Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Histology Report and a Minion

As it seems to be my habit to write blog posts just before something happens, here I go again!

We had our appointment last Thursday with the surgeon to get the histology results ('histology' means the study of cells and microscopic stuff), and as you may already be aware, it didn't go terribly well.  Not because of the results, but because of a registrar (junior doctor) who was standing in for the surgeon.  The registrar unfortunately had very little knowledge, and even less empathy.  I haven't been so angry for a very long time.  However, he eventually fled the room, and shall be ignored henceforth.  Be gone, minion!

The surgeon (probably summoned urgently by someone telling her the registrar had run away and there was a patient about to lose the plot) went through the histology report with us, and the results are mixed.

First up, the good news: I don't need any more surgery!  YAY!  There was a chance that they may not have been able to get enough of a border of healthy tissue around the tumours, which would have meant going back into surgery.  They got a clear margin, and I'm done with surgery.  Very, very happy about that!

Next, the not quite so good news: the lymph nodes they removed looked clear on first inspection.  However when they were thoroughly checked, one of them had a micro cancer in it.  When they talk about lymph nodes, they talk about micro and macro cancers.  This one was a micro cancer, which means it had only just got there, and hadn't gotten around to unpacking it's bags or meeting the neighbours yet.
Because it was so tiny, and the other lymph nodes they removed were all clear, they are going to leave the other lymph nodes in.  But because it was there at all, the necessity for me to have chemotherapy has gone up from about 10% to 50%.
The surgeon said that they are suggesting, rather than recommending, that I have chemo, and that they are leaving the decision up to me.

How nice!  The ones with all the years of training and experience and degrees and white coats, are going to let ME make the decision about whether I have chemo or not. 

Then they said that I'd have a meeting with the chemo guys in 2-3wks, so they could give me percentages and probabilities and statistics, and then I could make the decision.

Sigh... more waiting, which I was extremely unexcited about, but had finally mustered up a few more skerricks of patience, to wait, again.

Until this morning, when the phone rang.  It was the hospital, saying they had an appointment for me this afternoon, if I could make it!  After a minute of frantic mental calculations involving travel time and the logistics of 4 kids, I said yes, thank you very much!

So, I'm off this afternoon, to talk statistics and survival rates with the chemo guys. 

Preparations for Round Two are beginning.


  1. Oh my goodness, step after step on this blasted path. I wish you didn't have to do this walk, but am so proud of how you're doing it. Sending a ton of love, and strength for the day. xx

  2. And away you go!! Glad you are getting more info today - praying for wisdom and for peace.

  3. It's a privilege to be let in on your journey. Another hug

  4. It's a privilege to be let in on your journey. Another hug