Today we met with both surgeons (cancer and plastics). The verdict is in and I will be scheduled for an axillary node dissection and flap exploration/removal within the next 2 weeks....hopefully next week as I will need at least 4 weeks recovery before I can start chemo. All waivers/permissions were signed.
So why the dissection? There were two factors that played into this: 1) my "young" age and 2) the sentinel node had a 2.4 mm cancer mass on it. In extracting more nodes, the doctors concluded the course of my treatment would be greatly influenced. If there is no more cancer on the nodes, then I would not require radiation. If there is cancer on the nodes then yes, radiation would follow chemo. Either way, it is important that I am cancer clean for the next round of therapy. There will be considerable discomfort in my right arm as a result of this but it is nothing that physio and hard work can't helped.
As for the flaps, well, it sounds and looks like they will come off. Although I am not looking forward to all of this, it is what is best for fighting the cancer as cancer has no boundaries.
This surgery in its entirety will take about 2 hours and I will need to stay overnight in the hospital because I am on blood thinners. After that, well, it will be R & R and exercise to get in shape for chemo.
Keep praying and keep the faith!
Shelley & Bob