A surgeon who understands …

By | November 24, 2014

We realized that we had not stopped by the tree before my surgery last week. Today, we stopped briefly at the tree. I found myself looking up and reflecting (the picture also shows how my hair is growing back!) …

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Unlike many of the other eucalyptus trees in the area, this one hasn’t lost much of its bark. It is still a fascinating tree to look up at …

I also had to capture how well I’m moving, five days post surgery – so here I am with my arms up high …

Mostly today’s visit was just a checkup before flying to Canada on Wednesday. I wanted to make sure everything was healing as expected (it is). My surgeon took a bunch of pictures of her handy work for both my file and for research. All is well.

The pathology isn’t in yet, but some very preliminary results were shared. The preliminary results of the nodes is still showing as negative. In addition, the preliminary results of the tissue under the nipples is also negative. This is good news – if there is any cancer in the tissue under the nipples, then the nipples will be removed when I have the mastectomy on December 17th. If the tissue under the nipples remains negative, then the goal will be to keep the nipples as part of the surgery December 17 (bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction).  We will get a full pathology report on December 4th.

When we discussed my bladder issues, my surgeon made an interesting comment. She commented that maybe it is because she is an older doctor, but she finds that sometimes she needs to remind residents to consider the patient perspective before making recommendations. This was a classic example, before suggesting a catheter and pee bag for a week, think about the patient impact. My surgeon agreed with the watch and wait approach given my upcoming trip, and if it is still a problem when we get back, she can refer me to urology for a consult. She would rather give me a referral to a specialist then put me through unnecessary discomfort (never mind impact on ability to exercise) of a week with a catheter and pee bag. It really confirmed that I had chosen the right surgeon – one that looks at me as a person, and my entire well-being, not just my symptoms.

 

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