and I traipsed out to the Mayo again to meet with the estimable Dr. P.
She suggested trying one (1) more re-excision and then, if that fails, the recourse is mastectomy. In either event, I’ll have to have radiation therapy.
Ugh. This is hard to believe: we’ve gone from two “tiny” little lesions of less than 1 cm to at least 5 sm of mass, not all of which we’ve be able to get out, and we are now speaking seriously of a complete effing MASTECTOMY! And that is despite the fact that she insists it is not a a cancer and may never be a cancer. Maybe.
Not only that but I’ve developed some kind of swelling, which may be seroma, may be an infection, or may be some of both. I’m now on an antibiotic whose main side-effect is tendon tears. You’re not supposed to take it if you’re over 60 or if you’ve ever had tendon repair…which I had about 20 years ago after I slipped on the rocks at the bottom of Aravaipa canyon and ruptured the tendon that operates the right thumb. You can’t exercise. You shouldn’t be throwing yourself around with any physical work. This persists for three to four months after you quit taking the drug.
I went prepared to ask if she could manage to get a pathologist physically THERE during the next procedure so he could do the pathology studies in real time, rather than a day or two after she’s sewed me up and sent me on my way. But she’d already thought of that: she said they would do the pathology while I’m knocked out.
HOWEVER… In that case, what the pathologist does is freeze a number of slabs of the excision. But that is not ALL of the stuff they take out. Later, he’ll finish the job — meaning even if it looks like she’s managed to dig out clear margins in the frozen samples, he STILL could find inadequate margins in other parts. And if he does, I’ll have to get a mastectomy.
She was disgusted because on the preliminary report from the pathologist she was told she’d gotten clear margins out but when the final report came in, she learned otherwise. She was not at all pleased.
Oh, and to put the frosting on the cupcake? Comes in the mail, about ten minutes ago, a twenty-two hundred dollar property tax bill!