Sunday, June 6, 2010

Everyday News from Crescent City 6/6/10

Hi Everyone,

Although we prefer to be able to talk to everyone in this big and extended family/group on a regular basis, we haven't been able to keep up lately. Promises to call as soon as new information is known have gone by the wayside - with the result that you don't know what's going on and we (well, mostly me!) feel guilty that we've not kept everyone in the loop. The idea of this blog is to make that better...even if we haven't called recently, this will be a place to get the latest updates on what's happening here - focused mainly as I work on getting rid of this cancer. I apologize for being a lousy sister/friend re: phone calls. Hope this helps!

Here's the news: the results from my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy weren't as good as originally reported and hoped for. My surgeon wasn't able to get clean margins on the tumor (i.e., there is still tumor in the remaining breast tissue) and the sentinel node proved to have a few cancer cells in it and a few more extending into the fatty tissue around it. Not at all what we hoped for. Options for short-course, partial breast radiation are off the table. Chemo and possible long-course radiation are on the table.

But more immediately, I will have surgery again on Friday, June 11. This time I've chosen to do a mastectomy and will also have an axillary node dissection. The surgeon will take out all of my right breast tissue and more nodes under my arm. Best news will be that the tumor has clean margins (they got all of it locally) and that there are no more positive nodes. We won't know the pathology for about a week after the surgery.

After I get the pathology back, more decisions/recommendations will come. At this point, it looks possible that I will get a recommendation to do chemo. It's totally unclear what the recommendation will be re: radiation.

So that's the scoop. Our plans are to work Monday through Wednesday this week, drive to San Mateo on 6/10. We'll be there probably until 6/18 to do post-op visits with docs and to get the pathology results. The docs are saying that time in the hospital will be very short (1-2 days) and recovery should be fairly quick. I'm planning to play princess for a couple of weeks and see how I feel.

As soon as I'm alert enough (or when Jim settles down to do it), we'll make a post to let you all know how things go on Friday's surgery. Do call Jim if you like (916-340-5102) if you want an update earlier. Otherwise, look for it here!

Many thanks to everyone for the prayers, good wishes, support and love. We really wish this wasn't happening (especially me, again!), but are trying to think of it as a job that has to be done, one step at a time. Talk to me three weeks into chemo - if I have to go there - and I'll let you know how "one step at a time" is working!

Love to you all, Susan


  1. Hi Sue. I LOVE this. It has to be exhausting retelling your story. Good luck on Friday. I will mentally be with you all the way. We love you so much, KC

  2. Hi Susan, I wish I would have thought of this! You are in my prayers to find peace and prayers that all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that will be tending to your needs. "One step at a time" is a hill you can and will reach the top of (with the help of your loved ones pushing and pulling you up that hill when needed). With love and hugs. Susan E.

  3. My Love,
    I finally figured out how to sign on. I posted a post surgery note but it didn't make it here on time. Everyone, she was in surger 6-11 for just under three hours, two in recovery and 9 hours later got up to walk a bit. We are spending the week in Dick Miller's condo in Foster City and I am tele-comuting work until her three Doctors visits are done on Friday.

  4. My beautiful Aunt Sue,

    Glad to hear the surgery went well and you're up and about. We love you so much and our little girls send their love and sweet kisses to you! Thanks for starting the blog so we can all be here through this with you! All our love!

    Sarah (Brown) Reintsma xoxoxoxoxo