Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good News!

Yesterday I went to my Oncologist at the Cancer Center for my post-op appointment. I had not seen him since early December when I had my last chemo treatment. It's strange how "attached" you become to your cancer Dr. You don't realize that this guy becomes your "lifeline" in your fight for your life, and you want his opinion on everything that is going on. So I was looking forward to his comments on the surgery and the pathology reports that had come back. I didn't know if the findings were good, expected, not good, terrible, wonderful, or what. . . .????

Wouldn't you know, I was LATE for my appointment! I'm a person who is NEVER late for anything. I can't remember ever showing up late. In fact, I'm usually the first person to arrive anywhere. But I got my time wrong somehow. I'm just glad that he was still there.

As usual, all my fears and doubts were wasted time! He was thrilled with the pathology report. He told me that the tumor had shrunk to 1 cm in size. When I mentioned that the original size was about 4 cm, he asked me where I got that from? He then informed me that the original size of the tumor was about 10 cm, as it had taken over the whole breast area, and that the chemo had done an amazing job at shrinking it down to a mear 1 cm in size. He told me that the cancer findings in the 5 out of 15 lymph nodes was what he sort of expected and this did not change any of his feelings as to the outcome of everything. In fact, he said it was "great. . . better than great!"

He then told me that I would have a few more weeks to heal up better and then start radiation. And. . . . he feels I do NOT need any more chemo along with that. That was the best news I've heard in 6 months!!!!! For a Dr. who seems to be a straight shooter, doesn't candy coat anything, and tells it like it is, I felt that this was a great visit with great news. I know there are a lot of patients who ask for a different Dr. because he isn't the kind that just makes you feel good and he doesn't give false hopes, etc. But for me, that's what I want. . . just tell me up front what's happening and what is down the road. So. . . . as of today, it looks like a great answer to everyone's prayers!!!!

Being that my trusty old port hasn't been used in a while, I had to have that "flushed out!" NOT my most happy moment of the day. After the last time when they had to punch me 6 times to get that needle in, I was NOT looking forward to this. But, to make my day even better, the nurse got it in on the first try, no pain, no fuss, and I was out of there in minutes.

My next appointment is in a few weeks and tht is when the radiation stuff will be set up. Also, he wants to do another scan at that time, too.

I came home feeling like a whole lot of "stuff" is now behind me. I felt that the load had been lightened considerably, believe me. I'll be seeing the surgeon at the end of the week and hopefully, the other garden hose (drain) will be taken out then. I'll also be talking to him about my arm, as it doesn't seem to be working too well. Can't lift it at all. I can lift from the elbow down --- like pick up my cup of coffee and drink, or type, or write with a pen, etc. It's the shoulder movement that just isn't there. I need to know if this is typical after a mastectomy or if it is from the nerve he had to cut during surgery. My cancer Dr. seemed to know nothing about this, and when I asked about it, he made no comments as he shuffled through my chart looking for something about this. So I'll have to go over that with the surgeon.

I'll be glad when the stitches come out, too. But they are still nasty looking with some redness and still sore. I'm getting very impatient with all that. I don't see much different from day to day, but it does seem to be feeling better. Getting in and out of bed is a little easier, as it getting up and down out of chairs, off the toilet, etc. So something is getting better in there. I'll be so glad when I can sleep on my side again. Never thought I could spend a whole night flat on my back!!!!!

For today???? I'll be catching up on some much needed cleaning, laundry, etc. Also, I have some angels to ship out and more to make! It's soooo good to be doing "normal" things again!


Linda said...

Wow Cora, I'm so glad to see things are going considerably well :) Our God is an awesome God! Still, I'm amazed on how he lifts people up when they need it the most..

As for yourself never being late.. I'm assuming that would be your Dutch side? Hehe.. We're a very punctual people..! ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

Linda said...

One more comment from me. You know how you have to write a code of letters to have your comment posted on a site? (the word verification)

Do you know what it had me type just then?

"PRAYZES" ! I'm just sayin' ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

Primitives By The Light of The Moon said...

What wonderful news and it's always nice to have a doctor that is right up front with you. Keeping you in my daily thoughts and prayers.

Dani said...

