Exactly one calendar month after surgery I had a follow-up appointment with Dr Sedlacek (the nice Cowboy doctor).
Before my surgery Dr. Sedlacek had said he would probably discharge me if my pathology report indicated all cancer had been removed and my lymph nodes were clear. The pathology reports were exactly what he said, so I was fully expecting to be discharged.
We chatted a about 20 minutes before he discharged me. He talked about a 1% of recurrence, only because the surgeon cannot be 100% sure all breast tissue was removed. I need to be wary of any lumps and bumps on my breast surface, and not to confuse a lump with scar tissue. If I did find a suspicious bump I would be referred back to Dr Sedlacek. He did mention that he personally had never had a case of recurrence.
Dr Sedlacek had a copy of the pathology report in front of him and summarized the findings. The so-called”good” left boob had Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia (ALH), he high fived me for having a double mastectomy because the other boob had precancerous cells.
We talked about the main causes of death in the US today; the top two are cancer and heart attack. He said the next common cancer is colon, so I need to get a colonoscopy every 10 years and I’ll probably be good until my heart gives out; hopefully in my 90’s
He talked about the plastic surgeon recommending I replace my implants every 10 years, he thought that was over cautious. I asked whether it would be safe for an 80 year old to have surgery for implant replacement and he said it was simple outpatient care…”like changing a tire!” LOL! Such a nice guy. When I got home I gave Dr. Sedlacek a 100% on Healthgrades.com.
At the end of the day, again I couldn’t believe my luck. How many people are diagnosed with cancer and discharged a month after surgery? I know I have probably another year before I’m done with reconstruction, but that is the best possible outcome I could have asked for. I know I will need to be vigilant and check for recurrence. I need to feed my body well and keep my immune system healthy.
I really feel someone is looking out for me, they couldn’t avoid the cancer, but they lessened the impact. Something made me call to schedule a mammogram when I did. It could have been my own intuition knowing something wasn’t right, it could have been my Dad or my Mum; she said she would try and contact me after she died. Who knows when the cancer would have broken free and become invasive. I have a guardian angel, I am pretty sure of that.
When the cancer was first discovered I thought I would need to find a part-time job and change my career expectations. After being discharged by my oncologist I really felt like my diagnosis was a warning; be good, look after yourself, you’re not invincible. Not long after surgery a friend contacted me and asked if I was still looking for a job, I was. So the afternoon of the day the oncologist discharged me I had a phone interview with a very nice lady who would turn out to be my new boss.