SAN ANTONIO - Thursday March 8th
Dr. Rosenthal was the first person I saw when I woke up. He was standing at the end of the bed looking at me with a huge smile on his face. "I've got GREAT news!" he said with the enthusiasm of 5-year-old child sitting in front of a box of candy! "Hi Dr. Rosenthal" I said, as I tried to pull myself up in bed. "What is it?" I asked. He grinned from one ear to the other and said, "NO CANCER. None. Not a trace of it. The results are back from pathology, and they looked through all of the breast tissue I removed. No signs of cancer honey - you are gonna be fine!" He patted gently on my leg. "Wow" I said, "that's great news! Thanks for coming by to let me know in person! And thanks for all you have done for me Dr. Rosenthal"! He turned to walk away - waving his hand above his head in the process, "I don't think we'll need to see each other again, but if you ever need me, you just call!"
No cancer. None. No cancer. None. Those words kept resonating in my mind. I had gone over so many scenarios in my mind.
1.Don't have the surgery, and hope that cancer never develops again in my left breast, or in my right breast. Then, ten years from now I am diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
2.Have the surgery and find out that I was too late. Cancer was already in one or both breasts. But at least I would catch it now, and could treat it!
3.No cancer. None. That's the best news I could have heard. If it was coming back in my breasts, it hadn't yet! Those years of taking femara and tamoxifen have paid off! No cancer! None!
I smiled. "Time to take another walk", I thought to myself. I no longer needed help from the nurses. I was able to slowly pull myself up out of bed, scoot off the side and stand up holding the IV pole. I was becoming a regular sprinter! My back still ached from the pressure I put on it bending over. My stomach was so tight - I didn't know if I would ever stand up straight again! I put my robe on - and started walking. I made it around the circle twice - and really could have made it a third time. Yes, I was still very sore, but feeling so much better.
After the walk, I climbed into the recliner and dozed off for a while. I awoke when Pete arrived to check on me. "Feeling better off the morphine?" he asked. "Actually, yes" I answered. I really hated to give it up - but he was right. I was feeling much stronger now that I was off of it. "When can I go home?" I pleaded with him. "Well," he said, "how about tomorrow?" TOMORROW!!! I couldn't believe it. I was finally going home! "Does that mean I can finally take a shower? I feel disgusting" I said. "Tomorrow" he answered.
He looked at my incisions, and stitches, and gave me a thumbs up as he walked out of the room.
The rest of the day flew by. Friends stopped by for a visit, my appetite was coming back, and I was really feeling like a normal person again. The last four days felt like four years but now I could see the end of the hospital stay and the beginning of my home recovery.
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