I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Anderson (the cancer surgeon) this afternoon. It was super quick! He said everything looks like it’s healing nicely and I can come back in six months. He also gave me an official copy of the pathology report showing NO CANCER!!
Since my nurse navigator, Kendra, has her office in the same place, I stopped in to see her too. She’s the one in the photo with me. The best way to describe her is that she is my advocate! Anytime I have a question about my treatment, my side effects or anything else she finds the answers. For example, I had been struggling with getting my insurance to cover my port placement. I had called the imaging company that was billing me THREE times to try to get it straightened out and re-submitted to my insurance. Kendra was the one who stepped in and figured out why they kept denying the claim and I just found out today that the imaging company had refunded two of the payments I made while we were waiting for the insurance to go through so they wouldn’t turn me over to collections.
So today I wanted to give her a hug and just chat with her about a few things. She confirmed that I do NOT need radiation since there was no lymph node involvement, which is great news! I also talked to her about the small infection that was forming on the left drain tube opening and asked about getting more bandage supplies. I had left two messages at Dr Storm’s office to have a nurse call me, and with the holiday, etc no one had called me back. Kendra has their nurse practitioner on speed dial, so she was able to call directly to get some answers! She confirmed that we’ve been treating the infection correctly with antibiotic cream, and that it’s ok to use a regular bandaid on it, or even leave it open to the air at this point. As a bonus, I also found out that the goal is to get the drain outputs under 20 cc’s in a 24-hour period in order to remove them, which means the left drain is ready, and the right one is pretty close! The nurse practitioner said she would be in the office on Thursday if I want to stop by and get them removed. Please pray that the right side will also be ready by then!
My next follow-up appointment will be with Dr. Corum (my oncologist) and the lymphedema specialist one week from today. I will still need to get herceptin and probably perjeta infusions every three weeks through the end of the year. These are the HER2 antibodies that will help prevent recurrence since my cancer was HER2 positive. I know they plan to do a port draw to check my blood counts, and I’m sure we’ll figure out my infusion schedule as well.
I’m still taking narcotics every 5 hours, but everyone keeps telling me that as long as I keep having pain it’s important to keep it under control to help my body heal. I tried subbing Tylenol for one of the doses over the weekend to see how it would feel, and I could tell it wasn’t quite cutting it. So, I’ll keep trying!
Meanwhile, Kent and the girls finished up the siding project on the west side of the house over the weekend:
Kent was super happy to be done, as you can see:
I’ve also received more awesome cards, gift cards, and a check from both close friends and extended family members! What a blessing!!
Interesting side notes: 1. My eyebrows are falling out now. I think there are maybe two hairs left on the right side, and a dozen or so on the left. It takes me quite awhile to get them drawn in every morning, but I’m getting better at it! 2. My leg hairs are starting to grow back – NOOOOOO! This was one of the benefits of hair loss. Whatever time I was saving by not shaving and shampooing is now taken up by eyebrow drawing. 3. My right thumbnail is starting to pull away from the nail bed – but it’s the only nail that is showing signs of leaving me!
Thanks for your continued prayers for my recovery!