Thanks to Tricia for keeping you all in the loop!
My surgery went well and it's amazing how much better I continue to feel every day. I got out of the hospital on the Saturday following my surgery and life was a blur of pain and drugs after that. I have regained almost full range of motion on my left arm and my pain management is finally under control. On my right side, I asked my surgeon to cut extra deep to make sure she took all of the cancer out. I knew she did her job when I started getting feelings of electric shocks on my right side whenever I moved. This was apparently what nerve damage felt like. This additional piece was extremely painful and added to the pain medications I was taking.
Now, onto the good stuff. I went today to get my pathology results. I walked in thinking that I had thought of all of the possible scenarios in my mind - but they continue to surprise me! The good news is that my margins came back clear to at least 1 cm (this seems small, but is actually good). The left side contained no cancer, but the right side still contained 6 cm of agressive DCIS (a type of breast cancer).
What does this all mean in non medical terms? They are fairly certain that they got all of the cancer out of my body - YEAH! But, because there was still a large portion of cancer remaining after 6 months of chemo, they may want to add radiation to my current plan of action as a safety net. In my doctors words, that would ensure they "mop up any remaining cells".
This is of course great news. But, because of all of the turns I have been thrown so far along this path, I am pessimistic to start the celebration until I know whether I am done or not. My oncologist will be reviewing my pathology report tomorrow and then will make a decision on whether he wants a radiation oncologist to look at my case or not. I should find out at my treatment on Friday which way he is thinking of going.
Although I want to ensure that I do everything I can to get it all, I would really like to hear that I don't need radiation and that I can think about going back to a job I love, a life filled with fewer hospital visits and more time to spend with each of you!