Whew, it’s been a week.
The lymph node biopsy went well. Easy procedure. The IV took forever to get started, but that’s no surprise. The doc tried to look with an ultrasound first, because that’s generally easier, but no dice. So we had to do it with the CT scan. They gave me just enough sedative that I was relaxed, not enough to make me loopy at all.
The procedure itself was simple and smooth. I got all set up on the table, they slid me in, took some images, slid me out. Put a giant black + on the spot, numbed me up, put the needle in. Slid me in, took some images, slid me out. Went in a little further with the needle, took some more images, and then took two biopsy samples. We waited around for pathology to confirm it was enough and I was done. A quick bandage, about half an hour in recovery, and that was a wrap. Jeannette was kind enough to pick me up, since Travis was away, and I basically slept the rest of the day at home.
Yesterday was an appointment with my surgeon, and the purpose was basically to talk surgery. It’ll just be a lumpectomy with the sentinel node biopsy. So, the node biopsy will be first, with an incision in my armpit, a blue dye injected in the breast, and a lymph node or two removed to check for cancer. They’ll send that down to pathology while Dr. Bruce continues on with tumor removal. So another incision near the lump, and a chunk removed there. Because my tumor is palpable, I don’t need to go in for wire or seed placement ahead of time. Once the tumor is out, I’m presumably done – unless the node biopsy comes back stupid, in which case she’ll need to remove additional lymph nodes and probably place a drain for me to go home with.
My parents are coming out for the surgery, which will be helpful. Even though it’s relatively minor, those first 24 hours could be interesting. We still have some logistics to work out, but the wheels are in motion.
I still see the other rheumatologist next week for an opinion on the skin / autoimmune stuff. That hasn’t really gotten any worse or better. My skin is still bone dry and fairly red. The joint and muscle pain is still very present. I can barely open a prescription bottle at this point, and it’s getting annoying having to ask for help with all this stuff. I couldn’t even open a FedEx box this morning because my fingers were numb and I couldn’t get a grip on the pull tab. Annoying AF.
But we have progress, and forward movement. One step at a time.