Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crazy Sexy Axillary Lymph Nodes

Ok... I found out yesterday when I met with my surgeon that the node that was biopsied on last week tested positive for the bad stuff.

Fricking cancer.

It was not a surprise to me... I had hoped it wasn't going to be the case but I knew that it was most likely going to go that way...I saw what it looked like on the ultra sound, they said it was suspicious. Whatever.  My stage hasn't changed but the procedure during surgery will be a bit different now... instead of doing a sentinel node biopsy where they put blue dye in to see where the cancer may have gone to determine what should come out... they will now being doing a full dissection of the axillary lymph nodes under my arm pit. All of them. Out. Ouchhhh! The risk of this is arm swelling that may or may not be permanent but this only happens 10 - 15% of the time.

I will not be in that 10-15%. Period.

I have also had my pre-op appointment where they gave me the low-down on what to expect before and after surgery...I will have a drain attached to me for 5 - 8 days after surgery that I will somehow have to conceal underneath a bulky sweater. Fun times.

Today Mike and I had an appointment at PCRM (the fertility clinic). We both had our share of fun there! In vitro stuff is wiiiild! They are going to keep me (and Mike) crazy busy once surgery is done. It is a tight timeline but I they will retrieve some eggies from me by the end of February before my oncologist gets antsy about starting chemo treatment.

I also had an ultra sound at St. Joe's on my liver, kidneys, gallbladder and spleen this afternoon. I should know by Friday if all is good on the abdomen front. The ultra sound tech was awesome!! She was super friendly and chatty and showed me everything on the screen and what each dark patch was and where each organ was. It was cool to learn from her and I could see she really enjoys her job. First time ever that I have encountered an ultra sound technician that was that into what she does. They need to all be like this!

As for what is outstanding before surgery... I am waiting to have a bone scan at St. Pauls. That will most likely Tuesday Feb 7 (the day before I get this c-crap out of me!)

They were not joking at all when they said they were going to keep me busy. Mike, my Mum and I are back and forth a few times each week and I find by the end of the day when we are getting on the ferry I am completely bagged. As much as I like where we live on the Sunshine Coast I wish during this whole ordeal that we were still living in the city. It would be a lot less exhausting. But it doesn't matter how tired I feel by the time we get to Horseshoe Bay, once we are in the line up... all I want is to just be back at home in my comfy clothes with my kitties and my own bed :)

I have picked up my first cancer book yesterday at Indigo!! Yay! It's called Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr (Thanks A.S. for the recommendation). Kris Carr was 30 when she was diagnosed with a rare type of incurable liver and lung cancer and the whole book is geared towards young people like me who are trying to figure out the whole "How in the hell do I cope with this? How do I live a normal life with cancer?" thing. She is candid and her somewhat twisted sense of humour is a bit similar to mine which makes me laugh out loud at times...Her advice is great and I am totally hooked already. Great tips and stories with humour like this is exactly what I need... I am glad someone has written a cancer book for us young folk who are faced with having to accept this kind of diagnosis.

One of Kris Carr's tips is to find a cancer pal that is going through the same thing as you. I am already on this... I am in the process of trying to find myself a cancer buddy through my surgeon's office. Since she said there were already four women before me that she had seen in January that were in their twenties I figured it wouldn' hurt to ask her to give them my email. I hope that at least one of them is into this idea and is looking for a fellow breast cancer friend too.

I think having someone who is going through the exact same thing will be awesome. I am picturing her already in my mind. It will make us even stronger through this roller coaster of a ride. We will give each other support, comfort, strength and have hope together.

And we will kick the living daylight out of this thing!


  1. Ashley -- you don't know me, but your Dad is my cousin; I live in San Diego and wanted you to know that my 11 year old son Sean and I send you much love, moral support, healing wishes and sunshine for your upcoming surgery! If you send me your mailing address, I'd like to send you a little something from here to (hopefully) make things a little brighter after your surgery. We'll be thinking positive thoughts for you on the 8th, and if you ever need someone to vent to my email address is

    With much love and moral support,
    Pam and Sean

  2. Hey Ashley, The gang here in Squamish is behind you a 100%, make that 110%. We all know that you have what it takes to kick ass on the "C". Anything we can do to help in anyway, just say so.

    Warm regards.

    Jim Webster.

  3. Hi Ashley
    You will be in my thoughts this week - You have already won this battle - I know everything is going to turn out well. remeber you may have cancer but it will NEVER have you - Kick it's butt this week - Dave and I love you and will be cheering you on at the finish line.

  4. So glad to have found your blog Ashley! You are an amazing woman and I know you will kick the crap out of this cancer! It'll be scared to even utter your name ever again!
    I'm praying for you and thinking of you often my friend!
    Hope to come visit next weekend for a few minutes to deliver some love from us here at work.
    I can't wait until you've won this fight, it's a distant memory and you can pass on your strength, wisdom and courageous spirit to another person fighting.
    -Love Christine

  5. Good morning sweet woman. Hope you are resting well ... and resting. There's nothing more to do today on the slow trail to getting better. Happy Heart Day !!
    Love from Heathy