What a great thing to read this morning! I am so thankful and happy too Cora....
I have some distant Dutch great grandmother was a Van Dusen and I can't be late for anything..that and being from a military family.....
have a great day today..Praise the Lord!

Nicole said...

Congrats Cora! Great news!

Princess Of Pink said...

YAY Cora, great news, PTL!!
My brother had the same kind of dr. Tell it like it is, without sugar coating. That is why we knew he only had a year left without chemo or with chemo a year as well, but with all the pain and sickness from the chemo. SO brother opted for no chemo, as was the dr. advice too.
Unfortunately he was too far gone and only lived 4 months after the dr told the news. But he had "good"4 months so that was good for him.

Wonderful news, I am so happy for you!!
And yes, never being late IS a Dutch thing, lol!!
Hugs from Marian, from the Netherlands too :)

Michelle said...

Hi Cora ~

Glad to hear you're doing quite well ~ what an awesome praise report! I have to tell you ~ I was just nodding my head in agreement as I read through this post, as I can relate to so much of what you're saying. My doctors have been very up-front throughout my cancer journey, too. I appreciate that. I'd rather REALLY KNOW than to have it sugar-coated.

Sounds like everything you're facing post-op is just normal - coming from my experience of having the bi-lateral mastectomy.

Please feel free to e-mail anytime if you need to talk or whatever it may be...would love to hear from you!

Blessings :)

papel1 said...

Great news Cora. I am sure you will get better each day. Glad you are still doing eBay.

Ruthie said...

Hurrah for the good news.
Keeping you in my prayers.
Hugs and continued best wishes.

Me said...

I was so happy to read your wonderful news from the doctor. :o) WOW! Keep looking up!


tam said...

How wonderful for you Cora! I am so happy for you girl! Keep up the work sister-your good news brought sunshine in to my cloudy day!~Smiles~Tam!

Judy's Vintage Collections said...

Wonderful is this news! I can't wait to give the report in church.
I give glory to Jesus! have a wonderful week! Remember Amy @Foursisters, on Feb 6th(unless the date has been changed)...she needs our prayers as she goes in surgery again...
Be safe in Jesus is my prayer
from the heart of Texas..

Julie said...

WAHOOOOO!!!! So happy for you. You deserve some good news!! Julie

CathyJean said...

I am thrilled to hear your GREAT news!! How wonderful for you to finally be to this milestone in your journey! Praise God for His unfailing love!
Praying for you, my dear friend:)

LindaSueBuhl said...

Does indeed sound like good news - and like you - I'd want a doctor who is a straight shooter - not looking for a buddy. Competence trumps coziness any day! Glad you have other women who have gone through the cancer journey to help answer questions. Bless you friend

Claudia said...

Every word you said about our oncologists is so true. I actually completely missed my last appointment with my doctor and when the nurse called me to tell me, I cried. That's one doctor appointment I look forward to. She kept telling me it was okay and not to worry, but geez...he IS the lifeline.

Congratulations on all the good news! I know all too well that every little bit means so much. *hugs* *hugs* and more *HUGS*!!!!!

Wanita said...

Oh, Cora, that is good news! I'll keep praying that all goes well with the radiation and that no more chemo will be needed. And I'm praising the Lord with you!


*Linda Pinda* said...

Oh, Cora...
What joyful news. I am so happy.

Sorry I haven't been very good at keeping up in groups or blogging lately. There's a lot going on here, but it's all small beans compared to what my Cora's been facing. I hope you know that even when I'm not online much, I'm always on that "Open Line" with our precious Lord asking Him to watch over you.

Hugs... *Linda*

Valley Primitives Gift Shoppe said...

What an awesome report Cora! Praise God!!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

Wonderful news Cora! Your road is getting shorter, how wonderful is that. God is truly amazing as I continue to pray for you and your healing.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Kathi :)

Renna said...

I'm so happy for you, Cora. Isn't it further proof of a caring and loving heavenly Father that He paired you with a doctor who was just the type you needed?

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Oh my goodness, Cora, I'm sitting here crying but feel like dancing at all the same time! Every paragraph I read I just kept uttering "Thank you Jesus!"

Believe me, there are some folks rejoicing with you right now!

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He's so good to me!

He heals the sick,
He heals the sick,
He heals the sick,
He's so good to me!

