Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pathology report

We visited with Sherrie's surgeon today and got the pathology report, which was good news and bad news. First, the good news: the margin was clear around the tumor (which was 2 cm in size). The bad news: the more detailed look at the lymph node showed  a couple of cancer cells with one of the two stains they use to look at the node. They look at the lymph node initially during the surgery with a quick-look stain, and then after the surgery with two more detailed examinations. One of these was clear of cancer cells, but the other showed "literally one or two" cancer cells. The surgeon called this "micro-metastasis."

It's not the best of news, but it's not the worst either (lots of cancer cells in many nodes would be more grim). The bottom line is that chemo is now a sure thing. We have our first appointment with the oncologist this Friday, which is most likely an initial consult and scheduling. The actual chemo itself won't start until about a month after surgery (three weeks from now), after Sherrie has had more time to heal. We expect the chemo to last about six months.

The surgeon said that we should wait until the drain is producing less than 30 cc per day "for a couple of days" before having it removed.

Sherrie was secretly hoping not to have to do chemo, but has a good attitude about it. Who knows, maybe she'll tolerate it well.

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