Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Failed Attempt

My Grandmothers' surgery went well. She has a one inch horizontal scar on her right breast. They removed a chunk of tissue about the size of a small orange or tangerine (40 grams). The cancer was encapsulated in her milk duct. I was not aware that she had a small mound (1/2 cm) outside the milk duct in her breast tissue. The doctor cut around the cancer in attempts to retrieve it all. He sent the cancerous breast tissue to pathology to have the outer edges tested for cancer. If they came back clean, then that means she is cancer free. If the outer edges came back with cancer cells present, then that means it has spread further into her breast.

Well, you guessed it. She still has cancer. Her nurse called to tell us the news and said the pathology results indicated that her breast tissue looked like someone has "sprinkled" her breast with cancer using a salt shaker. These speckles were not picked up by the mammogram she had.

She has two options. She can have another surgery in attempts to remove the remaining cancerous cells, and have radiation. If they don't remove it all, then they'll have to operate again (!) Or she can have a mastectomy and not have to undergo radiation at all. She has the option of reconstructing her breast at the same time as the mastectomy. She is concerned because she is diabetic, that her recovery time will be a lot longer and she's more at risk for infection. Also, when they reconstruct her breast they have to remove tissue and fat from her hips/thighs. That's another surgery she'll have to recover from.

Right now she is leaning towards a mastectomy without reconstruction. I think this is the route I would take if I were in her shoes. She is feeling loss and sadness towards her breast. She feels inadequate and thinks others will view her in the same way. She's afraid of feeling ugly, not sexy, not feminine, different. She kept saying that her breasts as droopy as they were (her words not mine) were hers for 65 years and they nourished her children. She feels like because she will have one less breast she will not be the same person.

I do not know what it feels like to be in her position. I can not pretend like I do. But I do know that I would rather have her around with one less breast for several more years, than to not have her at all. Her life is more important than what she looks like. The surgery date is not yet scheduled, but her nurse thinks it will be taken care of by the end of the month. I ask you all, if you believe in the power of prayer, to pray for my grandmother. Pray that the next surgery is successful and ALL the cancer is removed from her body. Pray for healing, health, emotional well being. Pray for a cure so your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, daughter or friend doesn't have to go through this.


Lori said...

I, too, feel the way you do. Just cut it off so that you don't have to deal with it anymore. My aunt had a mastectomy performed several years ago. At first, she was very upset about it, but the saying that time heals is true.

We will definitely pray for her.

Rachel said...

I'm glad you are back!

I'll be praying for your grandmother.

M's grandmother has been fighting breast cancer off and on for most of his life that he can remember. She chose to have a double masectomy and is currently doing very well. It was a very difficult decision for her as well.

The Nanny said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my site. I'll be praying for her, and you, too.

Chrisyna said...

I'm here. just not posting.
I misse dyou & I am SO SORRY. so so sad and horrible.

meg said...

Yes, lots of prayers for your Grandma. I can't imagine how hard the decision would be for her. Hoping that the cancer will be all gone, really soon.

The Nanny said...

(I'm not sure my comment I posted earlier went through, so if it did, disregard this one :-)

I will definitely be praying for you grandmother, and for you. Thank you for your sweet comment over on my site. Here's hoping things improve for both our sweet relatives.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry.My great grandma had both of hers removed and didn't have the reconstuction.Sending lots of prayers your way.Take care of yourself.I missed you glad you are back.

dealingwithlife said...

I will pray for your Grandmother. I am so sorry to hear about that. If you need anything let me know.

Kristi said...

Take care of yourself. I'm thinking of you & your family.