Love ya,

katie said...

Yea, I am so happy for you. So happy chemo did it's job.
radiation isn't bad at all, I'm ready for my 9th out of 30.
Hang in there, God be glorified.


debbie said...


Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I'm so happy for you Cora that you continue to hear good news and you are healing and on the mend.
I'm just thrilled!
Holykisses, and eagle wings

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries and Eggs In My Pocket said...

YAY!! Cora, it sounds like you are getting better with each passing day. So glad to hear it! Keep taking good care of yourself. Blessings,Kathleen

Linda said...

Hi again! Thanks for the comment on my site.. windcha (written as windje) is actually the proper Dutch word for fart.. well, if you're saying it in a modest way ;)

Is there a 'decent' english word? Because I can't think of any other than the one mentioned above, which I don't think is something you'd say in public, right?

Greetings from the netherlands!

Living Life with a Joyful Heart said...

That is fantastic news,God is so good.
I just love my Oncologist too, I really think it takes a special person to be an Oncologist.My Doctor is very up front to, but at the same time very caring, his wife had breast cancer to so I don't know if that's why he is more compassionate.
I am so excited about your news, it gives me goose bumps.
Keeping you in my prayers,

Toni said...

Woo hoo!!!!That`s great news Cora!!Sounds like before long all this will be behind you!!I`m so happy for you!!!Love,Toni

Penny @ Miss Pootsie's Primitives said...

Cora... what wonderful and blessed news! Praise God!
After my mastectomy I couldn't use my arm either... I mean at the shoulder. IT was just still and felt like something was wrong, but my surgeon just said that it was because they had to remove lymph nodes and mess around in that area. After a while they gave me gentle exercises to do which helped loosen it up and I could finally use the arm again. I pray it's the same for you dear one.
Still praying for you... every day! Love, Penny

Sugarplum Cottage said...

Praise the Lord!!!..and through Him everything is possible. So glad to hear your so much better, I can't tell you how many times you've entered my thoughts. There are truly angels amoung us, Hugs, Rosemarie

Beehind Thyme said...

Oh... Cora, prayer does change things. I have seen my blogs w/ your photo & story requesting prayer. You have been in my thoughts & prayers. So glad to hear the good news.

So glad to see you stopping in to visit w/ me.

Hoping you Many Blessings in 2009, Pamela

Oma aka Meme said...

CORA- you are such a blessing in my life - your comments lift me up -I know that God puts people in their lives because we cannot do it alone-
even though papa hubby is gone from this earth I have hope and you and friends here always increase my hope- soft hugs from Meme

Nancy M. said...

Cora, I'm so glad things are going so well for you now. God is answering our prayers for you. I hope they will figure out what to do about your arm too.

SweetAnnee said...

Praise God..GREAT GREAT news
we're heading down that path
to health ...woohooo

Radiation wasn't bad for me..just
made me tired..I'm assuiming it's to
your chest wall. Sounds GREAT

Many prayers and hugs sent to you

Anonymous said...

Hello Cora,

I saw your post on BJ's Sweet Nothings Blog this morning. I am a 3 Breast Cancer survivor as of January 6th. You mentioned weakness in your arm and the inability to lift with your shoulder. I had that same issue and it often goes with the territory.

I slowly gained strength and flexibility little by little after I had my reconstruction surgery. It's been two and 1/2 years since my final reconstruction surgery and it's almost back to what I had before the surgery. This last year all I had was a slight numbness in my arm pit. It's almost totally gone...patience is the key along with stretching exercises.

I'm glad you received a good report from your oncologist!

Gailmarc said...

Cora, So glad to hear of your good news. You have so many friends praying for you. Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing? While we may all know that God is always with us, it is so good to see his love here, with so many friends on your blog who care, take time to let you know you are not alone, and continue to pray for you. God Bless.

DaizyDonna said...

Hi Cora, So glad to hear all the great news :)

Lori said...

WOW, wonderful news! I too would prefer a dr. that shoots it to me straight, no candy coating. Tell me what it is and I know what I'm dealing with.

If it helps any, after my sister's mastectomy she had arm trouble for awhile too, raising it over her head, etc. She got most of her movement back in a couple of months. Hope that helps.