Wednesday, December 17, 2014

first, the good news

I went to the hospital today for the post-surgery visit. The appointment was in the early afternoon and the waiting room was mobbed, and from overheard conversations I gathered that things were at least an hour behind. As I reached the check-in desk, my phone rang (which it rarely does) and it was my neighbor (who would only call if something really bad was happening). My dog was howling (which she never does), she said, and she (the neighbor) wondered if I had left a spare key anywhere so she could check on the dog.

I hadn't, and I couldn't leave the hospital, and my husband was at work, and now my dog might be dying alone and unaided, what do I do? I told her to feel free to have someone break into the house. We both got hold of my husband and he agreed to come home. While I waited and waited and waited for the doc to see me and for my neighbor to break into the house and for my husband to get home, I chewed my nails and texted my neighbor, badgering her for updates. Eventually they got a door open, and found my dog unable to get up (her new normal, about 50% of the time). After being propped on her feet, she calmed right down and appeared glad to see my neighbor (texted my neighbor). My husband arrived home shortly afterward and reported that the dog was "a little clingy" but basically ok. So the fuss was because she was lonesome. Lonesome. God. We can't make it so that one of us is always home, so I don't know how we're going to fix this problem. But a part of me is happy that this almost-17-yo dog cares enough about anyone or anything to feel lonesome. She is not going down without a fight.

So I waited a little more until I was called to see the doctor. She was happy. She said the pathologist's report was great; apparently the cancer was so tiny (like 2 or 3 mm, imagine!) that they'd inadvertently got it all in the biopsy, and the lumpectomy contained none. She even said that she's thinking I won't need radiation, though she does recommend tamoxifen. Won't need radiation! This is huge. Wow - the best thing I've heard since the day I met her and she said mastectomy was not strictly necessary. Of course, the decision about radiation ultimately lies with the radiation oncologist, with whom I have an appointment next week. But when I think of what might have happened had I stayed with Surgeon No 1 and her Creepy Plastic Surgeon husband...Christ. I dodged a bullet.

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