Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update: Met the Surgeon

Dave, Jenny and I met with Dr. Levy today. He is a very patient, gentle, man. We all liked him.

What we found out is that my cancer is less than one centimeter, which is just under 1/2 an inch. It is estrogen positive. The cancer tumor is mixed in ductal and lobular areas which means that the tumor is in the duct but is also in the lobes. (Lobes produce milk and then the milk flows down the ducts to exit the breast). This will make it more difficult to get a clean margin of tissue as there are many lobes. He didn't say it, but this will most likely mean a larger area will need to be removed.

While in surgery Dr. Levy will perform a sentinel node biopsy in which he will inject a blue dye and will follow that dye to the first lymph node and then the second, etc. He will then remove 1-3 nodes for biopsy. A second incision will be made under my right arm to remove those nodes. The results from the node biopsy will come back while I am still in surgery and will determine if they can stop or have to take more nodes.

Dr. Levy suggested that I should take about 1-2 weeks off to recover from surgery and then about a week after that begin radiation treatment along with the drug Tamoxifen. Dave and I will begin researching these treatment options to decide if this will be the path that we decide to take. (I am not a fan of Tamoxifen and it's many side affects, some of which can be worse than breast cancer).

As of right now, surgery will be a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and is scheduled for May 21st. (Yes another month to wait).

Due to Dr. staffing issues and the fact that my cancer is non-aggressive, Dr. Levy needs to put us off for about 3 weeks. That puts us right at the time of Kelly's graduation from Medical school. He agreed with us that is important for us to attend the graduation and important to Mike and Kelly for us to be there, so we should attend, but "get in after that". I then tried to push my luck by telling him that two of my best friends were coming for a visit on May 20th and leaving Memorial Day morning..and they already had their plane tickets. He just said, "well it's never a good time. We need to get you into surgery". Drats. Sorry Chris and Celia... I tried.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. I wish we could get through this faster, but that doesn't seem to be my destiny. Thank you bearing this wait with me.


  1. Ahhh, but how perfect if Celia and Chris are there with you anyway...
    Love you ~ praying for you and the family.


  2. ..know that I have been praying ...almost more for Dave as you walk through this together. I've now got May 21 marked on my calendar.

    Just sending my love to you both, Pat

  3. Mindy,
    Will be praying for you as you prepare for May 21st and what's to follow.

    God is good, all the time! You already know that!
    Patti Greer