Thursday, April 2, 2009
We had an appointment with the surgeon this afternoon to discuss plans for surgery. Prior to our departure for Japan, the doctor told us that a lumpectomy was an option for Sara. He assured us there was no long-term health benefit to a mastectomy vs. a lumpectomy, based on the fact that Sara is going to have a round of radiation either way. We decided to go with the breast conservation therapy, and Sara will spend one night in the hospital after her lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. I asked the doctor if Tripler has the operating rooms with the viewing theater up above (I was hoping to watch). He told me that patient confidentiality has become more regulated and the operating rooms that they show on the medical TV shows are no longer around. I kept waiting for him to ask me if I wanted to "scrub in" for the procedure, but he failed to offer.
The pathology report on Sara's tumor has been completed. The formal name of the cancer is Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. Her lump is a "high-grade" tumor and is hormone receptor positive. The "high-grade" terminology means that the cancer is fast-growing, spreading (metastatic), and aggressive. The "hormone receptor positive" diagnosis means that the cancer cells are "fueled by estrogen and progesterone." This also means that her treatment will consist of a regimen of Tamoxifen (1 pill taken daily for 5 years). This drug blocks the hormones from getting into the hormone receptors of the body’s cells. All of this is what the doctor predicted.
We have an appointment tomorrow morning with the obstetrician to get Baby Sullivan's chart started and then we are meeting with the anesthesiologist to discuss risks to the baby and final plans prior to surgery.
Sorry for the delay between updates. Look for the next one on Tuesday after we get home from surgery. Our specific prayer request is for protection of the baby during the surgery and that the risk associated with anesthesia will have no effect on him (I still think it's a boy).
Thanks again for the prayers.