Breast Cancer

It’s time to get something off of my chest

It’s time to get something off of my chest… my boobs!

Had a great meeting with my surgeon this afternoon and surgery is scheduled for next Friday. She covered every detail of what the surgery will entail, recovery and outcomes. I will be having a bilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction. Meaning both breasts will be removed and I have chosen not to have breast reconstruction.

The surgery itself should take about 3 hours. During surgery, my sentinel node (the first lymph node) will also be removed and biopsied. This is how they can tell if cancer has spread into my other lymph nodes. If so, then my surgeon will remove the lymph nodes under my armpit, on my right side. My port will also be removed.

At this point, we know that cancer is in my right breast, but we don’t know how large or how much cancer is actually there. Part of what was growing was a non-cancerous tissue called sclerosis. To the human eye, that tissue has the same appearance as the cancerous tissue, so we won’t know much until we see the pathology report. As far as the lymph nodes go, I have had 2 enlarged lymph nodes biopsied and both came back negative for cancer. So fingers crossed that there are no signs of cancer in the nodes!

My hospital stay should only be one night. And we should get the pathology back about 5 business days after surgery. That’s what will tell us what steps are next and if radiation is needed.

So for now, I’m enjoying the slow recovery and freedom from chemo. Each day I feel a little more like myself and the peach fuzz on my head is slowly starting to fill in and grow. Surgery won’t be fun. But a week from today, I’ll be extraordinarily uncomfortable, in some pain, but I will NOT have cancer on my chest any more. And that, my friends, is worth losing my boobs over.

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8 Comments

  • Reply SBG April 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Thinking of you and praying for you as tomorrow approaches. Praying for Jason, the kids and the surgical team, as well. You, my friend, were a badass warrior through the chemo and I have no doubt you will take on this next step with strength, grace and above all else, a sense of humor (a damn good one, at that). Sending you ridiculous amounts of love from The ‘Quay. XOXO

  • Reply Libby Kinsey April 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Shannon,
    Will continue to pray for you especially next Friday and through your recovery for healing. Our family attended Salem with your parents about 12 years ago. Libby

  • Reply Kesha Nealen April 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Shannon- You are beyond amazing and inspirational. As you may know, my family has been through a lot this past year, but I showed my children your blog, and photos of you. The first comment my 13-year-old daughter made was “My gosh, Mom, she’s so pretty! How does she do that with all she’s going through?” I reminded her that true beauty radiates from within, and my friend, you are positively GLOWING! Love and continued prayers sent from WV!!

  • Reply Ann Riley April 18, 2015 at 10:21 am

    We are praying so deeply for God’s will in this next huge step of your journey! Sending you strength, hugs, and hopes for days of joy and painfree adventures!!! Love in Christ to you all!! Keith and Ann Riley (friends of those sweet parents of yours)

  • Reply Wendy Allen April 18, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Praying you are cancer free and that your surgery and recovery goes smoothly. Love from Apex.

    • Reply Shannon April 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Thank you Wendy! Lots of love to you!

  • Reply Tammi Hart April 18, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I love you, Shannon! You are fierce! You’re a warrior and an inspiration to women everywhere!

    • Reply Shannon April 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Love you too Tammi!! Thank you!

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