So how am I doing?

I got an email from a friend here in Jocotepec a few days ago saying that fascinating as the whole IMSS thing might be to him, he felt that I needed to write about what’s happened to me since the surgery on 29 January (which I obviously lived through).  So, Larry, this one is for you!

I wound up having a lumpectomy in both breasts.  In immediate tests (i.e. while I was still on the operating table, drugged out of my mind), the right breast came out clean, which we all kind of expected.  The left breast definitely had a cancerous tumor, which the surgeon removed, along with surrounding tissue and several lymph nodes under my left arm.  The pathology report on the lymph nodes was scheduled to be ready within a couple of weeks following surgery.

As far as the two breasts, much less dire than predicted by the radiologist and my private doctor!  I’m still not sure if it was good or bad that they opted to tell me the worst.  I was totally freaked out for the six weeks between diagnosis and surgery, which was bad.  But I was so relieved to find that I still had both breasts after surgery (albeit not looking the same as before).  And that was a good feeling (mentally….not physically).

But as of today, I still have a hole in my left breast about the diameter of a pencil.  So that’s a concern to me, although my surgeon and my ex-nurse friend Sher (having just seen it for the first time today) both tell me that it’s fairly common and that I’m just a slow healer.  (Can’t imagine why!  Although aside from being a delicate flower, I AM a bit older and…shock, horror….have not lived the most healthy lifestyle for, oh, EVER.)

Had to go back to the hospital in Tlajomulco last week and today to get the “hole” looked at and treated.  I was supposed to pick up the pathology reports on everything today, but the pathology doctors reported that they never received the lymph node samples….which is the one report that I really, really need so that the medical oncologist can decide what’s next.  (Sigh.)

I must admit that I had horrible visions of Dr. Berumen, my surgeon, having to cut MORE out of me for testing but somehow, miraculously (thank the Virgin of Guadalupe!), they found the missing bits and said that the report would be ready on Monday.  Yeah, okay.  I’m a bit suspicious of that time frame, but, what the heck, I’ll go back up on Monday and get copies of the report and schedule appointments with the medical oncologist and the oncology surgeon for, hopefully, next Wednesday.

Depending on what the pathology report on the lymph nodes say, the doctors will determine what’s next….radiation, chemo, both, or nothing.

In another good news report, my adopted cat, Pepe Zorillo, will be celebrating his one-year adoption this Sunday and seven of my friends are coming over to join in the festivities.  We’ll play some games for a couple of hours and then feast on cat-centric food dishes for lunch.  Personally, I’m very excited to see what kind of desserts and side dishes my friends can come up with that have to do with cats!!!

More later, my friends!

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About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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7 Responses to So how am I doing?

  1. And the hits just keep on coming! I really appreciate the update! Take care of you – I’m coming down there! So happy you have such great friends!

  2. kathi says:

    Not surprising our Barb has such great friends…..she’s a fun person. And so is Pepe the cat. I am coming the the Pepe Fiesta and will bring something Cattish to eat etc. Looking forward to a fun day in the sun. Maybe even a splash in the pool, it’s been so hot and sunny.
    We all hope those lymph nodes they ‘found’ really are from our delicate flower, Barb! AARGH!

  3. I’m impressed at the way you managed to transform many many frustrating hours into a few neat little paragraphs. Main thing, tho, is that all your friends are so relieved and happy with your progress thus far!! Phyllis

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks for the update on how YOU’RE doing, Barb (and thanks, Larry, for the prompt).. Hope that Pepe’s birthday party was well-attended and fun – with lots of yummy food!

    • kathi says:

      Who is this LARRY person in Joco???? I only know one Larry….and did not know Barb knew him too. Barbara, explain this mystery Larry of Joco.

  5. I hope none of the treats include actual “cat food!” Sounds like fun! Cancer free sounds great to me!!

  6. asleepinjoco says:

    Just a note to say I’m still thinking about you and the battle. Write as you feel up to it.

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