CANCER, PART 2: DAY 38: WTF is necrosis?!

When I looked down at my nipple last night I could tell that something wasn’t quite right. The dark part we had noticed last week has gone a bit crusty. Sorry I know, even typing that word makes me feel a queasy. But I have to be honest!
So Elliott says, “Let’s take a photo and send to the surgeon!” I was very against this at first. My surgeon gave us his mobile number and the idea of sending photos of my nipple via text message!?
But Elliott sent them and we got the standard cryptic response, “Am I seeing Devon tomorrow? Make sure she comes to see me tomorrow.”
Oh good. More nipple drama.
So roll on to today and it’s a bit more of the same in person.
“Your breast is a bit red. When did you finish the antibiotics?” Translation:  You have an infection and need more antibiotics.
The crusty dark spot is apparently a bit of necrosis. Translation: It will crust over some more and then that bit of skin will fall off. It should all still look normal.
He pulled off the last bit of tape underneath my boob which was very painful! But told me I’m a fast healer. Yeah, a fast healer who is now on 2 more weeks of antibiotics! And these will apparently give me the cha-chas…or so says the surgeon, oncologist and the pharamacist!
Next up, my oncology appointment. Honestly it really felt like the longest session ever, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:
Chemo will start mid-September
Hope to be finished with chemo by Christmas
Cancer was 3cm in length and had been growing fast
It could be that we didn’t have the right kind of chemo last time. I know, that one stung a bit, but here’s why it’s okay:
There are two major ways cancer is treated. You either have surgery first, or chemo first. If you have chemo first then once you do have surgery they can check if there’s any cancer remaining in the cells. If you have surgery first they eliminate the cancer and check all margins for cells. As long as your margins are clear they consider that as success. There’s no way to test a chemo on a cancer that’s not spread if you have surgery to remove it. And obviously if you wait to have surgery and the chemo hasn’t worked on your cancer….well that’s not nice at all.
We were curious about what the exact chemo would be this time but she’s not sure yet. She went through a few different options but said she’s double-checking with a bunch of other London oncologists about the best course of treatment. She offered up that she wouldn’t be offended if we wanted a second opinion. But I’ve done so much reading on triple negative breast cancer. I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, but trust me when I say if your life depended on you knowing as much as you could about a condition you have, you become as much of an expert as possible. I even read Genomics websites and scour blogs to see if there’s any common threads between me and these other women, and I haven’t found it yet. Besides that, I think she’s done all she could do and I trust her.
So that’s it. More antibiotics for my boobie infection, a bit of dead nipple tissue, maybe some Cha-Cha’s going on this week, Oh! and chemo mid-September.
Whew! xx