Yesterday was a long day. Kevan and I drove to Nashville at 7AM for a 9AM doctor's appointment. Well, I had remembered the time wrong and didn't look at my handy dandy calendar that I had put together in Word. We didn't need to be there until 10:45! I don't know why I ignored my calendar. Duh! But, they said they would try to fit me in earlier. Their office was so busy they ran out of chairs and had to bring some in from the cafeteria. So, Kevan and I ended up leaving at the time our appointment was supposed to be to get some lunch. We were pretty excited since we LOVE Qdoba and there was one down the road. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather that God blessed us with as we ate our yummy lunch.
When we returned to the office we were called in to meet with the occupational therapist. She went over all of the potential side effects to having a sentinel node biopsy. Mostly, we talked about Lymphedema. Since I have cancer in both breasts I have to have a couple lymph nodes removed from both sides to have tested. This will give my oncological surgeon more information while he is doing my mastectomy and he will know if it has spread to my lymph nodes. The PET scan didn't show any cancer anywhere else, but it can only find masses of a certain size so I still have to have the biopsies done. So, she (the OT) went over all of the precautions I must now introduce into my life so that I won't develop lymphedema. I won't be able to fly without a compression sleep on both arms, can't have blood taken out of my arms (will have to use my leg/foot), no blood pressure cuff on my arms (they will use my thigh) and I have to try not to hurt my arms in any way. No cat scratches, no working outside without gloves or sleeves, etc. Basically, I just need to make sure that I do not get an infection or hurt my arms in any way because this could cause excess fluid which could result in lymphedema.
The OT measured my arms and she will use the measurements to compare to my "after surgery arms" to see if there is any fluid building up and then she will check me about every 3 weeks. There are a few things that can be done to stop the lymphedema (therapy, draining, etc) so we will want to catch it early. The OT also gave me the cute crocheted chemo cap below. I'm not sure if I will be brave enough to wear it out of the house as I am a "plain" person who doesn't wear bright colors or flowery things, but it is definitely very cute! We will see.
Once we were finished with the OT we saw my oncological surgeon. They are in the same office. He walked right in and handed Kevan 2 free movie tickets and a $10 gift card for refreshments! He said he doesn't like his patients to have to wait so long and he wanted to do something nice for us. What a blessing it was and all doctor's should do it! I have wasted a lot of time in doctor's offices in my lifetime and he showed that he really did care that we were wasting a bunch of time waiting. Kevan and I love having date night and we usually go to see a movie on Friday night so it was a great gift for us.
Then, the doctor did a quick ultrasound to see if he could find the mass that the PET scan revealed as cancerous on my other breast, but he couldn't locate it. He was going to try to do a core biopsy to get a better idea of what type of cancer it was and to confirm it is cancer, but all he saw was fibroedema and cysts. So, no luck there. We will have to wait until after the surgery (when they do the full biopsy) to find out more. The nurse practitioner gave me my Oncotype DX Score. It is a test they run on the biopsied tissue (from my lumpectomy on April 3) to determine the aggressiveness of the cancer as well as the recurrence rate. My score was 70. Which means, "The cancer has a high risk of recurrence, and the benefits of chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer are likely to be greater than the risks of side effects." So, this helps to confirm the 6 rounds of chemo I will be receiving and why I will have to go through it.
After we visited the doctor we headed out to a wig store. A friend told me about a place, but Kevan and I went to the wrong one and they did not have a big selection. It was owned by a woman that was about 200-years old. Just kidding. lol! She was very sweet and had some VERY strange views. She did show us a few for a small charge of $7. It is normally $17, but I think since I have cancer she gave me a $10 discount. lol! You can see the "WIG Demo" sign behind my head. It said $17.
First, she pinned my hair and put this "wig sock" on my head. <Kevan took the pictures with his phone and he was trying to hide the fact that he was taking pictures so she wouldn't tell him not to so they aren't great pictures...sorry!> I look TERRIBLE. I guess this gives me an idea of how I will look soon.
Then, I tried on a few. This one was pretty close to my hair color, but I don't have bangs! They were in my eyes. I couldn't deal with it.
This one was ok, but it just didn't seem like me and it wasn't long enough.