Deb and I went to the surgeon, Dr. Compagnoni on Wednesday. She removed the rest of the steri strips and said the healing is progressing well, except for the range of motion of her left arm. Deb will have to work on that before radiation therapy begins as her left arm will be in the fully extended and raised position for each session. We also learned that five, not three, of the fifteen lymph nodes were cancerous. Deb returns to Dr. C. on December 12th.
Dr. Smoron (can that be correct??) will meet with Deb on November 26th to plan the radiation sessions at Centegra, or if you prefer, NIMC. He is with the Sage Cancer Center there.
Deb will meet again with Dr. Weyburn, the oncologist, on January 10th. Deb will most likely take Tamoxifen after the radiation therapy. Here is the link for Tamoxifen.
Tamoxifen is the oldest of all the SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators). Tamoxifen is prescribed for women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer before and after menopause. While tamoxifen is the hormonal treatment of choice for pre-menopausal women, research suggests that tamoxifen is not quite as effective as the aromatase inhibitors for post-menopausal women.
If Deb is in menopause, she may take a different drug.
Deb plans to return to work next Thursday, November 29th.
We bought a new fake Christmas tree that stands about four feet tall. We couldn't get all the normal Christmas stuff from the crawl space in the basement and drag it up the stairs this year. Deb did a great job decorating it and it looks wonderful on a card table in the living room.
We still belive this is a beatable disease, but the deeper we go into treatment and the longer it goes, we see our feelings change to thinking of our journey as a marathon instead of a sprint. We haven't gotten into the whole percentages thing, knowing as we do, that anyone can be on the short end of survival regardless of the odds.
So we try to stay focused on the goal and remain positive. Our gratitude for all the prayers and love continues unabated. Where would we be without our friends and family? God alone knows.
God Bless everyone and happy Thanksgiving.
Deb and Dan