Mary’s Story

Site created on September 24, 2020

Diary of a difficult woman navigating breast cancer (yes, I am leaning into that description).  I am using this site to keep family and friends updated in one place. I appreciate your support!  Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Mary Dotson

I received a CT scan on Wednesday afternoon and quickly received results the same day, although I initially understand what implications the findings had.

So to start, I do have a hernia--probably, my surgeon thinks, the one I was born with (somehow, the correction was lost). It's not urgent, but laparoscopic surgery is in the cards. In the meantime, I'm ok so long as I wear my medical corset or a girdle to support my midsection. My chemo nurse thinks the laparoscopic surgeon will want to delay fixing it until other surgery is done. Hopefully that won't be long.

Alongside that the radiologists found other things. First, a tiny part of my lungs is collapsed.  That sounded dire, until I learned that minor lung collapse like is a common side effect of extended intubated surgery and not really a big deal. It's been described to me being like a bit of a balloon sticking to itself for a little bit. Fortunately, the lung will completely self resolve--and since I'm not breathless, I don't have to really worry about it. That said, I'm taking deep breaths every once in a while.

The other note on the CT report initially scared me--I have a bunch of tiny cysts on my liver! I was initially concern that this could be cancer. However, my oncology nurse reassured me that it's a common side effect of chemotherapy--and harmless. The cysts eventually will break up and get absorbed into my body.  In the meantime, since these cysts are outside my liver, it won't impact liver function. So, I guess I have some hitchhikers for a little while.

Right now, I'm feeling relief that these extra diagnoses are not bad. To be honest, I'm also relieved by the hernia diagnosis. It's fixable, now that it's known. Yes, another surgery, but it will be outpatient and relatively easy to recover from (what I got as a child was much tougher and I remember it not being that bad). One thing this cancer experience has left me--I really don't sweat or fear small surgeries. And gosh--it will be so good to not feel the non-stop belly bloat (although I think it's making dieting easier).

Alongside that, some more good news: my mediport has shifted to a better position, so it doesn't appear to be trying to eject from my body. I'm going to cancel removal surgery and hope the port lasts to the end of my treatment. 

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