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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Went back for my follow up after surgery today. I had been waiting for this visit all week. I was expecting to get my drain out and be done with this part of my treatment. I got some good news and some bad news today.

The good news is, the chemotherapy worked. It shrunk the originally 2cm tumor own to 1.4cm. The 3 nodes that were removed were completely cancer free. Also the lymphatic vessels showed clear. (On the initial biopsies, at least one of the nodes was positive for cancer and one of the core samples from the tumor showed lymphatic vessel invasion).

They got clear margins around the tumor. This means no re-excision. And, the surgical wound where they opened me up is healing well. YAY!

But, the bad news is, I have to wear the drain at least another week because I didn't realize the importance of keeping pressure on the surgical area. In my release papers it said to wear either an ace bandage or a sports bra at all times to decrease swelling. I did this for a couple of days, but I didn't see any swelling, and wearing the bandage or bra cut into me and caused more pain, so I decided to take it off.

I found out today, it not only reduces the swelling, it helps to compress the surgical hole they created, which in turn, reduces the amount of fluid my body produces to fill it. The reason I didn't experience swelling was due to the drain. If he removed the drain today it would have swelled.

So, the surgeon said another week, at least, with the drain (depending on how much fluid shows up in it). He said if I want the amount to reduce, I have to keep the surgical area bound tightly with either an ace bandage or a sports bra, 24/7 for the entire week, and continue to do it for a while after the drains are removed.

This is VERY painful to do. The elastic cuts into my skin after a few hours and pushes the drain tube into my side. It makes the pain jump from about a 4 on scale of 1-10 to about a 7 (and it's a steady 7). The hydrocodone they had prescribed me wasn't helping with the lower level of pain well, so I asked if I could have something better (since I'll be dealing with level 7 pain).

The surgeon prescribed me a higher dosage of the hydrocodone (7.5 instead of 5) and I can take 1 or 2 every 4 hours. I'm really hoping this makes a difference and helps me get through the week! I'm very disappointed and really dreading being in pain all week!

I came home and put on a sports bra and it's already killing me. At 7pm I can try out the new higher dosage. Pray it works! I'll do anything to get this annoying drain out of me!


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