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Kathy Cooke'n her Cancer
Apr 3, 2018 Latest post:
Jul 5, 2018
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This all started very innocently. I had not been having any problems and went for an Annual Physical with no issues. And on Valentine's Day, I went for my annual breast torture- the screening Mammogram. And low and behold, there was a change from the previous year exam. So, the call came in for further evaluation- yippee! Another Mammogram. I went back on the 28th for a diagnostic Mammogram of the Left Breast. And, that showed the need for a Breast Biopsy. Got that scheduled and I went in for the Breast Biopsy- using a Mammogram on March 6th. Tissue samples taken were removed and finally I heard back from my MD on March 11th that I had Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. But the good news was that since I am old and post menopausal, this cancer shows great response to Radiation treatment and my biopsy material was responsive to all of their testing, again making the outlook great. The MD gave me the name of a surgeon that he has worked with for many years and trusted. I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the surgeon on March 16th. That office visit was very informative and comforting. Gary and I went together so as not to miss any of the information. He was patient, took great care to explain all the procedures needed and the reasons for everything (even Gary understood it all). He told me that he would get me into surgery the next week if possible, but one of the hospitals he works out of his schedule was full. I told him I would take the first available appointment and he said his office would get it scheduled and call me back that day. Big surprise to all of my loving family, the day progressed and I did not hear back from his office. Being the patient person that I am, I waited until 4:15 PM to call and ask if there was any update. Well, the young woman that was supposed to get the procedure scheduled for me happened to leave at 12 Noon that day for some reason. Her co worker told me she would talk to the doctor and call me back. Well, that never happened and I was very unhappy for the entire weekend. On that Monday, I impatiently waited until 11:55 AM and called to the office to find out if they had been able to schedule me for the procedure. She spoke to the doctor and he told her to schedule it at the hospital a little further away from our house. She called and told me I was scheduled for the procedure on Wednesday, March 21st and that the hospital would call me to let me know when to be there and what pre- operative tests I would need completed. I was waiting to hear from the hospital when the doctor office called back and said they were unable to get me into that schedule, so he had them schedule me at the hospital closer to home, where all the testing had been completed. Everything then fell into place. I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 8 AM on March 21st. I registered, was taken to same day surgery, went for a Needle Localization and Wire Guided placement, and you can guess, it was done using a Mammogram. After that I was taken to Nuclear Medicine for a radioactive tracer injection to mark the lymph nodes they would need to recover for further pathology testing. Once they had the images and marked the spots with magic marker, I was taken back to same day surgery to wait for my doctor to arrive from the other hospital and perform my procedure. I went into the OR around 2:45 PM. He removed the mass and the nodes, as planned and he called Gary to let him know everything went as planned. I was taken to the recovery room and then back to same day surgery. I was home by 7 PM. A long day, but with a great outcome.
After all of that, I still hadn't told Mom and Dad, because I wanted to tell them in person. I knew they would understand and they would feel better if they could see that I was fine. So, Gary, Bella and I drove down to St. Louis to spend the night with them and discuss all the information. They were amazing when I told them all about this. As everyone else has been. I cannot tell you all how much it means to have such a supportive family.
As for what to expect from here, I can only give a little glimpse. I have my post operative visit with the doctor on April 2nd. I think that I will get the name of the Radiation Oncologist at that time. According to the information I have been given so far, I will need about 3 weeks to heal from my surgery before they will begin the radiation therapy.
I feel good. I am working on the exercises I was given and only have discomfort. I love you all and appreciate you all!